Fashion: Debunking Fashion Labels

Clothing care labels: how much attention do you pay to them? And if you do give them some thought, how much do you actually understand them?

A recent survey by online label company Data Label has reported that a staggering 56% of people do not always understand the symbols on clothing care labels, leading to clothing being damaged and wasted as a result.

I know that I for one can be quite sloppy with them, and often take a chance on sticking an occasion dress or smart jacket into the washing machine, when it clearly tells me to hand wash only. The washing machine icon or the hand wash icon seem to be the only one’s I take note of, but come to think of it, many a pretty dress I’ve ruined by sticking a hot iron directly onto the fabric. Ooops!

Buying a new item of clothing should be exciting, but the worry comes after the first wear when it needs to be washed. With such a variety of symbols used on clothing labels, many of which seem to correspond so little with what it’s advising you to do, it’s no wonder that 56% of people are not certain on what the care symbols mean.

Of the 500 people that were asked 56% said they find them confusing: 24% gave a resounding yes that they don’t understand the symbols, and a further 32% confessed that they were sometimes confused by them.

Given the fact that there are at minimum 22 basic symbols alone to do with washing, hand washing, ironing, tumble drying and dry cleaning an item of clothing, it’s not surprising that over half the people questioned can feel perplexed by them.

To simplify this a little, I decided to debunk some of the confusing care label symbols below, so if you find it a little mind-muddling, this should help a little!

Whilst we’re on the topic of care labels and getting our head around symbols, numbers and codes, there’s another one that sometimes stumps me. Shoe sizes around the world! Ever travel abroad, or shop at a foreign retailer and realise your usual Size 4 shoe just isn’t coming under size 4?

I even find myself facing this problem when shopping online for shoes. So whilst I’m debunking clothing label confusion, I thought its the perfect chance to share this ultimate shoe size chart:


You can quickly check which size you need before you buy any pair of shoes online. Whether you’re buying from the U.K. or U.S., or need a European shoe size conversion, you’ll need to know the equivalent of your shoe size in international sizing.

If I come across anymore helpful guides or infographics associated to fashion and clothing, i’ll be sure to update this feature!

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