A couple of months ago, on the back-to-school-new-uniform trail for my son, I was surprised that all the clothing retailers were prominently advertising their “Generous Fit” ranges of school kit.
It reminded me of a leader in the Economist on the insidious trend of panflation that observed how today’s size 14 trousers (UK women’s size) is equivalent to a size 18 from the 1970s; a size 10 is a 1970s’ size 14.
Marketing, of course, meets people’s desires with whatever offerings are available. People want to feel slim: diet companies sell diets, leisure companies sell gym memberships, clothing retailers sell “shapewear” and clothes with feel-good size labels. The real question is why do we consumers delude ourselves?
Perhaps the most laughable example from my brief shopping excursion was Marks & Spencer’s new men’s range of trousers featuring Active Waist – for which read, “if you’re not active enough to have a respectable waist of your own…”
Interestingly, the trousers in are “made in an eco-factory, designed to use less energy” … much like the target market, I suppose.