A New Perspective: What's behind the size tag

Small, medium or large- whether you’re a teenager or an adult, most women have compared the size of their body to that little tag on a piece of clothing.
Small, medium or large- whether you're a teenager or an adult, most women have compared the size of their body to that little tag on a piece of clothing.

The end result can leave some walking away discouraged.

So why aren't sizes consistent with every brand?

We did a little bit of shopping ourselves and found out.

"When I go to a store and I pick out my size and it ends up that size is too small I generally won't buy the item because that makes me feel really bad," said Sarah Roebuck, Acme Resident.

That feeling dates back to Sarah as a teenager - as she started paying attention to the numbers and the letters on her clothes tags.

"I understand some sort of different sizing but if I am where I don't want to be size wise, I will not buy that item from that store."

But just how different do sizes vary between brands and how accurate are they?

"Even though the tag might say a ten, it might fit a six," says Sarah.

A difference of four sizes?

We wanted to test this out ourselves so we headed to Traverse City's Goodwill Store and Donation Center.

Kama - who usually wears a medium in tops and a 4 in pants - decided to try on all different sizes on this shopping spree.

In an extra small shirt, Kama says it wasn't too tight.

Then in small, Kama didn't see much of change in how it fit. So we skipped a few sizes.

"Camouflage!" said Kama Mastromonaco. "It's got my name all over it this is extra extra large"

The result?

"Granted it's a little bit too large for my liking to wear every day but it still fits pretty well," said Kama. " This [shirt] is a large and I didn't even try it on but it just seems so small it seems like it would actually be tighter then a small."

Moving over to pants, her first try-on was a size two -technically a size smaller that what she usually wears.

"They're a little snug but not too bad," said Kama.

A size four fit her the same- so we moved up to a six.

"I can't get them over my butt," said Kama. "They are super tight like I won't be able to bend over"

Then, an eight - which is two sizes larger than then jeans she walked in with.

She said they fit, but...

"I feel like I have to stretch them out," said Kama.

So what was the take away?

"I have something of every size in my bag so that's interesting that it was fine and I'm happy," said Kama.

But why so many size variations?

"If you get clothing from Europe or Montreal it's going to be a size smaller and in the United States we kind of slowly made a small in the United States way bigger than what a small used to be," said Dawn Campbell, Fashion Store Eleven Owner.

Dawn has been in the fashion world for 8 years and says she still doesn't "get it" on why certain styles have to be cut smaller than others.

She's even stopped selling brands in her store because of it.

"It's an interesting phenomena because it means nothing," said Campbell. "It really means nothing. Like I know because I have this dress on I'm not an extra small woman and I know that if this happened to be an extra large in my head I'm not an extra large woman. I know I'm Dawn Campbell this this is my body."

And for anyone who can't look away from the size tag?

"Cut the tag out if you have to," said Campbell.