Thursday, July 10, 2014

J. Crew’s XXXS {not vanity sizing, made for Asia}

I can hear some of you now. "Alexis, another article on XXXS? Ugh." This will be the last one for awhile, promise! ;)

The following is an article from ABC's Good Morning America (click here to read in its entirety and to watch a related video):
J.Crew’s New XXXS Isn't 'Vanity Sizing,' It's Made for Asia
By Susanna Kim
July 8, 2014

Both fans and foes of J.Crew are abuzz this week about J.Crew's new size: XXXS or 000. Who would want to wear a XXXS, which fits someone with a waist size of 23 inches? A lot of untapped customers in Asia, according to the apparel company.

The privately-owned retailer said it extended additional sizing to accommodate customer demand primarily coming from their market in Asia -- Hong Kong in particular.

J.Crew's online sizing chart lists a range of clothing that includes size 16, petites, tall, shoe sizes from 5 to 12, and special swim sizes for long and short torsos, D-cups and more.

...Some marketing experts call J.Crew's new size a savvy business move.

Retail expert Jennifer Black, CEO and president of Jennifer Black & Associates, said many retailers tend to stock smaller sizes in low numbers as it is. She applauds more options for consumers and said J.Crew's reasoning to appeal to customers in Asia is not surprising.

"We feel like the retailers in general never make enough in small sizes. What stocks out first when an item is hot are sizes 0 to 4," said Black, who is 5'5". "I’m a 00 at [Ann Taylor] Loft in pants. Then I wonder what really small people do. They don’t have a whole lot of options," she said.

If J.Crew were to really support "vanity sizing," the company would have slowly shifted its sizing chart larger, such that customers would believe they are wearing smaller sizes. But Black said that would be impractical from a business perspective.

"They would have to re-size the whole wardrobe, which I would doubt they would do. People order the same size and it would be too big. The only thing you don’t want to do is go the other way: that's like the kiss of death."

Gigi Ganatra Duff, vice president of public relations and communications at HSN Inc., said she applauds J.Crew's move, if it provides options for more body types.

... "The real marketing win is not in the size number but the number of sizes," Duff said.

"Thanks!" to Ina Mack (in this post) who originally mentioned this last Monday in her comment ("I heard from Ema,that the 000 is made for the Ladies in Hong Kong.")

Also, "thanks!" to a "J.Crew spokesperson" who shared the following:
...we extended additional sizing to accommodate customer demand primarily coming from our Hong Kong/ Asia market.  This has nothing to do with vanity sizing and accounts for the smallest percentage of our overall sizing assortment. As Im sure you know, we also offer size 16, petites, tall, size 5 and 12 shoe  sizes as well as special swim sizes (long and short  torsos, D-cup, etc) also introduced based on demand.
So now we finally know J.Crew's official reasoning behind the introduction of the XXXS size. I wonder if the new size will be available only overseas, or in all J.Crew markets.

Since J.Crew introduces sizes based on demand, I thought it would be interesting to hear what JCAs think should be a new offering at J.Crew, if any.

What are your thoughts on the article? Do you think there should be a new size offering at J.Crew? if so, what would you like to see?


  1. Tiny in Tokyo. I get it. I read that in a comment elsewhere a week or so ago and it made perfect sense to me. I'm not up in arms about it triple x zeros. The decline in design elements is far more disturbing. Take back those exposed zippers and give me darts and side zips.

    What's upsetting me the most is Ryan Gosling & Eva Mendes having a baby. How about that.

    1. They are having a baby!? I didn't know that! S/he is going to be one beautiful child! :)

    2. Side zips okay for dresses, not for tops. Remember how awkward it was to try to tuck in one of those silk tops they used to do with side zips?

  2. Makes sense. For once their explanation doesn't sound like fluff. Changing all the sizes to accommodate a smaller size, without having to resort to using the XXX prefix, would probably cause mass confusion in regards to sizing. Even more so than now. However I don't think that they will limit this size to their Asian market as there are tons of smaller ladies over here of Asian descent. My best university mate will probably be able to shop wholeheartedly at the Crew now.

    Gigi, I so agree. I miss the days when I'd be salivating over their wonderful clothing while bookmarking almost every page. I don't remember a single item or styling from the last few catalogs. Ooooh and don't get me starting on the devil's spawn that is exposed back zippers...

  3. Yeah I am kind of over all of the complaining about vanity sizing. I have more concerns about quality and design issues.

  4. True. Doesn't matter about the sizes if there aren't any garments worthy to purchase.

  5. Wow! That's great news that they are responding to a need. :-) Now if only they could start offering plus sizes, since there are women I personally know that would *love* to wear J. Crew but are unable to because they are a size 16, 18, 20, 22, etc. BTW, saying they have size 16 and size 12 shoes is a bit redonk since most of those sizes are only available in their bridal/bridesmaid section. In reality, I just purchased a pair of shorts in a size 10...ONE size smaller than the biggest size they came in. Size 12 was the top size. 12!

  6. Yeah I wear a medium in knits and sweaters but tailored items with no give I take a 10/12, when they only go up to a 14 (or even sometimes a 12) that leaves out many customers. I usually take a 12 in shorts because they are cut small (and too short) many times.

  7. We were in Hong Kong last week at the tail end of an adoption heritage tour of China for our daughter who is 11. We did stop briefly into the IFC mall (where the Crew just opened) to escape the heat and humidity. Husband and daughter were just too wiped to walk around so we didn't go in search of the store. She did stop into the Gap though by our hotel and bought some XXXS pants that fit her tall, thin body beautifully. I wish I could have done school shopping for her on the trip. The Gap (& really every store) was jam packed. China is a much wealthier country than it was on my trip 10 years ago.


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