Have you ever gone to your favorite store to pick up a new pair of reliable jeans? The same style, same fit, and same size – but they’re too tight?
I would usually say don’t worry, you’re not the only one – but you should worry. And then you should do something about it.
I’ve seen posts going around social media where women post pictures of their jeans side-by-side, and I know you probably have too, but each post is unique. Some jeans are all the same size on the tag, but clearly not in reality when compared to each other. Other jeans are all fitted to the same person but vary from size to size on the tags.
Yet both have the same message.
The numbers on women’s jeans are just that – numbers, and they don’t make sense.
The average pants size of women in the U.S. in 2019 was 18-to-20, and the average size for teenage girls was 12, according to Daniel Bubnis, who has a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion.
These sizes aren’t even available in most stores women and girls shop at in your average mall!
Men’s jeans are more accurately sized specifically based on waist and length, whereas most women’s jeans found in popular stores are a bit less sensible, with waist and length measurements consolidated to even sizes ranging from 00 to 16, not even counting most plus-sizes.
“The US, in general, uses the Size 0 standard, which corresponds to a waist and hips range for jeans sizes,” says Blitz Results. “There is a ½ inch difference between both the waist and hip for every size up. A size 4, for example, could fit women with a waist size of 26-26 ½ inches and 34 ½-35 inches hip measurement.”
After comparing several current denim size charts from Aéropostale, Charlotte Russe, Liverpool Jeans, 1822 Denim, and Miss Me Jeans, it appears Blitz Results’ claim is mostly true – but many companies differ slightly.
In the past year alone, I have gone from a size 4 to a size 8 according to Aéropostale’s jean sizings. However, my old size fours fit better than my new size eights, and they’re hardly even stretched out.
So why has Aéropostale changed their sizing so radically this past year?
Many other popular stores like Aéropostale, including Charlotte Russe and American Eagle, target girls and women from teenagers to young adults as their primary sales audience. These stores’ ever-changing size charts are toxic to impressionable young girls’ and women’s body imaging and self-confidence.
There’s already a known issue of body shaming and bullying in the U.S., especially within these age groups, and large, successful clothing companies should be fighting AGAINST it, not kindling the cause.
Female bodies are naturally curvier than men’s, and even so they can be quite skinny due to high metabolisms or they can be packed with extra love, making it incredibly difficult to find any size on the all too basic current sizing charts – jeans, dresses, and jumpsuits included.
Getting all of your clothes personally tailored WILL rack up your bills, so it’s understandable that most people wouldn’t even consider that an option. A more feasible option would be to change the way we measure the sizes of jeans for women – by their waist, length, AND hip size.
This is why I urge women to stand up to big companies and demand a better sizing regime. And in the meantime, remember that size is just a number!
We will NOT be bullied by clothing companies who try to tell us that we need to be small to be beautiful.