“Size Zero is the new Size 6!”
Have you ever heard of something called “Vanity Sizing”?
Times Online has a good article about Vanity sizing here. Basically, manufacturers mislabel their clothes to make us shoppers think we can fit into a size we really AREN’T. “Vanity sizing” [is] defined as “a ploy in which stores flatter women by making clothes bigger so they think they are buying a smaller size.”
There is no way I can walk into any store and just pick up “my size” and walk out. I have to try on everything. Recently, I had to buy a new pair of jeans. I went to Kohl’s and grabbed a bunch of different brands off their clearance rack and tried them on. With many of the brands–including the Kohl’s brand–I was a size 4! Size 4! I was surprised. Then I tried on a pair of Levi’s jeans. In those I was a size 6 and it was a tad snug. How does that happen?
There is no consistency between stores. I remember when I was overweight and I’d shop for clothes I kept thinking “This XXL is really small!” At Target it was an XL, at Wa-lmart a similar shirt was a L. Now if I go to a Wal-mart and pick up a Small or Extra Small I’m swimming in it. So what size am I? I have no idea.
We shouldn’t care about the number, or be influenced by the number. Instead, we should care if they fit right. But we are obsessed as a culture with the numbers. The number on the scale, the size on the tag, it’s what we focus on. A tip my aunt gave me once: cut out all the tags after you buy them.
So does vanity sizing work? Do you find that you shop at the stores where you’re a size 8 as opposed to the store where you’re a size 10? Is your self-esteem attached to the number on the tag? And even though the Size 6 Levi’s fit the same as the Kohl’s Size 4, why didn’t I buy the Levi’s? I admit, I bought the Kohl’s ’cause it was a size 4. I am guilty of buying into vanity sizing.
Especially when it comes to SPANDEX. Can we all let out a collective groan please? Spandex bike shorts are an evil necessity. I want the support. I want the extra padding for my butt. But dammit why are they in European sizes? For months I refused to buy a Large in bike shorts. Michael nagged me and told me I’d be more comfortable and not to pay attention to the size because it’s “Italian Sizing” blah blah blah. In my mind I kept thinking, “I did NOT lose 100 pounds to wear a LARGE in anything!” I just couldn’t do it.
I now have that pair of Sugoi bike shorts that was sent to me. They are a large and YES they are more comfortable and bit more flattering than my mediums. I admit it.
QUESTION: So how do you shop? Do you buy the size or the fit?