When Sizing Makes You Feel Small

Isn’t it funny that the sizes printed on clothing tags to tell is if we’ll fit something don’t matter at all? We still need to take it all with a grain of salt and make that awkward walk to the dressing room carrying 5 of the same dress in our arms.

We can all be proud of the fashion industry for taking strides towards inclusivity and body positivity. We’ve normalized plus-sized models and welcomed curvy or petite options in many clothing lines.

“…there are major (ultra positive) changes happening in the world of fashion inclusivity, too. “The apparel industry is beginning to see the light—both in terms of financial benefits and the gains to the consumer,” says Alexandra Waldman, co-founder and creative director of Universal Standard, a brand with a mission to bring the same elevated shopping experience to a size 6 and a size 26. J.Crew, Madewell and Reformation are just three of the brands that have expanded their size ranges this year—and there’s more to come in 2019 from lingerie fave Lively and new denim brand ASKK NYY (founded by Rag & Bone alums Katrina Klein and Andrea Suarez), for starters.” – “The Rihanna Effect: Brands Are Getting Real About Sizing and Shades,” Well+Good Editors https://www.wellandgood.com/good-looks/fashion-sizes/

For some interesting reading on body positivity, check out this article on Vox called “Body Positivity Is a Scam.”

So though we have made so many amazing steps towards acknowledging that *shocker* the world is made of wonderfully different human beings, we have a ways to go. But there is so much to talk about.

What about vanity sizing? What about stores calling someone a size 2 just because it’s what she wants to hear?

According to Time’s “One Size Fits None” article by Eliana Dockterman, so-called “insanity sizing” is becoming more and more of a problem.

The rise of so-called vanity sizing has rendered most labels meaningless. As Americans have grown physically larger, brands have shifted their metrics to make shoppers feel skinnier—so much so that a women’s size 12 in 1958 is now a size 6. Those numbers are even more confusing given that a pair of size-6 jeans can vary in the waistband by as much as 6 in., according to one estimate. They’re also discriminatory: 67% of American women wear a size 14 or above, and most stores don’t carry those numbers, however arbitrary they may be.

Dockterman also provides an interesting infographic that shows the changes of sizing over the years. For example, Twiggy was dubbed a size 8 in 1967 (the smallest size available at the time), but nowadays would be a 00. Joan Collins was a size 8 in 1983 but now would be called a size 2. Mindy Khaling is today’s size 8.

Living in the US, I’m used to considering myself small. But it’s funny shopping in Asia feeling like a giant. When I’m in the Philippines I walk into a store and reach for my typical size small, but it’s hilarious how tiny those can turn out to be. Things really are so different and I think that’s interesting. But I don’t hold an emotional attachment to the “S” on my shirt. Then again, it’s an “S.”

 

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