So, there we were walking through this store that's a bit more expensive than any place I normally buy stuff, when I spotted a nice dress on a manaquin. The thing that caught my eye was the full skirt. Those of you who dance will understand my excitement when I verified that it was indeed a full circle skirt. This was a sleeveless white-cotton dress with a full circle shirt, and that meant it was a dancable dress.
Dancable dresses and skirts are hard to find. I can find skirts in a specialty dance shop in Englad. Of course this is why I have nine different version of the exact same skirt in different colors, but it works. Dancable dresses are even harder, and here was one in a regular (if expensive) store. Given tha I almost only ever buy dancable clothing now, this was a big win.
On flagging down a salesperson I found out that there weren't many copies of this dress. (In fact, it lookes like they got just one of each size, and had sold a few already.) Upon searching, there was just a size 12, a size 14 and the size 6 that was on the manaqin. Normally I take a US size 8, but I can sometimes take a size 6 if things run large. I asked the salesperson, and she said this designer usually ran small. I was disappointed, because when things run small I need a 10. On the other hand, I really liked the dress, so I resolved to try on the 12, and I figured I might as well try on the 6 as well, just in case she was wrong about them running small. It was a good thing I did, because the 6 fit fine. If anything there was room to spare.
This brings me to the issue of vanity sizing. In high school, I wore a size 8. We shopped at cheap stores, because that's what we could afford. Now I still wear a size 8, only more and more often I wear a size 6. Have I lost weight since high school? No, in fact I've put on a good chunk. Nope, I'm wearing a smaller size because I'm shopping and more expensive stores where there is more vanity sizing going on. Vanity sizing is the practice of resizing a clothing line so that the same clothes are now labelled as a smaller sizes. The idea is that a woman will be so pleased about fitting into a "smaller" size that she'll be more likely to buy the dress. Its pretty insidious because if your wallet expands as your waistband does you can fool yourself into thinking that your not gaining girth. Also, in this case it the salewoman's addition to this practice (telling me they ran small) nearly resulted in me not trying on the 6, and 12 would have been too tent-like on me. You can have too much of a good thing. Still, I've got my dress and I like it, and better yet I'm not deceived about my real size.