marks and spencer hangers

Marks & Spencer's sizing may be a little generous. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Is your ego sitting down? Good.

British high-street retailers are being accused of "vanity sizing" by increasing the size of their garments to convince shoppers that they wear a smaller clothing size, UK's The Times reports.

Damn. We knew that Krispy Kreme diet was too good to be true.

Marks & Spencer, Gap and John Lewis are just a few of the shops who have reportedly expanded the ideal measurements described for each clothing size, according to the paper.

While vanity sizing is no doubt designed to coddle us and encourage us to buy a new wardrobe for our sexy and slim supermodel figures (cough), it can cause much confusion.

For instance, a woman could slip easily into a size 10 dress (the equivalent of a US 8) in one shop, then find herself barely getting the zipper up on a size 10 in another store.

Though Marks & Spencer claims it has not altered its measurements for suppliers since 2003, following a 3-D body scanning survey of women's bodies, it has reportedly increased its ideal measurement guidelines.

According to the Times, a size 16 at the department store has gone from being aimed at women with the measurements of 97-80-104 to 101-84-109, the equivalent of an extra dress size.

"We are not sweetening the sizes or softening the blow for anyone but in 2007 we introduced a size 6 and a size 30 to our range and we tweaked the sizes on our website so they are based on an average body," a store spokeswoman told the paper.

"We were trying to more accurately reflect what customers' body shapes would be showing them. We did not change the size of the garments."

Meanwhile, Gap told the source that its size "depend on the fit and style" of the garment, while the John Lewis department store explained that "emerging fashion trends and seasonal influences dictate sizing adjustments."

"Seasonal influences"? We can only imagine what that means. In the meantime, we'll be playing it safe with a trip to the dressing room.

Does it bother you that sizes may not be realistic, or does it make you feel better about your body? Leave a comment.

Meanwhile, see what plus-size supermodel Crystal Renn has to say about clothing sizes.