J.Crew's New Size Triple-Zero Jeans: Necessary or Insanity?

07/10/2014 at 04:53 PM ET

J. Crew Fashion WeekBrian Ach/Getty

How skinny are your jeans? J.Crew customers are asking that very same question now that the retailer has introduced a size smaller than 0.

The just-launched size 000 fits women with a 23-in. waist, according to the company’s size chart. It’s the equivalent of an extra extra extra small.

Shoppers took to Twitter to make fun of the gimmick. “J.Crew knows that size 000 already exists as toddler 4T, right?” wrote Twitter user @sassycurmudgeon. And from user @juliesnark: “J.Crew now offers size 000 pants for Americans who want a new cool headband.”

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Others criticized the company for vanity sizing, the controversial (and pervasive) practice of assigning smaller sizes to clothes to essentially flatter someone into making a purchase. The idea is that if you actually wear a size 12, you’re more likely to buy a dress if it’s a size 8 because it makes you feel good about yourself. “J.Crew’s vanity sizing has reached a whole new level of crazy,” said a post on the fashion blog Racked. “What’s next, negative numbers?”

But J. Crew denies that it’s trying to boost egos — rather, it’s looking to boost sales in its new stores in Asia. According to a company spokeswoman, the new size was introduced in May when J. Crew launched two stores in Hong Kong, and the 000 is only available there as well as on the website (where they also carry up to a size 20 and extended sizes in shoes and swim).

What do you think of this latest development? Thoughts on vanity sizing in general?

–Stephanie Pfeffer

FILED UNDER: Denim , Designers , Fashion

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Showing 211 comments

guest on

skinny people need clothes too

guest on

i think this is totally necessary. i’m a petite woman and i personally can never find jeans to fit me. i end up paying twice the price in order to have them altered! no one has an issue with a size XXXL, infact they’d probably be criticized for not offering it… an XXXS is no different.

Sarah on

Dear Fashion Industry,
Please make sizing standardized so a size 8 always means the same thing. Please also abolish XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, etc.. Sizing should be a number. Numbers don’t judge you.

Katie on

I work at Jcrew and I want to explain that our sizes run big. If you’re normally a 2, you’re a 0 at jcrew, normally a 6, you should probably buy a 4. That being said, you can see how a 000 is necessary for some customers, especially to help bridge young ladies who dressed in crewcuts to womens. It’s not meant to encourage a waif like figure or eating disorders, but to help fit a wide range of customers. There are many petite women in the world. Jcrew runs up to a size 16 so it’s not like Abercrombie and Fitch where they’re excluding larger women. This merely opens up our clothing to more people but the media is sensationalist and puts this body conscious spin on it.

Jenn on

When my daughter was 9, she was too skinny and too tall for kids size 12-16 clothes. We found size 00 were too big in the waist unless they were ultra skinny jeans, but the length was finally right. The 000 size would have been helpful. Now 12 yrs, she is in a size 4 and isn’t worries about being “too fat” to fit in a 000 or even a 0. She’s just grateful that we can find clothes that fit her. I’m betting that the people wearing those 000 are going to be other tall, thin kids and not adults.

Evlisd56 on

No because they use vanity sizing. I wear a size or two smaller there as compared to my other clothes.

Lexi on

That’s just crazy. If you are at a point where you wear a 000 than that’s a sign that you need help. I feel like J. Crew is just adding another unrealistic goal for women to reach. Now people are going to try to get to size 000.

Lee on

Our society encourages being happy at any shape (to help heavier woman feel comfortable with their bodies). We even have been taught to say “curvy” instead of heavy now. Im a 27 year old woman whos genetically tinier. I have faced criticism and harrassment for my naturally smaller frame my entire life. People need to get a clue as well as some compassion and not just assume that if your body is a certain size, that its intentional. The same way a woman shouldnt be made to feel ashamed of her size 20 that J Crew offers, is the same way that a woman shouldnt feel shame or face controversy over her smaller size. The comments includes in this article from social networking sites on show how ignorant people are. Comparing a waist size to a 4T is just as offensive as using the “N” word. We cant control genetics.

Kiskacb on

The triple zero makes no sense to me. Sizing graduates to positive whole numbers (except shoes) as we grow in size. Why not negative numbers in the other direction? Why not -1, -2, etc. as opposed to triple zero? I could care less what size your waist is. I’m just baffled by the sizing thing.

DI on

There are people out there who have rapid metabolisms and are just naturally skinny, no matter how much we eat; however, I would think a 000 is an exception. A size 0 maybe, but I can’t imagine how tiny a 000 would be.

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