Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vanity Sizing Insanity!!!

Have you ever bought something because the item was a size or two smaller than what you normally wear? I know I have! You won't believe the number of times I've actually done this!

Have you ever refrained from buying something because the item that fit was marked a size larger than what you normally would buy? I know I have done this too!

Are you tired of having to try on multiples of a particular clothing because there's such a huge difference in sizing? I know I do!

Because there's such a huge difference in sizing from one manufacturer to the next, and since I hate having to guess what size would fit me, well.... besides the fact that I like J Crew style, I have stuck solely to buying J Crew! J Crew makes up about 75% of my wardrobe today.

Despite the complaints from other JCAs about the variation in sizes at J Crew, I have to say that most of the time, I know the size that I should be purchasing when shopping at J Crew. I know that a size 4 short pant is going to fit me well. I know that a Medium Sweater is going to be waaaaaay too big on me. Size Small fits me 99% of the time, but occasionally, I might have to go into an XS. I know that I wear a size 2 Pencil Skirt and that a 4 will fit me in the hip but be way too big in the waist.... You get the gist.

I like knowing, on the most part, what will fit and what won't. I hate having to bring 3 sizes of the same skirt or a tee into the fitting room - only to have the Sales Associate tell me that 5 is the maximum number of pieces I can bring in.

So, what am I ranting about then?

Well, I've been wondering if J Crew engages in Vanity Sizing? Why do I ask this? The reason is, while I am a size 4 pant at J Crew, I am not a size 4 pants anywhere else. Neither am I a size 2 skirt anywhere other than J Crew. Similarly, I have difficulty fitting into a size Small Sweater or Tee and seldom will a size 2 or 4 blouse fit me anywhere outside J Crew. Which leads me to think that maybe, I'm really not as small as I've been lead to believe!

Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining about my size. I'm not complaining about being fat or overweight. In fact, I'm quite thrilled that I was able to lose a bunch of weight and keep it off for over a year thus far. I am also thrilled by the way I look today. But what I would like is to fit into a size 2 skirt, size 4 pants, size small tee, sweater or cardigan, and a size 2 to 4 blouse everywhere.

Do I miraculously shrink whenever I wear J Crew clothing? or do I instantaneously expand when I put on a different brand?

At Jacob, I wear a size 8 bottom and a size small / medium tee. At Club Monaco, I am a size 6 bottom and a size small top. At H & M, I need to remove a Rib before I can fit into a size 10 dress. AND TODAY, while trying on the amazing Mizrahi inspired Liz Claiborne, I found that I am between a size 10 and 12. What the heck????!!!

Yes, I realize that every label's sizing is different. But, can it be THAT different? Can I go from a size 2 in J Crew Skirts to a size 12 at Liz Claiborne. If I'm between a size 10 and a 12 at Liz Claiborne, then what would a size 12 J Crew be wearing at Liz Claiborne? It boggles my mind to think that the customer would be wearing a size 20? It's either that Liz Claiborne has really $#@%ed-up sizing or that J Crew engages in Vanity sizing or maybe it's a combination of %$#@ed-up sizing and vanity sizing.

Just in case you were wondering, yes, I ended up buying the Liz Claiborne skirt today in the size 10 and the 12. I haven't quite decided if I am going to keep them or return them just yet. The print is very pretty (yes, I will be posting pictures soon), BUT IT'S A FREAKING SIZE 10, POSSIBLY SIZE 12!!! Am I vain? Of course I am. But I'm no different that the next person. In my tiny little brain of mine, I'd like to think that I'm thiner, and prettier and taller and fit into a smaller size than I really do in real-life.

I love the fact that I wear a small size at J Crew.... even though when the item is measured against a different brand, it's exactly the same measurement. But size 2 sounds so much better than size 12, don't you think?

So, do you think that J Crew engages in Vanity Sizing? Perhaps Liz Claiborne should jump on the same Band-Wagon. I know that I would certainly be keeping one of the skirts if it had read size 2.

Yes, I know, I'm being foolish. It's only a number. And no one is going to know what that number is. But I do and I hate knowing that it's anything other than a size 2!


ashley said...

I wear just about the same size clothes as you in JCrew and I can't even imagine buying something in size 10! That is WAY too big of a jump in size! Something MUST be wrong!!! I love how I magically become an XS at JCrew sometimes and HATE how I'm bigger sizes at F21 and such (maybe because they're made for "juniors."

Personally, I don't blame you for ranting at all! It sucks to grab a size 2 and then realize it doesn't fit and have to GO BACK and grab another. 99% of the time if it doesn't fit when I go to the dressing room, I never go back to get a different size. It's embarrassing.

But to tell you the truth I HAVE refrained from buying because the tag said something i didn't want to see. I don't think that's vain at all!

Sorry for the long response but I TOTALLY get you!

♥ Chloe said...

Definitelyyyyy! I swim in a lot of J Crew's sizes. Pants is no problem (I'm an apple shape so I will never have a teeny waist) but tops are generally too big, even in an XS for me. It's frustrating. I kind of wish they wouldn't do it, only because as someone who is now 27, I wish I could lend my wardrobe more to "grown up" clothing. I still find myself occasionally digging through juniors departments, praying that I can make whatever I find work. :/

I just wish that clothing stores would be more on par with one another as far as sizes go- I hate that I have to keep a mental tally of what size I am where! It seems like in every store and every designer, I'm a different size! Gahhh!

AppGal said...

ugh, YES, I feel your pain! Vanity sizing has in fact made me vain. I refuse to buy clothing that is above a certain size, no matter how it may fit. I've found that Ann Taylor LOFT is one of the worst in this area...i always have to size down in their clothing. but like you, I've wondered: are retailers like j.crew and ATL really vanity sizing their clothing, or are other retailers just really off in their sizing? amongst yourselves (said in my best linda richman from snl voice) :)

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Thank you Ashley for your comments. Like you said, when I have to upsize, like I did for the Liz Claiborne skirt yesterday, I thought, Hmmmmm.... maybe something is wrong. So, when I said to the Sales Person that I thought the sizing was of and that I fit into a size 10 (which sat at the waist0 and the size 12 (which sat slightly below the belly button), she looked at me completely confused and then she went on to tell me that sometimes she's had to wear a size 12 as well. At that moment, I honestly wanted to scream....but, but, but YOU'RE MISSING MY POINT, LADY!!!

I came this close to not trying on a different size but the print was too nice to pass up. Like you, I normally won't go back for a different size. Glad to see that I'm not alone on this. Thanks for the empathy. :)

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Chloe, it's difficult, isn't it when Designers don't create standard sizing nor when they don't create sizes that would fit grown women. While you have had to dig through the Junior section for clothes hoping for something y you'd like, I on the other hand, would find something in the Jr section that I like, find the size that I would normally take, to only find that I need to carve a hunk of flesh off my thighs in order to have it fit or that my back flab is preventing the blouse from closing. LOL! Okay, it's really not that bad but you get my point. The size says that it's supposed to fit, but it doesn't!!! Infuriating!

Thank you for your support! I hope that one day, all designers and labels would unite and have standard sizing. :)

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

AppGal, isn't it soooooo true? Oh My Gosh! You nailed it on the head. Vanity Sizing has made ME Vain!

BTW, love your Linda Richman's voice. :)

Jordan said...

You live in Canada right?? Is some of the sizing there done in EU/English a size UK10 is a US4/6 or a UK12 is a US6/8? That may explain your size jump. JCrew is really bad with vanity lines ie H&M and Forever21 defintely run small but they are also junior sizing...I also think that body shape (not weight) has alot to do with how clothing fits...some lines are cut much slimmer through the waist and hips so sizing up is a must. And I agree I wear a range of sizes from 4-8...but what explained seems a huge size variance to me and I wonder if UK sizing is to blame.

KatyO. said...

I read but rarely post. :)

When I had my personal shopper appointment at J. Crew, I was about 5" taller and 20lbs. heavier than my PS, and yet she kept bringing me size 2s, size 4s, and XSs (and I am no XS). She mentioned that the clothes this season there were purposefully billowy, but when I said that I liked J. Crew for it's tailored, polished sizing, she agreed and confessed that she thinks they need to go back to a more "standard" way of sizing clothes (a la the Europeans).
Ultimately, I'd say go by how you look. In your pics, you look beautiful, polished, and not in the least bit needing to lose weight (and remember the camera adds 10 lbs. ;) ). So go with that. Don't worry about the number, worry about the fit. :) I thought I had to lose about 10-15 lbs. to look good, and when I started doing OOD pics, I realized that I was a bit insane and that I don't need to. :)
So if the 10 fits, wear it with gusto, and if it would make you feel better, you could just rip of the little number tag. ;)

gigiofca said...

This is precisely why I believe the term TTS is useless!!!!!!!!

Yes, I have refrained from purchasing something because I just can't believe the number on the ticket. And I have also purchased an item or two because I got to be a 0 or 2in that line.

C said...

I am more or less your size and the US size 10 or 12 is usually HUGE. I suspect you have Euro sizing because Liz C. is usually very generously cut...That said, in the "old days" I used to wear a size 6...there was no size 2, rarely a 4 and there were no 2s, 1s, 0s or double 00s. Now I pretty much always look at the size charts - even if I think I know them, and I pay attention to how things are fitted or cut and whether they are stretch fabrics. I tried on some Citizens of Humanity jeans in TJ Max and they were all really large...Of course when things are in a discount store or are on clearance I consider that they might have been a "bad batch" and are left because people had trouble with the sizing. In a recent In Style, Michael Kors suggests because garments are so lacking in quality control, that people try SEVERAL of the same size to see if they are different! I think a lot of people have bought something like shorts at the Gap and the "blue" ones fit but the "tan" ones- same style and size- do not.

RatsOnParade said...

I'm SO right there with ya! I loved the "tailored" look that J.Crew used to pride themselves on. The new billowy "are you pregnant?" look just doesn't do it for me. (Please, J.Crew - go back to the old style, please please PLEASE!)

I also wear a size 4/small at J.Crew, which is pretty much the same for Banana Republic. But shopping at Macy's - just SO depressing! I can understand the "juniors" sizing at Abercrombie+Fitch, American Eagle and F21 but Liz Claiborne? And, I have to admit...I would NEVER buy a pair of shorts or pants in a size 10. (There was a time just a few years ago before discovering the gym when I would legitimately wear a 10, but I've worked so hard to lose that weight - wearing a 10 now would be a total slap in the face).

What really is curious to me, is I know what size I am generally speaking. Height + weight - I know where I stand. So how is it that women who are much MUCH larger go into AE, A&F or Macy's and actually find clothes to wear? If I can't even get into their largest size of jeans, I can't for the life of me figure out how those other women do it!

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Jordan, I think you may be right that sometimes, UK sizing may be the cause of the size variation. I wear some European labels - ie, Oilily. I like Oilily's funky designs and colors. For skirts at Oilily, I wear a size 36 and pants a size 38. But at Benetton, which is also European as well, I had to wear a size 44. Crazy, really!

Yes, I'm in Canada :)

One thing I've found that's somewhat different in Canada compared to the US is that, in the US, the sizes go 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. In Canada, they go 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10. Don't you find that weird? I know I do AND I LIVE HERE! lol!

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

KatyO, I'm really glad you posted. I hope you will again. :)

I agree with you wholeheartedly. It's important to go with the fit as opposed to the number. But sometimes, that number is a little hard to swallow.

I too have checked out your blog. I don't post either but you certainly do not need to lose any weight at all. Oh My Gosh, you look amazing! I'm glad you decided not to lose any weight.

And yes, I'm going to get a seam ripper to rip off the all tags where the stated size is larger than a 4 from now on. :)

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

gigiofca. Kudos, well said!

TTS is totally subjective.

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

C, Oh My Gosh, your comment about Michael Kors and how people try on a number of items in the same size is soooo right on the money. When I was at Benetton yesterday, I found that while I had to wear a size 44 in the Tulip Pink ones I purchased, I could comfortably wear a size 42 in the White ones. Isn't that crazy? Same jeans, different color and different sizing. Who the hell are these people who are cutting these patterns? Are they a few french fries short of a Happy Meal? URGH!!!

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

RatsOnParade, I can't believe how similar we are. I used to wear a much larger size as well. And having lost a bunch of weight, I certainly don't want to wear an item where the size is what I used to wear! It drives me insane!

Zoë Moët said...

Oy, vanity sizing! I have to say, it's especially obvious at Victoria's Secret. I went there to buy a couple of bras recently, and they told me I was a 34DD!! Yeah right! I may have a bit of a rack and a small rib cage, but I'm not Barbie! All I could think was, if I'm a double D, how can people like Pamela Anderson even find bras!!

gigiofca said...

Zoë Moët - I would be surprised that VS does vanity sizing in bras. I have found the sizing to be spot on. Most of us are in the wrong size and a bigger cup size than we think. It's our idea that a C or D is big. I don't even want to *think* about PA. She needs to take those suckers out! *lol*

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Zoë Moët, I just wished that we had a VS in Canada. Can you believe it? We don't have a VS! Crazy isn't it? I would love to be a C or even a D! Having lost a bunch of weight, I also lost almost all of my Girls. Sad, really! I think I'll just call them my Boys from now on. LOL!

Crew_Girl_In_Canada said...

Laughing WITH gigiofca! I agree, PA needs to ditch those skanky looking TaTas of hers. You know, she wouldn't look half as bad if she didn't have them hanging out most of the time!

Anonymous said...

Vanity sizing is enabling and biased against petites. I wonder if those who are HAPPY about suddenly becoming a size 2 or 0 wonder..."hey what about the little folks who were ACTUAL size 0 and 2's? I guess they just fell off the face of the earth and don't need clothing..."

It's just enabling larger folks to feel better and literal cutting out the small and petite population at their "vanity" expense! It's horrible frustrating tear-inducing and ridiculous to go from shopping as an adult to literally looking at Crewcuts and children's clothing! Or Forever 21 or cheaper retail stores where the China sizes are still small....age 28 and having to shop in children's stores is the result of others being coddled into feeling "smaller". It's pretty horrible for the actually small, and dangerous for an obese nation.

I can walk through a mall and shop for a full day just trying to find an article of clothing that will fit at 5'1 and 100 lbs. After the past few years of switching to vanity sizing, I cannot even shop in a mall any longer, because I've been sized out. For all the larger "curvy" ladies getting the "love your body" image spiel...what about the little ladies? We cry in changing rooms too because we've been sized out DUE to that mentality. Why aren't the little ladies allowed to "love their bodies" too?