Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Does size matter?

Hey, hey!I was reading this post on Skinny Runner the other day and it's had me thinking of Vanity Sizing. First of all, I didn't even know there was an actual term for this. According to Wikipedia {I do not usually rely on Wiki for info but this was pretty accurate}: 
 Vanity Sizing, also known as  size inflation is used to refer to the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing of the same nominal size becoming larger over time.... Many commentators have suggested that "vanity sizing," as its name suggests, is designed to satisfy buyers' wishes to appear thin and feel better about themselves. 
 Here's what this article in Cosmopolitan had to say about Vanity Sizing:
 In one of Kinley’s studies, researchers measured 1,000 pairs of women’s pants and found as much as an 8½-inch variation in the size-4 waist. “Designers know that if customers feel happy when they try the clothes on, they are likely to buy that brand again,” says Jim Lovejoy, industry director of the apparel research company TC2’s SizeUSA National Sizing Survey. Take it from Jenn, 23, of New Haven, Connecticut, who is usually a 6: “I have two pairs of size-4 jeans, and when I wear them, I get a surge of validation seeing that label.”
“Women want to measure up to the 0 ideal.” Complicating this crazy situation is that unlike weight, which is a quantifiable figure you can count on, size tags have become infuriatingly inconsistent. Not only is a 6 today probably roomier than a 6 from just a few years ago, but different stores have varying definitions of a size 6. You probably have a range of sizes in your closet, and lots of them may be labeled with a smaller size than you ever thought you’d wear.
I used to allow these things to impact me quite a bit. Years ago when I would try on clothes and the number on the pants was higher than my "usual size," I wouldn't buy the pants. I simply didn't even want that larger number in my wardrobe. Sad, huh?? To be completely transparent with you, nowadays I am not so black and white with my thinking on this. If a pair of pants look stunning on my figure but the size runs smaller in that particular brand I will buy it, but likely with some hesitation.  I know that's kinda pathetic, but what can I say, we all have some issues...


What are your thoughts on this? 
How much do you think you are affected by Vanity Sizing??
Would you be more inclined to buy a pair of pants that fit "well" but had a smaller than usual size on the tag, than a size that fit perfectly with a larger number on the tag??
  Have your feelings about this changed as you've gotten older? How so?



15 comments:

  1. I wrote a post about Vanity Sizing: http://scrapandrun.blogspot.com/2010/11/vanity-sizing-dislikes.html

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  2. I can do that at BR, but the key is knowing which cut works for you. Plus I worked there forever and a day so that makes it too ;)

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  3. ya, she made a great point, didn't she? Some people really are a true "zero"

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  4. it's sad the way our culture can affect us women! :(

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  5. Thanks for joining the conversation! Sooo marketing, right?? :)

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  6. Interesting, Pam! That is a problem too!! I have that issue with skirts. I have no hips, so I wear a smaller size in those usually, and at times I have been able to find one that fits. Frustrating! This is a good point for sure!

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  7. Thanks, girl! :) I agree with working on the inside first, for sure!!

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  8. Funny you mention BR. I went there last week and tried on 4 pairs of pants in "my size" I couldn't zip two of them one was perfect and one was too big! You're so right, I want to walk in and grab them and go. With Citizen's I know what size I am pretty much 100% of the time. I would rather spend double the price for the consistency.

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  9. This is definitely an interesting issue. Managing at Banana Republic for so long I heard just about every opinion on the matter as BR kept trying to figure out the correct sizing for the brand. Above all else, customers crave consistency. They want to be able to come in on a busy evening, pick up a pair of jeans and know they're going to fit. Making major changes to sizing for a brand can make customers think twice before shopping again unfortunately!

    Lindsay Living

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  10. I knew it!!! Lol. As a petite person, this phenomenon makes it difficult to find clothing that fits. I am still at the same height and weight I was at 20 years ago, yet I was a Small then and I'm an XXS now (which most stores don't carry). I totally agree with PamSpeak's comment about how this alienates smaller women.

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  11. I hate to admit it, but I am definitely affected by Vanity Sizing & have bought a pair of jeans simple because of it...

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  12. I'd buy the larger size that fit better - I've done that several times. But that's made me think, "Oh crap, I'm huge, aren't I?" even though I'm clearly not. I totally get why someone would get a kick out of vanity sizing - it'd be like dropping a size, but without the effort. Because I'm used to English sizes, I get a kick out of American sizes since they're always lower numbers, but that's probably more of an "Oh, those crazy Yanks!" thing! ;) But yeah, I totally understand why a lot of women can be susceptible to this... this very devious and calculating marketing ploy. (See, that's me being nice and not using any bad words. Be proud of me. :)

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  13. I would much rather have pair that fits perfectly, and is a bigger size. I wish sizes were more consistent with brands. I feel like when I go shopping I have to always grab a few sizes. I kind of wish women's sizing was more like mens sizing. It would be a lot easier to shop, and save me frustration.
    My Heart Blogged

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  14. Vanity sizing is my worst nightmare, in England it's hard to get a size 6 in stores (I think that's a 2 or 4 in America) and with vanity sizing I often find I need a 6 because an 8 is just too big.

    I understand that companies want to appeal to the larger shopper, but is it really worth alienating the smaller shoppers? I have stopped shopping in places because their sizes are ridiculously off and the shops won't stock smaller sizes because apparently petite women don't exist.

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  15. Great post! I can totally see companies using vanity sizing, just so people FEEL as though they are smaller than they really are. having been a person who was overweight, Id have to say STICK to what fits, and work on yourself inside first....:)

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Your comments mean so much to me!! Thank you for the support!!

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