Roberts: The real issue behind vanity sizing


Jay Snodgrass

Women’s sizing remains inconsistent across different brands and even across products within one brand.

Kyla Roberts, Staff Writer

Women have suffered from the crushing views of society for centuries. They are constantly pressured to fit the current beauty standards, and when they don’t, society makes them feel that they are not good enough. The popular usage of vanity sizing in women’s clothing contributes to these issues women have with their own bodies. 

Vanity sizing is when companies mark their clothing as a smaller size than it actually is. This is done so that customers feel better about themselves when shopping from them and in turn buy from them. While this benefits the businesses, it makes it incredibly difficult for women to find clothes and not want to rip their hair out while shopping for their wardrobes. To avoid this frustration, most women usually find their size in one store and then only buy from them — resulting in loyalty towards one store. 

Men’s clothing is usually sized by actual measurements, while women have to keep track of the different sizes they wear in different stores and types of clothing and this still varies. 

Companies keep making smaller sizes larger than they are. Today’s size 6 may have been a size 8 a few years ago. The sizes change as the average size of Americans increases, so it seems safe to assume that more inches will keep being added. 

The fact that sizing for women’s clothing has no rhyme or reason is a huge pain for women and only causes headaches and heartaches while shopping. However, the real issue is the shame women go through when they feel that they should fit into smaller sizes and don’t. 

Women are always told they are supposed to be small and dainty or that they need to be skinny to be pretty. Because of this, who can blame them for wanting a size small tag? However, not all clothing can be size small and it shouldn’t have to be like that. Society needs to learn to appreciate people of all shapes and sizes and not put others down for not fitting the ideal that has been engraved into us. Beauty standards fluctuate with time it is not fair for women to change themselves as the male gaze wants them to. 

Vanity sizing is a marketing scheme. It brings in business profits, which means that unfortunately, it is highly unlikely these businesses will change to a universal sizing chart that reflects the actual sizing of clothing; however, it needs to be changed nonetheless. Vanity sizing messes with the heads of female consumers and only builds onto the unhealthy societal pressures women feel daily.