Vanity sizing boosts confidence

Lauren Young, Editor/Reporter

Have you noticed a change in sizing the last time you were shopping? Are those 00 jeans fitting better and better without seeing any different number on the scale? This is due vanity sizing, making their sizing larger in order to make people feel better about their size which leads the customer to want to purchase the clothing.

These sizing problems are not just occurring in women’s clothes, but men, too. An Esquire writer Abram Sauer took this belief of vanity sizing to the best by measuring men’s pants. Sauer found that most pants ran 2-3 inches larger than they claimed to be. Shockingly, Old Navy measured five inches bigger than they were labeled.

Stephanie Clifford of The New York Times struggles with having one consistent size. Clifford found major sizing differences amongst stores. “Take a woman with a 27-inch waist. In Marc Jacobs’s high-end line, she is between an 8 and a 10. At Chico’s, she is a triple 0,” said Clifford. This makes sizing a guessing game; how are people supposed to know the size they wear when they are unable to find out their true size due to the fact that there are so many different sizing charts.

The variations in sizing cause many problems. One of these problems is having to return clothes that do not fit correctly. According to the National Retail Federation, the problems in sizing are a big contributor to the $194 billion returned to those who have purchased clothing; more than eight percent of all clothing purchases are returned.

Alaina Zulli, a designer focused on costume history, found that sizes have always been irregular. “A woman with a 32-inch bust would have worn a Size 14 in Sears’s 1937 catalog. By 1967, she would have worn an eight. Today, she would wear a zero,” Zulli said. This shows directly how sizing has become bigger, eight sizes bigger specifically.

Fitting into smaller sizes makes you feel like you are smaller than you are, which motivates you to buy their clothes because you feel good in them. Being slender is considered ideal. Harriet Brown, author of “Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—and What We Can Do About I” notices these toxic changes in our cultures review on body image. “All our lives, the pressure to be thin comes from so many directions, we are exposed to advertisements, the media is saturated with the message and it comes from the medical establishment,” said Brown.