sizing up

Mexico Will Get Its Own Special Clothing Sizes Soon

A model at Mexico Fashion Week.
A model at Mexico Fashion Week. Photo: Victor Chavez/Getty Images

Apparently Mexico has a sizing problem. Many international retailers say that their Mexican customers often complain that the clothes don’t fit properly, and there’s a high rate of returned merchandise, which causes retailers to lose money. So a bunch of stores banded together to do a survey of average weight and height across fourteen cities and several regions of the country. Here’s what they found:

An average Mexican female ages 18 to 25 is 1.60 meters, or 5 feet 2 inches, tall and weighs 62.9 kilograms, or 138 pounds. Men of the same age range are 1.67 meters, or 5 feet 5 inches, tall, with an average weight of 77.30 kilograms, or 170 pounds. These statistics vary across regions and age brackets, however, making the study, which will soon be available for purchase online, a valuable marketing tool.

The survey will also help retailers develop a new “Mexican molde” that will be more flattering to the physical proportions of the average Mexican. Carlota de la Vega, director of Fashion Group International in Mexico, thinks this is long overdue:

They will see how different a Mexican woman’s body is compared to a Spanish or Argentine one. Buyers will have a better idea of what sizes to bring to the market … Many stores carry sizes that don’t fit Mexicans. Some brands’ pants are often too long, with waists in European or American sizes that can be too small for this market. Now, manufacturers and retailers can have more certainty about the right size for their target segment. 

Experts think this new information could help the Mexican apparel industry save about $400 million by 2017, thanks to a reduction in merchandise returns.

Mexico Will Get Its Own Special Clothing Sizes