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Is Fashion Sizing Causing Physical and Mental Health Issues?


Research Report, Ella-Ann Handy
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Abstract:

This report addresses and analyses the link between fashion sizing and health issues. The report includes four chapters that break down the elements of fashion and its link to health, both mentally and physically. This topic is relevant to all fashion brands within the industry and sets out to educate creative practitioners on the health factors tied in with variable sizing labels.


Research into the last one-hundred years of beauty standards reflects how vanity sizing has always been, and still is, present within the fashion industry. This report questions whether in today’s current society social media and body positivity trends are influencing vanity sizing. Exploring psychological and physical factors behind the clothing industry highlights why inclusive sizes can be harmful or beneficial to one’s health. Data collection from primary sources, bridged with statistics from secondary sources, highlights how fashion sizing can alter society’s perception of health. Medical and scientific evidence provides a benchmark against which the ‘health’ of sizing trends can be compared, helping to define the debate of whether plus-size models have an impact on the rise of obesity. A case study, Lululemon, provides an industry level of understanding as to why this inclusivity is impactful to brand identity. From this case study comes a review of the rise of athleisure, looking at smart fabrics and the future of the fitness culture; this is particularly relevant today because of the significant of this sector during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This report suggests that there is a balance between physical and mental wellbeing in relation to fashion sizing, concluding that the fashion industry can influence the public’s mentality and so it should increase the publicising of the positive and negative medical effects of sizing. This response could reduce obesity levels and its associated morbidity and mortality.



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