Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:22 am
I've read customer reviews for women's clothing from several companies . . . LLBean, the British designer Boden, Peruvian Connection . . . and find them amazingly contradictory.
One particular pair of reviews . . . from women who described themselves as 5' 5 and 1/2 " and 5' 6" respectively . . . made me chuckle. One found the same garment's sleeves too short while the other found it too long!
The same garment's material may be described as "flimsy," "of good quality," "substantial."
During late winter, I bought a sweater from LLBean in two colors, despite customer reviews saying the wool was too thin. I was pleased as the sweaters, layered over a finely knit pima shirt and under a blazer make lovely additions to my work wardrobe . . . feminine, dressy, classy and yet authoritative. Here, it might be a case of my looking for a layering garment while the other women might have wanted a sweater as a top garment. However, with their matching shirts, the sweaters work well as a change from my usual "too tailored" look.
I could use a summer shirt or two to brighten up khaki slacks and skirts for work. With money and time both limited, I turned to reviews for the shirts I had in mind. There were warnings about the short length of one (saddened me) and the tight sleeve of both. What made me chuckle were the descriptions of the same print. Most were pleased with its freshness and vivid shades, but one wrote that the "ivory" background was too dark and that the shirt was dull while another wrote of its "washed softness!"
I do find when a woman includes her height and her chest measurement in her review, she does other women more service. For example, when a woman says her bust measurement is 38 and the buttons on the size 10 closed with gaping, I have a good idea about the fit.
There is indeed a wide variance in the same products depending on when they were ordered and where they were made. Customers at the website where I order most of my clothing are constantly battling with the catalog company over differences in fit from one season to the next. Sometimes the fit is okay but they changed the fabric and dye enough that customers notice and comment on it.
My assumption is that the companies shop around for the cheapest maker of their clothing items and each of those manufacturers has to go through a learning curve of how to produce and size the items correctly for the American physique.
One the shirts carried a banner in its picture frame saying that the cut is different than last year's, that it is more fitted. A woman who has both versions wrote that she liked the newer one as it was more flattering and dressier.
I honestly think that last winter's mock turtleneck shirts from LLBean and LandsEnd are from the same mfg. I sort of stumbled on sale at Sears on the LandsEnd's shirts while shopping for my granddaughters and then later bought another two from Beans. The set of the shoulders, the placement of the facings and the style of hems are identical. In the past, there would be differences, but these shirts are far too similar not to have come from the same place.