Wednesday, July 2, 2014

J.Crew Now Offers XXXS {yeah size 000!}

"Thanks!" to Cousy & Ina Mack (in this post) who let us know that J.Crew is now offering size XXXS, also known as numeric size 000.

It is hard to imagine that a size 000 can even exist for retailers. However it is just an example of how much vanity sizing is still at play.

I also find it difficult to believe that I am smaller size-wise today than ten years ago, despite weighing slightly more. Every time I try a European sized item, I am reminded of my real size (although even the European retailers are vanity sizing more and more). I have often wondered if I am fitting into a size 0 and 2 myself, then what size do the real size 0 and 2 customers get, if they get the item at all.

I have no doubt that there are customers who rightly are size 000 in J.Crew's clothing selections. And its great that these customers' needs are finally being addressed. Many JCAs have even mentioned buying from the Crewcuts line because those clothes fit them (and are slightly cheaper too!)

However, I can't help but think the real answer to the size 000 is to not vanity size items anymore. Even though I know this intellectually, I remember all those times I was happy when I "fit" into a size 0. I am clearly guilty of buying into vanity sizing.

So... I don't think vanity sizing is going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe one day there will be a size XXXXS, numeric size 0000.

"Thanks!" to another JCA (I can't remember who, apologies about that!) who posted a comment on this blog about Capital Hill Style's "Discuss: J.Crew’s Downward Spiral Lands on Triple-Zero" post. A great discussion can be found over there on this very topic.

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's new 000 size offering? Do you think this is a good move for J.Crew? Please share!

41 comments:

  1. In the meantime, there are over 1900 items in the women's sale section this morning...

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  2. I'm AGHAST at this development. Seriously? I guess just more opportunity for bloggers and Instagrammers to proudly point out what size they are wearing and for more young girls to starve themselves so they can point out they are wearing XXXS -- "yes, this is XXXS." I don't know what this world is coming to. And, I can't wait to hear all the comments defending this move.

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  3. They should just start negative sizing. Once you need to go below zero, it should be like -2, -4... it couldn't be any more ridiculous than adding more zeros and x's to a size.

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  5. I wonder why they're adding 000 but not going any further up in size? I have seen complaints time & time again about how scant their offerings are in larger sizes. Doesn't seem to be any consistency in what they offer in a 14 vs a 16, from what I have read. And now I will stop myself from making snarky comments re: the bloggers that annegav mentioned above - "I'm wearing the XXXXSP because I am SO! VERY! TINY!" Whoops, that slipped out.

    (I totally get that some women need that size, I really do, and I am not trying to be size-ist(?) whatsoever. But there are certain bloggers who are oh-so-smug in constantly declaring their wee tiny petite-ness and it makes me want to barf into my size six(!!) Minnie pants. As Liz Lemon would say, "Blergh.)

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    2. I thought it is helpful if i state my size,so other ladies can see how the sizing of the garment is.

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    4. Ina, I actually thought of you when I wrote that HOPING you wouldn't think I was referring to you, because I wasn't! I can tell (everybody can tell) when people are stating their size to be helpful. But there is a definite braggy, delightedl tone by some bloggers I have seen who seem to think being XXXXXSSSPPPPP is everyone's goal, & that those of us who are not that size are fat jealous losers.

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    5. Glad to hear you didnt think of me:)

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    6. Ina, *I* definitely didn't think of you at all. As a blogger, it's your duty -- imo -- to list your sizing in review posts. I'm relying on reviews to tell me the truth about the items. Not the generic size chart or Photoshopped pictures online.

      What I believe Taylor is talking about is very tiny bloggers that go on and on and ON about how biiiig everything is. Pulling the garment away from the body to show just how biiiig it is, in every single post. Some of these individuals then encourage you size down if you're going to buy said skirt/pants/whatever. Now, if I were a new visitor to the blog I would quickly see that I'm not the same size as a triple x petite (slaps knee), However, with all of the dramatization, I would feel confident sizing down. Hopefully I wouldn't buy that item on final sale because there's a good chance that I was unintentionally misled and it wouldn't fit.

      I also agree with Taylor that there is an undercurrent of delight in some of the blog posts about being soooo small. I've also seen an uncurrent of competition. I don't feel competitive or take it personal when reading such content. But I usually don't visit those types of blogs often because they just don't resonate with me. And that's ok.

      An excellent blog about the challenges of being small is Alterations Needed. Kelly doesn't go on and on about her size, and she offers detailed, helpful posts about alterations.

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    7. Yes, Gigi, that is exactly what (or who, rather) I was trying to say. As I said, everyone can tell when a reviewer is legitimately trying to be helpful in terms of how something fits. What grates are those who intentionally boastful about their stature - as if everyone wants to weigh 95 lbs & be 5'0". I truly do feel for those of you who struggle with finding clothes that fit - whether it be small enough or large enough.

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    8. Taylor - I was 93 lbs in high school topping out at 98 lbs as a senior and it was no fun shopping in the kids dept when everyone was in juniors clothes. I wore my mom's petite size dress to graduation because I couldn't find anything that wasn't too childish or too mature. The dress probably looked a bit sophisticated, but it fit well, was modest and that was what I needed. So I understand and feel for the teeny tinies, but being boastful, as you said, no bueno.

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    9. I am 5'7" & when I graduated high school I weighed around 105. I couldn't find anything long enough! (To keep on topic, sort of, I wore a size 2. I weigh 32 more lbs than that now & I am "only" up to a 6? Yeah right! I don't think double 0 even existed then.) And this is neither here nor there but I saw a dupe of the dress *I* wore to graduation at Target last week - long crocheted maxi dress. Mine was white, of course. This was 1998. I guess that look is "back," but not for this girl.

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    10. I'm not sure I saw all petite blogs or most comments made by petites, but from what I saw I find difficult to agree with some comments in this thread. As a small person I can tell you that it's very difficult to find clothes that fit. I totally understand that people looking for petite sizes would blog about that, I can't really exaggerate how time consuming and frustrating is not to be able to find wearable sizes. In the last few years this improved a lot, but since I'm in my thirties, finding clothes to go to work some years ago was near impossible. For informal clothes the problem wasn't that bad because I would just go to the girl's section, but it was impossible to find 'professional' clothing. I sense that some commenters have the idea that being petite is a panacea, or something we petites would boast of. In my personal experience that's far from being the case. As a petite you're put in the stereotype of 'cute' at best, which can be fine when you're very young or in another time in history, but not when one tries to develop a career in the 21st century. I can tell you that nobody associates 'petite' with 'powerful' and 'boss'. I'd rather be taller and there's no diet that can bring me there. I'm fine with my weight now, but until my twenties I was perceived as 'too thin', starting with my mother's disappointment of not having a 'healthier looking' baby and child, and hearing comments about how I wasn't healthy or how much I was dieting to look skinny. If anything I had compulsively eaten to try to gain some weight so that I'd stop hearing those comments. I'm just saying this because sometimes I feel like there is a misunderstanding, and I'm not talking about this thread, but comments can easily get hurtful. Sorry if I went too personal but I just wanted to throw my 5 cents to my dear JCA's.

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    11. Maria - I absolutely hear what you're saying and agree with your comments. The point I was making is that there's a difference between lamenting & venting about the frustration of trying to find well fitting clothes vs bragging about being small. I still get carded for Lotto once in awhile, which is ridiculous to me. I know it's a combination of my face looking young (thanks, genetics), but also people associating age with my height. So I totally hear you and your points are valid. Particularly the point about not being able to find professional clothing that fits well. Some of those topics have been addressed very well by petite bloggers. Some of them -- not all -- have laced their frustrations with a bragging tone of being soooo small. Some of them going on and on and *on*. If I visit a blog as a new reader and immediately see post after post of the same thing, it becomes tiresome really fast. It's not a matter of disbelieving their view point. I can see they're tiny. I see the challenges. However, some bloggers & commenters will in one breath complain about being so small, not being able to gain weight no matter how much they try and then say they 'only' ran, say, 6 miles that day. Or they ate a ton of food over the weekend and will cut back during the week. So which is it? They're frustrated that they're small? Or they are actually trying to maintain that level of thinness?
      I already feel like what I wrote could be seen as snarky without linking to specific examples, but please know that wasn't the intent. I just think there are solutions to some of the clothing challenges that are presented to the smallest, most youthful looking shoppers. Shoppers on the other end of the size spectrum don't have the same options. And finally, as someone who has been talked about both directly on my blog and elsewhere online, I try to not take things personal. People are gonna say what they want and judge things they see online thru whatever filters they have. It's not an easy thing to remember, but I try. So I hear you on feeling sensitive.

      As always, thank you to Alexis for maintaining such a great forum for J. Crew lovers to discuss things that people in our "real" lives couldn't care less about ;)

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    12. Oh, Maria - I hope I didn't offend you with my remarks. Of course I understand that there are legitimate sizing concerns on both ends of the spectrum & I was in no way insinuating that ALL petites are smug about their stature! I think Gigi & I have read some of the same blogs, lolz. I am at a point I have not been at in a very long time concerning being accepting of my body & my current weight. Reading some of the comments of said bloggers, you can tell the intent is to make you feel bad about yourself for NOT being oh-so-wee & delicate.

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  6. Granted I know there are gals out there who fit into the "000" size ratio but it just seems a bit excessive to me. At some point we're going to be losing track of the zeros ...

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  7. Off-topic but - just got an email for an extra 40% off sale styles when you use your J Crew card with code CARDSONLY. Email states this sale will go live for everyone tomorrow.

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  8. Yet another ridiculous step in sizing. Maybe I should be grateful b/c I'm on the very low end of the size chart, but seriously -- when I started wearing "grown-up" clothes in the early 90s, I was a size 4 or 6, depending on manufacturer. My measurements haven't changed much, but thanks to vanity sizing I'm now a 00 petite. Or, as shown on the size tags, either OOP or POO -- which is kind of the way I feel about sizing nonsense at all points on the size chart.

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  9. Women come in all sizes and it would be good for J. Crew to stop vanity sizing and just start making the 0 a true 0 and go up from there - adding a few sizes to the top end. I used to be very small and so I know what it's like to be sized out - happy for those who can now shop at J. Crew.

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  10. I know whenever I comment on this blog, it is usually about sizing gripes (although I'm also concerned about the increasingly awful style and quality). I'm not gleeful about being a size 0000XXXXXXS or whatever. In fact, it can be strangely demoralizing to think that my size is something in the multiple 0s, almost as if my body is so slight that it doesn't exist or something. If J. Crew doesn't want to make something in my size, that's fine--but don't have your sizing chart say that I AM going to fit into it. I would imagine that it is frustrating for women of all sizes to order clothing online that the sizing chart says will fit them only to open up their packages to items that don't fit at all! I wish retailers offered clothing for women of all shapes and sizes in flattering cuts and excellent fabrics that are consistently sized according to a clear and correct sizing chart.

    My husband never has this problem. As long as I have his measurements, I can buy him anything from a number of retailers by following sizing charts. He may not be the same size in every brand, but as long as I get the size that corresponds to his measurements on the chart the clothes fit him. Why do women seem to get the short end of the stick here? We are the ones often buying (and paying a lot more) for clothing.

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    1. At least (premium) denim brands tend to be measurements-based. Though 7s tends to vanity size. I'm a 24 for most brands, but take a 23 with them.

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    2. I find the same thing, but the problem is also the price differential. Considering that I have some older J. Crew clothing that I was able to afford in high school that fits well and still looks great, it's frustrating that I'm now paying much higher prices for brands that fit and offer the same quality (sometimes, admittedly, the quality of these designers is better) than what J. Crew offered a few years ago.

      Some brands that I have been gravitating toward recently (because they fit, often follow their size charts, and are usually of good quality) include: Rag & Bone, Paige, SFAM, Tory Burch, Tibi, Alice + Olivia, Reiss. I've found that their clothing usually follows their charts, although one or two pieces may be cut larger or smaller. I also love Vince which often runs a little large, but their pants fit me in size 24 and their XXS tops drape perfectly instead of looking slouchy and sloppy. Higher-end designers also fit well, but as an early twenty-something graduate student I'm not in a position to shell out $$$ for Alexander McQueen. The only reason I can buy what I do buy is because of my husband's job. If I were single and on a grad student budget in the city of Chicago, I don't know what I'd be buying!

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    3. How tall are you? I can't wear many of Tory's dresses and skirts because they're such an awkward length (I'm about 5'2") and any alterations will ruin the design. For me, Milly and Nanette Lepore work fairly well, whether I need alterations or not. DVF isn't bad either.

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    4. I'm 5' 5" but have a very slender frame, so length is usually not an issue for me. I have some Milly dresses that I like quite a bit, but Nanette Lepore is usually too large for me. Some DvF fits well, but I haven't purchased any pieces.

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  11. I posted about this on DelectablyChic! last week and yeah, I'm tired of vanity sizing. 000 is basically a 2012 00 or a longer version of 00P. I'm kind of tired of this. Are people THAT obsessed with numbers? I also think the reality is that brands don't want to be seen as a "plus size" line, so they will continue to call their largest size a 14 or 16, even though it's closer to 18 or 20.

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  12. I really don't like this kind of sizing, it really gives me the message that I'm some sort of freak. I'm a small woman, ok, but not THAT small. I'm 5'2" and weigh 110 lb. When JCrew shirts size PXXS are too big on me I feel like I'm told that I'm exceptionally small and that I should rather apply to be displayed on a circus. I really don't see myself that small, nobody tells me on my daily life that I'm really small, and I only receive this kind of message with this style of sizing. I'm grateful that JCrew has small sizes, but why name them as some sort of exception in humankind?

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  13. I just wish vanity sizing would stop all together. Can women please have measurement-based sizing like men? I know my husband is a 36x32, and a 42 on top, and his neck size for dress shirts. I can almost always buy him whatever he needs based on those and they will fit him well. But for me, I'm either a "0, 2, or 4/XS or S" depending on how the garment fits or where I'm shopping. I'd love to not have to try on multiple items and spend long amounts of time deciding what seems to fit better.

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    1. Like I said in another reply, we already have this for denim and even with waist/inseam measurements, brands can still vanity size. I take a 24, with a 30 inseam (when it exists) for most brands, but I size down to a 23 with 7s. I think everyone sizes down with that brand - even men.

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  14. I'm not as outraged about the sizing as much as some ladies are. The wonderful thing about J Crew, specifically, is that you can call in and get the specific size information for any garment, 24 hours a day. I don't know of any other mall retailers that can provide that information. I tried with Gap once and 30 minutes later, no dice. The eager and helpful SA and I were back to consulting the size chart & what I'd previously ordered to try and figure out what size to try next.

    I agree w/Friendly Femme that we should have numeric sizes as the men do. I know that if I were faced with my real waist or hip number every time I looked at clothes, I might be more inclinced to be consistent with my workout. I think these made up numbers are a real disservice in that regard. When I worked in retail, 3 lifetimes ago, I could never explain our sizing to the frustrated travelers from other nations. I still can't.

    I'm way more irritated with dolman cuts, drop-shoulders and exposed zippers.

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    1. How would it work for dresses? Would you go by bust? Bust/Waist/Hips? I can see waist/inseam (or waist/hips/inseam) for pants and waists for skirts, but not sure about others.

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    2. CynthiaC - It will probably never happen, but my vote would be for hip size. Bust and waist are generally smaller than hip size on most and can be taken in.

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  15. This new sizing makes me even less likely to shop at J.Crew because now I have no idea which size to order, and since I am a "special" size that's not available in stores this means I may have to order up to three sizes to find out what size works best for me (I already order one petite size and one regular size every time I want anything) and then face the irritated sales associates who sometimes get very snippy about returns.

    For what it is worth, I am Size X at J.Crew and Size X+4 at Boden, and Size X+4 at Boden fits so well because of the TAILORING and QUALITY. For example, the Boden's Chelsea turn-up cropped pants in Size X+4 make me look slim whereas the Minnies/Cafe Capris/Pixies in Size X add weight and make me look stumpy and dumpy.

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  16. I appreciate this article addressing the vanity sizing rather than just trying to shame petite women, as some corners of the internet tend to do.

    When people are unaware of the vanity sizing I sometimes receive comments bordering on rude... "You wear a size ZERO? That's not even a size! Damn girl!"

    But my size 0 used to be called a 2... And before that it was probably a 4. Once you put vanity sizing in motion it's hard to stop...

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    1. I think people who are MOST UNAWARE of vanity sizing are body image activists. Really, if you're going to be a body image activist, shouldn't you, you know, KNOW ABOUT IT? *DUH*

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  17. Good grief! When will they start having negative sizes? And all just so they don't have to call anyone xxL.

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  18. I feel like I'm always late to comment, but I have plenty to say about this topic. I've enjoyed reading your comments on this post and the ones on Capitol Hill Style

    I'm 5'3 and 105 pounds, and I will benefit from the addition of 000. I have a 00P schoolboy, but a lot of times things that I try at the Crew drown me. I tried on the regular 00 schoolboy (huge in the chest) and a popover in front of an SA, and the poor thing had no words except to tell me to try online. I bought 2 boy shirts and wore them (only weeks before they released a petite version), and while I can make them work, they are generous on the sides and I constantly need to retuck and adjust them.

    However, the vanity aspect of this is ridiculous. I'm small but I'm not THAT small! Alexis is right, if the 4s and 6s buy 0, what do the 0s buy? The others are also right, you can feel like you're in the circus or you don't exist!
    I would love for JCrew and others to fix their systems and start sizing with ONE 0, which is most likely my size.

    I feel like other stores are trying to size me out as well. I have minimal luck with Gap, Express, etc, but even contemporary brands can be a gamble. I can do a 24 in most denim brands, but XS and 0 in many tops and dresses can still be too big. These brands should be cut for a younger, smaller customer! Frustrating!

    I understand the comments about petite bloggers boasting about size, but some of us aren't like that and fit into the xxxs club naturally. I like my body, but you're more likely to find me complaining about how hard it can be to find clothes than talking about how great it is to be petite! :)

    Cobalt-POO made me laugh out loud at least twice
    Gigi-agreed, love Alterations Needed
    Flower Power- if someone needs to order 3 sizes, you would think it would be time to fix your system, right?
    Others-agreed with the clothes not fitting the size chart. I hate ordering things that I think will fit, only to find they're much too large

    Related to the topic: I recently ordered the Factory Linen Stripe Tank in XXS and I swear it was mismarked. Imagine taking a tank that fits you and sewing 4 inch panels into each side. It looked like a tent. If it really was an XXS, that's the best example I can give of out of control vanity sizing. Yikes!

    Ok, I think I gave my 10 cents instead of 2, hope that's ok! Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

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    1. Yes! I agree entirely. I am 5'4" and 110. Oh, and a 30 DD. I am not a small girl and yet I often find J Crew 00 too big, especially for work pants. I appreciate the smaller sizing.

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  20. My thoughts on the situation...
    http://caitmackenzie.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-zeros-please.html

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