Lately, I’ve received tons of questions from petite shoppers who find that the current American clothing size system is skewed larger. And, as much as it hurts to admit it, they’re right. The Boston Globe recently featured an article on this very topic and found that as Americans have increased in size (along with our crazy obsession with being thin) clothing sizes have decreased. So what was once a size 14 now is a size 8, a size 8 is a size, etc.
… While Americans have statistically gotten larger, women’s clothing has gotten smaller—that is, if the numbers on the size labels are to be believed. It’s no secret that retailers have been playing to women’s vanity for years by downsizing the sizes on garment labels, but the practice has reached an extreme in recent months with the introduction of the sizes ‘‘double zero” and ‘‘extra, extra small.” If vanity sizing continues on this path, analysts say, it is only a matter of time before clothing sizes are available in negative integers.
In this age of internet shopping, I say they should bring back the standardized sizing system they chucked in 1983. If that means we’re all a size bigger—so be it. One of the reasons why we tend to look like a hot mess is because we focus way too much on size and not on what fits our body (low rise jeans anyone?) I have celebrity stylist friends who cut out the size tags of garments (especially ones from French and Japanese designers) before giving them to clients because ther clients would freak out if they knew they really wore a size 44 (US 8/10). We’ve got to let this size thing go.