[MUSIC] We heard that the measurements of jean waists aren’t always accurate. Some brands can be tighter than others. But if waist size is based on inches, how can a 33-inch in one brand be tighter than all the others? Here we have 10 pairs of jeans, all with the same size label. We’re gonna measure them and see just how big their waists really are and hopefully, reveal the reason why some are bigger than others. Before we get into these, click “Subscribe”. You’re already here. So here’s the test. We got 10 pairs of jeans, five pairs of women’s and five pairs of men’s, each in the same size. The men’s were 33 inch waist. Done. [NOISE] We measure their waists with a piece of ribbon which we then laid out on the ground and actually measured. None of the men’s jeans actually measured 33 inches. The women’s were all supposed to be a 24, but none of them were the labeled size either. Let’s rewind. Clothing sizes didn’t really become a thing until World War I, when people wanted trendy new clothes, but didn’t have the money to have them custom-made to their bodies. Records of clothing sizes have been around since the Revolutionary War as a way to give soldiers uniforms that fit. By the War of 1812, the US Army had stocks of ready-made uniforms sized around one measurement, the chest. Clothing companies said, “Hey, why don’t we do women’s size in the same way?” But basing universal women’s sizing on the size of their chest is not the most accurate way of doing it. So companies abandoned regulated sizing for women until 1958, when the National Institute of Standards and Technology announced women’s sizes would be represented by even numbers from 8 to 38. These random numbers were chosen because women hated telling store clerks their measurements, like men did, according to Time Magazine. But that too was quickly thrown out in favor of chaos. In 1958, a size 8 was this big. In 2008, a size 8 has increased by five to six inches. Since 1960, the weight of the average American has increased 30 pounds. For example, people love to say that Marilyn Monroe was a size 8, but that was actually the smallest size available in her day. So it’s pretty clear, sizing has gotten bigger. We looked at a couple of studies to see if we can figure it out. Academics have coined the term vanity sizing to describe the practice of using smaller size labels on clothes that are actually bigger. It’s a psychological trick meant to flatter the consumer, and it really works. It’s because of something called positive, self-related imagery. Basically, when a customer sees themselves in a smaller size, a 28 as compared to a 30, they think about themselves more positively. That makes them significantly more likely to buy the product if they feel good about themselves while wearing it. It actually makes so much of a difference that companies that don’t do it can be left behind. A really interesting thing I came across while reading up on this is that all these studies were done on women. Men sizes weren’t even looked at. The researchers justified it by saying that women were more susceptible to self-esteem issues around size. One professor went so far as to say that vanity sizing didn’t exist for men because they didn’t have the same self-esteem issues. Of course, our test proves that wrong, but we’re not academics. And when we asked men around the office if they had ever experienced wonky sizing, they said yes, and that it did end up affecting what they ended up purchasing.