illustration by eva hjeltel at

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Secret From The Retail World.

A secret from the retail world: Your tag doesn’t always tell the truth.
As the sun sets earlier, the air gets a chill and we reach to the back of our closets for blue jeans and chunky sweaters, as women, we notice things may not fit quite like they used to 5 months ago when we replaced these items for tank tops and shorts.  Whether you’re going out to grab a new size or add a snazzy new shirt to the closet we are all victims of vanity sizing.  [GASP]

What is vanity sizing?
Ever notice that you’ll be a certain size in one store and be a completely different one in another?  Most retailors, particularly the more corporate ones, will skew the measurements on their sizes to play off of the enjoyment that women get when they need to grab a smaller size then they expected.  Sorry to break it to you, but more then likely you didn’t drop a few inches crossing the mall from Nordstroms to Gap.  If your clothes are your gauge on workouts and weight-loss, try to pick one pair of pants and one top to be your ‘measurement’ clothes. But also keep in mind, your weight does fluctuate on a daily basis because of environmental factors. 

When I worked in the retail world, I tried my usual size in our brands clothes and found it was too big.  I even tried a size smaller and still had no luck.  Sure it was a boost in the confidence for a split second but I knew I couldn’t be smaller then an XS as all my clothes at home were screaming “this is a lie!” so loud from Philadelphia, I could hear them all the way out in Bensalem. 

So if those little tags are lying, we really shouldn’t put so much stock into them and have them be the barometer of our moods and whether or not we’ll enjoy ourselves at a meal or even throughout the day, week or month. My hope is that one-day women will be ripping the tags out of their pants just like the women of the 60’s burned their bras.    

If you would like to read more about vanity sizing, this is an article from the NY Times.

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