Friday, February 16, 2007

The Shrinking of America

America is shrinking, downsizing, small sizing, minimalized. Don’t believe me? Believe the reports on Weight gain and the fattening of the population? Think that we are all getting huge and obese? Huh. Go shopping for clothes.

From jeans to jackets to t's to sweats the sizing of clothes has reduced drastically in the last few years. Those teeny lil t’s you see clinging to the hanger have shrunken. I'm sure of it. I confirmed this a few months back when I shopped at Tristan and America. There amongst the racks was the perfect shirt for me, perfect for my weekend and would go amazing with my new form fitted denim. Imagine as I saunter to the change room, large shirt tucked under my arm only to fling it across the change room door demanding an XL. And the perky size zero sales clerk flings back and asks – you want the XXL? We have that too and that might fit you!

Or the Abercrombie visit. Looking for a shirt for my female cousin. Knowing her size and wondering – why oh why do these t’s look like they will only fit 12 year olds?

Or the product in my store, shrinking each season. Smaller and smaller and smaller. Lilipudlian in size. I can only hope that Pete Dougherty and Kate Moss wanna campus sweatshirt.
It’s the style of course and the profits. Why make a small a small when a teen size will do? And of course the styling. All chest hugging, body wrapping, body definition trendiness makes purchasing clothes a definite ego shattering chore. Wait it out, I say. Eventually the baggy sweatshirt will be back. The oversized T will return with a vengeance and all will be well in the world……At least I can go back to wearing a medium again….

Mark Patten
MacEwan Bookstores


Anonymous said...

I can certainly relate to this when I am shopping for myself. When I went to college in the 80's the fashion was to wear skin tight leggings with a HUGE sweatshirt over the top. When I started buying for my college store I never ordered size small and rarely even mediums. There was no such thing as tailored clothing for women in the college store then. Only 6 years ago I was wondering how much of my store to devote to "women's" styles. Now it is more than 1/2 of my clothing section while small and medium are my best selling sizes in the "unisex" styles. So I venture to guess that the style that has persevered for at least 6 years is to wear form fitted clothing while my more mature body feels more comfortable in a looser fit. My job has become more complicated as I try to satisfy my different customers, students, alumni, parents, staff and community. Ah...the good old days when I only need concern myself with M,L,XL,2XL.

Cassie Wherry
Grinnell College Bookstore
Grinnell, Iowa 50112

Anonymous said...

I can relate as well. Sizing seems to be so up and down these days. While I am on the 'petite' side, I have trouble finding clothes that flatter my body and don't make me look like a pre-teen. I find the cut of clothing to be very ill-fitting and vanity sizing certainly does not stroke my ego. I just want clothing that fits properly and flatters my assets not shows the whole world my business.