Wednesday, September 27, 2006

when you see bones

I recently went down a size for no apparent reason. A friend suggested I was seeing the results of a retail trend to accommodate the growing size of the American consumer. It seems she was right. At 3quarksdaily on Monday, Jennifer Ouellette examined shifting size charts, the emergence of full-body scanners, too-thin models in Madrid, and the HP slim-cam.

Apparently, it's true: women's clothing sizes in the US are being progressively "down-sized," so that what was a size 8 in 1990 is now a size 6, and so on. One assumes the strategy works -- unless you happen to work in the fashion industry and are hip to the Big Lie. However, I doubt there's a broad master conspiracy afoot in fashion circles, with a secret cabal of sadistic, fat-loathing-yet-greedy designers reaching a consensus on what the new sizes will be and then foisting them on an unsuspecting public. I think it's far more complicated than that.