American clothing makers, and "flattery sizing".

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2011 1:38 PM GMT
    Is it just me or are the American clothing makers resizing clothing to make the high number of obese people in this country feel good about themselves.

    Case in point...at 6'3", 215lbs, and a 48" chest...I can buy a size small tank top, and be swimming in it.

    According to True Religion jeans I have a 30" waist...really? Try 32-33"

    This happens with almost every American brand that I try on. I especially hate when I try to buy a dress shirt that fits in the shoulders, and sleeve length, but at the waist it looks like it was made by Omar the tent maker.

    Is it just me, or have any of you noticed this too?
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    Dec 12, 2011 6:41 PM GMT
    It goes beyond just sizing (and i would know about sizing, they no longer make my size at a lot of stores because they would be calling it a xxs). The gap (old navy, gap, br) started using medium mannequins some time ago. The standard for generations has been small... I assume this is psychological...
  • tegga8

    Posts: 59

    Dec 12, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    I grabbed a pair of chinos from a well known retail outlet, last time I visited NY. Went for my usual UK size. Could have got the whole of me down one leg.
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    Dec 12, 2011 7:01 PM GMT
    Clever little Madison Avenue mind game, isn't it?
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    Dec 12, 2011 7:04 PM GMT
    There's also a stigma here in the States when men wear anything remotely form-fitting (not necessarily skin-tight). In the US, a guy wearing something that's form-fitting is seen as feminine and, by association, gay (oh noes!). Add that on top of shirts and pants being tailored with big stomachs in mind, and you can get some pretty misleading size numbers.
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    Dec 12, 2011 7:06 PM GMT
    let's face it, Americans are fat (omg!)
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Dec 12, 2011 7:10 PM GMT
    mightymanlet saidThere's also a stigma here in the States when men wear anything remotely form-fitting (not necessarily skin-tight). In the US, a guy wearing something that's form-fitting is seen as feminine and, by association, gay (oh noes!). Add that on top of shirts and pants being tailored with big stomachs in mind, and you can get some pretty misleading size numbers.


    I think this is it. I think Americans have different expectations about how things are supposed to fit and the sizing reflects that.
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    Dec 12, 2011 7:18 PM GMT
    When Ralph Lauren bought Club Monaco, a Canadian brand, all the sizes went up one. S became XS, M became S, etc. Of course, they didn't actually stock enough XS in the stores and XL never sell.

    I also had an experience in Zara in Montreal where an average American man was complaining about nothing in the store fitting him. He asked the sales girl incredulously if every guy in the city was like "him" (pointing at me), and she said, "Yup."
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    Dec 12, 2011 7:27 PM GMT
    VIIXIX saidIs it just me or are the American clothing makers resizing clothing to make the high number of obese people in this country feel good about themselves.

    Case in point...at 6'3", 215lbs, and a 48" chest...I can buy a size small tank top, and be swimming in it.

    According to True Religion jeans I have a 30" waist...really? Try 32-33"

    This happens with almost every American brand that I try on. I especially hate when I try to buy a dress shirt that fits in the shoulders, and sleeve length, but at the waist it looks like it was made by Omar the tent maker.

    Is it just me, or have any of you noticed this too?

    Its not American companies. I just bought a pair of APC jeans (French company) and their sizes are two sizes too small. I bought a 28 inch waist. I wear a 30 or 31 normally. So its not about fat Americans icon_rolleyes.gif
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Dec 12, 2011 7:32 PM GMT
    Yeah, I can often wear small as well. And regularly buy medium. I'm 6'2 195lbs.
    But you think that's annoying, try actually being smaller.
    My bf is 5'10 ~145lbs. He sometimes has to go to the boys section to find clothes that fit. In Europe (where he's from) this is apparently not a problem.

    It's ridiculous. It also means that it often pays to shop at 'nicer' (more pricey) places, as most brands are catering to a very unfit demographic. (I can't speak to whether this has gotten worse or not over time, but it's annoying).
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    Dec 12, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    I know that since I popped a belly, due to age, my meds, mobility issues, and admittedly, a fair degree of laziness, I had to go up several shirt sizes. They're too big in the shoulders, but otherwise it looks like I'm gonna tear the fabric open around my middle. I call these oversized shirts my maternity smocks. icon_redface.gif

    I still have small and medium shirts in the closet, but now I'm wearing 2XL. My partner has to hide all the sharp objects around the house, it makes me so depressed. icon_cry.gif

    And yeah, every study shows American men & boys are getting fatter & fatter. For the clothing manufacturers it's a matter of survival, they gotta make things sized that people can actually wear.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Dec 12, 2011 7:34 PM GMT
    kandsk saidHe asked the sales girl incredulously if every guy in the city was like "him" (pointing at me), and she said, "Yup."


    I really need to go to Montreal...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    Well when I shop here (Europe) and look at the clothing labels, you can see that American sizes are a size bigger than European.
    The label will for example be as followed:

    US
    M

    EU
    L

    But that is normal when the average person is bigger, the medium size will be bigger.

    I find it odd though with numbered sizes. How can 32 inch somewhere be 34 inch elsewhere? Inches don't change :S
  • nicelyproport...

    Posts: 573

    Dec 12, 2011 8:44 PM GMT
    It ain't just you. Not too long ago Esquire published an article about "vanity sizing":

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/mens-fashion/pants-size-chart-090710

    The upside for me is that a kid's polo shirt at the Gap fits me great and costs a whole lot less than the adult version.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Dec 12, 2011 8:56 PM GMT
    VIIXIX saidIs it just me or are the American clothing makers resizing clothing to make the high number of obese people in this country feel good about themselves.

    Case in point...at 6'3", 215lbs, and a 48" chest...I can buy a size small tank top, and be swimming in it.

    According to True Religion jeans I have a 30" waist...really? Try 32-33"

    This happens with almost every American brand that I try on. I especially hate when I try to buy a dress shirt that fits in the shoulders, and sleeve length, but at the waist it looks like it was made by Omar the tent maker.

    Is it just me, or have any of you noticed this too?


    I have been convinced of this for a couple years too!

    Thank you!

    In any other country, when I shop, I'm buying a medium shirt for example and it fits well. If i buy a medium here in the US, it's falling off of me. I'm so certain they size things bigger here in order not to hurt peoples' feelings.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Dec 12, 2011 8:57 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said
    My bf is 5'10 ~145lbs. He sometimes has to go to the boys section to find clothes that fit. In Europe (where he's from) this is apparently not a problem.


    Wow, story of my life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:00 PM GMT
    nicelyproportioned saidIt ain't just you. Not too long ago Esquire published an article about "vanity sizing":

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/mens-fashion/pants-size-chart-090710

    The upside for me is that a kid's polo shirt at the Gap fits me great and costs a whole lot less than the adult version.

    Yeah, I used that trick for civilian clothes into my early 20s in the Army, when I was barely 5'8" on a good day, first thing in the morning. And went into the service with a 29" waist, weighing 63 pounds less than I do today.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:02 PM GMT
    Yeah, pretty much everything at the low-cost department stores (all that exists in the rural west) is cut for beach-ball smugglers. I found some time ago that to get something that fits, I need to go to the city and pay exorbitant prices at some high-end sporting goods store to get an "athletic fit." Recently, I found out that no manufacturer at all any longer makes wetsuits for v-shaped people. I have to get them cu$tom-made. Extra space in the middle of a wetsuit is very bad news.

    Also, regarding the US-european divide, I found that in Spain, I was unable to find tee-shirts that fit at all. I wonder if part of that might have been due to looking in the wrong place (i.e. tee-shirts aren't considered "grown-up clothes?")
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:08 PM GMT
    Well, there's no set "standard" for clothes size. All clothing manufacturers either use their own dummies or in-house models to design/size their clothing. Also, some clothing manufactures adjust their sizes for their particular target customers. Like for American Apparel t-shirts, a medium size fits like a small on me. If you go to their website, all of their models are thin and lanky. I bought a pair of Quicksilver cargo shorts a while back. It was size 32 but it felt like a size 36.
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1981

    Dec 12, 2011 9:19 PM GMT
    One unfortunate consequence to this size-inflation is I can't buy clothes online anymore... because the sizes listed frequently have no connection with reality. I have to try on everything, because each brand makes up its own version of what 31 inches is. icon_confused.gif
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:21 PM GMT
    Whenever I think of "American" sizes, Old Navy comes to mind. Their clothes just don't fit right, it's like putting on a canvas bag, there's no form or figure to their shirts, and their pants are really baggy and unflattering. It just ain't cute.

    I undertand why manufacturers change relative/subjective sizes, S-XL, since Americans are in general bigger, so sizes go up relative to other countries... but why change actual number measurements? And how are they actually allowed to lie about it?
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:26 PM GMT
    And another thing...

    I've been hosed several times after taking the time to find something that actually fits (Yay!) then quickly grabbing four more identical items in assorted colors and escaping back to the hinterlands. Only to find that each color is actually a different size.

    WTF? Are they made in different factories? Or is quality control just so lacking in clothing manufacture that "sizes" mean nothing at all?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2011 9:31 PM GMT
    Yeah. I was going to bring that up as well. Now that almost all of the textile and garment manufacturing jobs have been offshored, quality control is totally lacking. Like for instance, Dickies work pants. Each color fits differently also. The waist is usually consistent. But pant leggings vary. And since I have big legs, I really know when the size isn't right.
  • vintovka

    Posts: 588

    Dec 12, 2011 9:36 PM GMT
    My ex had to shop in the kids section to find clothes that fit him--that was strange to say the least.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2011 10:47 PM GMT
    Right! It seems that clothing sizes are all over the board nowadays. Take for example Old Navy-Gap-Banana Republic, three brands owned by the same company. With Old Navy, I'm an XL...for Gap and BR, I'm an XXL (and barely XXL sometimes). And don't get me started on all of the "slim fit" clothes out there...

    I would love to see some sizing consistency out there!