In ridiculous news, J.Crew is taking their WASPy clothing to a new level by introducing the XXS or 00 size. The extra extra small clothing options is to cater to women who find extra small clothing too spacious– about a half a percent of American women.
Jokes aside, the new sizing (30.5″ bust and 23″ waist) is a part of the “vanity sizing” marketing strategy that has many up in arms. The idea is that measurements are being lowered in labels to make women feel more confident. But accuracy is not necessarily being considered.
As reported by Time.com:
“According to standard size measurements, that average 155 pound woman should be wearing a size 16, but thanks to vanity-sizing, she’s probably buying a size 10 or 12,” Jim Lovejoy, the industry director for the SizeUSA survey, told Newsweek. “Most companies aren’t using the standard ASTM [American Society for Testing and Materials] sizes any more. Sizes have been creeping up a half inch at a time so that women can fit into smaller sizes and feel good about it.”
But J. Crew insists that the new ’000′ size has nothing to do with vanity. “We are simply addressing the demand coming from Asia for smaller sizes than what we had carried,” a J. Crew spokesperson told Today. “Our sizes typically run big and the Asia market tends to run small.” And it’s true that all that vanity sizing has left the truly small out in the cold and not just in Asia. Nicole Miller introduced a size 0 (25½-inch waist) about 15 years ago because the company had a strong presence in California there was lots of demand from their Asian customers for something smaller.
In a way, one doesn’t know to be outraged by the incredibly small sizing option or thankful that brands are trying to make us feel good. But someone –small and all– will be buying.