Archive for October 11th, 2016

October 11, 2016

Vanity Sizing

sizes

Vanity sizing, or ‘size inflation,’ is the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing of the same nominal size becoming bigger in physical size over time. This has been documented primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. Vanity sizing tends to occur where clothing sizes are not standardized, such as the U.S. market. In 2003, a study that measured over 1,000 pairs of women’s pants found that pants from more expensive brands tended to be smaller than those from cheaper brands with the same nominal size.

In Sears’s 1937 catalog, a size 14 dress had a bust size of 32 inches. In 1967, that bust size was used for size 8 dresses. In 2011, it was a size 0. Some argue that vanity sizing is designed to satisfy wearers’ wishes to appear thin and feel better about themselves. Designer Nicole Miller introduced size 0 because of its strong California presence and to satisfy the request of many Asian customers. However, the increasing size of clothing with the same nominal size caused Nicole Miller to introduce size 0, 00, or subzero sizes.

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