Extra, extra?

It's never very hard for me to envision myself wearing various pieces from the J. Crew catalog, and this most recent one was no exception. Lately though, the love affair hasn't gone further than the pages.  While it's easy enough to picture myself in a striped long sweater dress, what I can't quite determine is, whether or not I'm a size extra-small or a size extra-extra-small. Or maybe I'm a size extra-extra-EXTRA small—because they have that too. And likewise on the other end of the size chart. This particular dress I've been eyeing runs up to size extra-extra-large. That's a span of eight different sizes altogether. Wouldn't it be easier for everyone if J. Crew made these sizing choices numerical? Maybe not. Traditionally, I'm a size 2, sometimes a size 0. But J. Crew's size range has since expanded to offer 00 and 000 for their numeric-sized pieces. I'm not sure than negative numbered sizes (-2, -4, -6) would be any better, but what a strange thing to consider! Obviously my body exists. It's real and visible, and physically tangible—despite its potential less-than-zero designation.

Other brands such as Aritzia (which offers sizes XXS-XXL and 00-12) feature similar ranges, especially on the smaller end. One could be inclined to assume these labels have widened their offerings to accommodate smaller bodies that were previously excluded, in which case, great! But at the same time, I can't help but wonder if vanity is at play here, too. Do retailers tinker with their size charts by sliding everything down a few sizes in order to trick us into feeling better about our bodies? For example, is someone who traditionally wears a size large more inclined to purchase a dress if she fits into a size medium or small? What do you guys think?


Shame On Us