The new year; a time for change, a time for resolutions and certainly time for spending; but the three combined are costing customers millions.
According to a poll submitted by weight management brand Shape Smart, 21% of the female population had started their 2011 by enforcing a diet to reach weight loss goals. But hopeful attitudes and dreams of that size 10 figure is not burning calories, but instead a hole in their purse.
The poll revealed that the average delusional shopper spends £71 on clothing too small for them and a shocking £3.5 million overall; unsurprisingly, the main culprits were women.
27% of women admitted they regularly bought clothing in smaller sizes in an act of optimism and pride. Statistics also revealed that 12% were so conscious of their apparently unsatisfactory shape, that they shopped only in stores which subscribe to vanity sizing; unrealistic dress sizes which flatter customers into feeling slimmer.
Shockingly, one in 20 of the reality shoppers buying the correct size said they are so ashamed of their size that they will cut off the label; feeling offended as they climb the double-figure ladder.
Though undoubtedly men will snigger at the self conscious approach of female shoppers, 17% of men admitted to purchasing unwearable items themselves in a bid to lose those excess pounds.
Despite the post Christmas optimism, many diets are doomed from the beginning; 21% of women said they had started a diet in the New Year, but the majority of those did not expect to succeed. The lack of willpower is indeed the catalyst for the high number of failed diets, at an early stage of their diet, 57% predict they will have failed by January 22, while 5% expect to give up within the first 24 hours.
Some take a different approach, by dodging the New Year diet and reverting to the age old trick of sticking to dark colours. The camouflaging shade of black causes 21% of women, and 10% of men to refuse to wear any other colours.
So before you purchase that size 8 dress, ask yourself; is this price tag contributing to your £71 average?