Dress Size Insanity

Chicos Sizing Chart

While checking out fashion styles recently, I came across this women’s sizing chart on the Chico’s website – http://www.chicos.com/store/page.jsp?id=45 . There is also a Petite Size chart underneath it.

They are saying that ‘because size is just a number’, they have made it simple to find your size when ordering. Yes, women’s dress sizing is confusing all around the world and we need conversion size charts to buy either from the Internet or when on holidays in another country.

But to me this is just going a step too far. It is sizing gone mad. You will note that their sizing starts at 000. I can’t get my head around that as to me, and maybe you, size 000 is for very small newborn babies. To me, a size this small is not a mark of pride but is saying that you are no size (ie an invisible woman). Maybe young girls want to be that but as I grow older and as a Baby Boomer Woman, I want to be a woman not a girl or a newborn.

I do know that there are certain genetic traits we are born with and that some nationalities have smaller body shapes than others. Part of our challenge as women is to find labels that cater to our particular height and shape as well as offering garments that are modern in style and colour.

To their credit, Chicos does include 3 explanations for each size they offer eg ‘Size 00 (2, XXS)’ for items of clothing. Their Chicos size always comes before the conventional sizing. They do include chest, waist and hip measurements and these are truer indicators of what size to buy than the number or letters before them. For petites, you have the same sizing starting at 000 but just with a letter P after every size (eg 000P). Sounds more like a mistake than a size.

If the sizes at least reflect a range of healthy genetic shapes, that is fine. When they are introduced to allow women to hide being unhealthily underweight or overweight under low numbers, it is encouraging self-deception. What do you think?

PS – I have just smiled as I noticed the Spanx Sizing Chart underneath the normal sizing charts. Now that is another topic.

 (Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

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