Tell me sweet little lies - vanity sizing for blokes is here
So you're a 32? ... the menswear retailer Robby Ingham, in his Paddington shop, says men want to be bigger around the chest but not around the waist. Photo: Ben Rushton
Once the preserve of female clothing only, the concept of vanity sizing, by which manufacturers underestimate the true size of their clothing to flatter consumers, is spreading to the racks and change rooms of men's fashion stores.
The practice has been dubbed "manity sizing" by London's Daily Telegraph, which found trousers on sale at a range of British chain stores were more generous in their actual waist measurements than the sizing on their swing tags. The findings were backed by research from market analyst Mintel which suggested the number of men who report their fit size varying between stores has doubled in the past six years.
The director of clothes label Farage, Joe Farage, yesterday said "manity" sizing was also occurring in Australia. "Size variances are definitely apparent here," Mr Farage said.
"Some brands may tend to size on the small side just to make people feel good ... but in general it's more about the variance in what the brands' demographics are."
A fashion label with a younger, slimmer customer may size its waistlines slightly smaller than the standard, while a brand such as Farage with a core customer base of businessmen would generally run more true to actual size.
"We dress real men so our 34 is a real 34 and our 32 is a real 32," he said.
"The likes of a Calibre, I imagine they would be on the slimmer side because their guys tend to be a bit slimmer and their demographic is more like that."
Calibre director Gary Zecevic confirmed "our cuts are very slim because that is what our customer wants" but said, "we are very standard in our measurements in sizing so our customer knows what to expect".
"Manity" sizing is more common at a chain brand than exclusive designer label.
"If I try on a Dolce & Gabbana jacket I could be an Italian 52 which is equivalent to our 42 here, but then I could go to Country Road and be a 40," Mr Farage said.
Robby Ingham, who owns the Robby Ingham menswear and womenswear store in Paddington, agreed such sizing variations were becoming increasingly common.
"For men it's the same as women's sizes, some brands make them a little bigger and some brands make them a little smaller," Mr Ingham said.
"If you go to Gap or Country Road you'd definitely find their brands are larger than [designer sizes]," he said.
Despite the discrepancies in sizing, Mr Ingham said most men wanted the same thing.
"Men basically are as vain as women when it comes to size," Mr Ingham said.
"Guys will swear they're a 32 when you know they're not.
"They want to be bigger around the chest but not around the waist."
From The Sydney Morning Herald