‘Subzero’ sizes no biggie

Azka Khan

It’s a ritual that bonds every woman from size 2 to 12 – finding the perfect pair of jeans. The frustrated sighs inevitably follow as women find the jeans are too big or too small, too long or too short, too tight or too loose.

Fortunately for many female consumers the denim industry is becoming more accommodating.

Recently, many brands including American Eagle, Express and the stores of Gap Inc. have made jean sizes available in short, regular and long. This gives women more options in terms of finding the perfect fit.

At a time when jeans are readily available in many different sizes, women are still frustrated and angry at the denim industry, and it has nothing to do with the revival of the skinny jean.

In the fall, designer Nicole Miller will introduce her subzero collection -ÿjeans designed for naturally petite women who have a 23.5 inch waist and 35 inch hips. This spring, Banana Republic will introduce its subzero sizes available on its online store.

The invention of size “00” has women asking if this is another ploy to make them feel fat and damage their self-esteem. People are also considering the damaging health effects to teenage girls, many of whom already suffer from eating disorders – especially due to glamorization of ultra-skinny celebrities like Nicole Ritchie, Mischa Barton and the Olsen twins.

Surprisingly, there is a demand for size “00” in America, and there is a logical explanation behind it.

Jeans today are vanity-sized, which means women are buying jeans that have a smaller size on the tag but are not actually a smaller size. For example, the size 12 in the 1950s is now a size 6, and a size 6 is now a size 2. Petite women who traditionally occupied sizes 0, 2 and 4 now try on jeans that are actually a size 8 or above and, therefore, do not fit them. This is where subzero sizes come into play.

These women do not advocate eating disorders or starvation diets. These women have nothing against their typically sized female counterparts. They just want what every woman wants — jeans that fit.

For all the women who scoff at the idea of subzero sizes and hate on the women who wear them, rest assured that no matter what the size on the tag, no one knows it but you, and maybe varied sizing is just what women need to breathe a sigh of a relief after finding that perfect pair of jeans.

Azka Khan is a junior magazine journalism major and is an ALL correspondent for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].