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Some Clothing Companies Switching To ‘Alpha Sizing’

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Next time you shop for new clothes and try to find your usual size, you may not find it.

As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, a growing number of companies are going for something called alpha sizing.

Instead of a number, many companies are switching to sizes by letter. For example: a size 4 and size 6 would turn into a small; a size 8 and 10 would become medium; 12 to 14 would be large.

Clothing expert Frederick Magner said the problem for many consumers is that each company has a different idea when it comes to sizing.

“For example, a medium it could be an 8, 10 or it could be a 10,12,” he said.

Magner said retailers can save money with alpha sizing, by making fewer sizes, which would lead to less excessive inventory in the stores.

There’s also psychology behind moving away from the numbers.

“So when a woman walks into a store and she’s normally an 8 but then she goes on to try it on and now she’s a 10, chances are she’s not going to buy it,” Magner said.

Shopper Jessica Voyd agreed, saying “The letters kind of make it sound smaller. The numbers if you think about a size 10, it kind of sounds bigger as opposed to like a medium.”

Some men told Hsu they liked the idea of making things simpler.

“6, 8’s, 10’s…I’m a guy I don’t know,” said Upper West Side resident Michael Schwarz.

In fact, men have been seeing alpha sizing in their clothes for years.

Retail experts said alpha sizing may also clear up confusion when it comes to figuring out international clothing sizes.

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