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Have sizes really changed that much over the years?

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Old 01-26-2012, 10:13 AM   #1
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Default Have sizes really changed that much over the years?

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?


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Old 01-26-2012, 10:20 AM   #2
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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?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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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?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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Default re:

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."

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Old 01-26-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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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!
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:35 AM   #6
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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/d...no_sense_.html

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Old 01-26-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltatoria View Post
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.

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).
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltatoria View Post
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
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:28 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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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. 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" 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...
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:16 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhThePlaces View Post
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.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #15
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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.
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