Your Clothes Are Lying To You: The Truth About Vanity Sizing

Your clothes have been deceiving you for years, and the lies are getting bigger. If you’re not familiar with “vanity sizing,” it’s a practice where clothing sizes are changed from the standard. It’s bad enough that many retailers have mirrors that are meant to trick you into thinking you’re thinner than you really are, but now they’re trying to convince you that you’re a size you really aren't. In fact, a whopping 40% of clothing ordered online is returned because of incorrect sizing information. Size even varies by brand. While you might wear a size 8 if you buy something at Kohl's, that same item will be a size 12 if you get it at Banana Republic. In 1958, the National Institute of Standards and Technology put forth a set of even numbers 8 through 38 to represent overall size, and a set of letters — T, R, S — to represent height. By 1983, that standard had fallen by the wayside. Fortunately, there are efforts now to standardize sizing once and for all with new technology. MyBestFit is a company that offers 30-second, full-body scans that provide you with your sizes in up to 50 participating stores. Until this becomes a standard, ignore the number if you’re smiling when you see yourself in the mirror. That’s a pretty good way of measuring the “perfect fit.”