Assessment of Size and Fit of Ready-made Formal Clothing among Male Consumers: a case of Kenyatta University
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Fit is an important factor for consumers wearing ready-made clothes. Problems related to apparel fit stem from a variety of factors. This study therefore sought to explore size and fit issues of ready-made formal clothes among men with regards to: Origin of imported clothes, satisfaction based on availability of appropriately fitting clothes, fit problems experienced at critical fit points, fit preferences, knowledge on key body measurements and body shapes and finally, knowledge on the communication of size by size labels. The results of this study will facilitate the development of strategies that would help to solve fit problems and to promote the production of well-fitting formal clothing for Kenyan men. The review of related literature reveals the main factors affecting sizing systems and consequently, the fit of ready-made clothes. The research was designed by a descriptive survey. The study was carried out at Kenyatta University. The target population was men working on permanent and pensionable terms who were between the ages of 25 to 75 years. The sample was stratified as, the teaching staff (192) and non-teaching staff (294).The selection of the sample size was done randomly. Questionnaire and observation checklist were employed to collect data. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze obtained data by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Frequency tables, percentages, and bar graphs were used to summarize the results. The findings of the study indicated that men in Kenyatta University buy clothes that are made in China, Kenya, Bitain and America. Clothes sold in chain stores have an excellent fit, while those sold in the supermarkets, boutiques and market stalls have a good fit. The study further indicated that formal ready-made clothes, imported new, custom made and local ready-made clothes have a better fit than second hand clothes for men. The findings concluded that men are satisfied (49.9%) with ready-made clothes though they often alter them. This study found that men experience fit problems with widths of ready-made clothes. Generally they experience more fit problems with the upper torso than the lower torso. Length problems were found to be more at the lower torso and could be concluded that ready-made trousers are longer than required lengths. From this study, it is apparent that numbered coded labels and lettered coded labels effectively guide in selecting formal clothes but illustrated figure, size label and body measurements are extremely effective. The findings indicated also that men prefer to wear fitting and semi-fitting jackets, loosely fitting trousers, semi-fitting shirts and suits to work. It can be concluded that men (28.6%) would want their body measurements to be taken and size labels to be clear and informative. The researcher recommended that apparel manufacturing industries in Kenya and abroad should ensure that their sizing systems are a representative of their target market.