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Size Psychology; Yes Size Does Matter!

Updated on February 3, 2012

Size Matters A Lot!!!

Maybe it's all just in our minds. But we do live in a size oriented world.
Maybe it's all just in our minds. But we do live in a size oriented world.
There is a lot of speculation about men and their shoe size.
There is a lot of speculation about men and their shoe size.
Ego sizing is big business in America, especially in women's clothing stores.
Ego sizing is big business in America, especially in women's clothing stores.

We have all heard the phrase, size does matter. On a psychological level, size perception can make all the difference in the world. Stores know this to be fact. This is why ego sizing was invented. About five years ago I worked as a dressing room attendant at Liz Claiborne. My co-workers and I used to wonder why so many women would bring with them several pairs of the same style pants in varying sizes. My co-workers would often ask me “How could it be that these women do not know their size?” The sad truth is they knew their size all to well. They were also an optimistic bunch, who would begin by trying on the smallest size first and then eventually end up with the size that they dreaded being. Ego sizing is an attempt on the part of many clothing manufacturers to help customers with the traumas faced in the many fitting rooms across the country. I remember when I was on a diet about four years ago, and I had lost about thirty pounds. I went to store and guess what, much to my surprise I actually went down from a size twelve to a four. Years earlier this would have been impossible, but for the first time in years I could fit my big rear end in a size four, amazing. Of course,I purchased these wonderful pants, and left the store with a big smile on my face. Deep down, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a real size four, or this was just another manufacturing trick.

I remember wanting to learn to sew a few years prior to losing the weight, and my sewing teacher told me to buy the patterns in a bigger size than I would get at the store. Patterns for sewing do not come in ego sizes, no they use true sizes. Let’s just say, I know that manufacturers really stretch the truth by a long haul. Size psychology is not just a women’s problem. Men also are victims of this phenomenon. I remember buying shoes for my dad with my mother a couple of weeks ago. My mother bought him a smaller size than what he used to wear in his younger days. He was not very happy about it, even though the shoes sort of fitted, we had to return the shoes, and buy him a pair in the same size he wore in his younger days. It turns outs, that the shoes that came in the larger size were too large, so now its back to the exchange department again.

As you can see men are very egotistical when it comes to their foot sizes. I guess, it has something to do with the phrase that says “You know what they say about men with big feet, they have big.” You get the idea. Come to think of it, men are very sensitive when it comes to how people perceive the size of that part of their anatomy. This rule goes for all men from all walks of life. I remember seeing the Bird Cage, and there was a part in the movie where Armand’s partner, Albert Goldmen (Played by Nathan Lane) is trying to reassure Senator Keeley (Played by Gene Hackman) at the time his wig is removed, and it is revealed that he was really a man. He tells senator Keeley that he was no different at that moment, than when he was in drag, with the exception of one tiny difference, then he adds, “not that tiny.” As you can see, even a man, who is described as being practically a breast by his gay partner cares about how his penis size is perceived. This can also be said about breast sizes as well. How many plastic surgeons are getting rich of women’s insecurities in this area? Size doesn’t only matter, but to some people, their very self esteem depends on this factor.

One word of advice, when buying men's shoes always go for the bigger size, and when buying women's clothing go for the smaller size. Believe me; you will make fewer enemies this way. I wish we didn’t have a society that is so hung up on externals, but we do. Therefore, be tactful with sizes because size does matter.


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