You’re So Vain

fitting room Have you ever gone into a specialty store, and when you go into the dressing room, get excited when you had to go DOWN a size?  And what about if you have to go up one? I bet most of you all reading this REFUSE, and won’t even try the next size up on!

Well I’m going to let you in on a little retailing secret.  Most retailers use something called “vanity sizing”.  The concept is simple: make everything bigger than the standard, and women will come back because they are one or two sizes smaller in your store.  And if they shop at a store afterwards that has standard sizing, they will have a negative view of that store because they are “fatter” in it.  It’s a sad, manipulative game that some retailers play…but it works.  There has been some discussion about standardizing the sizing in the women’s industry (much like men’s clothes), but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

So here’s the deal ladies… are going to be a different size in every store.  But here are some guidlelines to make the overwhelming guessing game a little easier:

1.  First, make a list of what size you are in each brand and keep it with you.  This will take some of the guesswork out of it when you go shopping.

2.  Remember that each CUT of clothing is going to fit slightly different…same goes for different fabrics.  A general rule is that you should take in one size up and down into the dressing room with you, especially when trying on pants.

3.  Understanding juniors clothes versus misses clothes is crucial to avoiding a fitting room meltdown.  If the sizes are odd sizes (1, 3, 5, etc) or are half sizes (1/2, 3/4, 5/6) they are juniors clothes, and are designed to fit a teenager’s body.  This means that if you are past puberty and have curves, you will more than likely not fit into the clothes the way you want.  This is true unless you are one of these women, and then, I just can’t help you.  Misses sizes are even sizes, (2, 4, 6, 8).  Stick with these and you’ll suffer less in the fitting room.

4.  Lastly, don’t get mad at a store because you are a bigger size there.  Just remember, that store isn’t trying to “trick” you into buying their clothes.  And also, you didn’t gain 20 lbs when you walked into that store.  And if it really bothers you…cut the size tag out.

What stores do you shop in where the size scale frustrates you?  Did you know about “vanity sizing”? Do you think they should standardize sizing in women’s wear, just like they did in men’s?

~ by Jess from JessRunsATL on September 14, 2009.

4 Responses to “You’re So Vain”

  1. Unfortunately at the age of 25 I’m one of “those people” too because I don’t have very big hips and I have a high waist so juniors stuff actually fits me better being wider cut at the waist. Misses pants give me muffin tops but then are baggy around the hips and thigh… I suck haha!

  2. I prefer the way junior size jeans fit better. What always confuses me is the ‘European’ sizes – 24, 25, 26, 27, etc – does that number actually represent a measurement, or…

    • Hey Bea, good question. The Europeans have actually gone to standardizing their sizes. The number typically should represent your waist (not your hips, where jeans normally fall). But whenever you find out which size you are in these sizes, its pretty standard across the board.

  3. i really think that the women’s fashion industry should standardize sizing. it’s kind of ridiculous that i can be a size 16 in most jeans (target, most levi’s) but a size 18 or 20 in others (the gap)! and forget about wedding dresses.. trying on a size 22 did NOTHING for my self esteem!
    the new trend in plus size clothing of changing sizes 14, 16, 18 etc. to 1, 2, 3 etc. MIGHT be a step in that direction for plus size clothing. i know target and cato’s both have this new sizing.
    on the other hand, i think that’s just another way of feeding into vanity! yes, i’m a size 2, the FAT size 2! and i don’t mind saying fat because i’m anywhere from a size 16 to 22 so i’m allowed. 😉

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