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For My Next Trick, Watch Me Disappear: Do Women Really Need a Size 000?

By Cindy Davis | Think Pieces | July 10, 2014 |

By Cindy Davis | Think Pieces | July 10, 2014 |

There’s some strange stuff going on in the world of women’s clothing. Popular retailer J. Crew has decided to add a new size to their clothing line, and no, it’s not to accommodate any of the average sized American women, rather the tiny people who (apparently) all live in Asia. First off, I must be really out of the loop, because did we already know about size 00, XXS, or XXXS? Am I (generally a 6 or 8) now of proportions comparable to the average sperm whale, or is there really something going on with so-called “vanity sizing” (creating larger clothing with a smaller number to entice buyers who want to feel they’re a certain size)? I can tell you there’s a huge difference in sizing, even between sister companies like Old Navy and Gap; with comparable items like jeans, I wear two different sizes. And I’m pretty sure walking between the two stores, my waist size doesn’t change.

J. Crew Size Chart


Old Navy Size Chart (jeans)


Gap Size Chart (jeans)


Target (Mossimo) Size Chart (jeans)


Yeah, no numbers games going on here…

J. Crew claims its sizing runs large, and it created the new 000 (23 inch waist) because of a high demand in Asia, but plenty of people think this is just another marketing ploy designed to attract size-conscious customers. A J. Crew spokesperson responded to the backlash:

“We are simply addressing the demand coming from Asia for smaller sizes than what we had carried. Our sizes typically run big and the Asia market tends to run small. Also to note, J. Crew’s sizes run across the board to try and accommodate as many customers as possible…We run up to size 16, we carry petites and talls, and our shoe sizes run from 5-12.

Firstly, I despise the idea that we’re now generalizing about women to the point where a retailer is classifying an entire continent by size, and beyond that, these size games are designed to perpetuate outdated ideas of what an ideal woman is supposed to look like. For well-fitting clothing, many people rely on measurements (waist, hip, inseam, etc.) to figure out what sizes they are in the first place, so maybe instead of retailers playing around with their zeros and sub-zeros, they should just offer us the measurements. I mean, what’s next, negative numbers? Are we supposed to completely disappear? Fuck you, I’m not going to disappear.

Women come in different shapes and body types, and I know plenty of ladies who have a hard time finding nice clothes because they’re at one end of the sizing spectrum or the other. But retailer numbering is so idiotic these days, it’s fairly impossible to walk into any store and know what you’re in for, or what size you might possibly be. I can go into Target and buy some clothing in the girls’ section, and then go to another store and have to go up two sizes from whatever I think my regular size is. I don’t know who is behind the bullshit (seriously, I’d like to know who makes these decisions), but it needs to stop. We’re not talking about abstracts in the fashion world; these are real people you’re messing with — and this 000 business all sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. If you’re going to keep the numbers, instead of multiplying the zeros, how about adjusting the measurement-to-sizes up, especially if your clothing runs large? We already have enough trouble trying not to let our egos be defined by a size number, so you can take your sub-zeros and shove them up your teeny, tiny asses.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is fed up with fashion.