October 5, 2012

Vanity Sizing: I don't like it

Vanity sizing makes me sick.  I've discovered over the last year or so that I am the target market for those people who believe girls care what size their jeans are.  Doesn't matter if they fit.  Doesn't matter how they fit.  That tag in the back can be a yardstick of self-worth and the stupid advertisers depend on that.

{Disclaimer: This is not about healthy living and/or responsible diet and exercise.  I am obviously not responsible in the area of healthy diet, but I do exercise somewhat often.  I'm no example of healthy living, as I've just eaten candy corn for dinner.  Take this for what it's worth.}

If you're not familiar with it, or if you like reading about the downward spiral that is body image...
What size are you, really?
The Insanity of Size 0
Using vanity sizing to sell more
Numbers are meaningless

I suppose I should start out with the fact that, in 2005, I bought my first pair of size 2s at American Eagle.  It. was. thrilling.
For 2 years, they were my yardstick.  Finally, I got annoyed and threw them away.  Size 2s were not for me after all.

In the summer of 2009, after a weight gain/weight loss cycle, I bought my second pair of size 2s.  Dang.  It felt good.  I still had it in me!
They became my yardstick.  For almost 3 years.
Currently, they are at the bottom of the guest room closest.
No need for that stuff anymore.  I'm sick of them.

I am so tired of jeans making me feel bad about myself.  I've discussed this in my Body Image Fail. post and in what I consider to be my first honest post on this blog: I hate jeans.

I just think we need to realize that every brand is different.  Every style within a brand is different.

Take these Aerie super-soft skinny pants.

They are a size 8.

My Aerie skinny jeans? Size 6.

My Arizona skinny jeans?  Size 5

But this dress from Loft?  It's a ZERO.  Wtf.

So the people who wear a size 0 at Aerie or American Eagle...what size dress do they order at Loft?

I guess they don't.

(For the record, this dress is the only size 0 anything I've ever owned.  My wedding dress was a size 6.  And no, I can no longer wear a 2 at American Eagle.  Apparently those models on the website are 15 years old.)

I'm so confused.

Is there are such thing as "people who wear a size 0 at American Eagle"?? Because I kinda doubt they exist.  In fact, my 4th grade students probably couldn't squeeze into those size 0s.

This skirt from Old Navy is a Small.  And I just overloaded myself with shorts from Old Navy (summer clearance..woot! woot!), and they are all size 4.

What about the person who needs a size 0 in shorts from Old Navy, but also wants that skirt?  That skirt is BIG on me!  So you're telling me that there are people out there who are a size 0 and do all of their shopping at Old Navy?

Let's not even talk about those Old Navy Rockstar Skinny Jeans.  I really really wanted some purple ones.  I tried on a size 8.  Couldn't even get the 6s up. And the 8s felt weird.  Too high of a waist or something.

My beef with Old Navy stems from the fact that I need an XS in their dresses/skirts, but can barely squeeze into their size 8 skinny jeans.  That's just poor clothing design.

I also tried the Mossimo brand skinny pants, because they were on sale for $13 this past weekend.  The 7s were too tight and the 9s felt strange.  Again, with the high-waisty thing going on.

My preferred brand for skinny pants is Arizona from JCPenney's.  That brand has never steered me wrong. I don't care if they're not cool.  They look good and they are comfortable.

I'm sure this is why people actually measure themselves and use inches instead of sizes.  But I've never done that.  Maybe I really missed the boat on that one.

I suppose my motivation for this post came from my summer of working out constantly (which is no longer happening if you haven't been following along) and the fact that I like to know exactly how much candy I can eat before my jeans get tight (I'm serious).  So if I can't trust the stores to size their clothes properly, Idon'tknowhowmuchcandyIcaneat!

What are your thoughts on vanity sizing?  Does it bother you as much as it bothers me?  


  1. THANK YOU!!!!! I hate it. HATE IT!!!

  2. I completely agree with EVERY bit of this!!! Clothes make me feel worse about my body than I actually should!

    AE I was a size smaller in their colored skinnies than I normally wear.
    Old navy, I had to go up a size.
    And same with Mossimo-- my size felt weird but the next size up was too big. Also, the pair I tried on, my butt straight up hung out of them! Why is everything super super high waisted or super duper low cut?! What has happened to normal clothes?!
    Back on track: I hate sizing!

  3. So true, girl!
    I find it crazy that I have like 6 different sizes of clothes in my closet that all fit.
    I wear xs in several brands and there are tons of people smaller than me...what in the world are they gonna buy if I have to buy the xs??

  4. The other day, my neighbor called asking me to bring her some shorts to school. She's in 6th grade. When I went to her house to gather her stuff, I grabbed the size 0 AE shorts she reqested. Obviously she's tiny.
    I find it comforting some days but annoying most others. I mean...I'm obviously huge and pregnant right now and I still wear non-maternity size 4s from AE. Ugh.
    I want to be able to walk into a store and at least know the general idea/size I'm going to need instead of guessing and being way wrong. Having to shop with a toddler really makes me want to cut down time on shopping trips. It's not fun anymore!

  5. i love this.

    though i will say i have not worn jeans since Addie was born... :( i just cannot stand the way they fit...but with that said...im headed to work out! :) thanks for the kick in the booty love.


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  7. I try so hard not to focus on size. Why can't all brands be the same? But I've learned which size I am in different brands so it takes the guess work out. But still annoying when I KNOW I don't wear a certain size.

  8. I agree with everything. but my favorite part of this post is idon'tknowhowmuchcandyicaneat! Ha!

  9. I have learned to let go of sizes. It still makes me uncomfortable to have to go up a size in some brands but if I look good and the clothes fit good, I'm fine with that. My mom is the complete opposite. She's OBSESSED with sizes. She completely freaks and doesn't eat for a week if she doesn't fit into an XS when we're out shopping.

  10. I can't stand vanity sizing either. It's not so much that I care about the number on the tag (I quit caring about that a long time ago) but it makes shopping difficult. You can't just walk into a store and know what size you are. I'm like you - every store is different, every pair of pants IN that store is different...it's super annoying.

    I'm just thankful that my jeans that I usually buy aren't sized like that, they're in inches, so it makes it a little easier.

  11. Oh, and Old Navy sizes are just jacked. One time I bought a pair of size 6 dress pants that were HUGE...just all over huge...so I tried a size 4 instead, and the waist was suddenly way too small, but the butt was HUGE...like, I could have fit an entire toddler in the back of my pants.

  12. Yes there are people who wear a size 0 at Amercan Eagle. Me :( I still have one pair of 0 Boyfriends that still fit. All of my Skinny's from there are 2's.

    Go to Target juniors section and I'm a 5 in bottoms.

    Loft I'm a 00P in dresses. I used to work there and couldn't buy a single thing in the regular section because the 0's were too big. But pants I'd wear 4P's.

    With me it's hard because I have a tiny waist and a badonkadonk butt. So I have to buy to please one or the other. And I usually go down to fit my waist and hope my ass wil just stretch it out in time haha.

  13. Great post - very honest and real! I used to be obsessed with sizes...completely obsessed. In HS at my thinnest I was a 00 in AE, and that was even slightly too big! *I fully believe sizing has gotten smaller in some stores, though...like A&F...those clothes are TINY!*

    Now I don't really care about the size of the clothes because you're right- it's different everywhere you go! You never know what size you are. I go based on how I feel and how much I weigh, lol. Even though the scale is also just a number, it's a more accurate reflection of where I'm at versus a clothing size.

  14. My thoughts on vanity sizing is that there is a MAN doing it. Someone who knows nothing about what it means to have junk in your trunk... or in your knees.. or thighs... or whatever the heck you hold your junk. I loved this post. I think we should be bff.

  15. YES! Thank you! Even though I love the thrill of wearing a small of extra small at Old Navy, i get miffed when I need an 8 or 10 in their pants! Blerg.

    I mostly just ignore the sizes/numbers and focus on what looks good. And I shamelessly buy the occasional maternity tunic or cardigan because they are soooo comfy. And for the record, I'm a medium most of the time in Liz Lange Maternity shirts.

    (disclaimer: NO, definitely not pregnant - but I like that the clothes are forgiving)

  16. Sizing is so weird--I like the British sizing for jeans because they use 28, 32, 36....measurements for jeans sizes. But it really is impossible to find or be consistent. I did get mad at Target one day when I couldn't fit into a pair of size 9 jeans. At the same time, the very smallest dress sizes at Banana Republic don't fit me, which means that I had to return the gorgeous dress my husband got me for my birthday. I can rarely find anything small enough to fit at Old Navy, either. I at least appreciate it when stores are consistent. At Express, I'm a 00 in everything I'm tried on, unless I want a baggier fit, and then I'm a 0. I pretty much can't shop in Junior's departments, because their clothes are all designed for people without thighs...or if they do have thighs, they also have wide hips, which I don't have. But then, I can't shop in misses departments either, because everything is too big! The sizing system is messed up. Partly because of vanity sizing, and partly because every different brand has their own, unknown sizing system. My favorite jeans brand is Levis...thought for some reason when I have bought those I tend to buy them too large. If I would just buy a size that fit, I'm sure I'd like them even better!

  17. Yes, yes, yes! You are SO right! A few years ago, Scott saw a commercial on TV for these really cute sundresses on TV. He wanted to surprise me by buying one for me, but being pretty smart, he decided he should ask me my size. I said, "Wellllll, it all depends...."

    I proceeded to explain to him that I wear different sizes based on the store, whether or not the item is a woman's, missies, or juniors, etc. etc. etc. I don't understand why women's sizes (particularly when it comes to pants or JEANS) aren't like men's. Why can't I just know my waist size and inseam and go into any store and buy a pair of jeans that will fit exactly the same as ones from another? It seems unfair.

    I do love Old Navy, but their sizes sometimes confuse me, too. I wanted a pair of skinny courdory pants to tuck into boots. At the time, I found a pair on clearance that were SUPER Skinny. At the time, I was wearing size 2 jeans from there, so I grabbed the smallest size they had (6). Wow. Got them in an 8.

    Right now, I'm in between skinny jean sizes there. The 2s are too tight, and the 4s are a little too loose. But that could also be because I accidentally bought two different styles of skinny jeans, too.....who knows?

    None of it really makes a person feel all that good about herself.

  18. when i was heavier, i loved it. there's nothing like denial to make someone unhappy with their weight tolerate it.

    however, now that i've dropped the weight, i still find vanity sizing annoying; it's hard for me to figure out what my true size really is. old navy is notorious for vanity sizing... how can i be a size 0 in their regular jeans but a size 4 in their super skinnies?! then if i go into another store, i'm a size 2. so i'm really confused as to what size i really am.

  19. I completely agree with vanity sizing but I think there's a bigger issue in this post...

    Arizona jeans aren't cool?! Well, I guess I'll just continue not being cool because those jeans rock!

  20. God, don't even get me started on ON. I love their clothes but jeez. Whenever i go to a real store it's like somebody throws water in my face because I'm not a size 8 anymore...

  21. Sizes change like the weather. I have all kinds of different sizes in my closet. I would happily accept a higher number on the label if that meant that I didnt have to drag a pair of jeans in four different sizes to the changing rooms. That sucks!

  22. agreed! I hate how sizes are all so different too. I have everything from size 4 pants to size 12 pants and they all fit!

  23. hey just found your blog from Lin and I love this post!
    I used to feel like crap wearing 9's until I started getting compliments in them. then when I wear 7's I look humungous because I'm sausaged in. it's totally not the number, it's the fit. and it's so frustrating how different store are all different sizes. they should have to be regulated or something haha
    anyways love your blog, can't wait to read more!

  24. Gahh I totally agree!!
    (however I do wear a size 0 at AE so take this with a grain of salt)
    My issue is that vanity sizing means I'm in like the weird tweener of 0 but not really a zero?? I can't buy any pants from target because their 0 is big in the hips. Which I don't have. Obviously.
    I got some jeans at AE 2 years ago, when I weighed a few pounds more than I do now(I only gain weight in my stomach/hips so it's relevant lol)
    So I grabbed size 2s...HUGE. Size 0...HUGE. I'm like, no freaking way am I a 00. But let me tell you, those 00's fit like a gem.
    I'm convinced they were mis-sized.
    Because there's no f-ing way I'm a 00.

    Anyway. Thanks a lot vanity sizing. Now I feel like an asshole for owning a size 00 in jeans.
    Which still fit, further proving my point the size is wrooooong.

  25. Wow, I just found your blog and this post really hit home with me. I lost 30 pounds but still think I’m “fat” when a size 6 is too small in one store but then I’m a 0 at Loft…I just wish women’s pants were like men’s and just measured by the inches and inseams. It’s so frustrating. I’m glad I’m not the only one to get upset by this.

  26. Wow, I just found your blog and this post really hit home with me. I lost 30 pounds but still think I’m “fat” when a size 6 is too small in one store but then I’m a 0 at Loft…I just wish women’s pants were like men’s and just measured by the inches and inseams. It’s so frustrating. I’m glad I’m not the only one to get upset by this.


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