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Size creep or fashion creep? 
20th-Mar-2011 10:46 pm
My waist size changes a good bit in the course of a month, or for that matter, a week... within the last 10 years I would say that if I wanted to really fit, I'd get pants in 29/31, but I usually buy them in 30/30 because it's easier to find and more forgiving of a good Chinese meal. (I am not sure I can fit into 29" pants anymore, but the 30" ones are still comfy.)

About a year ago I bought a pair of pants which I really liked, size 12, from Lands' End. Do I remember the model? Nope. They were kind of loose, but that's okay -- they wouldn't get past my hips if they were to start to fall down, and I wouldn't need to unfasten them if I ate too much. And if I were really concerned, I could put on a belt.

Last month I went back to Lands' End and found some pants which I thought were similar, size 12. They were just way too loose. AND they didn't have belt loops! One was "wash in cold" and the other was "dry clean". I washed them both warm, and they were still way too loose.

Measured last year's models -- they had a 34 inch waist. This years? 36. And they DO fit past my hips. I'm either going to have to put some elastic in, or take some huge darts!

What I don't know is whether size 12 is the new size 16, or if they made them so I could show off my underwear. What I do know is that I'm annoyed.

(Yeah, I'm the same one who has found size 7 shoes that were too small and size 5.5 shoes (both women's) that were too large. Maybe it's just me.)
21st-Mar-2011 09:45 am (UTC)
I don't think it's just you. I've been seeing a lot of articles on the internets about this lately. In fact there was one, not too long ago that even brought up how the bastion of consistency (and frustration for us) - men's pants sizes - was fudging on waist measurements.

Did a quick search and found what I think was that original article:

Just means everything still needs to be tried on *sigh*.
21st-Mar-2011 11:14 am (UTC)
I bought two pairs of Lee pants a few weeks back. Same style and size. Only difference is the color, which means different fabric too. The gray ones were a bit tighter than the black, which were actually a bit loose. The gray are actually too snug to wear comfortably after I washed them so I measured them. Not only is the waist an inch smaller, the rise is almost an inch shorter! Not a good combination!

I'm used to sizes varying between brands but to see that much difference within the same brand I think is poor quality control.

I actually spent quite a bit of time last year looking for decent jeans as I lost weight and the old ones no longer fit. I finally had to order them from Land's End because what was in their store and every place else I tried, was not what I was looking for. I did find jeans that fit...like a second skin all the way down to my calves and that's just not a good look for me.
21st-Mar-2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's likely that you wear a smaller size number than you used to. This is called "vanity sizing". The theory is that you'll buy a piece of clothing soley based on the fact that it's a smaller size than you usually wear.

Also, commercial clothing producers cut their fabric with what is basically a band saw. Fabric is layered up (as much as a foot high) and then cut. In this case the pieces cut that were on the top of the stack are a little larger than ones at the bottom. If I find a pair of pants that I like but the fit isn't quite right, I start pulling out other pairs of the same size & comparing them until I get what I want.
21st-Mar-2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Tegan, you are such a smart cookie. I knew that bit about the bandsaw but didn't think about the ramifications. Good job!

Margaret, we've got the same problems here. I've recently decided that my future dressing style will be similar to that of Steve Jobs: jeans, tennis shoes, and for me probably a button-down blue Oxford shirt. Maybe a dark silk jacket for special occasions and a wool jacket for winter, cotton jacket for the rest. That means I need to find a pair of jeans that fit well, buy 6 pairs, and stop gaining weight.

Sigh. Right. I'll get right on that.
21st-Mar-2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Oh good heavens! I knew that some women's clothing stores were doing that. But I sure didn't expect it from Lands' End. Feh.

(And yes, I have a friend who has done that -- not so much to make her feel better about her size, but to make her inlaws shut up. Which I guess is sad but understandable.)

I had never heard or thought about this mass-cutting before... but I guess it makes sense. Feh.
21st-Mar-2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
It's not just you. The whole industry has their heads so far up their collective behinds that it's a wonder they don't see out their navels.

I'm very thankful I've gained enough weight to buy jeans in stores. That way I can try things on without paying shipping fee times two.
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