100 lb. Club - Have sizes changed?

View Full Version : Have sizes changed?

03-05-2008, 05:59 PM
Back in the late 80's, I was 5'6 and weighed 140-145 pounds. I always wore a size 10 jeans. On very rare occasion I could fit into an 8.

It seems to me that what used to be a size 10 is now like, a size 8. All the sizes seem to have gogtten bigger!I just can't see how anyone who is 170-180 pounds can wear size 10 jeans. Am I nuts? Anyone else notice this? When did sizes change?

03-05-2008, 06:02 PM
Yes they changed a few years back. I think if you do a search on vanity sizing, you might find more info about it.

03-05-2008, 06:04 PM
I think it depends on the brand. I'm 207 and wear a size 13/14 (and my pants are getting too big). Of course, I wear a 13 in juniors, sometimes in womens a 14 is WAY too big and sometimes it's WAY too small. My sister wears a size 8/10 and always has... I really don't know.

03-05-2008, 06:18 PM
I definately notice that clothing sizes are way off today... When I try on my mom or grandma's clothes from when they were my age I can't squeeze into a 12 at all... but that is the size I currently wear. It also seems that some brands just make their clothes whatever size they want b/c I can wear from a 10 to a 14 depending on the brand...

03-05-2008, 06:21 PM
I've heard that like every 5 years or something they change the dimensions for jeans and in general clothing.

03-05-2008, 06:22 PM
Also, don't forget that people as a WHOLE are getting bigger! People are a ton taller these days--- I mean, my cousins who are in their early teens (including a girl) are all over 5'11" tall!!!!

The taller we are, the wider we are so that our stature can handle the extra height...

Speaking of which--- I remember last summer there was an article in our paper about how a local Theodore Roosevelt Historical Society was putting on a fashion show of Wedding Dresses worn around that time in history. WEDDING dresses. And they said the only females who could model them were 10 year old girls. Amazing, huh???

03-05-2008, 06:42 PM
According to some studies, Americans don't seem to be getting any taller anymore.

Vanity sizing definitely exists. Around 10 years ago, I weighed 140 lbs for around a year. I kept most of my size 10 clothes and now I weigh 127 lbs. A gorgeous pair of wool, lined size 10 pants from Ann Taylor circa 1995 fits almost perfectly. I also have a lovely size 10 black silk dress from the same timeframe which fits perfectly.

I now wear a size 6 (sometimes a FOUR) at Ann Taylor (I find them one of the most egregious in the vanity-sizing department). I have to admit, it's effective, I bought the first pair of size 4 pants that ever fit.

03-05-2008, 06:45 PM
sizes changed in the last 4 or 5 years at the stores I shop at in Canada... I went from being a clothing crazed teen.. to a broke university student.. and stayed in denial so much longer because the number 'stayed the same' for the few times I shopped through my undergrad. nah uh!

03-05-2008, 06:50 PM
I'm 159, 5'7" and I'm currently wearing 13s. They're even a little snug (I HATE muffin top with a burning passion--so something that one person might not notice on me as muffin top, I see and I hate it). My goal's about 135--145, depending on how I look/feel at those weights--I'm not sure if I'll ever make it below a 9/10. :) We'll see. I guess it depends on how your body's shaped, your body fat % vs your muscle mass %...all that jazz.

03-05-2008, 08:17 PM
I kept a dress I loved from the 70s. It was a size 10. The measurements I had then are now a size 0 or 2. Which is really really depressing cause that makes the 20s I'm wearing now, what, about ten times worse? Gotta keep trying though

03-05-2008, 08:51 PM
Vanity sizing proliferates partially because if you had an item in size 8 and an item in size 12 and they both fit, which would you buy? Often women are more likely to buy the smaller size.

Although it would be nice if sizing would be consistent. I have size 16 pants that are baggy on me. I have some size 14s that fit me but I needed to find some clothes a size down so I went shopping this weekend. Many 14s fit me perfectly, some were a bit snug, size 12 was way snug. I then tried on a size 16 and they were as snug as the size 12s.

03-05-2008, 10:24 PM
I recently read an excerpt of the first chapter of Meg Cabot's novel, "Size 12 is Not Fat." I plan to read the whole thing as time permits, but the excerpt is a hysterical take on vanity sizing. Luckily, it's up on her website. It's pretty short, and definitely worth the read. Enjoy :)



03-05-2008, 10:43 PM

I recently read an article online about the history of standardize sizing, and apparently, except for a couple of decades, it's pretty much been a myth. And attempts to standardize sizing is a bit of a failed experiment. It was first envisioned in the late 30's, implemented in the 40's and pretty much abandoned by the 80's.

Before the computer age, pretty much every clothing manufacturer determined their own sizing, and there was no consistency whatsoever (kind of like today). Then with the advent of computers, a big study was done to determine the "average" size of women to design and mandate a standard - with the size of 10 being assigned to the completely average woman. From the start it was assumed that every few years the standards would be revised (thus a 10 would always reflect the average woman, even if the average changed). The problem of course is that while you can average measurements, women are not all going to fit neatly into each size category, no matter how you determine and divide them. Many women will be one size in the bust and one size in the hips, so finding clothing that fits "perfectly" is still going to vary by size, cut, style and manufacturer.

As a result, the attempt to force manufacturer's to adhere to standard sizing was pretty much abandoned (except in sewing patterns, where sizing standards are still mandated).

03-06-2008, 03:43 AM

Vanity sizing proliferates partially because if you had an item in size 8 and an item in size 12 and they both fit, which would you buy? Often women are more likely to buy the smaller size.

Totally. This really, really annoys me because I'd like to think women are smarter than that, but I can't exactly claim to be immune. I like to wear a UK 8, and if I need the 10 I get sad, even though I have 8s that are manifestly bigger than some 10s! And my mum has some 10s from when she was in her twenties and lemme tell you - I can *just about* squeeze into them...if I don't breathe too much!
Another thing shops do is put 'thin' mirrors in changing rooms. So you think you look better in their clothes than you really do, and buy them. I'm a sucker for that one, too :rolleyes:

03-06-2008, 05:55 AM
Sizing has changed but it is also about your exercise program.
In sept. at about 165 lbs I wore a size 14, now after all these months of weight lifting I still weigh between 165 and 170 and I wear a size 10 of the same brand pants.

03-06-2008, 09:02 AM
I, too, have heard about the 'vanity sizing.' I have a friend who will occasionally go to a yard sale of sorts in a Hollywood studio(s). She once brought my teenage daughter home a bunch of clothes and I was surprised that ALL of the sizes were cut out (she had to guess on the fit). She was told that if a tv/movie star fits into a size that they don't like it is very tramatic so this is the studios way of keeping them happy. :dizzy:

03-06-2008, 09:30 AM
I have a pair of size 12 jeans I wore when I was a freshman in high school (93) and I was 5'6 129 at the time. They could easily pass for an 8 or 10 today. I don't like the idea of vanity sizing.

03-06-2008, 11:20 AM
It's really uncool for the really tiny women - the ones that used to be the 4s and 2s, they are now 0s and 00s - when will the craziness end?

03-06-2008, 12:24 PM
That's why when you watch those makeover shows, etc like "What Not To Wear" they are always saying WEAR WHAT LOOKS NICE and WHAT FITS YOU!

You can never just be confident that a certain size should stay a certain size and every designer will make it THAT way.

I wear a size 20/2X in lane bryant and avenue. But if I go into Torrid... oh my gosh, how depressing! I had to put on a size 24 jeans and even THEY were too tight!

03-06-2008, 05:26 PM
they are now 0s and 00s - when will the craziness end?

Insane, isn't it? Zero is, by definition, absence as opposed to substance. Double zero is...exactly the same thing. Terrifyingly antifeminist, really: do women not have the right to exist, make impact, take up space? We don't have that in the UK but I'm sure we'll head down there (I think I've seen a 4, which is new).
I guess the only place left to go is minus numbers. Clothes that only exist in a parallel universe?

03-06-2008, 05:31 PM
Yes. I wore a size 8 in high school. Now I'm about 30 lbs. heavier and a size 10. It's been on the news that sizes are bigger for the increasing amount of overweight people.

03-06-2008, 05:32 PM
Insane, isn't it? Zero is, by definition, absence as opposed to substance. Double zero is...exactly the same thing.
Yes, it should be -1, lol!!