SIZE COUNTS

By ANN-MARIE MAY

AS the Victorian Government pushes for a national garment size, women across the country dream of a world where they are able to walk into any shop and know what size they will be.

But is it a case of better the devil you know?

Wendy, from AB-FAB, thinks it's a great idea, but believes it won't ever happen.

"If I had the time I would cut off every label in my shop and replace them with Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large," Wendy said.

"However, with all the different labels coming from different countries I don't think it is practically possible. It is too hard to say what a mandatory size is."

Victorian Manufacturing Minister Andre Haermeyer said current standard sizes were based on data collected between the 1920s and 1940s.

"Changing demographics, environmental and lifestyle factors as well as the passage of time have resulted in the average size and shape of people changing significantly since then," he said.

Mr Haermeyer said one solution was to measure a cross-sections of Australians using 3D laser whole body scanners to develop and establish standard clothes sizes more in step with the average Australian body shape.

However, another Coffs Coast store manager can see two sides to the argument.

While agreeing that it is a great idea, and would make things easier for the customers, she believes that problems could arise when women find out what size they truly are.

"A few years ago the average size for a female was 14. This hasn't changed, instead labels are just making their sizes more generous," she said.

And it's not just the women who have a hard time working out what size they are.

Sharon Shaw, owner of menswear store, Fella's, said it was a confusing time for men at the moment.

"Sizes differ from brand to brand, and then there is slim fit, mid-fit and traditional-fit," Ms Shaw said.

" It's all about marketing. Different labels target specific markets."



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