06/19/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Vanity Sizing: Are Retailers Making Clothes Bigger So Customers Feel Better?

We know that some clothes run big and others run small, but could retailers be changing garments' sizes in order to make their customers feel better? Probably, according to the Times UK. "Vanity sizing" defined as "a ploy in which stores flatter women by making clothes bigger so they think they are buying a smaller size," is in stock at a store near you.

Brands calculate the measurements for their sizes based on their different customer bases, meaning a size 10 at H&M wouldn't fit an older woman who buys a size 10 at Talbots, for example.

But some chains have been recalculating their own sizes, meaning a size 10 today isn't the same as the size 10 sold several years ago:

Gap, the American manufacturer which still uses inches, has seen some of its clothing measurements grow in the past two years. In 2008 a size 14 garment would be 37in at the bust, 29in at the waist and 39in at the hip. Today the size has grown to 37.5-29.5-40.