Is This a Feel-Good Sizing Backlash?

the anti feel good sizing scheme?Riley Bodley of Waukon, Iowa bought a pair of size 0 jeans from American Eagle five years ago when she was in 9th grade. Recently, she went back to the store to purchase a new pair, and found that she had gone up two sizes to a 4. Aghast, she pulled out the old pair of zeroes and found that they were actually BIGGER than the fours. What is going on?

Well, one possibility is that the older jeans may have stretched out over the years? And it kind of makes sense that in college you might wear two sizes larger than when you were in ninth grade, if only because humans tend to grow during that time.

However! The internet is freaking out over Bodley’s discovery, and conspiracy theories are rampant. But why on earch would want to make women believe they wear a larger size than they really do? This is not a recipe for a happy customer who will shop at your store again soon.

In fact, it flies in the face of the feel-good sizing concept. For decades now, brands have been decreasing the number on the tag while increasing the actual measurements of the jeans. Consumers got to feel the dishonest euphoria of fitting into size 4, and maybe that would mean they’d be back sometime soon to get another hit of that primo stuff. I know I was hooked.

The American Eagle theory is the exact opposite. Is the brand trying to create some type of exclusivity? Are they just mean people who want to spread low self esteem? Or perhaps they’re trying to bring sizing back from whence it came?

Or, maybe her jeans stretched out. The only way to know for sure would be if Bodley had measured herself five years ago and we could compare her present day and past measurements.

In lieu of that unlikely scenario, I sent an email to an American Eagle’s PR representative to ask if they’d changed their sizes and will let you know if she gets back to me. In the meantime, is this something you’ve noticed? I’d love to hear about it!




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