Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vanity Sizing for SUV's?

America is growing fatter and the clothing industry is adapting to accommodate our growing girth while preserving our vanity. Vanity sizing or 'size inflation' refers to the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing in nominal sizing growing larger over time. So a size 6 from the 1950's might be a size 10 or 12 today. Some highlights from a recent study:
  • Because smallest sizes are growing, clothing makers are inserting size '0', '00' and negative sizes to compensate.
  • More expensive brands tended to be smaller than less expensive at the same size.
  • Vanity sizing is designed to make buyers appear thin and feel better about themselves.
  • Dress sizes from the Sears catalog,  a woman with a 32-bust would wear in 1937: size 14, 1967: size 8, 2011: size zero!
  • The Esquire measured mens 36" waist pants at 37-41"
That leads me to the mobility question, when speed limits decrease does the industry sell faster looking cars?  As traffic congestion increases do we buy more SUV's?  Look around and count the number of big cars you see. Do black SUV's feed vanity more than white SUV's? Listen to the commentary at the KPCC Pat Morrison show.

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