Anyone who has ever been on a shopping spree has experienced a similar dilemma: you might be a size large at Forever 21, but you end up being a size 10 at H&M and a small at Macy’s. Have you ever wondered what was going on with that?


For added confusion, stores now combine sizes — like sizes six and eight — and define the size as medium. The problem, however, is that none of these sizes are universal, so stores end up creating their own measurements.


Stores are doing this for a simple reason: by combining sizes, they assume this will make their business will run more efficiently. New York Magazine perfectly explained the retailers’ thought process: “If I only have to build four sizes instead of eight, my supply chain is going to be much more efficient,” one consultant explained to the paper.


According to the Wall Street Journal,

“Tadashi Shoji, the designer best known for his cocktail dresses and eveningwear, says his sizing used to be mostly numeric. That changed as alpha-size sportswear gained ground and new fabrics with more stretch, like Lycra, came into the market. “As a dress company, we are doing XS to XL,” Mr. Shoji says.”


This is also becoming a common practice with bras, which can make it especially hard to find a properly fitting bra.


With sizing already becoming typically smaller and smaller, making it harder to support the beautiful curves some women were born with, shopping is going to become even more confusing. Women will have to have a tape measure handy in order to purchase anything online.


What do you think of Alpha Sizing? Do you think it is efficient or will it just cause more headaches for customers? Or do you prefer the alpha sizing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!