How many times have you struggled to fit into a garment of your usual size in a trial room? You try on a different garment of the same size. And voila! It fit - you kind of like the first garment. The larger size fits you too. But most likely, you will choose not to buy it because it has a size label that does not make you feel comfortable.
What is Vanity Sizing?
Shopping can be a challenging experience for some women, as many find it difficult to find a size that fits them due to there not being uniform sizing guidelines across brands. This is due to brands using vanity sizing.
Most brands deliberately skew their sizes, based on the idea that people might feel better if the tag on the clothing says a size (or two or three) smaller than they wear in other brands. This is precisely what vanity sizing is.
Where did Vanity Sizing Originate?
The origin of vanity sizing lies in the United States, with the American women getting bigger over the years. The original sizing system of 1958 was updated again and again until it was completely discarded in 1983. The result was that the manufacturers were free to define their own sizes. Soon they began to size downwards to flatter the consumer.
However, vanity sizing is just not about making the sizes smaller. Some lingerie brands promote brassieres to make women feel they have bigger breasts. These brands make its brassieres fit up to three sizes up than usual.
It is evident that we live in a society where size matters. If it was not for the media preaching that thin is beautiful and beautiful is thin, women would not be scared of going up or down sizes.
Body Image and Vanity Sizing:
The only way to avoid getting hung up on the size you wear is to understand how the fashion industry works and to realize that sizes on a label do not define you.
It must always be remembered sizes are just numbers, they don’t define a person. And this trend has now permeated the shopping experience of women of all shapes and sizes.
Yet the negative impact that vanity sizing has on body image and mental well-being could be colossal.
Rising above Size Charts:
However, some brands are making an effort to solve this issue. Rational Dress Society sells its jumpsuits in 248 different sizes. The sizes are derived from taking specific measurements and body types and instead of assigning a numeric size, their sizes are randomly named like ‘delta’, ‘alpha’, ‘buffy’, ‘tango’, etc. This model may not work for all fashion brands, yet this can change the way women feel about size labels and ease their anxiety.
The point of fashion is to make us feel good, to allow us to show the world who we are. Vanity sizing can be viewed as a misguided attempt to accomplish this while requiring as little effort as possible on the part of the manufacturer. The additional effort of finding a perfect fit falls to the consumer.
With the world becoming increasingly educated on topics like gender fluidity, human diversity, and body positivity, women are exploring new ways to convey their identities through what they wear.
Made-to-measure addresses the problem of vanity sizing by changing not only how we shop, but how we view our bodies in relation to size. It’s not in vain to feel confident, and it’s definitely overdue for women who’ve been gaslighted by bogus sizing for decades.
At EcoDhaga we recognize that not all brands are made to fit Indian sizes. Our size chart accounts for the Indian body.
Make fashion fun and non-judgemental with EcoDhaga!