High street 'vanity sizing' flatters to deceive

There is nothing quite so satisfying as braving the high street stores to find that you can squeeze into a smaller dress size.

  1. Online shopping
  2. Gap clothes
  3. Marks & Spencer
  4. Dress sizing
  5. Fashion stores
  6. Discount clothes
  7. Buy clothes online
  8. Bra measurements
  9. Fashion sites
  10. Party dresses
But a new study has revealed that most of us are being deceived by our favourite shops as all is not what it seems when it comes to sizing.

A number of high street shops, including M&S and Gap, have cunningly begun making measurements larger though the labels have not changed.

Labelled "vanity sizing" this devious little ploy means that customers are flattered into buying clothes simply because they believe they have finally reached their size 10 goal.

Sizing varies wildly from shop to shop with a size 10 in one likely to match a size eight in another.

For instance, a size 12 skirt in Topshop gave the wearer an extra inch of waistband as compared to the same size in Next. And a pair of men's French Connection slim-fit jeans boasted a whopping six extra inches than the advertised 30.

Though M&S insists that its patterns have not been changed since 2003, the brand confessed that sizes on the website had been "tweaked" by up to two inches - and that's a whole different dress size.

A spokesman for M&S told The Sunday Times: "We are not sweetening the sizes or softening the blow for anyone but we tweaked the sizes on our website so they are based on an average body."

But is purchase by flattery fair on the consumer?