Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ann Taylor Loft "Size NONE" Hang Tag

Today we have something a little bit unusual. There are a lot of common elements that emerge if you spend enough time looking at hang tags (as evidenced by the Glossary page), but every now and then, something unique catches my eye.

Here, we have an Ann Taylor Loft hang tag with a very unique feature: It says "NONE" on it. At first glance it looked like perhaps an error printing, which had me excited, especially since I found it alive in the wild. Upon comparing it to some other tags, it turns out "NONE" is the size!

This was attached to a scarf, and so it stands to reason that it wouldn't have a specific size. However, I was surprised that the space was not left blank, or printed as One Size Fits All, which even has its own accepted abbreviation (OFSA).

The use of None is problematic in my view for a few reasons. First, it looks like an error or omission. Without taking the time to compare it to others, one wonders, what was supposed to be printed here? A color? Care instructions? The None just leads to more questions. Secondly, "NONE" is not the most accurate descriptor. The scarf clearly has a size, it can be measured. Even if we accept the proposition that in clothing "sizes" are only useful as they categorize and compare human bodies, NONE isn't really accurate, as we already have a bucket for those products that do not rely on the S/M/L size hierarchy, OSFA.

The only positive I could come up with was from a "body-positive" view that rejects the idea that people should conform to the sometimes unrealistic standards of fashion sizing, and that this one simply says that its buyer cannot be reduced to a single size from their complex self. I reject even that notion, however, as NONE rather implies to me that the size is immeasurable, non-existent, non-computable. Personally, I would not want to be told that my size was so unusual it could not be expressed in written terms, I'd much rather just exist somewhere along the OSFA spectrum.

That aside, I was really excited to find a hang tag with something I had not seen before and that gave me a chance to examine it. Interesting stuff.

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