Looking Good, Feeling Great - Have sizes really changed that much over the years?




Vex
01-26-2012, 11:13 AM
One thing I've recently been noticing is that sizes seem way off to me. Now, as I read today in the forums, it seems like people around 170ish are wearing size 10 or so. That seems crazy to me.

When I was in high school (back in the 80s omg) I was my lowest at 145, and I recall not being able to find 14s in the normal stores. I certainly never wore a 10 or lower.

Have sizes gotten bigger or something over the last 20 years?


.


berryblondeboys
01-26-2012, 11:20 AM
Yep. I graduated high school in 1988. I weighed 179 at graduation and needed a size 16.

I am now 42 years old and weigh 174 pounds and I can wear sizes between 8-12 depending on the cut and designer.

In LLBean (tends to run a bit smaller there), I can wear a 10. YET.... I wore skirt last week from LLBean that I bought in 1994. That skirt is a 16 and fits the same as today's 10 from LLbean. So, yes, sizes have definitely changed.

Which is even more frightening because I didn't realize the 20 I was wearing was actually MUCH bigger than what I thought a 20 was. Who was I kidding? I weighed 275 pounds! How could I 'really' only go up for 4 sizes with all that weight?

sontaikle
01-26-2012, 11:30 AM
Oh yeah sizes have changed! I'm in my 20s, but I've still seen it:

- I have a pair of size 14s that I wore over 10 years ago in middle school. I couldn't fit into them until I was a size 10 when I was losing weight.

- From middle school again, I had a bunch of 13/15 shorts that fit me this summer when I was a size 10.

- I have a size 11 dress that I wore in 9th grade. It didn't fit me until I was hitting size 7/9 in juniors.

I think it's more a shift in sizes than anything else (i.e. moving the numbers up, creating smaller sizes). People are all up in arms about a size 0 but size 0 didn't exist for a while! Now there is talk of adding negative sizes, but if we keep shifting sizes up, then what else can we do? :lol:


Vex
01-26-2012, 11:30 AM
I guess it's something to look forward to mentally then. It will nice being a size I've never been before - and shopping in normal stores.

Mentally I'll just have to keep telling myself though, "ok, a 12 isn't what you remember it to be, you need to keep going."

.

shanhat81
01-26-2012, 12:25 PM
Agree that sizes have changed.

At 131 lbs in 1997, I wore a 10. Sometimes an 8.

At 160 lbs in 2012, I wear a 10. Sometimes an 8.

Go figure!

ANOther
01-26-2012, 12:35 PM
Here, I just came from reading this article in Slate about why women's clothing sizes are the way they are:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/design/2012/01/clothing_sizes_getting_bigger_why_our_sizing_syste m_makes_no_sense_.html

saltatoria
01-26-2012, 06:34 PM
This is why I've never bought into the "Marilyn Monroe was a size 14/16" mantra. If you take her measurements and apply them to today's sizes, she was actually a size 8. Her measurements, according to her dressmaker, were 36-23-37. Curvy and gorgeous, yes, but hardly plus-sized.

runningfromfat
01-27-2012, 09:44 AM
This is why I've never bought into the "Marilyn Monroe was a size 14/16" mantra. If you take her measurements and apply them to today's sizes, she was actually a size 8. Her measurements, according to her dressmaker, were 36-23-37. Curvy and gorgeous, yes, but hardly plus-sized.

Actually, she's probably much more like a size 2-4 now-a-days! ;)

But yep to what everyone else said. In high school (140lbs and very active) I was a very, very solid size 8. I owned ONE jacket in size 6 and I'm pretty sure it was mislabeled. :lol:

Now I'm 166lbs and wear a size 6! No way am I smaller than I was in high school. It's weird, though, because I would've liked a size to compare with. I do have a dress size 9/10 from then that I can get on (it's stretchy) but still doesn't fit well so I guess that's the best I have for comparison. However, back then I really had no clue about fit (especially with bras!) and many of my clothes were actually too big for me (when I look back at pictures).

caryesings
01-27-2012, 10:21 AM
Yes. I happened to have had some outfits left in my closet from the 80s which I now fit into, including a suit I had purchased at my lowest weight in my 20s that I never fit into. Those 80s clothes that now fit are all size twelve. All the current clothes I've purchased are size 8.

sontaikle
01-27-2012, 10:24 AM
This is why I've never bought into the "Marilyn Monroe was a size 14/16" mantra. If you take her measurements and apply them to today's sizes, she was actually a size 8. Her measurements, according to her dressmaker, were 36-23-37. Curvy and gorgeous, yes, but hardly plus-sized.

Her measurements fluctuated (just like anyone's really) but she was generally a top hourglass (i.e. her bust measurement was bigger than her hip measurement)

I've heard she fluctuated between 37-23-36 and 36-22-35. So she wasn't one size everywhere and she did the best thing—her clothes were made for her!! There was no way she was going to find something that would show off her tiny waist otherwise. ;)

My measurements aren't really too far off from hers (but she was taller than I am) but I would totally kill for her waist! But I'm sure she was extremely lucky in the genetic lottery.

Ah well, one can dream :dizzy:

OhThePlaces
01-28-2012, 04:28 PM
I must be shopping at the wrong strores!
This summer (at 132 lbs) I was in a 4 or 6 and after putting on too much holiday weight, I'm in tight 6 or loose 8. When I weighed 170 lbs I was in a tight 12 or 14. I'm always surprised when I see women in the 170s saying that they wear an 8.

runningfromfat
01-28-2012, 05:25 PM
I must be shopping at the wrong strores!
This summer (at 132 lbs) I was in a 4 or 6 and after putting on too much holiday weight, I'm in tight 6 or loose 8. When I weighed 170 lbs I was in a tight 12 or 14. I'm always surprised when I see women in the 170s saying that they wear an 8.

It has a lot to do with how your midsection is formed (http://braslessinbrasil.blogspot.com/2011/11/waistland-part-2-beauty-and-bras.html). When it comes to pants sizes, for instance, if a manufacturer says a pair of pants is a size 28 that means that the waist band is actually 33-34" (http://braslessinbrasil.blogspot.com/2012/01/figured-out-pants-sizing.html) because the pants are meant to sit at or below your belly button (all the way down to your high hip). So women (like me) who wear a relatively small pants size at a higher weight usually have straight up and down torsos whereas other women who need large pants sizes have the disney princess look more often than not (see my first link for an explanation ;) ). Now, it could be that a woman carries more weight in her hips/butt/thighs but that can be easily solved through curvy leans like Levi's Curve ID jeans or PzI etc...

fitx35
02-11-2012, 06:16 PM
I still have some jeans from fifteen years ago - 8s and 10s. I currently wear a 10, but it's laughable to think I could wear my 10s from the 90s.

devadiva
02-11-2012, 08:03 PM
I must be shopping at the wrong strores!
This summer (at 132 lbs) I was in a 4 or 6 and after putting on too much holiday weight, I'm in tight 6 or loose 8. When I weighed 170 lbs I was in a tight 12 or 14. I'm always surprised when I see women in the 170s saying that they wear an 8.

Ditto and I am wearing an 8 {142).Losing back to my low weight but our history is the same in sizes.

sheramama
02-11-2012, 09:59 PM
They def. changed. I hoard my old, tinier clothing. I was curious the one day about my Express jeans size 13 circa 2001. I measured them then went to their size guide. Who would've thought that the 10 year old jeans would now be between a size 7 and 9. (These have zero stretch unlike all the ones today). Hmn interesting.

sevencallmemom
02-12-2012, 01:38 AM
I agree that clothes now are way vanity sized, but I kinda like thinking that I can wear a smaller size jean now (16) than when I was in high school (18). The lie keeps me motivated. LOL

4star
02-12-2012, 09:02 AM
It doesn't seem like they've changed to a large degree to me. I am the same size I was 12 years ago and my size 16s from back them fit but are a little baggier than they used to be. I am only a few pounds heavier but my shape must have changed a little since then. Today, I am on the cusp of a 14. For me the "vanity sizing" has apparently only gifted me a 1/2 size.

Now back in the day, probably 20 years ago I was weighing in at 165 wearing anything from a size 4-8. 165 seems heavy to a lot of people but at 5'9" that's actually a healthy weight and equates to a much smaller size than it would on a shorter person.

redautumn
02-14-2012, 03:18 PM
I was wearing a size 6 a few years ago. I found an older short dress that my mom wore. It was marked a size 10. It fit perfectly. That is when I found out about vanity sizing. So is my size 12 now actually now a size 14 or 16?

tessendicott
02-16-2012, 11:22 AM
Let's put it this way, Marilyn Monroe was a size 12/14 (AND IT ALWAYS irks me when people try to use this as an excuse for being overweight)
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_qoJr7kKgahs/TDgv4qfHcDI/AAAAAAAAALM/MZH0XmU7CeY/s400/Marilyn-Monroe-swimsuit-99.jpg

That's how much sizes have changed. She would probably be a 6 in today's jean sizes. MAYBE an 8 because she had wide hips.

ParadiseFalls
03-08-2012, 10:46 PM
I can't believe how much they've changed. I'm only 23 so I don't have personal experience, but I go to vintage stores with friends a lot and everything is SO TINY. My roommate is 5'7" 170 pounds, and she can almost never fit into anything vintage.

tessendicott
03-08-2012, 11:19 PM
AGREED! Vintage things are ITTY-BITTY! However, more incentive for me, because I <3 <3 <3 vintage things!

kaplods
03-08-2012, 11:54 PM
Sizes have changed, but it's not "vanity" behind the changes, in fact you could actually argue the opposite.

When the attempt was first made to standardize sizes in the 40's and 50's - they were meant to be periodically re-determined. Like a census, the measurement averages would be taken periodically and recalibrated. They weren't ever designed to be "permanent" designations that would never change. A size "10" was supposed to represent the average, so if women got bigger a 10 would also get bigger, and if women got smaller, a 10 would get smaller.


Today, it's said that the "average" American woman wears a size 14. So technically, you could argue that we're overdue for the size changing with the times, and that a size 14 should be the new 10.


The main reason that sizes are changing (but not changing as fast as our shapes have been) is that the standardization of women's sizes has largely been a failed experiment, because women's body shapes are just so much more variable than the number of sizes we're trying to use to accomodate.

I wish that designers and manufacturer's would realize this and just list the bust, waist, hip armhole and inseam measurements of the garments so we could buy online without having to guess whether the garment will fit us.

ParadiseFalls
03-09-2012, 12:30 AM
Good points, kaplods. And I will say that everything seems smaller, not just the ladies' sizes. I wear an 8.5 women's shoe and find tons of great men's boots that fit me perfectly, but I can't wear any of my male friends' shoes. :shrug:

lovemydoggiesx2
03-09-2012, 06:08 AM
The sizes have changed a lot I think.

1998 at 130lbs I wore a 6
2012 at 160lbs I wear a 6

and the other day I bought a size 4 and almost died, as I hae never bought a 4 since I was like 15!!

DesertTabby
03-09-2012, 07:41 AM
Out of curiosity, size 6 in the late 80s early 90s is what size in today's standard then? Anyone know?

Ever since I was a kid (a very fat kid XD) I used to dream about being a size 6, mainly because of reading Sweet Valley High books (please tell me I'm not the only one who read'em!) The twins were always described as 'perfect size 6' so since then I've always associated that size with the ideal.

Knowing now how much sizes have changed what size would that be in today's standards? Size 2 or 4?

kaplods
03-09-2012, 08:47 AM
Out of curiosity, size 6 in the late 80s early 90s is what size in today's standard then? Anyone know?

Ever since I was a kid (a very fat kid XD) I used to dream about being a size 6, mainly because of reading Sweet Valley High books (please tell me I'm not the only one who read'em!) The twins were always described as 'perfect size 6' so since then I've always associated that size with the ideal.

Knowing now how much sizes have changed what size would that be in today's standards? Size 2 or 4?


There really isn't a "today's standard," when I said standardized sizing has been a "failed experiment," I meant that we've gone back to the pre-1950's "standard" of every manufacturer making their own standard. There is no "perfect size" anything, because every manufacturer determines their own sizing standards, based on their own ideal.

I think that's why people suspect "vanity sizing," because they find they wear a size 8 in one brand and a 10 in another, and maybe a 6 in another. Instead of realizing that every manufacturere makes their own rules, and ther is no "true size" they assume one manufacture is making clothes too small and another is making them too big.

Even in the 80's this wide variety of sizes depending on manufacturer, was common (to a degree it always has been, which means that the standardization didn't just fail, it was never accomplished). So while sizes on average, tend to be bigger today, that's just a trend. True sizing is a myth, and it always has been. Since there is no "true" sizing, there's also no "translation" can be made. You will find size 6's (or any size) today that are bigger, smaller, and the same as those in the past.


Trying to create a standard was never supposed to measure a woman's "ideal shape" or tell us what women were supposed to be or wear or be shaped like. No one was supposed to "be" a size anything. Sizes were meant to help us take some (not all) of the guesswork out of buying clothing by mail-order, not to tell us whether or not we were the right size and shape.

berryblondeboys
03-09-2012, 10:08 AM
But see, this is what gets me. I read the article that Kaplods is getting her info from and it makes sense - to a point.

I mean, I can understand wanting to make 10 the middle size, but it doesn't work and here's why.

Let's say when the started they made sizes 0-20 with 10 being the average sized woman. And they got this number in 1940. Well, people's nutrition got better. People grew taller. People got more fit, etc and so the sizes creeped up a bit - so now there is a 0-20 and what used to be a 10 is now an 8. The changes in sizes isn't so drastic that they still can have a 0-20 range. Then maybe seeing an untapped market of plus sized people and seeing growing numbers of plus size people, they start making sizes to 26. OK fine.

I'm making this up, but bear with me.

So, people start getting fatter in general. More and more people are needing sizes in 20 and up. So, the designer decides to start expanding their line to accomodate the increasing numbers of plus sized people. Well.... there are still tiny little skinny people. It's not like EVERYONE got fat!

So what happens to the 0 size if the designer decides to shift the rest of the sizes to the left? It becomes a 00. and the new 10 is what used to be a 14.
But can you keep making that shift and WHY????

Wouldn't it make a LOT more sense to just add sizes instead of creating 00s? Kaplods mentioned the average size now is a 14 so it's about time for another shift, but how can they do that? A 00 becomes a 0000? So now our sizes go 0000-30? Wouldn't it make more sense to be 0-36 or so?

And while people can claim it's not vanity sizing - it is. And it is because the designers are playing mind games with us. There is no big announcement saying "Attention everyone - starting today your size 10 dress will now be a size 8!!!) No, the sneakily change it and then if we gainers (which is the majority of Americans, unfortunately) don't really notice that the 10s from before are smaller than the 10s now. We are just happy to be buying a size 10.

And it remains super confusing. I do a lot of searching at consignment shops while on this weight loss journey. One of the designers I like is Talbots. Back in the early 90s I found their sizes ran small. Where I could wear an 18 elsewhere, I needed their 20. Then somewhere along the line they changed - a lot. Now I can wear their 8 when I wear a 10 most other places. In my closet I have a size 16 wool skirt by LLbean. Now I wear a 10 LLbean - so, one day I can be wearing the 17 year old size 16 skirt and next day wear their current day size 10 skirt. So, at these consignment shops I have to eyeball things to get an idea if these are OLD sizes or new sizes - by the same designer. Just last week I grabbed a bunch of size 14 dresses from Talbots at the consignment shop - hoping these were there 'old sizes', but alas, they were too big.

So, it's confusing, it means we need to go to negative sizes practically for the really tiny girls and it allows us to be comfortable with our expanding waistline because we wear the same size as always.

That "I" at 172 pounds can wear anywhere from a 6-12 in clothes (mostly 10s) is ridiculous. I have a large frame. I'm not at my ideal weight and I'm wearing a 10. Two decades ago I was wearing a 16 which was the end of the regular sizes and beginning of the plus sizes. Now I'm nowhere near the plus size line - yet I have the same weight and shape as then. So, I think there is vanity stuff going on. Designers aren't saying it like it is - MOST of us are plus size. Sure, the average might be higher than ever and they should design for who's out there, but we all should get real and realize that MOST of us are plus size and could use to lose some weight.

runningfromfat
03-09-2012, 10:36 AM
berryblondeboys - you touched on a lot of points that I wanted to add. ;)

On thing, though, is that manufacturers are certainly playing games with us. You have to look no further than their size charts (http://braslessinbrasil.blogspot.com/2011/12/size-charts-what-are-they-good-for.html) to see this. In that link I compare my own measurements to the given size charts from a few different manufacturers and universally I wear at least a couple sizes down from the listed measurements in the size charts! For instance, my hips measure in at 39" which should correspond to a size 10 from Calving Klein. Yet, my size 6s are too big on me and I have a pair of size 4 pants from them that are starting to get too big now too! :dizzy: Old Navy is really bad with this too and I recently was able to wear an XS from Ann Taylor that fit perfectly even though my bust measures 39-40" and my waist is 30" (that means I should squarely fit into a large according to their size chart!!!!).

Part of that may be explained with quality control, different body types etc. But going from an XS to a L is a HUGE jump so I think there's much more going on here than just size evolution (yes that certainly does exist and I definitely get your point with that).


Also, readjusting the sizes so that a size 10 is the average is a major problem too. As is, I'm starting to get sized out of certain brands but, yet, I'm still 5lbs above a healthy BMI. I'm not a small girl either at 5'6". I wear a 28HH/J bra, my waist is 30" and I have a big butt. I have a large frame too. There are many, many women much smaller than me so it's pretty insane that I should be wearing a size 4 and XS/S shirts. Where are smaller women finding clothes?

DesertTabby
- That's a hard question to answer. In the late 90's I was a very, very solid size 8 (I remember owning only one size 6 item that I was certain was mislabelled and no size 10's until I eventually gained about 10-15lbs). Currently I'm about a size 4 with the occasional size 6. I try to buy shirts almost exclusively from stores that cater to busty women because I wear a 28HH/J bra so unless I'm buying just a plain T-shirt, tops are extremely hard for me to find that are flattering.

My guess is that a size 8 from the late 90's is about a 0-2 now-a-days at least in the brands that I'm wearing (Calvin Klein, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, Levi's). I really wish I knew the corresponding measurements for a size 8 in the late 90s to have something to shoot for in terms of a goal. However, my proportions have changed too (after having a kid and nursing). I'm a bit thicker in the middle with larger breasts while my hips/legs/arms are smaller proportionally than they were before.

Kaplods - I would LOVE to a see a shift towards manufacturers going by measurements rather than putting an arbitrary size on clothes. There are a few that do this: Pinup Girl Clothing is great about this and even list the size and measurement the model is wearing (and they get models of different sizes). BiuBiu, Pepperberry, Aj Rumina all provide clothes that they sell both by bust and waist size, which really helps in terms of fit. I've heard that Pepperbery sizing isn't 100% consistent but AJ Rumina seems to be and I've heard the same about BiuBiu.

I do want to point out,though, that body shape still plays a big role in terms of measurements. My bust measures at 39-40" and my waist is 30". What that doesn't tell you is that my underbust is quite small in comparison. So clothes that would fit a women with my same bust/waist measurements but who wore a 32G instead would most likely not fit me well at all (too big in the back but too small in the bust). There's also a big difference in hip measurements from a woman who carries her weight in her butt vs. hips. Typically, a woman with large hips needs to size up vs. someone with a large butt and the same hip measurement.

4star
03-09-2012, 10:40 AM
But see, this is what gets me. I read the article that Kaplods is getting her info from and it makes sense - to a point.

I mean, I can understand wanting to make 10 the middle size, but it doesn't work and here's why.

Let's say when the started they made sizes 0-20 with 10 being the average sized woman. And they got this number in 1940. Well, people's nutrition got better. People grew taller. People got more fit, etc and so the sizes creeped up a bit - so now there is a 0-20 and what used to be a 10 is now an 8. The changes in sizes isn't so drastic that they still can have a 0-20 range. Then maybe seeing an untapped market of plus sized people and seeing growing numbers of plus size people, they start making sizes to 26. OK fine.

I'm making this up, but bear with me.

So, people start getting fatter in general. More and more people are needing sizes in 20 and up. So, the designer decides to start expanding their line to accomodate the increasing numbers of plus sized people. Well.... there are still tiny little skinny people. It's not like EVERYONE got fat!

So what happens to the 0 size if the designer decides to shift the rest of the sizes to the left? It becomes a 00. and the new 10 is what used to be a 14.
But can you keep making that shift and WHY????

Wouldn't it make a LOT more sense to just add sizes instead of creating 00s? Kaplods mentioned the average size now is a 14 so it's about time for another shift, but how can they do that? A 00 becomes a 0000? So now our sizes go 0000-30? Wouldn't it make more sense to be 0-36 or so?

And while people can claim it's not vanity sizing - it is. And it is because the designers are playing mind games with us. There is no big announcement saying "Attention everyone - starting today your size 10 dress will now be a size 8!!!) No, the sneakily change it and then if we gainers (which is the majority of Americans, unfortunately) don't really notice that the 10s from before are smaller than the 10s now. We are just happy to be buying a size 10.

And it remains super confusing. I do a lot of searching at consignment shops while on this weight loss journey. One of the designers I like is Talbots. Back in the early 90s I found their sizes ran small. Where I could wear an 18 elsewhere, I needed their 20. Then somewhere along the line they changed - a lot. Now I can wear their 8 when I wear a 10 most other places. In my closet I have a size 16 wool skirt by LLbean. Now I wear a 10 LLbean - so, one day I can be wearing the 17 year old size 16 skirt and next day wear their current day size 10 skirt. So, at these consignment shops I have to eyeball things to get an idea if these are OLD sizes or new sizes - by the same designer. Just last week I grabbed a bunch of size 14 dresses from Talbots at the consignment shop - hoping these were there 'old sizes', but alas, they were too big.

So, it's confusing, it means we need to go to negative sizes practically for the really tiny girls and it allows us to be comfortable with our expanding waistline because we wear the same size as always.

That "I" at 172 pounds can wear anywhere from a 6-12 in clothes (mostly 10s) is ridiculous. I have a large frame. I'm not at my ideal weight and I'm wearing a 10. Two decades ago I was wearing a 16 which was the end of the regular sizes and beginning of the plus sizes. Now I'm nowhere near the plus size line - yet I have the same weight and shape as then. So, I think there is vanity stuff going on. Designers aren't saying it like it is - MOST of us are plus size. Sure, the average might be higher than ever and they should design for who's out there, but we all should get real and realize that MOST of us are plus size and could use to lose some weight.

I get what you're saying. I think vanity sizing enables denial too and it bugs me b/c you don't know what size you really are from one brand to the next sometimes.

I am not really having this issue though. I weight the same now as I did a decade ago and the same pants are looser than they were back then. I know that I am in better shape from exercise and since I know my pants haven't changed size, I can only assume the weight shifted to other areas of my body or my amount of exercise has widdled me down to be a bit smaller at this weight than I previously was with less exercise. I dunno. Just a thought...

berryblondeboys
03-09-2012, 10:48 AM
I do want to point out,though, that body shape still plays a big role in terms of measurements. My bust measures at 39-40" and my waist is 30". What that doesn't tell you is that my underbust is quite small in comparison. So clothes that would fit a women with my same bust/waist measurements but who wore a 32G instead would most likely not fit me well at all (too big in the back but too small in the bust). There's also a big difference in hip measurements from a woman who carries her weight in her butt vs. hips. Typically, a woman with large hips needs to size up vs. someone with a large butt and the same hip measurement.

I can be your comparison right here - you are 40-30-39. I am 40-31-41. Pretty close, right? I wear a 8-10 in Calvin Klein - mostly 10 while you are wearing a 4? We have very little difference in measurements - but... your underbust is 28", mine is 34". You say your girth in your bottom is your butt (which whould mean smaller size) and mine is in my hips and gut (I have a flat butt). So, two girls - weighing about 12 pounds different of similar height and very similar measurements at first glance wear drastically different sizes - all by how our bodies are shaped - how our bones are shaped and where our fat lies.

runningfromfat
03-09-2012, 11:04 AM
I can be your comparison right here - you are 40-30-39. I am 40-31-41. Pretty close, right? I wear a 8-10 in Calvin Klein - mostly 10 while you are wearing a 4? We have very little difference in measurements - but... your underbust is 28", mine is 34". You say your girth in your bottom is your butt (which whould mean smaller size) and mine is in my hips and gut (I have a flat butt). So, two girls - weighing about 12 pounds different of similar height and very similar measurements at first glance wear drastically different sizes - all by how our bodies are shaped - how our bones are shaped and where our fat lies.

It's crazy isn't it? :dizzy: I'd say in terms of pictures we don't look that much different either but just due to how we carry the weight/different proportions we get some pretty drastic differences in clothing sizes!

I remember in high school be floored because a friend of mine said she was a size 12 (when I was wearing a size 8) but yet she was always one my friends that I thought was about the same size as me. Another time I had the same reaction when a friend who I thought was much smaller than me wore about the same pants size as me. The point of it all is that one piece of clothing doesn't necessarily defend your entire shape. A size 6 on one women might look much smaller than on another depending on so many factors so it's always seems so silly to me when men and women try to define a cut-off between fat and thin based on clothing size alone. :dizzy:

4star
03-09-2012, 11:13 AM
But see, this is what gets me. I read the article that Kaplods is getting her info from and it makes sense - to a point.

I mean, I can understand wanting to make 10 the middle size, but it doesn't work and here's why.

Let's say when the started they made sizes 0-20 with 10 being the average sized woman. And they got this number in 1940. Well, people's nutrition got better. People grew taller. People got more fit, etc and so the sizes creeped up a bit - so now there is a 0-20 and what used to be a 10 is now an 8. The changes in sizes isn't so drastic that they still can have a 0-20 range. Then maybe seeing an untapped market of plus sized people and seeing growing numbers of plus size people, they start making sizes to 26. OK fine.

I'm making this up, but bear with me.

So, people start getting fatter in general. More and more people are needing sizes in 20 and up. So, the designer decides to start expanding their line to accomodate the increasing numbers of plus sized people. Well.... there are still tiny little skinny people. It's not like EVERYONE got fat!

So what happens to the 0 size if the designer decides to shift the rest of the sizes to the left? It becomes a 00. and the new 10 is what used to be a 14.
But can you keep making that shift and WHY????

Wouldn't it make a LOT more sense to just add sizes instead of creating 00s? Kaplods mentioned the average size now is a 14 so it's about time for another shift, but how can they do that? A 00 becomes a 0000? So now our sizes go 0000-30? Wouldn't it make more sense to be 0-36 or so?

And while people can claim it's not vanity sizing - it is. And it is because the designers are playing mind games with us. There is no big announcement saying "Attention everyone - starting today your size 10 dress will now be a size 8!!!) No, the sneakily change it and then if we gainers (which is the majority of Americans, unfortunately) don't really notice that the 10s from before are smaller than the 10s now. We are just happy to be buying a size 10.

And it remains super confusing. I do a lot of searching at consignment shops while on this weight loss journey. One of the designers I like is Talbots. Back in the early 90s I found their sizes ran small. Where I could wear an 18 elsewhere, I needed their 20. Then somewhere along the line they changed - a lot. Now I can wear their 8 when I wear a 10 most other places. In my closet I have a size 16 wool skirt by LLbean. Now I wear a 10 LLbean - so, one day I can be wearing the 17 year old size 16 skirt and next day wear their current day size 10 skirt. So, at these consignment shops I have to eyeball things to get an idea if these are OLD sizes or new sizes - by the same designer. Just last week I grabbed a bunch of size 14 dresses from Talbots at the consignment shop - hoping these were there 'old sizes', but alas, they were too big.

So, it's confusing, it means we need to go to negative sizes practically for the really tiny girls and it allows us to be comfortable with our expanding waistline because we wear the same size as always.

That "I" at 172 pounds can wear anywhere from a 6-12 in clothes (mostly 10s) is ridiculous. I have a large frame. I'm not at my ideal weight and I'm wearing a 10. Two decades ago I was wearing a 16 which was the end of the regular sizes and beginning of the plus sizes. Now I'm nowhere near the plus size line - yet I have the same weight and shape as then. So, I think there is vanity stuff going on. Designers aren't saying it like it is - MOST of us are plus size. Sure, the average might be higher than ever and they should design for who's out there, but we all should get real and realize that MOST of us are plus size and could use to lose some weight.

I get what you're saying. I think vanity sizing enables denial too and it bugs me b/c you don't know what size you really are from one brand to the next sometimes.

I am not really having this issue though. I weight the same now as I did a decade ago and the same pants are looser than they were back then. I know that I am in better shape from exercise and since I know my pants haven't changed size, I can only assume the weight shifted to other areas of my body or my amount of exercise has widdled me down to be a bit smaller at this weight than I previously was with less exercise. I dunno. Just a thought...

kaplods
03-09-2012, 12:34 PM
But see, this is what gets me. I read the article that Kaplods is getting her info from and it makes sense - to a point...

Wouldn't it make a LOT more sense to just add sizes instead of creating 00s? Kaplods mentioned the average size now is a 14 so it's about time for another shift, but how can they do that? A 00 becomes a 0000? So now our sizes go 0000-30? Wouldn't it make more sense to be 0-36 or so?

.


The sizes wouldn't "shift" because the recalibration was supposed to be calculated just like the first ones were - by normal distribution - that is a bell curve. Think of it like grading on the curve in school. When you grade on the curve, the highest score is assigned an A and the losest score is assigned an F, and 50% of the scores (if you're following a true bell curve) should be assigned a C. You don't have to add a grade higher than A or a grade lower than F, you just adjust the grades to fit the curve.

That IS confusing, and when I said we're "overdue" for a new resizing, I didn't mean it literally. I meant it in the sense that we would be overdue, if sizes were being implemented the way they were originally intended to be.

And I think the fault lies in lack of foresight. The creators of the system did not realize how much the female figure would change (even among the thinnest women our bust sizes are a full cup or more larger than they were in the 40's), nor did they have any plan for implementing and communicating future changes.

Again, just another way the "system" that was created has been a failure from the very start.

Another aspect of sizing that the original creators didn't account for, is the whole "ready-to-wear" concept. It was generally assumed that women would continue to have their clothing altered, so getting clothes to fit every woman well without the need for alterations was never part of the original goal. The focus was more on creating a garment that could easily be altered (the measurements were always meant to be guidelines for purchase, not guarantees that the garment would fit everyone "off-the-rack."

A good part of the confusion arises because we're using sizes in a way that was never intended. If we want ready-to-wear, no-alterations-needed clothing, we need a lot more sizes than we have, because we have to accomodate more shapes.

You see some of that in jeans now, with cuts to fit different shapes. I love Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant's "Right Fit" Jeans that came in three lengths, three colors (indicating body shape) and a range of sizes from 1 to 9.

That means there were 81 different "sizes."

I was a blue 8 (now a blue 7) in the average length. Blue was for "curvy" (pear shaped) women.

Unfortunatley I've heard that they've discontinuing the line, so I'll be hunting for them at Goodwill and other thrift stores (found my first thrift store pair a couple months ago).

runningfromfat
03-09-2012, 12:39 PM
You see some of that in jeans now, with cuts to fit different shapes. I love Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant's "Right Fit" Jeans that came in three lengths, three colors (indicating body shape) and a range of sizes from 1 to 9.

That means there were 81 different "sizes."

I was a blue 8 (now a blue 7) in the average length. Blue was for "curvy" (pear shaped) women.

Unfortunatley I've heard that they've discontinuing the line, so I'll be hunting for them at Goodwill and other thrift stores (found my first thrift store pair a couple months ago).

That's really strange that they're dicontinuing that line! If anything I've seen manufacturers moving more towards extra sizes (Levi's Curve Id jeans, for instance, seem to be doing well). Also, in tops BiuBiu, Aj Rumina, Carissa Rose, Campbell and Kate shirts, Pepperberry and others all have two sizes (bust and waist) and all seem to be doing quite well.

kaplods
03-09-2012, 12:59 PM
That's really strange that they're dicontinuing that line! If anything I've seen manufacturers moving more towards extra sizes (Levi's Curve Id jeans, for instance, seem to be doing well). Also, in tops BiuBiu, Aj Rumina, Carissa Rose, Campbell and Kate shirts, Pepperberry and others all have two sizes (bust and waist) and all seem to be doing quite well.

They're supposedly coming out with a similar line, but they've renamed it and the numbering system is no longer going to be 1 through 9, but rather standard misses sizes (such as 12 through 28).

It's supposed to be "less confusing," because the sizes are consistent with the other clothing sizes in the store, but I had just gotten used to the RightFit system, and there's no gurantee that the new sizes will fit the same way.

runningfromfat
03-09-2012, 01:26 PM
They're supposedly coming out with a similar line, but they've renamed it and the numbering system is no longer going to be 1 through 9, but rather standard misses sizes (such as 12 through 28).

It's supposed to be "less confusing," because the sizes are consistent with the other clothing sizes in the store, but I had just gotten used to the RightFit system, and there's no gurantee that the new sizes will fit the same way.

Oh ok. Well, hopefully they still fit well. ;) I was pretty surprised to hear that they would discontinue a line like that because it seems like more and more stores are moving in that direction.

berryblondeboys
03-09-2012, 02:34 PM
The sizes wouldn't "shift" because the recalibration was supposed to be calculated just like the first ones were - by normal distribution - that is a bell curve. Think of it like grading on the curve in school. When you grade on the curve, the highest score is assigned an A and the losest score is assigned an F, and 50% of the scores (if you're following a true bell curve) should be assigned a C. You don't have to add a grade higher than A or a grade lower than F, you just adjust the grades to fit the curve.

And imagine if they were to keep doing that? We would have 3-5 inches between sizes - like taking the 00 and 0 be one size, the 2 and 4 be one size and so on - Everyone would have to alter unless you were one of the lucky ones right at that measure.

That IS confusing, and when I said we're "overdue" for a new resizing, I didn't mean it literally. I meant it in the sense that we would be overdue, if sizes were being implemented the way they were originally intended to be.

Oh, I know you weren't being literal. I was saying, "Just imagine if it happened."

And I think the fault lies in lack of foresight. The creators of the system did not realize how much the female figure would change (even among the thinnest women our bust sizes are a full cup or more larger than they were in the 40's), nor did they have any plan for implementing and communicating future changes.

Again, just another way the "system" that was created has been a failure from the very start.

Another aspect of sizing that the original creators didn't account for, is the whole "ready-to-wear" concept. It was generally assumed that women would continue to have their clothing altered, so getting clothes to fit every woman well without the need for alterations was never part of the original goal. The focus was more on creating a garment that could easily be altered (the measurements were always meant to be guidelines for purchase, not guarantees that the garment would fit everyone "off-the-rack."

A good part of the confusion arises because we're using sizes in a way that was never intended. If we want ready-to-wear, no-alterations-needed clothing, we need a lot more sizes than we have, because we have to accomodate more shapes.

Hmm... I thought the article I read said that they came up with these sizes for the ready to wear items. But I could be totally wrong and of coruse I didn't bookmark that article as per usual me.


You see some of that in jeans now, with cuts to fit different shapes. I love Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant's "Right Fit" Jeans that came in three lengths, three colors (indicating body shape) and a range of sizes from 1 to 9.

That means there were 81 different "sizes."

I was a blue 8 (now a blue 7) in the average length. Blue was for "curvy" (pear shaped) women.

Unfortunatley I've heard that they've discontinuing the line, so I'll be hunting for them at Goodwill and other thrift stores (found my first thrift store pair a couple months ago).

That's kind of why certain designers work for me and others don't. Like I skip RIGHT by the Limited selections in the outlet stores. Their pants are all wrong for me.

kaplods
03-09-2012, 04:58 PM
Hmm... I thought the article I read said that they came up with these sizes for the ready to wear items. But I could be totally wrong and of coruse I didn't bookmark that article as per usual me.



I was using "ready to wear" in a slightly different context than it was being used "back then."

"Ready to wear" didn't mean that the clothes wouldn't need to be altered (it still doesn't really man that today. If you're very short, or have other figure issues you may have to have your clothing altered to fit properly). Ready to wear meant (and I guess still technically does) that the clothing was mass produced and made without a specific person in mind. That is, the opposite of "tailor made for a single individual person."

The mass produced clothing was called ready-to-wear, even though the hems of skirt, slacks, blouses and sleeve cuffs were often unfinished. So technically, some weren't quite so much "ready to wear" as "ready to try on." Even when more and more of the garments were completely finished and were therefore more literally ready-to-wear (but only if you just happened to fit perfectly into the manufacturer's size), most reputable department stores (not just the higher-end ones) offerred free alterations (or mor accurately, it ws figured in to the purchase price of the garment).

For some reason (maybe because they assumed most women could do the alterations themselves) department stores stopped offering free alterations for women's clothing but continued to offer free alterations for men (and in fact, some still do).

Gabe
03-09-2012, 05:11 PM
So, this inspired some research. And by research, I mean calling my doctor's office and asking them weird questions. To my credit, I did qualify my question by saying, "so, this is probably the weirdest question you're gonna have today, but..."

I currently weight 227 pounds, and am 28 years old (soon to be 29! Prime numbers FTW!). I wear a size 16 or a size 18, depending on where I buy my jeans. Usually it's 16, but a couple of places are eighteen. Clothing size-wise, this is precisely where I was in high school.

According to my doctor's office (where my chart number is 2, so I can remember it), I weighed 194 pounds my senior year of high school, and 198 pounds before my junior year of high school. Now, there may be some differences in distribution and muscle mass in that my high school self had never seen the inside of a gym, and also in that I am no longer a teenager. However, I'm still the same person, and that's not a small difference--that's 33 pounds.

So take that data point for what it is. Also, my driver's license says 175. I was such a liar.

berryblondeboys
03-09-2012, 05:17 PM
I was using "ready to wear" in a slightly different context than it was being used "back then."

"Ready to wear" didn't mean that the clothes wouldn't need to be altered (it still doesn't really man that today. If you're very short, or have other figure issues you may have to have your clothing altered to fit properly). Ready to wear meant (and I guess still technically does) that the clothing was mass produced and made without a specific person in mind. That is, the opposite of "tailor made for a single individual person."

The mass produced clothing was called ready-to-wear, even though the hems of skirt, slacks, blouses and sleeve cuffs were often unfinished. So technically, some weren't quite so much "ready to wear" as "ready to try on." Even when more and more of the garments were completely finished and were therefore more literally ready-to-wear (but only if you just happened to fit perfectly into the manufacturer's size), most reputable department stores (not just the higher-end ones) offerred free alterations (or mor accurately, it ws figured in to the purchase price of the garment).

For some reason (maybe because they assumed most women could do the alterations themselves) department stores stopped offering free alterations for women's clothing but continued to offer free alterations for men (and in fact, some still do).

I have decided that when I get to goal, I will have my clothes tailored to fit me. It is so incredibly cheap to do. What I do now is try on a dress and see it is too tight in the boobs if I want to fit my hips. I should just see if it's a good style and then buy the size to fit my boobs and have a seamstress take in the waist and hips to fit me properly.

Pants are a bit different because there is more to it - where the waist hits, wherer the crotch hits, length, position of pockets, etc, but men's dress pants are altered all the time in all directions. Wouldn't it be nic ego have clothes that really look like they fit well?

Elladorine
03-12-2012, 01:13 AM
This makes me curious about the 14's I wore back in 1995, when I weighed 220 pounds. I wish I still had them and wonder what size I'll be in once I get back to that weight.

jenjulia
03-13-2012, 02:25 PM
Last weekend I was curious about sizes too. I've lost 52 lbs and am still about 38-40 lbs more than I was in H.S. An exercise physiologist at the gym measured my body fat a month ago and supposedly my lean mass is about the weight I was in H.S.:?: Anyhow...I have my prom dresses from my Junior and Senior years in H.S. and tried them on last weekend..thinking about the size I was then and that I wear a 14 now and a 12 in some clothes. Not even close. The senior dress (a 12 back then) could barely get over my hips and then was nearly impossible to get off. Zipper wasn't even close to zipping. The Junior dress was a 10. Umm...couldn't get it above my thighs.

Tim Gunn talked on the Revolution show a week or two ago that sizes went up around 1986, mid 1990's and early 2000's. This made me feel better to be honest. I'm 5'11 and when I read about actresses around my height wearing size 6, I'm honest when I say..."what? how? there is no way..." It honestly makes me feel better knowing that the sizes have changed over the years and what they are wearing is the size 10 that I wore in H.S. Maybe this goes back to the fact that I always felt like I was so big compared to my HS friends because they wore much smaller sizes than me. When I look at pictures from back then they are much shorter but not that much smaller than me in those pictures. :?:

Radiojane
02-26-2013, 04:34 PM
I am so frustrated with the variations in sizing :(

I've been expanding my shopping horizons, and looking at online plus size stores, mostly in the US. The difference in sizing between here and there is insane! I found some perfect dresses on a site a few months ago, and was over the moon when I saw that they went to 4X! So now, a few months down the road, and into a 2X top (bottom's still pretty close to 4X) I go to order a dress for my SIL's staggette. I looked at the size chart, and there is no way in **** my boobs or my gut are going into a 4X. So I pulled up the size chart for the store I shop at here, and there is a TEN INCH difference in a 4X here vs there! Needless to say, I will not be into one of those dresses by May :(

This isn't the first time I've had this problem. I ordered a tank top from Hips and Curves that I wanted baggy, for a sleep shirt, so I ordered it in a 5X. It fits like a glove, just like the 2X one I bought up here :(

Boo. I really wish I would have looked months ago at the size chart. I didn't think there would be nearly A FOOT difference in size.

Sigh.....even when I'm little, I'm going to be wearing X's.

Roo2
02-26-2013, 04:55 PM
Years ago I weighed 92-95 lbs and was a true size 0,1,3 Petite!:D

Now I am sitting here in a Junior size small top
And Levi Jeans non stretch Size 2
I guess they figure if we lie to them they will buy...and they are right!
Now if they start making wide shoes and label them Narrow I can lose my Duck feet ( born with club feet) and I will buy more shoes since it is hard for me to find shoes that fit properly:dizzy:
Just like ice Cream was kept at a certain Price Point so consumers would continue to purchase it ,clothing manufacturers have jumped on board to make us feel better about ourselves and.....Spend money and we can live in the land of denial!
Roo2:carrot::carrot::carrot:

berryblondeboys
02-26-2013, 04:58 PM
When I was about 220 (maybe the two teens) I went to a fitness shop to buy some fitness clothes as I had nothing for working out. I was just starting to go to the gym too.

Well, I was going through the racks and I was so, so happy to see that there were 16 and XL. I though they would just be these tiny sizes. Then I overheard a very petite and very fit woman talking with her husband, "I don't know why they make so many large sizes. Like large people are going to be wearing fitness clothes?"

I wanted to smack her, but I also wasn't feeling confident in the fitness department yet as I was just really starting with more than just walking.

Reality is, there are a LOT of us bigger people AND they work out too!

Now... move on to last spring - a year later. I am now 165 pounds and very fit. I can run, I can jump. I can do most anything a typical fairly fit 42 year old woman can do. I still needed to buy a size large in EVERYTHING and I never, ever will be small enough to wear less than a Large as I am built large and I have big boobs. Would this same lady say that about the larger sizes if she saw me then as I was obviously fairly fit?

You are nearly 6 inches taller than me and if you have a large frame, you will never be able to fit into dinky sizes either. That's just a reality, but it doesn't mean you will LOOK big - you won't!

Also, now I can feel really good that I am wearing 10s and got down to 8s, but what does it mean? Just last week I was wearing my wool pleated skirt from 1994 in a size 16 and it's slightly snug. It fit perfect when I was 10 pounds lighter. That same store I'm now a 12 in today's sizing.

It's a head games. I'm not 'smaller' now - the 10 and 16 fit the same me. Everyone else is just bigger so they made the sizes reflect the median, again (and again, and again). In dressmaker's sizes I'm a 20 or 22... I forget.

AND it gets extremely frustrating when trying to order clothes as even their stated sizes to inches isn't helpful. I wear a lot of Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. According to their size charts I should be wearing a 12 in RL and an 8 in CK. At my thinnest I was wearing an 8 CK, but according to their chart I should have been a 4. Um, I don't think so - I have HIPS! I wear a 10 comfortably now. According to RL I should currently be wearing a 14, but I'm wearing a 10 comfortably. It all depends on shape - amount of fat versus muscle, etc.

So, try not to get too downhearted about sizing. Even if you ALWAYS stay in an X size, there is a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE difference between a 5X and a 1X. And on a tall body? You'll look even slimmer. And also realize that those numbers mean SQUAT!!!!

LockItUp
02-26-2013, 05:15 PM
This will be a bit of a tangent here, but here it goes . . .

Re: attempting to order online by size guides. I can't do it! You look up a size by waist, say 28 (me), and the corresponding hip size is 36-38, but my hips are 34. If I go by hip size it puts me in 2 sizes smaller, which wouldnt fit. But this is probably why pants never fit me right.

Sizes are DUMB. I have so many different sizes, and since I thrift store shop now the sizes mean even less! I have a baggy pair of khakis from Abercrombie (thrift store) size 4, but a tight pair of size 6s from some brand I've never hear of (also thrift), a pair of jeans from the Walmart Jr section in size 9, fit decent. A pair of jean capris from Anchor Blue (thrift) that say 7/8. I have a couple Medium sized skirts and Medium size dress, but found a Small skirt from The Gap that is almost too big (elastic waist, thrift store, possibly stretched). BUT I also had a pair of 12s from Old Navy my friend gave me from when she was in high school (12 years ago) and they BARELY fit.

Dear Sizes, you suck! You make no sense!

elvislover324
02-26-2013, 05:17 PM
I love reading your posts, Melissa. You always bring me back to reality when I get myself all worked up after reading some threads.

And you are correct, the size numbers mean squat. And I should know that already, but I get hung up on them and think they define me (just like I do with the scale). This especially happens in stores that you get the hairy eyeball from a sales clerk who thinks you are shopping for someone else than yourself. Sorry, I didn't know your size 16 clothes are really size 12s! And I leave the store with my tail between my legs red faced.

I have a pair of size 20 khakis I bought at an LLBean outlet for like $3 around Christmas-time. I am almost totally out of 20s (yay!) but these pants I can't even get 1/2 way up my thighs. I bought a pair of 18 shorts that same day for $2.50 and I might not be wearing those for another 50lbs! I figured LLBean would cater to more "rugged" women than little petite non-fat ladies but I guess not!

berryblondeboys
02-26-2013, 05:36 PM
Thanks Elvislover!

Ironically, it's a size 16 LL bean skirt that I have. My husband ordered it for me in 1994 (I think that's the year - could be 1995). I was wearing a size 16 in every other brand, and the largest size they carried was a 16. It was too tight. I could SQUEEEEEZE myself into it, but it was fugly. So, it went to my closet - never, ever to be worn until 2012. When I was wearing between an 8/10 in everything else, this size 16 skirt finally fit perfectly.

When I went to their store to try something on, just for sh$ts and giggles, I could SQUEEEEZE myself into a 10. I tried on a 12 and the waist fit, but now I had a hanging crotch. Made me realize why my MIL likes LLBean. She has a super tiny waist and bigger hips. it's like the only brand that can fit both waist and hip for her.

But even they have vanity sized things if the 16 from eons ago and 10/12 are about the same size.

LockitUp - I thrift shop quite a bit too and I have to eyeball the sizes all the time. It can be quite time consuming to sift through the racks as they already aren't separated by sizes except Plus size taken out, but then besides the sizes, you have to guess the age of the item and what that size means. Back in the changing room I might have a 6 to a 20 in my hands that all appear to be the same sizes! And yes, I've tried a vintage size 20 that was too small for me when I weighed 170ish pounds! Reminded me why I never liked shopping at vintage shops. Women used to be TINY and the ones who weren't, wore moo-moos.

April Snow
02-26-2013, 06:54 PM
I also agree sizes are crazy - both the changes in the numbers over time, and also how size charts with measurements have no real correlation to how something actually fits on the human body.

I'm just back into my Old Navy rockstar skinny jeans in size 18. When I got down to 198, I had a pair in size 14 that was starting to get a bit loose. But I have old (pre-spandex) size 16 jeans from Victoria's Secret that didn't even pull up at that point, and I would probably be in an 8 in the Old Navy jeans before they did, a 10 at most.

On the other hand, with broad shoulders, a wide ribcage and big boobs, I'm not sure I'll ever get into non-plus sized tops. I'd love to, don't get me wrong! But at 198, I wasn't even close to misses/junior XXL tops, as they are cut much smaller than a womans 1X.

I am losing weight a bit differently this time though - last time, I started at 263 and it took about 35 lbs before I could wear 1X. This time, I started at 257 and it only took 15 more lbs before I could break out some of my 1X stuff I had bought the last time. So maybe I am finally losing more quickly on top and I may actually get to an XL or even an XXL when I get back to 198?

I try to not pay too much attention to sizes but more than anything, I want to be completely out of plus sizes, and anything beyond that is just a bonus.