Posted by: Leah | August 2, 2006

Vanity sizing

I’ve read one email once that in the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe was a size 12. And I thought, Whew, she was? Well, I’m not too bad then, I look at myself and say wow, I am a Marilym Monroe size. But don’t be fooled, in 2006 sizes, Marilyn would be a size 6. Yech, then in the 50’s I’d be a size 24. Woooh! I wouldn’t want to see that tag in my clothes, would you?

I heard in a radio news talk show once about vanity sizing, they mentioned something about how different stores have changed their sizing in the last few years. I took note of this but forgot about it later on. Having shed a few pounds myself and gone done a few sizes, I can now fit into some of my old clothes. I also bought a few new ones. Well, lo and behold , I tried this old shorts of mine that is the same size as my new ones and I dont fit in them yet. So I thought, I gained weight already??? And then I remembered about the radio talk show….

I googled seached about women sizing and vanity and found a few intersting articles. Here’s one about vanity sizing.
“Indeed, we humans are so vain. Different brands have slightly different systems to make customers loyal. If you’re a size 4 at Gap and a size 8 at H&M, where will you shop? Gap is hoping you’re vain and you will choose them.”
“The scheme behind these discrepancies is a practice called vanity sizing, which takes larger-sized clothing and puts smaller-sized labels on it. “
“It’s all to make money and maintain sales (to) a huge mass of baby boomers, who unless it’s a 10 or less, they’re not going to buy it,”

We all worry about our sizes, whether we’re small, tall, big, large, medium. The media is focused on fad diets. On your way out from a grocery store in the checkout counter, how many times have you read in the front covers of magazines, 15 days to lose 15 lbs, 10 days to lose ab fat, etc, etc… I even bought one a long time ago. Just read it but never followed the “to do” or recipes. I’m not really sure if those works.

Vanity is the excessive belief in one’s own abilities or attractiveness to others. Are you vain? What is vain: conceited: characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; “a conceited fool”; “an attitude of self-conceited arrogance”; “an egotistical disregard of others”; “so swollen by victory that he was unfit for normal duty”; “growing ever more swollen-headed and arbitrary”; “vain about her clothes”

At one point, I thought I was somewhat vain. However , with the definition above, I don’t think I am. In the end it all boils down to staying healthy and fit. That’s my goal and I’m keeping it. For my sake and my family’s as well. I want to live longer and see my grandchildren marry and have their own kids (ok, maybe that’s pushing it , but who knows).

So here’s a challenge. If you have changed sizes in the last 10 years or so, maybe even in the last few years. Find an old clothing, check the size. Go to a store and try something on of the same size. Does it fit ? Or if you already have your own recently bought clothes of the same size. Tell me, which store, which brand?



  1. first time i heard about vanity sizing. very interesting. makes sense for manufacturers to do this. akala tuloy natin pumapayat tayo. yun pala lumalaki lang yung mga damit. i wonder if this practise is illegal or unethical.

  2. Si Ka Uro tlga.. nagtanong pa eno?? hehe!! Di bale kahit na anong size pa ang palaki ng palaki sa atin, ang importante at ang magaling e lumalaki ang puso natin.. meaning maraming nagmamahal satin.. ang layo ng comment ko.. pasensya naha! ala akong hilig sa mga vanity kasi.. basta love ko si Piolo.. period… heheh!! pag sexy nako dun nako mag va-vanity-vanity.. nag da diet pa kc ako.. ang taba kona.. mahihiya si Queen Lativa.. heh! see ya!

  3. I’ve read an article about this one too. And how becasue of this original size standards in the forlorn days are cut to a half to have the illusion of “smallness”. They say it’s all in the mind. If you wear “small” size then you believe you’re small. If you believe you’re small, then you will “look” small. Imagine that. All merchandising strategy to stuff you with their products.

    anyway, I have a 32″ pants nowadays. A 4″ addition to what I was in high school. 🙂

  4. A great goal and challenge! Something in there for all of us! Here via Michele’s tonight.. hope your day/evening is faring well!

  5. I hate hate HATE shopping for clothes here in Singapore. If I try any of those stores made by and for Singaporeans/Asians, either I’ll not find anything in my size or they’ll be labelled XXL. YECH!! There’s also a size label here: Free Size!! There’s no freaking way a M or L girl can fit that!! Oh, you mean XS or S, right? Then if I shop at UK brand stores, I’m a 16. If it’s a US brand, and depends on whether it’s a Misses or Ladies or Petites…I’m a 10 to a 14!!! Arrgh…the mind boggles!!!

    I wish there was a universal law when it came to clothes sizes and a ban on the use of words like Small, Large, X-tra Large, etc. It should just be ‘1’, ‘2’ etc.

    Here from Michele!! And thanks for stopping by my blog…I’ll be back!

  6. Greetings, Leah. Thanks for visiting my blog – and thank you for your request to add me to your blogroll. I am, of course, highly flattered that you would ask, and will also add you to mine.

    Nice to e-meet you through Michele’s.

    I really appreciate your perspectives on keeping fit. I do so for precisely the same reasons. I commute by bicycle to work, and exercise at least once per day.

    My father didn’t take care of himself for his whole life, and now he deals with heart disease and regular surgeries. I don’t want my kids to have to go through the same thing that I am…I want them to have me, healthy, for a long time to come.

    I also don’t want to burden my wife. She deserves to have me healthy to a ripe old age, too.

  7. Here from Michele’s!

    I am having real issues with clothing sizes at the moment- everything seems wildly different even in the same shop and it drives me batty! I think I need a bit of vanity sizing in my life right now because my real size is beginning to depress me!!

  8. Hmmm… was shopping in Bangkok last month… I couldn’t fit into their XL. 😦 But then, Thais are so thin. The biggest size for men’s pants are only up to 30 inches on the waistline. My husband couldn’t find anything to buy. I looked at the sale box and they had sizes 2, 1, and even 0! I mean, who’s a size 0?

    Guess they haven’t heard of vanity sizing. 🙂

  9. its all very fascinating
    im size 36 ( waist) chuckle

  10. I spent this week shopping at various places and each brand is totally different. Standardization would be nice!

    Here from Michele’s

  11. Drives me nuts – all the different sizes in my wardrobe. The thing is, besides pregnancy, I have NOT changed size in the last 10yrs .. well .. not much anyway .. 😉

    I also have clothes I have bought in the US, the UK, and ones from here in Australia … all over the shop – I have no idea what size I am anymore … every country, every shop – they all say i’m something different.

    Bah !

    Here from Michele’s today.

  12. You know what’s scary? I went from being a size 11 in Canada to a size 16 in London, ENgland. Can you believe that? Well, of course I blame the fact that the sizes here are different, but I have to admit that going to the pub every night doesnt help.

    Here from MIchelle’s!

  13. Mens sizes are in inches, so it’s a lot harder to lie to yourself. A few years ago I was a 36 and growing. I got down to 32 but am now back up to 34. No confusion.

  14. and michele sent me.

  15. Hi, Michele sent me.

    There are two different stores in a nearby mall that are very close to each other. I’ve shopped in both.

    In one store I am size NN but in the other I am size NN-2.

    That difference, though, isn’t a determining factor in which store I buy clothes. Instead, I base my decisions on which store has the clothes I like. It seems to switch back and forth between the two depending on what I’m looking for that day.

  16. The British Standards Institute is correcting this problem with BS-EN 13402, which calls for a pictogram with actual measurements in centimeters. I have been ready for this since 1983, when my measurements “went metric”. This new standard was drafted in 2003, and is due at the end of 2006.

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