OPINION: One size fits few

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Just because it fits doesn’t mean you should wear it, and just because you can wear it doesn’t mean it fits. We are all built differently, and it’s important to feel comfortable in your own skin, which starts with how you see and dress yourself. It’s important to see yourself as unique.

You are one of a kind … not one of a size.

Women and men come in all shapes, sizes and body types. Especially for women, we can see how sizing charts and measurements vary from store to store. I know that when I go shopping, dressing rooms have become sort of like a guessing game. I go into one store and find my correct size and have to completely start over when I go to a different store. Certain brands and designers customize their measurements, which drastically alters the sizes we find on the rack.

What’s even more ridiculous is that some stores and brands, for example Brandy Melville, carry clothing that claim “one size fits all.” Those clothes are not made for women with a figure or any body shape all. Women sizes 0-4 and occasionally sizes 4-6 often fit into these “one size fits all” brands.

According to an Oct. 14, 2014 Huffington Post article, titled, “Teens Love Brandy Melville, A Fashion Brand That Sells Only One Tiny Size,” Brandy Melville’s store policy is based around the idea that one size fits all, and in stores and online you will only find sizes small and one size only. Instead of promoting clothes to all young women, Brandy Melville has only one target market: thin, young and beautiful women.

Unintentional or not, this brand of clothing screams fat-shaming and segregation among larger sizes.

Brands like Brandy Melville make some girls feel excluded from a club restricted to “thin only” adolescents and exiling those who don’t necessarily make the cut or who don’t typically fit the criteria.

BuzzFeed decided to call out one size fits all retailers with its Dec. 3, 2014 article “This Is What ‘One Size Fits All’ Actually Looks Like On All Body Types.” It shows multiple images of five young women with all body types, each trying on the same outfits that claim to fit everyone. After comparing how each one of them looked and felt when trying on each outfit, it’s clear that the one size fits all is not only false advertising, but is also harmful to self-esteem.

When young women see a tag that says “one size fits all,” they should expect to be satisfied; however, the majority of women are becoming more and more discouraged when they come to find out that these items are not fitting them in the right way.

One size fits all does not actually fit all – it should really say one size fits few. There is a fine line between something fitting and being able to actually wear it.

According to an April 25, 2011 New York Times article, titled, “One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10,” a women’s self-esteem goes hand in hand with the size on a clothing tag. What we know to be standard sizing in clothing is actually not so standard after all. Clothing brands and designers have altered the measurement scale so drastically that in the clothing industry, there’s no set standard sizing chart that applies everywhere.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. While I do not condone unhealthy lifestyles, clothing stores should alter their sizes so that they can be worn by the majority of people. This says a lot about the U.S. designers and clothing stores should not be advertising these one size fits all clothing items when the majority of these designs typically only fit women of the minority.

Changes need to be made so that these designs fit the average woman, or designers and clothing stores should get rid of one size fits all. There is a reason we have sizing charts, even if they have been modified, because it is physically impossible for one size to fit each and ever uniquely designed person.

Emily Peters is a sophomore in animal sciences and industry.

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