by Emily Siansky ‘22
Countless movie montages show teen girls sauntering through the mall with arms full of shopping bags. However, the stereotype that women love to shop is not the reality for many. Oftentimes women are unable to find the dress that fits like a dream or the perfect pair of jeans. A major issue with not finding the perfect piece is how women’s clothing is sized.
Sizes are extremely hard to understand and to keep track of. Jeans, for example, are sometimes sized as 0, 2, 4, etc., but are also sized as 24, 25, 26, etc. Using two different sizing methods creates plenty of confusion, and it’s frustrating to have to try on multiple items before knowing what size to purchase, only for the sizing to change at the next store over. Not only is it hard enough to find the right size when there are major inconsistencies, it is almost impossible to find a similar fit for the same clothing item between various brands. Using jeans again as an example, if a woman were to go into three different stores and got the same size of jeans, they would all have varying fits. This makes it extremely difficult to find clothing that fits correctly, and can start to create self esteem issues revolving around negative body image.
In the media, mainly only one body type is represented: tall and skinny. Growing up and seeing that “ideal” body type in the media warps one’s perception of beauty and how someone realistically should look. If someone’s size gets bigger, women are scared to get the bigger size of clothing, even if the larger size is the correct one. Strictly seeing size 0 models creates the standard for all body types, but it is unrealistic to use such a rare body type as the norm. The whole idea of going up a size is shamed; it’s like everyone is expected to stay a size 0 or 2 for their whole lives.
The only real solution to this issue would be for the fashion industry to change. Sizing needs to become more universal from brand to brand. Rather than making clothing that is more or less “one size fits all” with only the smaller sizes being represented, clothing should be made to accommodate everyone’s body type. Trendy stores like Brandy Melville only use the “one size fits all” range, but because of this most customers cannot wear its clothes. Someone should not have to walk away from an item they really love just because of the size.