Friday, January 13, 2012

A Letter to the Fashion Industry

Dear Fashion Industry,

I'm not a fashion blogger. I'm not a particularly fashionable person. I'm fully aware that this letter of mine will probably fall of deaf ears...but I have to say it anyway:

I am beyond tired of the sizing inconsistencies
in women's clothing.

Fashion Industry

{The first three pairs of jeans are all Gap Long & Lean jeans in various sizes. You can see that the sizing is inconsistent among those three pairs of jeans alone. The back-most pair of jeans is a pair of Old Navy jeans for comparison. According to the sizing charts a size 12 pair of Old Navy jeans should be one inch smaller than the waist measurement of a size 14 Gap jeans, but in reality, they're the same. Just as another point of reference, the 10 longs are the oldest pair--probably from 2006.}

Can I please just say it again? I am beyond tired of the sizing inconsistencies in women's clothing. On several occasions lately, I've ordered the same pair of pants/jeans from the same company in the same size and same style but different colors, and found myself looking at two totally different sized pairs of pants.

Justin does not have this problem. He walks into a store, buys pants with a 33 inch waist, and miracle of all miracles, the waist measures 33 inches. I wish that were the case for women's clothing too--that there was at least some sort of consistency in sizing, both inner-brand and among different brands as well.

I'm tired of having to spend an inordinate amount of time in the dressing room trying on jeans--sometimes several different pairs of the same size because the measurements vary so much from pair to pair--to find a pair that fits. It is getting a little ridiculous.

And why? Some say it's a product of vanity sizing--that manufacturers label their clothes to be smaller than they really are, in hopes that women will buy more pants once they discover that they are a size 2 instead of a size 10. But if that were the case, wouldn't you expect more consistent sizing within one particular store or brand? Because if a woman is elated to be a size 2 rather than a 10, wouldn't it also stand to reason that she would likely be upset to grab a new pair in size 2 one day and discover that they don't fit?

There has got to be a better way. Is it really so crazy to want sizing to return to being a tool or guideline used to quickly select the clothing that is most likely to fit? I know it's not going to be perfect all the time. I don't expect it to be. I know there would probably be some variation from brand to brand..but surely we could aspire to do better than a sizing system that is virtually meaningless.

Am I the only one who feels this way?


  1. I have noticed this too! I have some jeans from express from, oh goodness, i'd say almost 12 years ago that are a size 8 and if i went in there now that same size is a 6 or even 4. I've also noticed that stores like old navy run really big, I am almost a size to two smaller in their clothes then any other store. I can see them doing this because, like you said, it would make people want to shop there to be able to buy a smaller size. Overall it is just really annoying!

  2. Ditto. That's all I have to say :)

  3. I completely understand! I've been wishing they would convert women's sizes to inches just like men's for years. It makes so much more sense. I think Old Navy is one of the worst places... Especially between their different styles. I'm a 2 in one style and a 6 in another. Ridiculous.

  4. I agree! My pre-pregnancy jeans are Ann Taylor Loft's Curvy Boot in a size 4, bought maybe a year or two before I had Colton. They fit great now, but I can't wear there current Curvy Boot's in a size 4. I can't wear them in a size 6 either.

    I also remember when I worked there, that one winter the sleeves in all the sweaters shrunk tremendously. I had to go up a size in sweaters because my arms were too big. Why?

  5. Yes, this is very annoying. I've heard that the reason that pants that should be the same size from the same store can vary so much is because of the way the material is cut. The less expensive brands stack the material for the jeans and cut a huge number at once...this makes the jeans on the top of the stack and the ones on the bottom different sizes and is why Old Navy jeans are weirdly sized, but Banana jeans are more uniform, even though they're owned by the same company. I don't know why it would be different for men's jeans though, since I'm assuming they make them the same way. Maybe men just aren't as observant about it. They tend to wear looser fitting jeans as well, so it might not be as apparent (whereas to a woman wearing skinny jeans, even the tiniest difference is going to be noticeable!)

  6. I actually just vented about this to my Hubby the other day. I have a slightly different issue, however. See, I am pretty little. 5 foot 6 and 115 pounds. In some stores, their 0s ARE TOO BIG. I went to Loft last week to use gift cards I got for Christmas and every single pair of pants in the store was too big. Oh, but I could go online and order 00 if I wanted and if they didn't fit return them to the store. Ridiculous. I am not THAT little, people. Yet, at Target, I wear a size 3 in Mossimo pants. Wacked out, I tell you.

  7. Agreed agreed agreed. I usually find that Gap and old navy are the worst in this realm, but I bought some 7s a few years ago and had to try on 4 pairs of the same jeans and they all fit differently.

    I was actually talking to a friend over the weekend who was complaining that she'd just had the same problem with her husband - buying Levis. They returned the pair she bought him for xmas knowing his size perfectly, and he tried on 5 pairs of jeans in the same size before one fit - and they all fit badly in different places.

    I'm blaming bad design and cheap manufacturing for the inconsistency - people are hankering for lower prices, and this ist he result? Who knows, but it's a theory.

  8. Oh... and one more thing. I tend to buy a pair of more expensive jeans every few years... meaning, in general, that they are sized like men's jeans. I have consistently worn a 25 long for NINE years. Goes to show you that either a)more expensive clothes are more uniform or b)men's sizing is more consistent.

  9. I totally agree. Things would be so much easier if they would just size our clothes like men's. I would love to walk in and be able to find a pair of pants that were just my size in waist and LENGTH. I can't tell you how many pairs of pants I own that are too damn long, but I'm too cheap to get them hemmed. Geeze louise. Shorts are too short and regulars are too long for flats and lets face it, this chick isn't wearing heels these days.

  10. Bravo, my friend, bravo! I feel the exact same way. Do you know how wonky it feels to wear a size 8 in Target brand jeans but a 4 in Gap? I honestly don't "have a size" because of this madness!

  11. I feel your pants pain. I feel more lately I can span about 6 different sizes...and don't even get started on different definitions of "long". :-)

  12. It's pure insanity, and you're definitely not alone! Hate it!

  13. I hear you on this one- I think it's definitely a problem with the more cheaply manufactured clothes. Also, I think if you look inside each one of those pairs of pants, you might find that each pair is made in a different country. Which might explain some things- it's hard to have sizing quality control when things are manufactured that way.

  14. AMEN, Sister! I've ranted this same rant many a time! Drives me NUTS! And especially the bit about men's sizing being so. much. better. on many levels. GRRRR!

  15. Drives me batty. I love to shop online - but I can't. Nothing is ever the same size. Evil people.

  16. This is annoying, and it feels like it's getting worse. I used to work for NY&Co through college. I can still wear some of the pants from there, but I am two sizes up from those pants if I purchase today. WTH?

  17. I have to agree. I used to wear about a size 4/6 in HS, from express or American eagle, whereas now I wear a size 0 or 2 from the same stores. I can tell you I haven't changed in size or weight at all.
    I was actually baffled this summer when I went to AE and bought a size 00 pair of shorts. I am 5'5 and 125lbs. I find my size to be pretty average (a little on the smaller side) and I've never considered myself tiny. But in NO way should I ever be a 00. What do girls who are smaller than me do?

  18. I have this same problem! I'm a huge fan of the long and lean from Gap, but finding a pair that fits is a pain. I usually take at least 4 pairs of the same size but different lengths in. I have a 12L and a 10R that are the same length and size. But also have a 12L that is WAY to long (a probablem I'm not used to EVER having). I also have two size 14 that are the same size as all 4 of the others. It's absolutely insane.


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