Body Blog: My Clothes are Lying To Me

You’ve made some big, healthy changes in your lifestyle (i.e. skipping the elevator and opting for the stairs en route to your dorm room) and you’re hoping they’ve paid off when you try on some new jeans. But don’t rely on your fave fashion store to accurately determine your size. I apologize for bursting your bubble, but chances are that your jeans might be a couple inches bigger than what the tag says.

Ladies and gents, it’s called VANITY SIZING.

In short, companies are starting to realize that when their consumers think they can fit into a smaller size, they feel better about their body image. Let’s face it: when we can fit into pants that would normally be difficult to zip, it’s super exciting. As a result, stores are thinking that we’ll keep coming back to purchase more stuff because, well, we are always guaranteed to feel good when we try on their clothes.

Personally, I think that vanity sizing is completely ridiculous, but I’m sure all you business majors know that it’s a great marketing tactic. Just as long as consumers are aware of the size differences, it’s not a big deal. But you see – that’s the thing. People are starting to believe their true size is not what it really is.

Girls are going around thinking that they are a size 6, when they really might be a size 8. For me, it sucks when I try on a different brand of jeans to learn that it is shockingly inaccurate. Plus, how annoying is it that you never really know what size to order online because every company follows a different sizing chart? Let’s face it – not every 34” waists fit the same.

In addition, a lot of girls are in the mindset that they only wear one size and refuse to buy anything bigger than that. As a result, when they do come across a cute pair of jeans, they are more likely to purchase their regular size – even if it fits more snuggly than if they had gone a few sizes up. Little do people know…not all sizes are the same.

How do we fix this? The only way to really tell what size you are is to take a measuring tape and measure yourself inch for inch. This way, you can refer to each brand’s sizing charts and purchase accurately.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, size should not be the main determinant for someone’s healthiness. Yet, when it comes to vanity sizing, it concerns me to hear that stores are doing this. Is it because they are ashamed of their heavy set population or is it because they are promoting larger waist lines? Why is it so satisfying to think that we need to wear clothes that are smaller? Sure, it makes us feel better to hear we’ve gone down a size, but what does it mean if all of that is a lie?

According to Esquire, the biggest vanity sizing culprits include H&M, Calvin Klein, Alfani, Gap, Haggar, Dockers and Old Navy.  The shocker is that stores also do this for guys! And we thought girls only had body issues…

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about vanity sizing except for be aware of its existence. Don’t let a store reel you into their web of deceptions. Be informed and if you’re ever unsure, measure out their clothes yourself. You might find that their 27’s are really 29’s. At the end of the day, buy outfits because they make you look and feel awesome, not because of the size on the tag.

If you are the type to use clothes to monitor your weight loss, keep track by measuring yourself every so often and use clothes you already own to see how the fit changes overtime. Do not rely on the latest clothing – the newer the item, the more likely the sizing is off.

All in all, be proud of your body and know that how you feel is more important than what the label says. Wear clothes that accentuate your figure and watch those heads turn (towards your fab abs and lovable legs) as you walk down the street.

What do you think about Vanity Sizing? Twitteroo me @jackelynho.

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