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You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Dress Size Is About You

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) - When it comes to shopping for clothes, one size does not fit all and your size may vary depending on where you go.

What many people don't realize is there is no standardized sizing at stores across the country, which has led to fitting room nightmares and billions of dollars in returned clothing.

Your clothing size may be a better measure of your mind than your waistline. For shopper and fashion blogger Christine Cameron, the question of 'what size are you' is complex.

"So if I go to H&M, for instance, I will grab anywhere from a four to an eight," she said "But, if I went into J.Crew, I could wear anything from a double zero to a two.

The fitting room frustration comes from "vanity sizing." That's where clothing brands put smaller numbers on tags while Americans get bigger. Fashion Institute of Technology professor Shawn Carter says it's all a mind game.

Vanity sizing is a way for luxury brands and other brands in fashion to help a customer feel good about themselves by saying "you're a size 2" but when you look at their measurements of bust, waist, and hip, they could be a size 6 or even a size 8," said Carter.

One example of vanity sizing includes a size eight in 1958 would now be considered a size 14, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Giving larger clothes smaller numbers has forced manufacturers to create new sizes like zero and even double zero.

One way to know your true fit is to measure your bust, waist, and hips. Most retailers provide fit charts online so you can translate your measurements to their sizes.

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