Vanity Sizing

Kirstie Alley is in the news this week. She lost 100 lbs and says she is down 10 dress sizes. Fashion guru Tim Gunn from Project Runway says there is no way Alley is the size 4 she is claiming to be. He says that a size 4 today would have previously been a 6 or an 8. He explains that retailers are using "vanity sizing" to make us feel good about the number we are in. Read more about it HERE.

Vanity Sizing Case 1:
When we went to Edmonton the Septmember long weekend most of our time was spent at the mall. It had been 2 years since I purchased jeans, so I spent plenty of time trying them on. If you would have asked me before the weekend what size I was I would have told you that I was a 28 and that I have one pair of "skinny" jeans that are 27's (and by skinny I don't me tight around the ankle. . . I mean I have to be in my best shape to fit into them). While in Edmonton I purchased 2 pairs of jeans. One were a 26 and the other a 25. UNBELIEVABLE. I am not any skinnier than I have been in the past. In fact I even have a small shelf left over from my c-section that I didn't have post-Calder. My new purchases are just regular jeans - I don't have to have a skinny day to wear them.

Vanity Sizing Case 2:
I cleaned out some of my old dress clothes from my closet this weekend. There were a pair of dress pants from my 2nd year teaching that I couldn't even do up because they were so small. I bought a similar pair of dress pants last year (7 years later) from the same store and in the same size and they are loose enough that I could wear them 4 months pregnant.

Are these new sizes tricking people? Or is everyone seeing right through the numbers like I am? I get why retailers are doing it. It can feel good to say we fit into a smaller size than we normally wear. But when the reality is that the 25's have the same waist measurement as the old 28's, are retailers doing us a service? I know that the number doesn't matter. We all have different genetics and therefore different ideal sizes, but if people are determining their health by what the number says, it worries me.


  1. I've wondered about that too! I have found a couple of stores that their clothes fit particularly big are Mark's Work Wearhouse and Eddie Bauer. I have never fit into a size 4 in my life, but last summer bought some size 4 shorts from EB.

    Things like this make me wonder where people who are REALLY skinny shop....

  2. Oh I have been on to this for many years. At my thinest after I had Emme, I could wear a 00 at Suzy Shear. That is ridiculous because at best I would have been a couture size 6. It does make some people feel better, when they don't have to shop at plus size stores because they can fit into the American size 12. This in turn makes the stores more money because the people feel great walking out of the store with a bag full of clothes that they never thought would fit so great. The bigger the public gets, the bigger the sizes get.
    My BFF who is a couture size 2, cannot shop at stores like Suzy Shear or The Gap, because their version of a zero is too big for her. She lived in London for 5 years and she gets most of her clothes there when she is visiting. Lucky for her, she can afford more high end stores, where the sizes tend to be more accurate.
    For me, carrying around all this baby weight, I have to say I am glad that I can fit into a Joe Fresh "10".lol. I am not fooled...I know I am not a true 10, but at least I don't have to haul my ass into the plus size stores to pick up some size 14 pants.
    In the end, size DOES NOT MATTER. In the end what matters is how we feel about ourselves and our overall health. That said, I hate marketing ploys:(

  3. In the last few years I have bought size 27 & 28 jeans, size 2 gap shorts, and small shirts. I would not have fit into those sizes when I was 15. In high school I bought 31 & 32 jeans. I was quite confused for a while when buying jeans, I couldn't find anything that fit. It took me years to figure out that I was trying on jeans too big. I'm not big, but I'm 5'7 and I have broad shoulders. I'm not a small, let alone an XS! I wonder too where the truly small people shop.


  4. K I just sat down and read your blog as I do from time to time. I think it's a great thing for the fashion "people" to make us feel good about ourselves as nobody else seems to.

    Example # 1 I was in PA to day and Landon was walking behind me wanting every toy in WalMart and a lady looks at me with a concerned face and said Your child has lost his shoe, I said no he has a cast on. She then looked very discussed at me, never did ask how it happened.

    Example # 2 We then went to Dawson's Gym class in Humbuldt, I was talking to a friend and said I have a rather bad day in PA and another lady asked why I was in PA and I said my 2 oldest go to Sylvan and the look on her face was half way between I'm so sorry for you and are two your boys really that stupid. Again never asked why.

    So I think if they want to make me a size 6 not 8 or 10 I'm good with that.

    Take care Jordan, hope to see you and your amazing family sometime at the lake



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