The psychology of sizing women's clothing

Filed under: Just For Moms, Places To Go

Does your self-esteem have a direct relationship with the size of your pants? If so, you are not alone. Nearly all women are affected by the number on the label of their clothing. The bigger the number, the worse we are likely to feel. The small the number, well, that's fairly obvious. But the question is, does this number truly mean what we think it does? If the our pants are a size 8, what does that really mean? Are we thin, fit, curvy? Or could it be that the clothing industry has put one over on us all and that number is just a whim of the massive marketing machines?

Some stores size their clothing to fit the vanity of their shoppers. For example, it is well known that clothing at The Gap is roomy and comfortable. To walk into a Gap store is to instantly lose 10 pounds. While you might be a size 12 in another store, a size 8 at The Gap will hug your hips while giving you ample room to move around and feel fabulous. "I can be a very happy 8 at the Gap, but just squeeze into an angry 12 at Club Monaco," says Berett Fisher, a New York mother and creative director. Naturally, she adds, "I don't go to Club Monaco that much anymore."

So does size really matter if it does not truly pertain to your body size? It sure does when you feel flattered enough to buy a pair of pants just because they read a smaller size than you thought you were. Is the clothing industry genius when it comes to flattery? Of course, but does it really matter if you look good?

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