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pants size in U.S.

The U.S. sizing system involves the use of a size code to direct customers to garments most likely to fit their body. The popular press reports expensive clothes tend to run large and there is inconsistency within each size category. The purpose of this study was to determine how much inconsistency there is within size categories, the difference in size of two different price points (inexpensive and expensive), and two different types of label (national and private) of women’s pants. To this end, the waist, crotch, and inseam of 1011 pairs of pants were measured. Inconsistency was found in each size category, expensive pants generally were larger in measurement, and little significant difference was found between national and private label merchandise except for sizes 4 and 6.

Tue. Dec 4, 1:09am

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Flattery Gets Designers Everywhere
Monday, July 15, 2002

By Jennifer D'Angelo

NEW YORK — On a recent trip to the Gap, Trisha Hart and her mom both happily left the store with clothing in a size smaller than they normally wear. But they haven't been on a mother-daughter diet.

"If anything I keep getting fatter," Hart said.

So why the shrunken sizes? According to fashion experts — and the fitting-room accounts of female shoppers — designers are cutting women's clothing bigger in an effort to cash in on womanly vanity.

"It's a very common practice," said Tamara Albu, fashion design coordinator at Parsons School of Design. "Designers make women feel they're a size 4 and they make a sale. It's a marketing trick."

Albu said Ralph Lauren, Tahari, Betsy Johnson, Cynthia Rowley, Nicole Miller, Banana Republic and the Gap are all known for deflating their sizes.

Her colleague Pam Klein, chair of the associate degree program at Parsons, agreed that fitting-room fraud is everywhere.

"All companies and designers that are targeting the Sex and the City customer have a similar strategy," Klein said.

While the alleged designer deception may not be fooling anyone, it nevertheless appears to be working. Jen Muzio, 26, said she likes shopping at Express because she is a 6 there instead of her normal size 8.

(Story continues below)

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Michelle Albera, 24, felt the same way. "If it's larger than an 8, I won't buy it even if I want it," she said. Both Albera and Muzio avoid Old Navy, where they often have to go a size up to find clothing that fits.

But a spokesperson for Gap Inc., the parent company of Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, denied that "vanity sizing" is going on at their stores.

"Our sizes haven't changed in 10 years — even with the introduction of extra-small and size 0," spokesperson Stacy MacClean said.

However, a size 8 at the Gap is not the same as the 8 at Old Navy and Banana Republic —and this, according to Grace magazine editor Ceslie Armstrong, is the key to understanding "vanity sizing."

"It's a branding thing. Each designer is looking to attract women with a certain silhouette," Armstrong said. "Women are very loyal. If they find a line that works for them, they'll stay there."

MacClean confirmed that Gap Inc.'s sizes vary with their targeted demographics — for example, Old Navy is geared toward kids and moms, Banana Republic toward professionals.

She also said that while sizes at the Gap haven't changed, fits and silhouettes do fluctuate with fashion.

But amid all this clothing confusion, one thing remains a fact: Some designers work better on certain body types than others. So Armstrong's advice is to find out which ones work for you and to stick with them.

"Stop obsessing over size and shop for your silhouette," she said

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 1:28 AM

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I totally disagree that the Gap hasn't changed sizes in 10 years. I used to get gap jeans in a size 8, and while I haven't gained or lost any weight and wear some old pants in the same sizes from elsewhere when I go to the Gap I now wear a size 6.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 1:31 AM

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I'm a 14 in INC brand clothes, a 12 at Ann Taylor, and I wear DKNY jeans in a size 8. So crazy.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 7:53 AM

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I knew that cheap clothes were usually smaller than expensive ones, but I interpret it differently--that cheap clothes tend to run small (shave off an inch of fabric from 1000 pairs of pants and you can make more pairs of pants from the same amount of fabric...)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 10:41 AM

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Very expensive clothes sometimes run small too - some of the top designers don't want bigger people to be able to wear their clothes.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 11:59 AM

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I have a pair of jeans from Express (probably 10 years old) in a size 3/4, which I can barely squeeze into. I have a few other pairs, from about 3 years ago, also size 3/4, that are too big and fall off of me. So yes, the sizes definitely change.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 12:00 PM

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that's depressing lol.

so question..what's the average european size for 5'8 girls? anyone know? if we know what the european size is, and the US sizes are the ones changing, the size corresponding to the euro size will change, so we'll know what's going on =]

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 10:05 PM

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As hard as it would be to swallow, i'd like if women's clothes were based an measuments just like men's. It might make shopping a bit more depressing but at least it would be easier to find the right size.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007, 11:24 PM

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I would love that! And some stores do have women's sizes just like mens. H&M is the only one I can think of right now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007, 7:56 AM

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