Why am I a size 4 in some jeans, and a 6 in others? Why can't jeans sizing for women be the same across brands, like it is for men? It's probably because clothing brands for women do something horrible, called "vanity sizing," to make us feel better about ourselves while actually making our lives (esp. shopping for jeans) so much more difficult than it needs to be. So the Washington Post did us all a favor, and went to some of our fave retailers to see what a size 8 means to each brand. Here's what they found.
At Old Navy, a size 8 is considered mid-range (a "medium") and the waist of their size 8 jeans measures a nice, makes-sense 28 inches. Does this mean a 6 measures 26 inches, a 4 24 inches? I don't know. I might have to find out.
The Loft also says a size 8 is "medium," but their size 8 jeans are slightly roomier than at Old Navy, measuring 28.5 inches. That's not a huge difference.
I love the boho vibe at Free People (found in their own shops and at Anthropologie), but they def engage in vanity sizing. Their 8 is a medium, too, but it's 29 inches at the waist.
This is why I loathe J. Crew: sure, their dress pants in size 8 are medium — I'm fine with that — and the waist is a little vanity-sized at 29 inches. But their jeans are actually a bit smaller than their dress pants of the same size. Ugh!
You'd think since Gap and Old Navy are basically the same company, their jeans would run the same, but nope. A Gap size 8 measures 29.5 inches around the waist. What? Why?
American Apparel considers an 8 to be "large" (what?) and the waist can vary from 30 to 32 inches. Seriously? Come on now.
Okay now, couture brands run a little different with their sizing, but Dolce and Gabbana considers their size 8 to be extra-large (XL) and that's just insulting. I wonder what they consider a 16, which is the average American woman's size right now?
I love Marc Jacobs accessories and makeup, but dude, come on! This brand's size 8 is ridiculously weird... in some brands, a 00 or 0 is actually an XL in Marc Jacobs. No. Stop.
So... what's your size gripe, or have you found a range of brands that fit you perfectly? I have to admit: I'm loving White House/Black Market: I'm a size 6 in all of their pants! I guess this all goes to show we're more than just a size number on a tag, right?
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