Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What’s Your Size?

It’s irritating to me that women’s clothing sizes in the U.S. are inconsistent across the board. I’m envious of men’s clothing, where pant waist sizes are simply in inches. It’s so easy. And while men’s brands probably still have their fitting differences, the starting point from the get-go is so simple. Men would probably never shop again if they had to go through the wide range of size variations that women’s clothing has.

In women’s clothing you have to hunt for your size. Depending on the store and the brand and the year it was made, sizes can be quite different. You have to store in your mind which brands tend to run large and which ones tend to run small in order to find your size more efficiently. And yet still, often it seems nearly pointless to go by the size the garment states it is. Sometimes I just put the garment near my waist and eyeball it rather than trust a number that means so little.

It’s just rather ridiculous; the sizing system has no meaning. A size 2 today is not what a size 2 was a generation or two ago. When I look at my sewing patterns, they start at a size 6 (rather than a size 0), and I’m guessing that these pattern sizes are truer to what women’s sizes used to be before the sizes got skewed. This is apparent when I go thrift shopping when my “size” fluctuates between about five sizes depending when the garment was made; the older the garment, the higher number my size becomes.

The clothing sizing system plays on our vanity because then we never have to know our waist size in inches, because a hard measurement in inches would just make us feel fat. So if we’re just too vain to do waist sizes in inches, then could we at least have a standard system that doesn’t fluctuate? Keep the current size system of 0, 2, 4, 6, etc. but have it actually mean the same thing in all brands. I just want the clothing sizes to stop fluctuating and start having some consistency.  

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