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Muscle, weight, vanity sizing

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Old 08-08-2010, 11:04 AM   #1
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Question Muscle, weight, vanity sizing

I just looked up the average size of a US woman because when I went shopping a few days ago I had a hard time finding size 10's. So I was assuming size 10 would be average and was really just curious. I found a couple odd numbers.

1. 5'4" 162 pounds and size 14

2. 5'4" 140 pounds size 14

3. I am 5'4" 170 pounds and a size 10

Now, the size part is arbitrary and meaningless because, whose size 14 is it? Targets? Gaps? Liz Claiborne? I imagine my size 10 is about the "size 14" these articles suggest.

But 140 pounds and a size 14? And how is there such a big difference in the weights? Who's doing these studies? And both studies were done in 2010. And one study said we've gained 11 pounds since the last time this study was done.

Does anyone have any accurate info or reputable sites to check out? That's if you care to discuss this. I just find it interesting.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:52 AM   #2
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I've always heard it as 5'4" and 150 lbs.

But, I've never heard sizes, most likely because that depends on body shape, muscle, etc as well. But weighing 140 lbs and wearing a size 14... Hmm... Perhaps? Seems like that would be pretty pear shaped... Last time I weighed around 180 lbs, I work a 16-18 I believe... And I'm 5'8"... Hmm.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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I don't think the size 14 and 140lbs can be right. I'm 132lbs at the moment and almost 5'4" I vary from size 2-4-6. This sizing depends on the store of course. At the higher end stores eg Banana republic, I'm a 2.

Are American and Canadian sizes that much different?
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:14 PM   #4
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US sizes just keep getting bigger and I think UK sizes have stayed the same, though I could be wrong. I don't know where Canada falls, but I remember in high school UK sizes were always one higher than American sizes and now they're two higher. But really, it completely depends on the store. I don't think an American woman can any longer claim to be any particular size.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:47 PM   #5
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im 5'6 and 145 lbs and i wear a size 12. I could squeeze in a 10 but i hate a muffin top
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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I am 5'3 and about 175 and wear a size 16 or 14....just getting brave enough to try on some size 14s. But size are weird one store i got a 14 another one I had to get a 18 to make sure it was loose enough in the hip area
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:12 PM   #7
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I'm 5'3" and about 142, & I believe I am "between sizes" right now, as the saying goes. I wear either a size 10 or an eight. My waist is small & swims in size 10, & so you'd think I'd be an eight, but my thighs seem to be causing issues lately in size eight. (I think it's my quads.)

The real conundrum is on top -- sometimes I'm a Medium Petite & other times I'm a Small Petite. Really, it seems to go 50/50.

But numbers mean nothing in the wacky world of women's clothing sizes.

Case in point: I got myself a very, very nice sweater the other day -- I mean, very nice, with a European salesgirl wrapping it in tissue paper & putting on a gold-sealed sticker & placing it inside a rope-handled shopping bag --& in that store, I had to buy an XL. Yeah, an XL. Had you asked me about this beforehand, I would have predicted that I'd be upset at being an XL, after all my hard work. But it was like an out-of-body experience & I could not find it in me to take it personally. I haven't worn a real XL in clothing since 2007, so I feel amused more than anything else
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saef View Post
.

Case in point: I got myself a very, very nice sweater the other day -- I mean, very nice, with a European salesgirl wrapping it in tissue paper & putting on a gold-sealed sticker & placing it inside a rope-handled shopping bag --& in that store, I had to buy an XL. Yeah, an XL. Had you asked me about this beforehand, I would have predicted that I'd be upset at being an XL, after all my hard work. But it was like an out-of-body experience & I could not find it in me to take it personally. I haven't worn a real XL in clothing since 2007, so I feel amused more than anything else
Awesome!! I used to buy really nice clothes...I want to buy really nice clothes again! That size XL means nothing, as we both know. It's just its size at that store.
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mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






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Old 08-08-2010, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliana View Post
I just looked up the average size of a US woman because when I went shopping a few days ago I had a hard time finding size 10's. So I was assuming size 10 would be average and was really just curious. I found a couple odd numbers.

1. 5'4" 162 pounds and size 14

2. 5'4" 140 pounds size 14

3. I am 5'4" 170 pounds and a size 10

Now, the size part is arbitrary and meaningless because, whose size 14 is it? Targets? Gaps? Liz Claiborne? I imagine my size 10 is about the "size 14" these articles suggest.


But 140 pounds and a size 14? And how is there such a big difference in the weights? Who's doing these studies? And both studies were done in 2010. And one study said we've gained 11 pounds since the last time this study was done.

Does anyone have any accurate info or reputable sites to check out? That's if you care to discuss this. I just find it interesting.
Regarding "average"... that doesn't seem very meaningful. You'd have to compare people of the same height, weight, gender, and fitness status to make any kind of meaningful comparison.

As I mentioned on another thread, I just tried on a 20 year old Talbot's jeans skirt in size 14 and got a pretty big shock. It wouldn't even THINK about fitting...even though I'm fitting nicely into 12s now in a lot of brands. The skirt belonged to my mom, who is coincidentally, 5'4" and 140. It does fit her, although it's not too big for her.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:05 PM   #10
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American sizes are way off, I remember when I went to visit my friend, I was a size Medium in the US, while here in Europe I already had to shop at special larger sizes stores. No need to say I LOVED shopping in the US! (I was about 180 lbs for 5'8" at the time, if memory serves me well)

Vanity sizing happens here too though, my old '10's are definitely smaller then the new ones, especially in the boobie area.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:31 PM   #11
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I'm 5'3" and 174lbs, right now I'm wearing very loose size 14s, can't quite fit into 12 yet.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:05 PM   #12
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I don't know, but the change in clothing sizes has driven me nuts! I've bought nothing but larger clothes (ie, bigger than what I already owned) for YEARS now. So buying them on the way back down the scale is getting confusing. For instance, when I was a junior in high school (only 10-11 years ago) at one point I was a size 18 at 5'4" and about 190lbs. Right now I'm a comfy size 18 at 220lbs, and I can get a pair of 16's on but can't zip them up yet. It's crazy!
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:59 PM   #13
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I'm not really sure what the difference is between new sizes and old ones because I haven't saved any clothes that would tell me, but I know darn well there is a difference. The amount of muscle a person has definitely also causes differences. I have more muscle than a lot of women and I am currently headed into an 8 (I can fit into a stretch 8 just fine now, but while I can zip a non-stretch, they are way too tight to actually wear) and I am 5'2" and 165.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:04 PM   #14
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I haven't been clothes shopping at a department store for a few years. I've been buying things at thrift stores.

I am 5' 7" and at 129-132 pounds I wear my size 10 clothes.
Up to 150, I wear my size 12 clothes.

I have size 10 and 12 clothes from the late 1970s through ca. 2000. It sounds as though a real size 10 has been re-named to an 8 or a 6.

In the 1940s, the size I wear was named a 14 or sometimes a 16. I have some of my mother's old things.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #15
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I was a size 14 when I was around 180lbs at 5'5" However, my grandma, who never threw anything out, had a lot of "size 14" clothes from the 40's and 50's that were really more like a size 8 in today's sizes.
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