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Vanity Sizing

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Old 05-31-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
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Interesting article on what we all know is true ... vanity sizing.

Vanity sizing alive, well

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"For years we were getting our sizes changed each decade," said Moore, 61, whose inventory dates back to the 1920s. "Let's say you were a Size 12 in the 1950s, and if you stayed the same measurement-wise, you'd be a 6 today, or in the 1960s, that 12 would have been a 10."
If I - who am built more along the lines of a cement block - wear a Small or 4/6, what's a genuinely small woman supposed to wear? Kid's clothes??
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:41 PM   #2
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Good question but I dont think so anymore. In 2001 I was @ 190 lbs and 5'9" tall. I wore a size 13/14 at most "trendy" stores - BeBe, Express, Cache, etc. I wore a 14 with most designers - Calvin Klien, DKNY, Lucky, etc. I am the same height and weigh 148 lbs today and wear a 12 @ Express and BeBe (as of last weekend) and my Lucky's are 10's and 12's. When I was losing weight I found my clothes were too big but the sizes were NOT moving. I was @ 140 in Feb and still could not fit in anything smaller than a 10. I think it is going the other way at this time. I should probably add I did NOT squeeze into anything - never sucked it in to button my pants.
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
If I - who am built more along the lines of a cement block - wear a Small or 4/6, what's a genuinely small woman supposed to wear? Kid's clothes??
I say this all the time to my husband. I'm almost 5'9" there's no way I should be a small. I worked with a Japanese girl for a couple of years and she could only shop in the children's section. Luckily for her, 10 year olds are dressing like adults these days.
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Old 05-31-2006, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
If I - who am built more along the lines of a cement block - wear a Small or 4/6, what's a genuinely small woman supposed to wear? Kid's clothes??
That's why they make clothes in size zero. Did you know they even made a size double zero? I didn't until a month or so ago when I was in the checkout line. The young lady in front of me was thin, but also quite short (under 5'); I'm pretty sure she was at her full adult hight and she didn't look emaciated. She was commenting about how she can never find jeans that fit and that she was happy that this particular store carried size double zero.

I don't know what girls smaller than her are supposed to do...unless they've come out with negative numbers for sizes. Maybe they have to make their own clothes. I understand that really skinny women may have difficulty finding clothes in their size, but it's still hard for me to pity them.

Years ago, when I first heard that Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14, I was confused because I wore a 14 and I recall thinking, "hmm, I don't look like her." Then later, I learned about the ever diminishing sizes and understood. Sure, it feels nice now to be able to buy a size 4 or 6 dress, but that number doesn't mean much when I still can't look decent in a bathing suit--which reminds me of another phenomenon: the ever-diminishing bathing suit. I could go on and on about how much they've shrunk over the years. The only decent bathing suits were in fashion before I was born. Now, we're given two triangles to wear on top, and for the bottom there's a triangle in the front and one in the back, and we're supposed to feel comfortable--yeah right. Ok, I'll stop now before I get carried away.
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:32 PM   #5
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Negative numbers for sizes!! Now it's going to be a competition to see who can fit into negative 7's.

Marilyn Monroes's measurements - from Snopes.com: Did Marilyn Monroe really wear size 16?

Height: 5 feet, 5½ inches
Weight: 118-140 pounds
Bust: 35-37 inches
Waist: 22-23 inches
Hips: 35-36 inches
Bra size: 36D

I don't think she'd be a 14 today! Maybe she'd be a negative number with that tiny waist.
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:59 PM   #6
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For me it seems that sizes have gotten larger. When I was in high school in late 70's , I weighed 135 and wore 7's and 9's. I weigh 148 now and wear size 4-5 and they aren't at all tight .I am 5'7. My waist was definitely smaller then, before I had children, but my thighs and hips were larger and more muscular then. My son's girlfriend is 5'9 and weighs 119 and and wears size 1-3.
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:45 PM   #7
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Lillybelle, I was thinking the same thing. I read once that if Marilyn Monroe were alive today she would easily be a size 14 and not a 12.
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Old 06-03-2006, 03:08 AM   #8
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My mom is very thin, always has been, at one time she actually bought a girls size jeans and they fit. Now she wears I think size 4 in juniors?
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Old 06-03-2006, 09:53 AM   #9
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I'm glad I wasn't born back then~dang,what size would I have worn!!! I wear a 16/18 now!!!Gosh,we think our sizes are bad!I wonder how the fat people felt back then!!!Were there fat people then???
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Old 06-03-2006, 04:31 PM   #10
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Since I was a size 16 about the same time Marilyn Monroe was it is easy for me to understand....a woman or missies size 16 was downsized to an 8-10......I weighed 140 pounds was 5ft3 1.2 at that time.....so if I get back to my highschool weight instead of a 16 I hope to be looking at 8s and 10s as Marilyn would as well........(ps....don't think she could have worn the tiny sizes in a dress as she was way more endowed then I in the above the waist department).....
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:42 PM   #11
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Personally, I'm a "huge" fan of vanity sizing. I can't even begin to describe my delight that size 4's are actually loose on me. Last summer I was visiting my mother and she tried to return clothes that I'd given her that I wore 25 years ago (she defies explanation...just take it at face value.) I weighed about 110 when I bought those size 8's, and they fit perfectly. They were too tight on me last summer - OK, I humored her and tried them on- and at the time I was comfortably wearing size 2's. As I said above, I LOVE vanity sizing

But I think this really ties into the "What is normal" thread on the Maintainers forum. I feel like I'm built like a cement block also (Meg's lying, she has a waist!) but last week at my son's chorus concert, I realized I might have been the smallest woman in the auditorium over the age of 15 and smaller than a lot of the teen-agers. Certainly one of the smallest. What do smaller women do? Hmmmm....there aren't many. I see a lot of larger wormen, a few my size, and very few smaller. There still are the size 2's I wore last year, size 0's, and at Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and others, 00. My daughter, who is really tiny and 24 yrs old, wears a 0. The trendier, extremely expensive jeans are sold by waist size and run small. Even wearing a size 4 in Banana Rebuplic and Ann Taylor clothing, there is NO size of Seven or Paige jeans that will go on my legs. They are cut for stick figures. Real tall stick figures

This is from a blogger "Skwigg":
Quote:
Sunday, 21 May 2006

Facts and Stick Figures

Banana Republic and other retailers have started stocking some clothes in a size 00, yes double zero, just in case your size 0s become too roomy. Now I'm sure that there are probably some petite and healthy double-naught women out there, but its weirding me out. I'm picturing tiny women who live in dollhouses and drive Barbie Dream Cars and shop at Baby Gap.

As best I can determine, size 00 is actually a 31" chest, 23" waist, and 32" hips. In the 1950s that was a size 8, by the 1970s it was a 4, and today it's a 00. The whole world has gone mad with the vanity sizing. People ask me what size I wear and I don't know. I have jeans in size 4, 6, 8, and 10 and they all fit. The sizing madness super sucks if you want to buy clothes online. And good luck if you want to walk into a store and buy pants without trying on 15 different pairs and beating your head against the dressing room wall.

Sometimes I'm jealous of guy clothes. They have the actual measurement on the label. I mean, what a freaking concept. You could just go grab something off the rack (or out of your husband's closet, ahem...) and know it would fit you. I suppose they think women would flip out and stop shopping if they had to face the reality of 45" hips. Hey, just give it a few years and that will be a size 6.

The other number that has me agitated is that oft quoted nonsense about how people eat an average of 82 calories more per day on weekends versus on work days. My question is, on what planet? I mean, what is that, a breath mint? The experts are very concerned about this reckless behavior, because over the course of a year, that kind of "wild" splurging could lead to a weight gain of almost 5 pounds. Whatever. Do you want to know what I ate on my last day off? I had buttered movie popcorn and peanut M&Ms and real Coke. Then I went to Outback Steakhouse and had Aussie Cheese Fries (that's several pounds of french fries covered in melted cheddar and monterey jack and crumbled bacon and spicy ranch dressing) and for dessert I had Chocolate Thunder from Down Under (that's a big warm pecan brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce). ****, there were probably 82 calories in the first french fry. No wonder I'm not wearing a size 00 and driving a Barbie Dream Car.


Posted by skwigg at 1:27 PM CDT | post your comment (13) | link to this post
Personally, I'd rather buy a size 4 than a 35.

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Old 06-05-2006, 07:02 PM   #12
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Yeesh - too confusing.

I know for sure that back in the early 70s when I was finishing high school I wore a size 7 and could just never get any smaller. I figure I weighed at least 5-7 pounds less then than I do now and I had a high school shape.

I will say that for the last at least 7 or 8 years, it seems like things stabilized and for the most part Talbots for example hasn't changed - the stuff I got seems predictably sized from the past to what it is today.

I remember my mom in the 50s and 60s talking about being a size 12 and so proud of it - even by the late 60s that was seeming like a big number to me.

So ridiculous!
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Old 06-06-2006, 01:58 AM   #13
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Coming from Australia our sizes are different again.

An Australian 8/10(which I am at 36" hips 24" waist and a bust thats well...very sad - my hips and waist are two different sizes) is generally accepted as a US 4/6

I was at one point down to an emaciated 112 pounds and had 34.5" hips and a 22.5" waist and couldnt find anything to fit...some 6's did, but there weren't a real lot around.

As for jeans...I find the sizes being in inches frustrating when they don't state whether they're using the "natural" waist or the "drop waist" when stating the size. It means I can pick up a size 24 thinking yeah...that'll fit when um...no...the 26" or 27" does because they've measured further down south.

Bottom line for me...vanity or not...if it fits, i'll buy it. I'd rather have something a size "larger" and look hot than something that says it's a small or extra small (help us all in Supre where it goes to xxxsm) and look squeezed :P

My mum in highschool was a size 10 and she weighed a tiny 112 (she's an inch taller than I am at 5'7) and from looking at photos in todays Aussie sizing she'd probably have been a 6.

Today she is about 121 pounds still a size 10. (Mind you...I reckon she is is actually an 8 but for whatever reason she refuses to believe me :P)

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Old 06-06-2006, 03:09 PM   #14
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I like vanity sizing but I think it also helps people fool themselves into thinking that they haven't gained weight.

One of my aunts is tiny, short and naturally thin. A few years ago, she was proud of a purchase she made... in the kids department. We all thought it was funny that she was wearing kids clothes but what are they going to do if they keep changing sizes?
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:34 PM   #15
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The existence of size "00" is absolutely insane.

But, it's not true that men's sizes are totally uniform though. My dh has 32 pants that are loose at the same time as some 34s fit perfectly. He tends to have um, more ample thighs and butt than most men though, so can't just pick up a pair of pants and assume they fit, he always has to try them on.
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