Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Medium Sized Conspiracy

If clothes maketh a man, does clothes size maketh a woman?

Perhaps. Why else would some of us chase the coveted but almost unattainable size 0? Unattainable sizes aside, here's something I came to realise in July last year (yes, this post has been pending for almost a year) but never managed to get the contents into the blog editor until I was clearing out my drafts and saw this title, and some inspiration from Pat Hatt's post on conspiracy theories

See, between July and August every year, we receive a form with our names on it with a few columns to tick (shirt size and pants size among others), and every year since they introduced the new uniform, I've been ticking on size M. I figured you'll be on the safe side of not putting on too much weight if you maintain your uniform size throughout your working years. Turns out, this isn't particularly true.

It's been awhile since the new uniform and the new sizing came into effect. I have three different sets from 3 different years so far, all sized M only in theory, but when you actually use them, the ones from 2009 are slightly smaller than the set from 2010, and the set from 2010 are slightly smaller than the set from 2011 (there's a slight difference in the sleeves which enables me to differentiate which uniform belongs to which set - plus the fact of how worn out they look) 

Size M throughout the years


My love for conspiracy theories went into overdrive, and I figured (for some unfathomable reason) that someone out there (the tailor??) was trying to fool you into thinking you've not gained too much weight to be still able to wear the same size you did three years ago. I checked around with others, but only a few others noticed the difference in size. I was trying out to figure out why, and then one day as I was browsing through the net some time ago searching for size conversions I came across what they call "Vanity Sizing" Ahem. So much for conspiracy theories unless you consider the very idea of vanity sizing as yet another conspiracy theory.

23 comments:

  1. Sometimes it seems like people are just misjudging their own size, but if you're comparing the clothes and they really are different, then you could be right about a conspiracy theory. Remember, a paranoid person is just someone who hasn't been proven right.

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  2. I like what you said about paranoid ppl. Ha ha... Of course the size difference between the sets are not as big as I drew them, but there is definitely a difference when I put them on.

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  3. i know what you mean. i got a couple of M sized t-shirts from this place but the sizing is pretty out - they look more like L or XL.
    do you know that in Japan, i'm size XL ??? i must have the biggest butt there.

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    1. To maintain sanity, I think we should try not to go shopping for clothes in countries like Japan and China. :)

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  4. They're all in cahoots, alright!. Pat's right again. (You know he's a.l.w.a.y.s. right...)

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    1. LOL yep can't argue there

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    2. Oh yes, they are, and Pat is always right...

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  5. We should just have a standard set in stone for everything, so that a size M fits in measurements of length x to y, width a to b, and so on. Gets rid of all the confusion if we can get all the clothes manufacturers to follow along.

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    1. If only they would, life would be so much easier. I suppose if proper brand names themselves didn't bother, it would be impossible to expect an independent tailor to be able to make exact sizes, I guess.

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  6. Something does seem a little suspicious and such with that hmmm, they could very well be all in cahoots and just trying to keep people happy, which isn't such a bad thing I suppose.

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    1. Well I can't deny that keeping people happy is not too bad.

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  7. Oh vanity sizing definitely exists over here too. I am an Australian size 8 (small) which I think is a 6 in the USA. Our new uniforms have very strange sizes, we are all wearing at least one size smaller than we actually are. All my pieces are 6 and many of our Asian staff had to have theirs specially made as size 6 was too large for them! Some of them are wearing XXS

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    1. Definitely sounds like vanity sizing... or the tailor could be using wrong measurements. The "Asian" (read: Chinese) people here too are very small sized and you feel rather insecure with yourself when you shop for clothes in local brands.

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  8. With Americans constantly getting fatter and fatter, maybe that's what we'll just end up doing.

    "Oh, what size are you?"

    "I'm a size 2," said the 300 lb woman.

    Meanwhile, I'll be a -10.

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    1. Ha ha.... I wouldn't be surprised at all. :)

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  9. A few weeks ago there was an article on the Daily Mail website on how UK stores have changed sizes to suit their target market. And they had a size 12 model who went to each store and wore a size 12 dress from that store - and in most stores, it was either too big or too small. Only one store sold her exact size!

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    1. How are people supposed to keep track of their sizes this way? Sigh....

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  10. I've read about that and notice it in stores. I find it maddening, because often I can't even wear the smallest size available unless I shop in the department meant for teens. I ordered a dress from a company I love and had to exchange the XS for an XXS. That has not always been the case, and I assure you I haven't shrunk.

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    1. Yes, I can imagine how annoying it would be to get something and then realise it doesn't fit, regardless if i's too big or too small

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  11. Or it could be the makers trying to save money - do you think that is a possibility? I know of it happening with groceries, though not with uniforms. In our local supermarket the own-brand lookalikes of branded products DO look very similar, yet suspiciously smaller. Just very slightly. 900 grams instead of 1 kg. for instan

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    1. I think that happens here as well... 250g packs down to 233g packs. I suppose if the unformed were getting smaller cost savings could be a very good explanation.

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  12. Wandered over to say thank you kindly for signing up to follow Bizarre Scribble and i've now signed up to follow your blog to :-).

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