Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did You Know I'm a Size 4?


Does this mean that I contracted a flesh eating virus that munched off half of my ass overnight? Perish the thought. Actually, I find reality to be slightly more annoying that. The truth is that, finding most of my pants to be too baggy and unflattering, I finally broke down and decided go shopping.

I marched into Lane Bryant, went straight for the pants and was greeted with a rack full of sizes 1-10. All of the sudden I felt a waive of panic. Did I accidentally wonder into Express? I scanned the room for the droves of pale, waifs that would grab me under the arms and escort me out the door saying, "there's nothing for you here." No. I was definitely in Lane Bryant. I could tell because I was surrounded by size 8 mannequins wearing cinched plus sized clothes--I think that's supposed to make the clothes look better. We wouldn't want to actually see how they would look on a plus sized woman...but I digress.

The over-sized clothes on the dummy also ruled out my other thought: that Lane Bryant had stopped selling plus clothing. Next I called my sister over to confirm that I wasn't hallucinating. Nope. Sizes 1-10.OK, no need to panic.

"Excuse me," I said to the nearest employee. "I'm a little confused by your sizing."

"Oh, it's new."

"But how do I know what my size is now? Do you have a chart with equivalents or something."

"Nope, I have to measure you," she said advancing on me with a tape measure outstretched.

Panic again. No way am I letting another soul know the exact circumference of my waist. Well, no one except for the entire Internet, you guys are OK. (I know I'm not going to get the Logical Blogger award any time soon.) "No thanks, I'm good. I'll just buy a shirt." Crisis averted. She walked away and my sister assured me that I was officially the biggest dork ever.

Then I began the unscientific process of finding pants that would fit. As it turns out, the pants were also color coded based on bodily location of poundage. So I spent some time holding pant up to my body and then I brought about 63 pairs to the fitting room. It took me nearly 2 hours to figure out that I'm a red size 4. Awesome.

I hate to be grouchy, but this has really got me all fired up. The color coding does make some sense to me. I actually like that they're making jeans to fit different body types. But I have to say that the new numbering really ticks me off. I realize that the numbering system for all women's clothes, at least in the United States, is basically arbitrary. Who knows what size 18 or 10 or especially 0 means? It doesn't go by poundage, and it might be based on measurements, too, but the actual sizes give no indication. But most women know what their size is and have a basic idea of what the next size up and the next size down would be like. Even if I'm not happy with my size, it's convenient to know what it is. It's bad enough to have to shop in stores like Lane Bryant without having to completely refigure my size when I walk in the door.

Can anyone tell me what Lane Bryant was thinking? Maybe it's some marketing ploy that's meant to appeal to my vanity. Maybe some women are more likely to shop at a place that enables them to wear clothes with a tag that says 4 instead of 18.There are so many reasons this gets me ticked off. Let me enumerate some of them.
  1. It goes without saying that it irritated me that it took me so much longer to find pants.
    To me, it feels like an insult to my intelligence. I know there's no way in hell I could get even one leg into a pair of size fours from any other store. I'm fine with that; I don't need to delude myself and I certainly don't need anyone else to delude me!
  2. Looking forward, I feel like this partially robs me of a victory I could enjoy in the future. I was really looking forward to the day I could stop shopping at Lane Bryant. Now, in order to do that, I'll have to go from a size 0 in LaLa Land to a size 14 or 12 in the real world. Even though I know it's arbitrary, I think it's going to throw me for a bit of a psychological loop.
  3. It sends the message that smaller is necessarily better. If they were going to change it, I wish they'd made there pants size based on waste circumference combined with the new color coding system, but guess what? They didn't ask me what I thought.

OK. End of rant. Feel free to rant or defend in the comments.


becklette said...

it's CRAZY vanity sizing. that's all. and i was pretty pissed, too (i've since graduated to old navy 18s), but when i was telling my friend how pissed i was, she responded with, "no! i'd way rather buy 5s than 22s!" and then she went out that night and bought several pairs of new jeans (the wonky sizing was just for jeans then).

it was the last straw for lb for me.

one other thing, though, they stretch like a mo-fo (the jeans, at least) so you basically should buy the smallest size you can button without pinching anywhere.

and move on to old navy as soon as you can-- not only are the sizes not uno cards, but jeans coast about half as much, which is key when you're needing new ones all the time.

Hide those cookies said...

Becklette, I know what you mean about the stretching. Snug jeans are baggy in all the wrong places by the end of the day. I appreciate the advise. Maybe I'll check out old navy tonight!

Anonymous said...

I think you're absolutely right! I'm not sure if they think changing it to a fake size will make us want to buy more. It just comes down to another rotten marketing trick!

Karyn said...

That is absolutely ridiculous! Do they think we're stupid? As if we think that we are really a size 4?!

I'd never tell anyone I was wearing a size 4 - they'd think I was delusional!

Your posts are always interesting, BTW