Saturday, May 25, 2013

Does Size Matter?

The reason that certain clothes look better on catwalk and mannequins is because they are made for skinny people, therefore the fabric hangs better.  The designers employ live stick hangers because they want us to see their fashion, not the models.  Though our fantasy is to look vogue like that figure on the runway when we wear those same clothes. The truth is, an average fashion model size is zero and shrinking, for the mean time, real women come in all sizes.  According to New York magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, the average American woman’s size is 14.

Does size matter? Yes, at least to Abercrombie & Fitch, size does matter!

An average American woman cannot shop at A&F unless they are buying men’s clothes to wear. By design, A&F does not carry garments bigger than size 10 or Large, and sells only to thin people despite a growing plus-sized population.  This is no news, Michael Jeffries, infamous A&F CEO publicly admitted the company’s exclusionary strategy back in 2006, offering a “cool identity", targeting thin and beautiful shoppers only. If you haven't yet, go visit the store and see their sales staff. No different from Lane Bryant exclusively targeting plus-sized clientele. It is marketing discrimination in the open. Clear and transparent!

Does size matter? No, size does not matter, but the fit does!

The manufacturers are aware of women’s love-hate relationship with their dimensions and are taking full advantage of it.  Labeling a size 12 dress as a size 8 to make buyers feel thinner, will surely entice one to purchase. There’s more to that size tag than meets the eye.  Good or bad, we all have deep emotional connection to that number.   It affects our perception, feelings, self-esteem, and decisions.  Reality is harsh.  Illusion sells better.  Hence, it is called “vanity sizing.”

Remember, styling is an art, not a science. Forget about “the size” and do not allow the digit on that label play with your mind. Go to the fitting room, put on your lenses (that means both your eyeglasses and fashion sense), face the big mirror and take a good look at the image in front of you.  Do the clothes sit well on you? Does it accentuate in the right places? Does it flatter your length and your curves?  Here's the secret for a perfect fit...hire a great tailor!

Look out for my next blog about an L.A. based designer who got it right. Her "Real Women, Real Clothes" photos will tell it all.

Thanks for stopping by.  Get your FASH on and happy styling!!! 



  1. So true, Sheila. I should not feel bad about buying this beautiful fit Ted Baker dress in size 2 which is a US size 6 equivalent (gasp!!!). Been having such a complex of being bigger (as I have always been a size 2 and 4 these days) that I keep debating whether I should return the dress. This vanity sizing issue is messing with us all.

    1. The joy of being a woman, right? =) If the Ted Baker dress fits perfectly like you say, I'd say keep it and find a matching pair of pumps! It'll make you feel better!!!