I posted part two of Why retailers change clothing sizes over on VanitySizing.com which explains how sizing likely evolved at retail and all the interelated complexities and dependencies. The first entry was content I sent to a reporter from a national radio program who was collecting information for a story on sizing and obesity. That story has not aired, it may have been dropped. Considering the flurry of interest generated by the NYT story over the past two days, they’re probably regretting it.
Speaking of the NYT story, that reporter has become a veritable “authority” on sizing claiming on The Today Show (can’t find the link now) that sizing was standardized by the Civil War -leaving the erstwhile implication that we’ve fallen down on the job since. Hmm. [Considering my apparent boundless obsession with the subject, it is odd I didn’t get that memo.] It is true the first attempts of a men’s sizing study was taken circa the early 1860’s (courtesy of Wampen) and likewise true that the Union’s uniforms were most likely drafted according to proportionate scales (it’s still on the back of your L-square, it’s that old) and order by quantities based on specifications (as all manufactured uniforms must be) but standardized sizing across the board? I think not. But I digress.
I meant to tell you of other content on the Vanity Sizing site. There’s quite a lot of skepticism with respect to research in The phlogistonists of vanity sizing. Phlogiston theory was a new concept I learned. It refers to research about a non-existent element, hence it’s utter appropriateness when used to describe vanity sizing. I had wanted to explore the related concept of Russell’s teapot but that will have to wait for another day. My central point being, if vanity sizing existed, it would have left artifacts in its wake, namely, all manner of instruction directed at manufacturers on how to do it more effectively. If we detail minutia of plant, process and procedure, one would justifiably surmise that easily locating documentation of so common a practice -minimally mercenary service providers who’d help you do it- but no, there’s nothing in the vast repertoire -or middens if you prefer -of institutional knowledge.
There’s another entry explaining that yes, expensive designer clothes are sized smaller than mass market apparel. Imagine that, the polar opposite of what is claimed. And there’s another entry about the downsides of culling one’s research on sizing courtesy of Google. Obviously, my hobby of disproving a negative is time consuming -if you wonder what I’ve been up to when not posting here. For all I know, you’re glad of the respite. I am amusing myself by finding images of mythical creatures to load with each entry.