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jlm11f's avatar

Have you noticed a change in standard clothing size in American clothing stores?

Asked by jlm11f (12340 points ) July 13th, 2008

I think each size has increased by a level. For example, the Small’s now are the old Medium. The medium now is the old Large etc. Have you noticed this trend? Why is this? To raise people’s self esteem?? Do you think this a good idea?

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17 Answers

wildflower's avatar

I have noticed that US sizes are bigger than European. A US Small is easily a European Medium, if not Large. But I don’t know if this is a recent change.

jlm11f's avatar

@ wildflower – yes, that has always been true. But I feel that the sizes have gotten even bigger in the past few months. I now can fit in XS (when I used to take small before), and since I haven’t lost any weight, it has to be a size change. I asked around and other shoppers feel the same way. I just don’t understand why change the size even more. This is just further increasing the gap between US and World sizes.

willbrawn's avatar

yes I have. Americans by large are larger than the rest of the world. And I’m proud to say I live in Colorado. Then least effected : )

smart1979's avatar

I’ve noticed the opposite! Some brands I used to wear have gotten smaller over the last couple years. I like the fit of Hilfiger T’s and those seem to be fitting more normally these days for me though.

marinelife's avatar

The sizes have changed significantly. For the opposite experience, go vintage.

osakarob's avatar

PnL, good observation. It is one that many in the media have written about over the years. Here is one from 2006 in the Boston Hearld. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/05/05/0_is_the_new_8/?p1=email_to_a_friend

and another from CNN
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2006/06/01/8378500/index.htm

Bottom line is, American bottoms are getting bigger.

I also remember reading an article in the International Hearld Tribune about a year ago that examined this issue in great details with specific examples of which clothing brands and retailers changed specific sizes, but I couldn’t find it in my perfunctory search.

jlm11f's avatar

Thanks for the links osaka. I think the next question then has to be, whether we think this is a good idea. Is this helping Americans go in the right direction? I understand that it helps in self esteem etc, but doesn’t it also make people think that it is okay to be overweight? Before anyone goes crazy on me, I know that some people have a genetic predisposition to it and that some can’t help it etc etc. But the other fact is that MOST can still help it and live a healthier life but choose not to. I feel changing the sizes will just further make people think it’s okay to continue to live an unhealthy, exercise free life. Compared to the rest of the world, Americans are a lot more overweight, and I feel that this strategy of the clothing industry is just going to further encourage that statistic.

willbrawn's avatar

@pnl I will have to say it is not helping Americans. If the clothes don’t fit, meaning they are to tight adjust your diet. Go for a walk, just going outside more often helps.

I think it’s ok to have people experience reality. And sometimes that means hurting there feelings. In the end it was there choice.

marinelife's avatar

I think it is very bizarre that this health crisis is not being tackled.

Where is the emphasis on PE and active children and families?

Where is the push to get corn syrup out of our diets? It’s a deadly substance. Or to remove cheaper ingredients used by the makers of snack foods that are deadly for health?

What about a campaign to control portion sizes? Those went up along with the clothes sizes.

nikipedia's avatar

I don’t really think it’s up to clothing manufacturers to decide if people weigh too much or too little. I think their job is to provide a product that people want to buy. The obesity epidemic is a complicated issue and it’s not going to be solved by a sanctimonious clothing line scaling back its sizes.

Randy's avatar

I’m actually a pretty small guy and I have trouble finding small enough clothes to fit right. Of course it doesn’t help that I like my jeans and shirts to fit a little tight like.

So to answer your question, yes I’ve noticed it but it doesn’t affect me much. I still have to buy smalls and sometimes an extra small.

zina's avatar

I have DEFINITELY noticed this, and am often frustrated by not being able to find clothes small enough any more! There are several stores/brands that are open about this change – in fact, I was recently talking with someone who works at Victoria’s Secret, where they are no longer making A-cup sizes in many of their popular styles.

Stocky's avatar

I think it has been the opposite but then again maybe im just getting fat… yea thats probably it, Crap

Miss_Lys's avatar

i have noticed that as well because im an xs now not a small

veronasgirl's avatar

I have noticed simply because I have been a size small my entire life and now suddenly I have been having to buy mediums…and I haven’t gained any weight

dolphindream's avatar

I’ve been wearing 32 waste pants for quite some time.. and recently I’ve noticed this size (in various clothes/brands/styles) is way bigger than my waste, by at least 2 numbers.. so I have to switch to 30, and I know i’m not slimmer than I used to be a year ago. I say let the people know they need bigger size pants if they become fatter.. why should anyone be lied to in thinking they are as slim as they were last year if in fact they are not? This size changing scheme is not only misleading (albeit for the sake of making people feel good about themselves) but it’s insulting and malicious and I believe it’s mainly driven by the industry’s goal to keep selling more stuff and have people feel good about what they buy. If you realize you have just jumped 2 numbers up you would be upset, and perhaps not buy that brand and perhaps eat less crappy stuff (good for you, but not good for the industry that wants tho shove as much crap down your throat as they can, if that makes them more money). No, I don’t believe corporations have ethics… or if they have them, they are skin deep. Be honest, stop being in denial about your REAL size. Accept it!

bestephens's avatar

I have to say that I saved some ‘skinny’ jeans from my ‘hey day’, and looking at them now…in 1985 they were a size 7…yet my daughter is a size 1 and they almost fit her. My daughter-in-law is a size 7, and she cannot fit them. WHAT HAPPENED to the sizes????!!!!!!!

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