For some people, fall shopping is a very exciting ritual that marks the change of seasons and offers an opportunity for a fresh start and maybe even a new look.
For me it's a cringe-worthy time since I tend to put on weight during summer months. Blame it on socializing at one of hundreds of barbecues or hours of hanging out in a backyard bar guzzling German beer, either way I am scrambling to get back into my cold weather clothing by October.
To make matters worse, it has come to light (and I basically always knew this but didn't want to admit it) that there are HUGE discrepancies in the sizing of different clothing companies and the way they fool us when it comes to true sizes.
This is often referred to as "vanity sizing" which makes a customer loyal to any given brand based on how it makes you feel.
The fact remains that many of these stores are giving you a false idea of your actual size with Old Navy being one of the worst offenders. Their size 36 pant in actuality measures to 41 inches.
5 inches is a major difference and stupidly tricks people into thinking they are slimmer.
The little experiment did not extend to women's clothing, but it happens to the ladies as well.
I can wear small sizes at Old Navy which embraces our "bigger is better" American values. Woo hoo!Sound the alarm! Size 4-6? Maybe I didn't do as much damage with those margaritas as I thought.
But I then struggle into a size 8-10 when I go to H&M and leave in a panic because most European shops use proper sizing and my previously triumphant self-image takes a beating.
The Gap (same company as Old Navy) has always been a touch on the generous side and they do me right. When I walk into American Apparel though, a size L anything just starts ripping at the sight of me.
Think about that "vanity sizing" concept though. The Gap is iconic, trusted and basically for everybody and they want everyone to shop there and feel good. At American Apparel it feels like only the young and cocaine addled need apply. Until you get yourself some snake hips, you are going to feel like a bull in a china shop when you go into a dresing room.
Shopping shouldn't be this tough and companies need to recalibrate their sizing system.
Until they do, we will have to use a good old fashion measuring tape to know where we actually stand. It would be helpful to know my real measurements so I can at least call foul when something is excessively large or small on me.
Do you feel frustrated, flattered or fooled by the way stores handle their sizing?