A while ago, at job #3, my retail job at one of my favorite clothing stores (I can't tell you which one, because I had to sign a social media agreement and to be honest, I didn't read it, so it's probably just best to not mention it) I greeted a really petite woman while she walked in the door. By looking at her, you could tell she was, on a bad day (for her) a size 0. There was a slight language barrier (as there is with the majority of the people who walk into the store, giving me the illusion that I am working a retail job in a glamorous country) but when she said "Pants, pants" I knew where to take her. I decided to not tell her about our awesome pant fits and decided we'd do most of this visually, because as a communication scholar, I know that nonverbal communication is often more effective than verbal. I held up a pair of pants to her (in a size 0, as those are the first ones on the rack if they are properly sized) and she said "No, no...big. Smaller?" to which I replied "These are the smallest size we have...you could try them on to see if they fit?"
What she did next pretty much blew my mind.
She took the pants out of my hand, took them off the hanger, grabbed each end of the waistband, and circled the pants around her neck. She then turned to show me that the pants overlapped (meaning the waistband did not meet together perfectly, it overlapped when circled around her neck) and said "Big...too big!" I was like "What the hell is going on? What does her neck have to do with pants?!" but instead encouraged her to try the pants on. She refused, stated she was in a rush, and left the store.
Later that day, a woman came in, and although she probably had the same native language as the woman mentioned above, she and I had an easier time communicating. When directing her to our pants and describing our pant fit, she DID THE SAME THING. I was really starting to wonder if perhaps this was a secret way of trying on pants that was specific to a certain culture. I decided to play it cool and pretend like this was normal (cause maybe it is, but I'm just not normal or enlightened enough to know this trick?) This woman also thought our size 0s were too big and asked us why we don't carry any smaller sizes (to which I, in my head, replied "Well, because that would be pretty unnecessary in America...")
After all this was over I asked one of my coworkers about this neck-circling method, thinking we'd maybe have an incredulous conversation about people using their neck as a way to try on pants. Instead she stated "Oh, you've never heard of that? If you pick up your size pants by the ends of the waistband when it's lying flat, it should perfectly circle your neck. If it overlaps, that means the pants are too big for you, and if the sides don't meet, the pants are too small."
Well. I NEVER KNEW THIS! Did you? Of course when I got home that night and took off my pants, I tried it. AND IT WORKED. This was like the day I found out that your foot is as long as the length between the inside of your wrist and the crook of your elbow.
Bodies are cool.