What’s So Bad About Size Large?

Look, let’s be honest, are you more likely to buy something if it’s a size smaller?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.


Because walking into Ann Taylor makes me suddenly drop two entire sizes and that is the coolest! And for a second I always think, “yeah, the pilates has paid off.” But then I go into any other store and realize I’m the exact same size I always am. I mean, any other store that isn’t The Gap, where I’m really skinny again. Or a designer store, where I suddenly gain a size. Basically, vanity sizing is everywhere, which according to The New York Times means “one [company] is offering full-body scans at shopping malls, telling a shopper what sizes she should try among the various brands.”It’s called My Best Fit, and the full body scan apparently takes only 20 seconds.

Which is good, because Don Thomas, who manages the Eddie Bauer store at the King of Prussia Mall says “Nine times out of 10, if left on their own, [customers] will choose the wrong size pant.” Really, Don Thomas of the King of Prussia Mall Eddie Bauer? Really? 9 times out of 10? Wait. Does Eddie Bauer do one of those things where they list the pants with sizes like “happy?” Probably. That really seems like something rustic old Eddie Bauer would do.

But! The scanning system does seem to work, and that’s interesting. Still, are we really so insecure that vanity sizing has to exist to this extent in the first place? Sure, there’s always going to be some difference between brands – but going from a size 8 in Marc Jacobs to a 000 in Chicos seems crazy. One or two size difference between brands seems understandable. Ten doesn’t. I’d probably be willing to trade the little jolt of artificial happiness I feel at Ann Taylor for the ability to correctly pick out a pant size 50% of the time.

Okay, maybe not.

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    • Allie

      I don’t know if I’m feeling the full-body scan. I would rather not know I’m a size 100000 in Dolce & Gabbana, thank you

    • Megan

      A lot of American sizing (not designer sizing, we’re talking chain stores and Target and such) is in no way based on international sizing. That’s why at American Eagle, I’m a size 0, but at most higher-end (sane) places, I’m a size 4, because I’m 36-24-36. Which is nowhere close to the kid’s size that is *actually* a 0.

      I actually think it’s more liberating for me to be a “normal” size 4 than have to say I’m a 0. I’m just naturally a small-boned person (who may or may not have stopped growing at 13…not that I’m bitter…) but it gets old to hear the snarky comments about being a skinny bitch/non-eating/lucky size 0. 4 is much easier.

      • Lo

        Word. Both my mom and I are small-boned women… I really do wear a size 0. I can occasionally wear a 2 in “normal” stores like the Gap, but they normally require some kind of alteration. Do I like that I rarely find jeans in my size, because they’re usually sold out to your average 12 year old? No. Do I like to eat sandwiches and ice cream? Hell yes. Am I a bitch because I’m skinny? No. I’m a bitch because sometimes I’m a bitch.

        But seriously. I have a size 0 pair of jeans from American Eagle that I bought last year, and recently found a size 0 pair of jeans from American Eagle that I bought several years ago. There is an almost 2 inch waist size difference! It’s ludicrous to me that companies keep fudging the numbers, just to make everyone feel good (or guilty) about what size they fit in.

      • Megan

        “I’m a bitch because sometimes I’m a bitch.”

        Now that…that is fantastic. I want to have business cards printed with that phrase. I can hand them out when people piss me off. Awesome.

    • Hannah Beth

      I wear 27 in most jeans, 4 in most pants…. and a size 2 at The Gap. Does that make me more likely to buy their clothes?


    • Futuralon

      What’s so bad about a 2X? Well because it is based on a relative description. Smaller than or larger than a “medium” which changes from store to store. Fuck yr medium! I know my dimensions in inches and seeing as I do most of my browsing online it’s size-chart-a-palooza. Ladies, don’t have feelings about the sizes you put on. If you work out, ignore the scale too. If you are working on your health and fitness, keep an eye on the tape measure and know your clothes label might change over time but your waist size is the only thing speaking truth. Also waist size is a proxy for determining health much like BMI so if you’re under 30″ you’re not a porker, relax. (I’m a porker but the measurement’s been the same for several years).

    • Eileen

      I agree, it’s fucking annoying. I worked at one store that shall not be named for a year and a half, and I went from wearing an 8 to a 4 AT THAT STORE in that time. My dimensions did not change. It’s stupid. If I walk into a store, I should be able to pick up two different sizes, maybe, to compare – I should not be unsure whether I wear a 4 or a 10. Because, again, that’s stupid.

    • Arnie

      American sizes confuse me so much. Here a size 10 is pretty skinny. Size 6 is a stick.

      I think I’m somewhere around a 12, but I honestly don’t know, because I tend to just try things on in the shop, and if they fit, awesome, if they don’t, then back on the shelf they go.
      I just looked at the labels on the things I’m wearing. It seems my jeans are 12, my skivvy is 14, my t-shirt is small, my jumper is large, my underwear is medium, and you don’t want to hear my rant on bra sizes.

      Basically, I buy clothes that fit, and look good. Fuck the number they’ve given me.

    • ilfaith

      Just today I went to Ann Taylor Loft looking for some shorts. Tried on two pairs in size 0 and they were still too big. I am 5’2″ and weigh about 105, so I am small, but not “skinny” or underweight. Makes me wonder where the really skinny people buy their clothes. Vanity sizing has sized me out of several stores. I’m 40 years old…too old to shop in the girls department.

    • Aleina

      While some are unlucky in the boobs department, others are too blessed that they need help to get rid of some of that blessed-ness.