Vanity Sizing

Women, this one’s for you but there’s a little piece for you men too!

Have you ever wondered why you can wear a size 4, 6 and 8 in one shopping spree without actually gaining or losing a pound?

What is vanity sizing? We have probably all experienced it but basically it’s size inflation… clothing designers are cutting clothes larger but labeling them with smaller numbers. Why? Well let’s face it, as women we all want to be a smaller size.

Why doesn’t vanity sizing occur in men’s clothing?
1. It does actually! According to Esquire magazine, even men’s clothing are being labeled 36″ when in reality the waistlines are anywhere from 37″ to 41″ depending on the company. (That’s right men! Department stores want to make you feel better as well!)
2. Because men’s sizes are usually solely based on inches, it’s a little bit easier to keep consistent.

Vanity sizing occurs in almost all clothing at this point begging the question whether this is a direct reflection of the increase in obesity. Vanity sizing has been going on for decades. In fact, in the 1940’s a size 10 was the smallest size made and this progressively got smaller and smaller.  Due to vanity sizing we now have size 0 and subzero which shouldn’t be looked at as a positive image builder by any stretch. This procedure goes right along with the American obsession to be thin and in some ways may imply we are getting smaller which is definitely NOT the case.

A few other facts about vanity sizing to leave you with:

1. Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, which in today’s measurements would actually be a 0.

2. More expensive brands tend to be smaller than cheaper ones in the same size. Thus closer to your real size. (One more reason to spend a little extra on our clothes!)

3. There may be help on the way! Some shopping centers now have My Best Fit Scanners which scan an individuals body (like in an airport) and then provides a printout  of the correct sizes for over 50 department stores based on the size of the individual to make shopping a little bit easier!

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