Size Frustrations

Dear Unnamed Clothing Manufacturer,

It was, on the whole, a good trip. I shouldn’t complain.

I’m going to complain.

I needed new yoga pants, on account of I have plumb worn out the seams of two-thirds of my current batch, and my bum does not need a window to the world while doing down dog in class. So I went to the one store in town that carries the one brand of activewear that comes in my size.

At this point, I feel it is relevant to emphasize that these are necessarily all with the same brand —

It was a good trip because there were several styles of active pants available in all the sizes I might claim as “mine.” It was, however, frustrating as fuck because in the various styles, I tried — where available — every size from a 16 through a 24. Each and every style ran differently. I found 16s that were too big and 24s that were too small.

Some were too large or too small all over, and that at least made a certain amount of sense in the context of the individual garment.

Some fit or even ran small in the hip but were too large in the waist, which aggravates me personally but which I’ve come to expect. It’s totally possible that a critical mass of yoga pants purchasers have proportions that more closely resemble those reflected in your pants, and my body is the odd one out. I get that.

I do, however, take issue with a couple of proportion decisions on your part.

The first is to sell some styles of pants with absolutely no measurement increase between the waist and the hip. Yes, bodies are different, but the average person purchasing women’s activewear pants will be wider at the hip than at the waist. I’m guessing that most of them will expect mass produced pants to follow this general pattern — especially when you list waist and hip differences in your very own size chart.

The second is to sell some styles — in, just for example, a size 22, which I think would have fit my hips — with thighs that are cut to the exact same width as the thighs on the size 12 of the same style pants. I know; I checked. Where, exactly, do you think my thighs come out of, if not my hips? Again, according to your own size chart, you suggest something like a 9 inch difference in circumference between size 12 hips and size 22 hips, why would you assume that the exact same thighs are proportional to both?

I understand that a company probably cannot mass produce affordable activewear — in any size range — without sizing items toward average proportions for each size, which means that people whose individual measurements vary from that average will experience fit issues. Even so, a lot of your averages seem way the hell off, and I would appreciate it if you would please learn to math.

If that is not feasible, maybe you could change your size charts to read, “Fuck if we know!” instead.

Thanks,
Me

EN-13402-example-hiviz

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I'm here. I like stuff. Some other stuff, I like less.

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9 comments on “Size Frustrations
  1. Lindsay says:

    My favorite example of the “fuck if we know!” principle of sizing: I have a couple of pairs of black denim capris from Gloria Vanderbilt, both the exact same style (“Amanda”), purchased within a year of each other. One is a 12 and one is a 14. The 12 is looser.

    ‘Splain that, Gloria Vanderbilt!

  2. I’ve had a similar experience with yoga pants at Target. The pants and shorts always fit me perfectly in an XXL, but the capris–same brand, same size–are always way too small. I don’t get it.

  3. It’s ’cause clothing sizes aren’t regulated and haven’t been since the ’80s.

  4. Caitlin says:

    I can’t even with clothing sizes. I once bought a pair of pants and liked them so much that I went back and got the same cut in the same size, but just in a different color and guess what? The second pair is way too tight.

    It really shouldn’t be this difficult to find an item of clothing that fits.

  5. Sam B says:

    Same issues here too. I’d love to see the honest label, “Fuck if we know!” I’ve had this issue with The Gap and Lands End ordering online. Grrr.

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