What Is Fashion Anxiety?

woman standing beside white wall

Imagine feeling a knot in your stomach every time you open the closet.  Picture yourself analyzing every element of your attire while standing in front of the mirror. Listen to the voice in your head that is telling you that you are unworthy. These are just a few examples of how fashion anxiety could present. But with the right tools and support, you can break free from these negative thought patterns and embrace your unique style.

As an industry expert, I know better than most that finding clothes that fit well may be a chore. For its limited size ranges and lack of diversity, the fashion industry has long been subject to criticism.

As we shop, this can lead to feelings of frustration, disappointment, anxiety, and even depression. More than 3 out of 4 shoppers struggle to find clothing that fits well. This means that many brands are not meeting the needs of the consumer and we are not only talking about women’s brands.

man in green crew neck shirt

So, What Is Fashion Anxiety?

It is the feeling of unease or nervousness that arises when individuals think about or engage with fashion. This can include anxiety about finding clothes that fit well, feeling self-conscious about body shape or size, and worrying about how others will perceive their fashion choices.

Did you know that 7 out of 10 shoppers feel guilty about their body shape or the regularity of their gym attendance when in the store? Another 7 out of 10 assume that clothes will not fit before trying them on but we have to try anyway because taking something home that does not fit would be worse.

Many factors, such as societal pressure to uphold particular aesthetic standards, a lack of diversity in the fashion business, and previous unfavorable experiences with finding garments that fit properly, might contribute to fashion anxiety.

The fact that there are few options accessible for people who don’t fit the standard body type that the mainstream market favors can additionally exacerbate the problem. Finding clothes that fit well and make us feel good is already difficult, but all of these factors combined make it considerably harder.

Daily Life With Fashion Anxiety

This anxiety can show up in daily life in a variety of different ways, such as avoidance of particular social situations or activities because of the lack of appropriate clothing options or the feeling of self-consciousness when wearing clothes that don’t fit properly.

woman in black tank top and plaid skirt wearing sunglasses

Fashion anxiety sufferers may find getting dressed in the morning to be a difficult process. It can take hours to choose an outfit, and even then, we may not feel confident with our choices. Frustration, depression, and self-doubt can be the result of this, which may have a detrimental effect on our mood and overall well-being.

If you believe that you are one of the many people that suffer from this in some way, don’t worry. Only 1 in 5 people claim they are unaffected by eating disorders, stress, trauma, anxiety, or any one of these conditions. All of these have an impact on how we feel and how we see ourselves. What we wear plays such an important role in this process that it is not surprising that fashion anxiety affects so many of us.

It’s important to know that you are not alone if you suffer from fashion anxiety. By understanding where this anxiety comes from and developing coping strategies, we can learn to feel more confident and comfortable with who we are.

We believe that everyone deserves to feel confident and empowered in their fashion choices.

What Are The Key Issues That Today’s Fashion Industry Faces?

The fashion industry is a challenging one with different significant factors that have to be taken into account. Before it can be seen as fully sustainable, the fashion industry has a long way to go because of unfair labor practices and environmental issues.

It’s necessary to comprehend the size of the fashion sector before looking at the problems in question. It is a worldwide thing, with fashion trends emerging everywhere. The apparel industry is worth billions of dollars.

Issue Number One

The prevalence of unethical labor practices is the first problem in the fashion industry. We wear a lot of clothing that is manufactured in third-world countries where labor laws are often blatantly ignored. As a result, employees often have to work in awful working conditions, for inadequate pay.

Issue Number Two

Environmental concerns. The production of clothes requires a lot of energy and resources. The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. The production of synthetic fabrics can also cause air and water pollution, and the use of toxic chemicals in the dyeing process can lead to soil contamination.

Issue Number Three

The lack of sustainability. Fast fashion has become increasingly popular, leading to clothes being produced quickly and cheaply, with little regard for the environment or the people making them. This leads to a high rate of waste, as clothes are discarded after only a few wears. This high rate of waste is also exacerbated by a large quantity of clothing that does not fit the consumer well. We tend to keep things we like and items that fit well for longer.

Issue Number Four

The lack of diversity. Many fashion brands cater to a narrow demographic and don’t offer clothes for people of all sizes and shapes. This can lead to people feeling excluded from the fashion industry, and even feeling shame for their bodies. So often we are taught to blame ourselves when we do not fit into the prescribed size mold when in fact the mold should be made to fit who we are.

Issue Number Five

Transparency. Many brands don’t disclose where their clothes are made, what materials are used, or how much workers are paid. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions about the clothes they buy.

So How Do We Move Forward?

To create a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, it is important that we do not forget any of these issues when we look at our brands and our decisions for future collections and seasons.

The consumer has the ultimate power to make a difference by supporting brands that are transparent and ethical, and by speaking up when they see something that is wrong. It is also important to remember that sustainability and ethical fashion do not have to be expensive; there are plenty of affordable options out there that are both stylish and sustainable. With the right attitude and support, we can make the fashion industry a safer and more sustainable place for everyone.

Many brands are turning to sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo, to create their clothes. By using these materials, we can reduce the environmental impact we have and create clothes that are better for the planet. Below are a few points to keep in mind in the journey towards a better future.

1. Increased transparency: Provide detailed information about your supply chains and the materials used in your products. This helps consumers make informed decisions and ensures that the fashion industry is held accountable. Increased transparency also helps to ensure that workers are treated fairly and given a living wage.

2. Sustainable materials: Use sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo. These materials are better for the environment and help to reduce the fashion industry’s carbon footprint. By using sustainable materials, fashion brands can create clothes that are better for both people and the planet.

3. Innovative technologies: Use innovative technologies to create unique and exciting designs that stand out from the crowd. Augmented reality, 3D printing, and other innovative technologies are helping to drive innovation in the fashion industry, making it more exciting and vibrant.

4. Recycling programs: Create recycling programs to help reduce waste and promote sustainability. By encouraging people to recycle their clothes, you can reduce the amount of waste you produce and help to create a more sustainable fashion industry.

5. Ethical labor practices: Take steps to ensure that workers are treated fairly and given a living wage. This helps to combat unethical labor practices, such as low wages and poor working conditions and helps to ensure that workers are not exploited.

Sizing Challenges With Plus Size Clothing

The lack of adequate attention being paid by many brands and designers to the particular needs and fit concerns of plus-size women has long been a problem in the fashion and design industry business with regard to plus-size clothing. To meet the needs of this market, plus-size designers must, however, be aware of how to effectively develop and produce plus-size garments as the market for such clothing continues to expand.

An underserved market

Despite the fact that 7 out of every 10 American women wear a size 14 or larger, only 2% of the total clothing market is made up of plus-size clothing. This market difference offers brands and designers a massive opportunity to broaden their target market and satisfy the needs of plus-size women. Many brands stay away from larger sizes because they fear not providing a good product to the plus-size customer. This should not be a reason to stay away from the plus-size market.

Designing for a Plus-Size Customer

Plus-size customers face several fit issues when it comes to ready-to-wear women’s clothing. Some of the most common fit issues include:

Poor Fit in the Bust

Many plus-size customers have larger busts, which can make finding dresses that fit well in the bust area challenging. This can result in dresses that are either too tight or too loose in the bust, leading to discomfort and an unflattering fit. Another issue here is bust coverage, plus-size grading often covers the width but not enough height leaving many garments with very low necklines.

Tightness in the Arms

Plus-size customers may also struggle with tightness in the arms when it comes to dresses with sleeves. This can result in discomfort and a limited range of motion. This is another area that can be a challenge for pattern-making and grading professionals but it is by no means impossible for the right professional. If your grading is done well then this should not be an issue for your customers.

Poor Fit in the Hips and Thighs

Another common fit issue faced by plus-size customers is a poor fit in the hips and thighs. This can result in dresses and pants that are too tight or too loose in these areas, leading to garments that are not only uncomfortable but also extremely unflattering. Again, the right professional can help your brand get these details where you need them to be.

Tips for Improving the Fit of Plus Size Dresses

Now that we’ve explored some of the common fit issues faced by plus-size customers, let’s take a look at some tips for improving the fit of plus-size dresses:

Use Diverse Fit Models

One of the most important things that brands can do to improve the fit of their plus-size dresses is to use diverse fit models. This includes fit models of different sizes, shapes, and proportions. By using diverse fit models, brands can ensure that their clothing fits well on a range of body types.

If you choose not to use diverse fit models make sure that it is well-understood what body shape your brand is intended for so that your customer knows what to expect from you. There is nothing wrong with having a specific target market that you cater to so long as your branding is clear and concise in its message and your consumer knows who they are. They will appreciate you for this and will come to you knowing who they are.

Incorporate Stretch Fabrics

Incorporating stretch fabrics into plus-size dresses can help improve the fit in areas such as the bust, arms, hips, and thighs. Stretch fabrics allow for greater flexibility and movement, leading to a more comfortable and flattering fit.

Again, this is something you may choose not to do if your brand does not lean toward these fabrics. Just make sure that this is well stated in your size charts so that your target customer knows who they are and can come to you knowing that you have something that will fit them well.

Offer Extended Sizing

Offering extended sizing can also help improve the fit of plus-size dresses. This includes offering a wider range of sizes, as well as offering petite and tall options for certain styles.

If you have the ability to offer a wider range of options such as tall and petite or, curvy and straight, etc. within each size then kudos to you. If you do not then that is perfectly fine. Clarity of communication in product descriptions and sizing charts will be the key to success. Having photos and even videos of your larger sizes modeled so that your customer can see what body shape you cater to will be extremely helpful in bringing you the right target customers.

How to Refresh Your Brand’s Sizing Strategy and Boost Sales

Why Sizing is The Most Important Aspect of Any Clothing Company…

Sizing is the most important aspect of any fashion or clothing company. It directly impacts customer satisfaction, brand perception, and sales revenue. If your brand’s sizing is inconsistent or doesn’t align with your target audience’s needs, it can result in a negative shopping experience, which can lead to decreased customer loyalty and sales.

As a business owner or designer, you know that low sales can be frustrating. However, low sales can also be a sign that your brand’s sizing may need a refresh. If customers are not purchasing your designs, it may be because they are not finding something that fits well in what you are offering or because your sizing strategy does not resonate with your target audience.

Analyze Your Competitors’ Sizing Strategies

To refresh your brand’s sizing strategy, it’s essential to analyze what your competitors are doing and how they are meeting their customer’s sizing needs. Research your competitors’ sizing charts, product descriptions, and customer feedback to understand what works and what doesn’t. This information can help you identify gaps in your sizing strategy and inform your decision-making process.

Gather Customer Feedback

Another way to understand your customer’s needs and preferences is by gathering customer feedback. Reach out to customers who have purchased from your brand in the past. Ask them about their experience with your brand’s sizing and how you can improve. This feedback can be invaluable in refreshing your size charts and creating a positive shopping experience for your customers.

Refresh Your Sizing Chart and Descriptions

Once you have gathered customer feedback and analyzed your competitor’s size charts, it’s time to refresh your size charts and product descriptions.

Ensure that your size charts are consistent across all products and reflect your target audience’s needs and preferences. Make sure your product descriptions include detailed information about the fit and fabric of each item, so customers can make informed purchasing decisions.

Train Your Staff

Your employees play a crucial role in creating a positive shopping experience for your customers.

Ensure that your staff is trained to understand your brand’s sizing and can assist customers in finding the right size. This is important for both physical stores and online stores. In a physical store, your floor staff needs to all know enough about your sizing to answer any questions that may be asked and the same is true for your customer service staff if you only have an online store. This can help build trust with your customers and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.

FAQs

  1. Why is sizing important in the fashion industry? Sizing is important because it directly impacts customer satisfaction, brand perception, and sales revenue. Sizing that is inconsistent or incorrect can result in negative shopping experiences, decreased customer loyalty, and lost sales.
  2. How can I gather customer feedback about my brand’s sizing? You can gather customer feedback by conducting surveys, reaching out to customers who have purchased from your brand in the past, or leveraging social media platforms to engage with your customers.
  3. What are some common sizing issues that customers face? Common sizing issues that customers face include inconsistent sizing across different products, inaccurate sizing charts, and limited size options that do not cater to all body types.
  4. How often should I refresh my brand’s sizing strategy? It is recommended to refresh your brand’s sizing strategy at least once a year, especially if you are introducing new products or targeting a different audience. Refresh can feel like a big word, however, monitoring customer feedback and analyzing competitors’ strategies can help identify when changes are necessary. This doesn’t mean that you have to change anything if nothing needs to change but a review is always a good thing.