At Least 25% of Clothes Never Leave the Hanger, Finds Talbots National Fit Study

HINGHAM, Mass. July 24, 2006) – The 35+ woman says she knows her size, but doesn’t know her measurements, according to a new survey unveiled today by Talbots. In fact, the study revealed that 80 percent of the women surveyed are not wearing at least a quarter of the clothes in their closet. No wonder…

More than half of the women surveyed (56 percent) cited fit as the main reason for not wearing their clothes more often, while 62 percent admitted to not knowing their own measurements, according to the recent nationwide Talbots Fit Survey of more than 2,200 women ages 35 to 65. Interestingly, 62 percent said they only consider clothes in their specific size when shopping.

"Women have closets bursting with clothes, but often feel they have nothing to wear," said Talbots Fashion PR Director Betsy Thompson. "The secret to a winning wardrobe starts with knowing your measurements and focusing on fit rather than the size tag."

Women Shop by Size vs. Fit

  • 85 percent of women determine if something fits them by looking at the size tag.
  • 62 percent said they only consider items in their specific size when shopping for clothes, yet the same percentage said they don’t know their body measurements.
  • Among the respondents willing to try a larger size, 40 percent indicated one size up was their limit and less than 20 percent said they would be willing to try two sizes up in their quest for the best fit.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the women own a dressmaker’s tape measure, yet only 39 percent said their measurements were taken in the last year, and 46 percent said they were taken more than two years ago.
  • Women are not likely to check the manufacturer’s size chart against their own measurements. Only 16 percent said they regularly check the size chart when shopping in a store, and nearly 19 percent said they did only when shopping online or via catalog.

Closets Are a Wasteland

  • Only six percent of the women surveyed said they wear all of their clothes on a regular basis. 40 percent of the women surveyed admitted to buying clothes they planned to fit into when they lose weight, while 33 percent said that the clothes in their closet were too small. 36 percent said they owned unworn apparel that needed to be tailored, while 20 percent said their unworn clothes no longer suited their lifestyle.
  • The survey found that women shop for size yet have "fat clothes" (63 percent), "skinny clothes" (58 percent), while what they desire are clothes that are comfortable but shapely.

No Celebrity Role Models
They may love celebrity gossip, but they don’t relate to celebrities’ figures. In fact, 42 percent of the women surveyed said that they do not relate to any of celebrities mentioned, which included Kirstie Alley (19 percent), Wynonna Judd (11 percent), Oprah Winfrey (8 percent), Jamie Lee Curtis (6 percent), Salma Hayek (4 percent) and Candice Bergen (3 percent).

"This woman is self reliant and confident in her own opinions, with less than 25 percent of the women surveyed saying that they are very likely to seek feedback from others when trying on clothes," said Ms. Thompson.

When asking for advice on fit, survey participants most often said their own opinion matters most (37 percent) – more than husband/significant other (25 percent), friend (13 percent) or daughter (11 percent).

So what does the 35+ woman want? A clear choice of styles in sizes that fit her proportions... clothes that spend more time on her body than in her closet.

About the Survey
Talbots commissioned two independent, national surveys in March and April 2006. More than 2,200 women ages 35-65 residing in the U.S. responded to the online surveys, with 1,097 participants in March, and 1,157 participants in April. Both surveys were conducted by Talbots using Market Tools’ ZoomPanel, and have a margin of error of ±3 percent.

About Talbots
Founded in 1947, Talbots is the headquarters for grown-up, classic style. The Company offers an extensive private label assortment of clothing in four complete size ranges, including:

  • Misses 2-20
  • Petite 2P-16P
  • Woman’s 12W-24W
  • Woman’s Petite 12WP-24WP

Talbots also offers a complementary line of shoes and fashion accessories. Talbots stores are located throughout the U.S, Canada and U.K. Catalog and internet shopping are also available (800-825-2687//

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