Why Are Clothing Sizes So Out of Wack?

I’m so frustrated by clothing sizes. You know the drill–one designer’s 3 is another designer’s 0 is another designer’s 8. But what is up with this trend of SUPERTINY sizes? Banana Republic started selling size 00 in dresses and pants this year. THAT’S DOUBLE ZERO! Like how ridiculously small do you have to be to be smaller than “nothing” (literally)?

Rachel is in London right now, and I begged her to get me something from TopShop–aka “The Happiest Place on Earth”–and when she asked me what size I wore, I got all sorts of confused. Is UK 6 a US 2? But H&M sells size 4 which is a US 2 (I think). I looked at their website and saw that they too sold a size 4, which I assumed was the size I needed. But upon looking at my old TopShop stuff, looks like I’m a 6 and the size 4s are a completely new phenomenon–one that is disturbing quite a few people. How small is too small? Are retailers pandering to a thin-obsessed culture?

Granted, there is a huge tween market to be selling to–females stuck somewhere between being a girl and being a woman, their bodies in all sorts of awkward proportions. But I gotta say, walking into a store like Abercrombie (the tween line of Abercrombie & Fitch) and seeing minuscule size 10s with leg pant widths that do not even span the with of a dollar bill kinda disturbs me. Looking at the sales girls, all of 15 or 16 years of age wearing microscopic miniskirts and flimsy tank tops–I just scream in my head “WHY ARE THESE YOUNG GIRLS DRESSING LIKE ADULTS?!”–trying to imitate celebs like Nicole Richie. I dunno, there just seems to be something wrong with gangly bodies squeezed into tiny tiny hookers-in-training gear. But hey, if there’s a market for children’s beauty pagents, I guess there’s a slightly disturbed market for super-young sexy clothes.


10 Replies to “Why Are Clothing Sizes So Out of Wack?”

  1. “Like how ridiculously small do you have to be to be smaller than “nothing” (literally)?”

    Well, I’m not quite 5’1″, and sometimes a size 0 can be a little too big for me. It depends on the designer. I also own a really expensive designer skirt in a size 8, and it’s loose at the waist, but not noticeably so.

    Men’s dress clothing sizes are based on their measurements; why not standardize women’s clothing sizes similarly? Do guys have problems with casual clothing size discrepancies too?

  2. Because Americans are so fat and getting fatter, clothing sizes are getting larger, too. Due to a 2 being more like a 4 used to be, clothing manufacturers have to now make sizes for the people they’ve made all their clothes too big for.

  3. i agree that abercrombie/club monaco sizing is ridiculous. but i’m confused as to how topshop does their sizing. i wear a 6-8 there, and i’m definitely not anywhere near an american 0.

  4. jmfausti has it right. I used to be a size 6 ten years ago, and I have not lost weight or inches. Now I have to wear size 2 or even size 0 in some brands! I’m afraid that in a few years, I’ll no longer be able to find clothes to fit me! I think it’s so people will feel better about their size and thus buy more clothes…

  5. Topshop size 6 is very close in measurements to a US size 0 actually.

    UK-6: 31.5-24-33
    US-0: 31.5-23.5-33.5.

    As for a size 4, it’s absolutely tiny and you would have to be about 4ft10 and 90lb max!

    UK-4: 30.5-23-32
    US-00: 30.5-22.5-32.5

  6. I’m getting rather tired of the sizism which stigmatises smaller, often shorter women as “tiny”. Dressmaking patterns from the 1970s give size 10 as having a 24 inch waist, and that was considered quite normal. In the 1080s, clothing manufcturers did a resizing exercise, and relabelled clothes as being a size smaller than they had been; ie a size 10 dress became a size 8! Lots of us “became” a size smaller overnight! Now, clothes are again being made larger for any stated size, and those of us at the lower end of the scale are being attacked for not being fatter! Maybe if we were 6 foot tall we would be skinny, but at heights of 5 ‘ – 5’ 3″ we have perfectly acceptable BMIs at size 2, 4 and 6.
    Jeans do not fit neatly into the dress sizing system, being based on men’s notional waist sizes combined with trouser leg length.

  7. All of you talking about your itty bitty sizes… cry cry babies that you’re all size 4. Booo hooo…

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