Vanity sizing, also known as size inflation, is the practice of labeling clothing with a smaller size than what it actually is in order to make the consumer feel better about their purchase. This practice is not only unfair to consumers, but it also doesn't make sense from a business standpoint.
Vanity sizing is completely unfair to consumers because it leads to confusion and frustration when trying to find the right size. For example, a woman who typically wears a size 8 may find that she needs to purchase a size 10 or even larger in order to fit into a particular brand's clothing. This can be disheartening and can make it difficult for consumers to trust the sizing of a particular brand. Vanity sizing can also make it difficult for consumers to compare sizes across different brands, leading to even more confusion and frustration.
Furthermore, vanity sizing can be especially unfair for those who are already self-conscious about their bodies. For example, an individual who is struggling with body image issues may feel even worse about themselves when they are forced to purchase clothing in a larger size than what they are used to. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and can be damaging to one's self-esteem. It can also lead to unhealthy eating habits, scam diets and body disorders.
Moreover, vanity sizing doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint. By labeling clothing with smaller sizes, brands are essentially tricking consumers into purchasing clothing that may not fit them properly. This can lead to increased returns, which can be costly for the brand. Additionally, vanity sizing can also lead to a loss of trust in a brand, as consumers may become frustrated with the sizing and choose to shop elsewhere.
One of the reasons brands use vanity sizing is to appeal to consumers' egos - to make them feel good about themselves. But this type of marketing strategy can backfire, as customers who have to constantly size up can feel discouraged and may eventually stop shopping with that brand.
Brands should be transparent about their sizing and label their clothing with accurate sizes in order to maintain trust and loyalty from consumers. Asking for measurements, trying on clothing and not being ashamed or afraid of different sizes is what we should all be doing.