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Is India Soon To Have Standardization In Fashion Sizes?

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Is India Soon To Have Standardization In Fashion Sizes?

Discussions for having a standardized fashion chart have been on the agenda since 2006 in India. Debates, talks, polls all have already taken place. In 2018, NIFT (National Institute of Fashion & Technology) took to the forefront and devised a plan for standardizing fashion sizes in India. It had then announced that a chart or details of the same would be put out in the year 2021. The Ministry of Textile supported the initiative and also allowed a grant for the same.

India has been thriving to have a standardized size chart for a long now. Many factors support an ‘in favor’ argument for having standardization in fashion sizes in India.

fashion trends
Standardization can make shopping an easier experience

What Is Standardization In Fashion?

Fashion is an essential part of life. In numerous clothes are made, traded, and sold in the markets of India. These clothes are not standardized as per the Indian body type and shape. Standardization in fashion means creating a sizing chart corresponding to the anthropometric measurements. These measurements are country or culture-specific.

A body scanning in terms of sizes is done across the region to create a size chart that defines the small, medium or large size of the body types belonging to that region. Elements like height, waist, hip size, and other such characteristics are taken into consideration before charting the sizes.This is majorly done for apparel and footwear across the globe.

Why Is Standardization Important in Fashion?

Standardization is important in fashion for both the manufacturer and consumer, standardized sizes bring acceptability and make shopping an easy experience.

  • A Uniform Size Chart Across The Industry: A uniform size chart across the industry would make garment manufacturing much easier for the brands as they would know of the sizes (Small, Large, Medium, etc) as per the body type and shape of consumers of a particular region or country.
  • Experience of Shopping For Consumers: Consumers would know their standardized sizes and would be able to purchase garments of any brand without worrying about size variations between brands.
  • Online Shopping Made Easier:  A common problem faced in online shopping is the size variation; if standardization in fashion would be implemented and followed online shopping would be a better experience for the consumers.
  • Positive Psychological Effect: The body structure of people depends upon the country, region, and origin, negative impact is created when a sect of origin of people compare their sizes to the consumers belonging to another region. This creates a negative impact and also leads to a lack of confidence.
  • Better Sales Channel Distribution: From the eyes of a retailer, the disparity in sizes leads to higher returns and exchange; this disturbs and affects the sales and distribution channel. Having a uniform system of sizes could reduce the returns and exchange.
Indian draped sarees
Indian draped sarees before British Raj without blouses- courtesy

Brief History Of Standardization Of Sizes

The need for standardization in fashion and sizes was felt during World War.

Before industrialization, most clothes were made to measure. It was in the 19th century, during the American Industrial Revolution that the country began to produce standardized sizes for military personnel. New technology and resources of power loom made the process efficient.

World War I made way for the mass production of standardized garments for women too, especially because most of them could not afford to buy custom-made clothes.

In the late 1930s- 1940s successful initiatives of having a standardized measurement of sizes were made.

In the early 19th century tailors across the European continent also started to publish their work on patterns, measuring sessions, and standardization of garment measurements. The Napoleonic War, Crimean War, and the American Civil War led to a dire need for standardization of garments. The advent of industrialization and power looms made mass production and standardization in fashion possible.

Particularly in India, the fashion in India was more about drapes than fitted clothes. Sarees, Dhotis, and long cloth materials were draped around the body without any blouse or upper shirts. The Britishers introduced the culture of blouses for women and formal clothing for men. Thus, a major need for standardization was never felt as much. But with liberalization, globalization, the industrial revolution, and westernization the Indian fashion in India culture saw the uprise of western clothes, now with time; a need for standardization in fashion is felt.

Current Standardized Fashion Sizes In The World

Currently, many countries hold their standardized fashion sizes, some of them are-


  • Germany
  • France
  • UK
  • Yugoslavia
  • Italy

North America:

  • U.S


  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea


  • Australia
Standardized size charts
Standardized size charts- Courtsey @bellastyles Pinterest

Why Does India Need a Standardized Fashion Size Chart?

India needs a standardized fashion size chart as many homegrown and giant fashion brands are growing and establishing their foot in the fashion industry in India.

Currently, these brands follow size charts of the UK, US, or EU and set their products for Indian consumers to buy. This leads to great confusion especially for the consumers, as trying clothes becomes a mandate to understand which garment they would fit into.

India’s population is varied and so are its measurements, a standardized system of sizes would bring uniformity in making and purchasing patterns. It would also make it easier for consumers, reducing returns and exchanges, and most importantly it would have a positive psychological effect on the minds of the Indian consumers as they would be more open to accepting their body type.

The standardized sizes would also make international brands enter the fashion industry in Indian consumer market with ease as they would be aware of the sizing systems and body types of India.

Convenient online shopping
Convenient online shopping

I Knock Fashion Desk

As the world now looks to India as a growing market for fashion in both consumption and manufacturing, the need for standardization in fashion sizes is taking to the forefront.  This can make manufacturing, sales channel, and retail a smooth system that would fall under the same umbrella. Especially post the pandemic and lockdown when online shopping and digital systems seem to gain more importance than the offline stores and conventional advertising, a standardized size system can surely bring down the returns making shopping online a user-friendly experience. So the question is ‘Is India Soon To Have Standardization In Fashion Sizes?’

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