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Do models help us choose what to wear?

Do models help us choose what to wear?

Vogue recently decided to ban underweight models from all their publications – great news for the 99.9 per cent of women out there who can’t relate to their stick thin figures.

But does the size of the model really influence whether we purchase the clothes they’re wearing?

I suppose seeing a model a similar size to myself does help me better understand how the clothes could look on my body, which is certainly something people look for when buying new garments.

And apparently women do prefer models which look more like them and they can better relate to, according to new research from Cambridge Judge Business School.

Lead author Dr Ben Barry found that we respond to not just size but also age and race diversity in fashion advertising.

“Women respond to models more favourably, and increase their purchase intentions, when the model nears their size, their age and their race,” he argues.

But while it’s important for us to be able to relate to the models we see in fashion advertising, Dr Barry suggests it’s also the creative direction of the campaigns which interest us, not just the actual physical traits of the model.

“That has to do with photography, hair and makeup, the actual clothes – all of the fashion of the advertisement.

“Regardless of the type of model they aspire to want to aspire to that fashion image, that creativity, that glamour and artistry,” he explained.

I’d like to think that I’m not swayed by advertisements as I used to be, although I can see his point being that fashion modelling is about being inspirational and creating looks that people long to copy.

Perhaps I’d even become more interested in fashion again if more designer magazines began displaying ‘real-size’ models on the pages – meaning I could actually understand how to wear the clothes and what they might look like on.

What do you think of underweight models being banned from Vogue?

Posted by Margo Hunter

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