The skinny

I went shopping this last weekend in Boise, our fair state’s capital (Boise, from boisé, or wooded, supposedly first named by a Frenchman in the Lewis and Clark expedition, after a long period of traveling over the desolate southern Idaho high desert). There was an Urban Outfitters just across the street from our hotel, so I checked it out. Sure enough, I found some sweet pants for $10. They were labeled as size 0, but I tried them on anyway on the off chance that they were meant to be very loose. And yes, they fit — perfectly and extremely comfortably.

Note: my mother made my wedding dress, and according to the pattern, I’m somewhere between size 10 and size 12. Pattern sizing hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years to reflect America’s expanding waistline, but apparently clothing size has. Today’s 0 is the 1960s 12. Go figure.

I guess I’m supposed to be flattered, but if anything, I find the implication that I am a size 0 insulting. I am not a stick and I don’t want to be a stick. Being a Ross Dress for Less 6 and a Banana Republic 4 makes me feel sleek, assured — but an Urban Outfitters 0? I just get suspicious. What do the real size 0 girls wear?

Maybe this is a subtle anti-anorexia ploy, however: if you’re swimming in the smallest size they make, perhaps you’ll get the hint and eat some more yogurt occasionally. Or just move on to the kid’s section.

On the other hand, maybe the pants were on sale because they were mislabeled.

2 thoughts on “The skinny

  1. Hi,
    I made dresses for Leslie’s jazz choir, some from new patterns and some from vintage ones. The vintage ones (50s)didn’t come in less than a size 6. The girl I made it for wore a zero and was small. We thought we would have to cut the smallest size way down, but the size that fit her was a 10. The new pattern was closer to the “store” size. It is amazing the size differential over time.
    Diane McGarry

  2. It’s not your imagination, this whole ridiculous sizing thing. It’s the industry.

    I bought a fab little blue Trench Coat (I’d put it at about 25-30 years old) at Salvation Army a couple months ago. It’s labeled a 16, and it fits me, a Size 6.

    But imagine if a bunch of “Size 4” girls were running around trying to find clothes that were Size 14. Designers and retailers would be out of a job.

    And what, exactly, does it mean to be a Size Zero. That’s a question for Doctor Who.

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