It’s obnoxious, is what it is.

WARNING! Pretty opinionated. I suggest you leave now if you don’t feel like reading it or get angry when people discuss America, weight issues and vanity sizes.

As some of you may know, I’ve been pretty pissed at clothing companies lately. ‘Why?’ you may ask? Simple. They’re liars.

I had this conversation with a coworker the other day because it’s something that really gets me irritated and worked up. He said it was marketing- and I agree to some extent. But where’s the fine line between marketing and lying to your demographic?

Too Skinny?

And if you read this and have any kind of comment to say about me being too skinny, I’ll punch you in the head. No, I’m not kidding. You may know that this is a touchy topic for me already- I wrote a post last year on something similar and got contacted by a BBC radio show to come on the air because of the attention it was getting and how controversial it was.

I’ve been noticing lately that clothing companies have been sneakily and shadily changing their sizes. Now, I’ve been the same height and weight since I was a teenager, so I know it sure as hell isn’t me that’s getting smaller and smaller- but I can’t find anything that fits me anymore.

I’m a 00/0 (depending) in jeans and usually an extra small in shirts/sweaters/dress shirts or whatever. It’s always been this way. So tell me why is it that when I go try on those very same sizes in stores now, I’m pretty much swimming in everything? I understand marketing (understatement) so I get that by making clothes appear to be a smaller size, and having people feel good about being able to wear them, you’re making a big marketing WIN.

America has a problem with having an overweight/larger lifestyle, so why wouldn’t clothing companies embrace this and marketing to a demographic with flattery?

It’s perfect.

Except if you’re me. You not only make people in my situation angry, but you also alienate my demographic by not offering what we need. Although- I can guarantee you that as soon as you sell a size 4 to someone who is a size 8, they’ll by 80 billion pairs and make up for the sales you’re lacking.

I feel you silently judging what I’m saying and getting ready to make a comment about how size 8′s don’t need to feel smaller- and I agree. I’m not picking on a size for any particular reason, it’s just a number that came to mind. So keep your comments to yourself.

Note: I know you can buy the smaller sizes online (in some cases… Guess doesn’t offer anything smaller than what the store has, but AE does, and some others as well. I’ve tried ordering them and it’s too unpredictable because of length, etc).

So… let’s see.

Guess

Oh Guess. I used to LOVE YOU. Until the one day I went to your store and realized that you no longer carry any kind of bottoms smaller than a size 23 waist. Which would be fine, IF YOU WERE USING THE CORRECT SIZING SYSTEM. I try on your size 23′s (or whatever your smallest size is) and I can’t wear them. That size is technically supposed to be a 00/o but I’m pretty sure you just slapped whatever size you wanted on there cause they sure as hell don’t fit me.

It’s really too bad because I love Guess, but due your choice of vanity sizing, I can’t/won’t be shopping there.

ALSO! Your website seriously needs a major overhaul. It’s pretty and all, but:

  1. LOAD TIME IS TERRIBLE. No one likes watching a little loader bar for 10 seconds, and nobody likes when the video sputters because of how congested the home page is.
  2. The roll-over parralax-ing and moving videos are really awesome, but not when there’s a delayed reaction because of that DAMN VIDEO that tries to play the whole time.
  3. Please don’t make your website slide to the left. Fit everything on one screen- it makes the load time considerably more slow than it needs to be. It makes me want to bang my head on the wall, or spin around in my chair several times while waiting. Neither of which is very pleasant.

American Eagle

American Eagle isn’t that bad due to the fact that their shirt sizes seem pretty true to what they’re supposed to be. I don’t really have a problem finding tops there- but jeans are a whole different story.

I went in looking for jeans a few times. I tried on their size o (at the time, they didn’t even carry a size 00) and I probably would have had to wear a belt to keep them up… not kidding. It was like this a couple of times.

FINALLY I found a pair of jeans that fit my perfectly- size 00 skinny jeans. One of the only 00 styles offered there.

Now, not sure why there’s such a discrepancy with sizes there, but a 0 in boot cuts are way bigger than a 00 in skinny jeans.  I know they’re supposed to be tight on your legs, and it’s a size smaller than the other jeans, but c’mon. When I can wear a 00, the 0′s aren’t too much looser on me. The size 0′s in American Eagle are noticeably bigger than the 00 skinnys.

And what’s worse, is that if you try on jeans that are “long” (I’m short, but I have long legs so regular length jeans in small sizes are too short for me) pretty much hit my ankles there like I’m wearing a pair of freakin’ high waters.

Your jeans are just WEIRD. Fix them.

Express

Express and I have had a love/hate relationship for a long time. Their dress shirts and jeans are never true to their size and it’s really irritating cause I love a lot of their stuff.

I absolutely love their dress shirts, and I have a few even though they don’t really fit me correctly. I bought an XS dress shirt once and was pretty sad at how loose and big it looked. Really, it was like I was wearing a tiny man-child’s dress shirt. Certainly not fitting where it should and hanging off my back.

I recently found out that they started offering XXS (I know, it sounds horrifyingly small right?) women’s dress shirts, and I was super excited. I could have probably done cartwheels through the store (and don’t put that past me, I’ve do cartwheels at random) until I tried it on and realized that it still didn’t fit tight or how it should.

Pretty disheartening, especially considering how much I love their clothes.

Now… the jeans are just as bad. I practically swim in the 0′s… I’ve tried SO MANY TIMES to buy dress pants and jeans from there and none of them fit me right. I was in there for hours today trying on clothes (of which 2 shirts out of 10 fit) and decided to try on this really cute pair of jeans that I found in a 00. Actually, the ONLY pair I found in a 00…and why is this? Because it was a pair of skinny jeans- that’s why the size was offered.

Ever have a pair of 00′s that are loose on you? Probably not because it’s an impossibly small size to begin with. These skinny 00 jeans I tried on were actually loose around my thighs and didn’t fit right. I’ve never had a 00 pair of jeans be too big for me. NEVER- it just doesn’t happen. Go f’ yourself, vanity sizes.

Last but not least… (and this is a company I didn’t expect to buy into this)

Victoria’s Secret PINK

One- thanks for supporting my Alma Matter and making some cool ass stuff that’s branded for UCF. Two- I would appreciate it if you made this stuff so that everyone can wear it.

I adore the PINK line, I really do. I’ve went into the store tons of time and picked out things that I wanted. Then I tried them on and realized that, just like many other companies, they run big. Their XS hoodies don’t fit me at all and look really loose, and their smallest sweat pants are still too big for me.

I’m really surprised that vanity sizes would be happening with the PINK line- my assumption is that since it’s geared towards the college demographic they run the numbers smaller but the sizes bigger. Freshman 15. Didn’t happen to me but I hear it happens to a lot.

/Rant

I realize this makes me come off as a condescending a-hole, but I’m just being real here. We are so sensitive and so careful not to take a misstep when marketing towards people who weigh more than average. We get chastised for making comments and It’s taboo to make anybody feel uncomfortable about wearing more than average.

I agree. No one should have their feelings hurt- everybody is different. Everyone’s lifestyles are different. Some have disorders. Some have sicknesses that prevent them from losing weight.

It also makes for an interesting scenario when you ask someone if they’re “expecting” and when the due date is… when they aren’t pregnant. Yeah, don’t be that guy.

Sometimes it’s genetics. I get it, and I’m understanding. What I don’t get? While we have to zip our lips about America’s weight problem, but we can have vanity sizing and have websites dedicated to pointing out how “anorexic” size 0′s look? Please. The reason size 0′s look anorexic is because it’s all subjective to what our culture is becoming.

So is marketing buying into this whole fad with America? Are they tapping into this market and targeting certain demographics while putting out “vanity sizes?” How is this any different than lying to your consumers, regardless of the motive? When they hell are you going to start marketing towards us petite girls in the world again?