J. Crew recently added ‘000’ to their sizing chart for those with a 23-inch waist, and whether this is a good or bad thing isn’t too clear.
Are they trying to glorify a smaller waist? Are they just trying to appease the growing demand for smaller britches? Or are they cheap and want the market to get smaller so they can save fabric and charge the same price?
What’s the #jcrew(flippin)truth?
Well, probably not the latter. But some are wondering about the first two questions.
Some consumers believe J. Crew and American culture are just promoting that mythical body achieved by a combination of models and Photoshop, according to New York Daily News.
“We live in a country that promotes anorexia and shame for women’s body type,” Jennifer Appel told the Daily News on a trip to J. Crew. “J. Crew is a really powerful brand because Michelle Obama likes it, so they are making a national and international statement.”
An NBC intern, Kara Goldberg, agreed with Appel and said, “It’s setting a bad example of ‘how small do you have to be.'”
“According to standard size measurements, that average 155 pound woman should be wearing a size 16, but thanks to vanity-sizing, she’s probably buying a size 10 or 12,” the industry director for the SizeUSA survey Jim Lovejoy told Newsweek (via Time). “Most companies aren’t using the standard ASTM [American Society for Testing and Materials] sizes any more. Sizes have been creeping up a half inch at a time so that women can fit into smaller sizes and feel good about it.”
But, is that it? Is J. Crew (and Michelle Obama?) trying to shrink and shame our world’s women?
Some say no: J. Crew is helping small women find great pants.
A great day starts with a great outfit #jcrewtruths
— J.Crew (@jcrew) June 2, 2014
“I’m glad they are that low because I’m petite, and it’s hard to find clothes that fit,” Joanne Mariscal, a retail worker, said.
For some, the news of a smaller size means more options. Not every woman is the average size, and not every woman can go to any store and find a pair of pants that fit. And certainly not every woman is as well off as famous petites, such as Kiera Knightly, Victoria Beckham, or Audrey Hepburn, who likely had their clothing tailor made.
“It’s ridiculous when you see a 40- or 50-year-old woman asking for kids’ clothing in a store because that’s what fits,” Janine Heidt said.
J. Crew insists they meant no harm in the size and were only addressing the demand for smaller sizes coming from Asia.
“We are simply addressing the demand coming from Asia for smaller sizes than what we had carried,” a J. Crew spokesperson told Today (via Time). “Our sizes typically run big and the Asia market tends to run small.”
The truth could really lie in demand. Though, why label sizes as a mathematical redundancy (0 three times is nothing more than 0)? And why label sizes with numbers smaller than the measurement unless it is for vanity purposes? Did they not want to do an overhaul of their sizing just to add a new size?
(And where can I find some 007 pants?)
What do you think is the #jcrewtruth? For vanity? Or for demand?