Everyone knows it is important to wear clothes that fit well, but where is the evidence supporting that? How much of a difference do well-fitting clothes really make? We set out to measure just that, predicting that clothing that hugs the body just right would be perceived as more expensive than baggy clothes. We also predicted that the people wearing the well-fitting clothes would be considered better dressed and more attractive, no matter the gender.
We first took pictures of the models, varying the size of clothing between well-fitting and baggy for each outfit. We then surveyed over 1,000 people online asking their opinion on: a) if they thought the model was dressed well, b) if this clothing item looks good on the model, and c) an estimate on how much this clothing item costs. The survey was broken down into two groups so respondents only saw one of the two variations in clothing size. Both groups saw an assortment of fitting and baggy clothing for each model. For price data, outliers greater than three standard deviations from the average were removed after collection.
Respondents were 53% male, 47% female, with an average age of 33. There was a general trend that fitting clothes were better received than baggy clothes for each model. There was some variation as to the specific clothing item. See Figure below.