J.Crew raised a few eyebrows the other day when the retailer introduced a women’s size 000 to their lineup. Shopping news site Racked noted the new size would be the equivalent to a size XXXS and referenced a commenter who said the physical product featured a 23” waist.
A spokesperson for the company defended the addition, telling Today.com, “We are simply addressing the demand coming from Asia for smaller sizes than what we had carried. Our sizes typically run big and the Asia market tends to run small ... To further put into perspective, these sizes add up to the smallest possible percentage of our overall sizing assortment.”
J.Crew recently opened two stores in Hong Kong in late May with plans to “eventually” expand their first return to the Asian market in six years. J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler originally introduced the new size to coincide with the openings that month, stating that the 000 addition would be made to “accommodate smaller Asian figures” in their new market, according to Yahoo! News.
While some argued the size isn’t physically impossible and may service extra petite shoppers, others have thrown “vanity sizing” into the debate, questioning the retailer’s sizing inconsistencies and what that means for consumers.
Fashion blogger Abra Belke of Capital Hill Style spoke out on the possible negative repercussions of vanity sizing and the introduction of the “000” on the J.Crew size chart, writing:
Do they really think that a woman will refuse to purchase the size that looks best on her body because the tag number insults her fragile ego? Aren’t women made of stronger stuff than that? ... I won’t support J.Crew’s decision to expand their sizing downward because it feeds into the notion that clothing size is a scarlet letter. The practical and reasonable thing to do would be to create a measurement’s guide that isn’t abhorrently dishonest, accepting that the brand now sells size 24 clothing.
Or as Racked succinctly put it, “What’s next, negative numbers?”