vanity sizing

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Replies

  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    Went clearance sale shopping today, tried on three pairs of jeans which didn't fit by different makers: an 8 that was too big, a 10 that I couldn't get above mid thigh, and a 12 which I could have moved into with my whole family. Purchased an extra large dress which is skin tight, a small top which is loose, and a medium skirt which fits perfectly. The dress was a surprise - it's a casual t-shirt dress and I didn't try it on because I wanted it somewhat loose and figured if it was too loose that would be okay. Who would have guessed it would be super slinky? My husband says he loves it on me so I guess it's not going back. I feel like I need spanx with it though!

    It's not just vanity sizing, unless for some reason they have vanity sizing for feet. I tried on shoes too, and depending on brand, my size was somewhere between 7.5 and 9.5. It's more like clothing manufacturers have just gone insane.
  • jrochest
    jrochest Posts: 118 Member
    jrochest wrote: »
    Yep, the States is the worst for vanity sizing, which has been going on for ages but really did get worse in the 90s. UK/Australian sizing is what USA and Canadian sizing used to be 20 years ago; 10 years ago a UK 14 was a US 12 and now a UK 14 is supposedly a US 10.

    When I was in high school in the 70s and 80s I was 5' 5" and 115 pounds and a perfect size 10 :). The smallest size you could buy was a 6, and it was almost impossible to find them in department stores.

    How? I was 5'3" and 140 and wore a 12. I don't understand.

    Well, I was in the tail end of the 70s and the early 80s...but I vividly remember my size, because I worked so damned hard at it! Still have the grad dress upstairs in a closet -- now it wouldn't fit my thigh!

  • Kst76
    Kst76 Posts: 920 Member
    kballsocc wrote: »
    lucerorojo wrote: »
    kballsocc wrote: »
    I feel like the style at the moment is for looser flowy tops and not as fitted. Just as bell-bottom jeans used to be in style and now skinny jeans are still hanging on. Fitted tops pair better with larger fitting pants, looser tops pair well with leggings/skinny jeans. I am not sure @ahoy_m8 statement about obese people causing looser tops is really the best explanation. I feel like more obese people in the US has made plus size section of stores larger and more stores that cater to their sizes.

    I was in a store several years ago (about 50 lbs. ago for me). and the saleslady was telling me that tops were now looser and a different shape because of more overweight women wanting to hide their bellies. This was not in the "plus-size" part of the store but in the regular sizes.

    FWIW I don't wear jeans anymore because I find denim uncomfortable, and have never worn leggings with a top, only under a dress. I personally wouldn't wear skinny jeans (if I still wore jeans) unless I was actually skinny! I also don't agree that skinny jeans should go with looser tops. If one is actually thin and wears them, and has tight abs, why would you want to wear a loose top?

    That's the style I like. I see it as balance; fitted in one area not so fitted in the other. Like the rule I use for showing skin: if I'm wearing a shorter skirt I'm not going to wear a deep v too.

    Lol..right..!
  • Urbancowbarn
    Urbancowbarn Posts: 97 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    To take something of a tangent, in addition to sizing frustration (which I share), I’m also sad to see fewer and fewer ready-to-wear styles in a somewhat tailored fit. I’m not talking skin tight or anything, just fitted enough to have a waist vs. me looking like a sack of potatoes. I’m an hourglass, and hips are the biggest part of me, so if there isn’t a hint of waist, I look like a sack.

    I think the reality in the US market, anyway, is 2/3 of people are overweight with half of those being obese. There are evermore apple shapes out there. If a brand intends to address a mass market, they have to design styles overweight and obese people will buy, because they outnumber thin folks. So even if a garment fits, it’s likely to be apple shaped in a smaller size. last summer I looked and looked for a replacement for a chambray sleeveless top I had worn easily >10 years (threadbare ). It was definitely in OT. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I finally bought a $20 target top that I planned to have altered. I could tell from the photos it had no waist and was way too long to work the way my old top did, but it was the right idea. Shock when the tailor told me it was $70 to alter! I wore the heck out of that thing all summer and joked with my family my tailor takes a $20 shirt and makes it a $90 shirt. Yeah, I’m altering more stuff on my own, now. It would help if I had a serger.

    This is my biggest frustration with clothing today as well. Everything is boxy and shapeless. I’m busty and if a blouse doesn’t have bust darts at least or a tailored fit it makes me look huge. T shirts with a more feminine fit at the waist are so hard to find. I keep hoping this boxy style will finally go out of fashion because I don’t want to spend money on tailoring!
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    jrochest wrote: »
    jrochest wrote: »
    Yep, the States is the worst for vanity sizing, which has been going on for ages but really did get worse in the 90s. UK/Australian sizing is what USA and Canadian sizing used to be 20 years ago; 10 years ago a UK 14 was a US 12 and now a UK 14 is supposedly a US 10.

    When I was in high school in the 70s and 80s I was 5' 5" and 115 pounds and a perfect size 10 :). The smallest size you could buy was a 6, and it was almost impossible to find them in department stores.

    How? I was 5'3" and 140 and wore a 12. I don't understand.

    Well, I was in the tail end of the 70s and the early 80s...but I vividly remember my size, because I worked so damned hard at it! Still have the grad dress upstairs in a closet -- now it wouldn't fit my thigh!

    I lost down to 140 from 160 in the 70's. I vividly remember my size in the 70's too... it was a 14. I remember my size in the 80's because I worked hard to get there.
  • allisonlane161
    allisonlane161 Posts: 269 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    To take something of a tangent, in addition to sizing frustration (which I share), I’m also sad to see fewer and fewer ready-to-wear styles in a somewhat tailored fit. I’m not talking skin tight or anything, just fitted enough to have a waist vs. me looking like a sack of potatoes. I’m an hourglass, and hips are the biggest part of me, so if there isn’t a hint of waist, I look like a sack.

    I think the reality in the US market, anyway, is 2/3 of people are overweight with half of those being obese. There are evermore apple shapes out there. If a brand intends to address a mass market, they have to design styles overweight and obese people will buy, because they outnumber thin folks. So even if a garment fits, it’s likely to be apple shaped in a smaller size. last summer I looked and looked for a replacement for a chambray sleeveless top I had worn easily >10 years (threadbare ). It was definitely in OT. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I finally bought a $20 target top that I planned to have altered. I could tell from the photos it had no waist and was way too long to work the way my old top did, but it was the right idea. Shock when the tailor told me it was $70 to alter! I wore the heck out of that thing all summer and joked with my family my tailor takes a $20 shirt and makes it a $90 shirt. Yeah, I’m altering more stuff on my own, now. It would help if I had a serger.

    Geez do I hear you. I actually bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew because I wanted fitted tops without the hefty tailoring cost. I am hourglass shaped, goal weight and 5'8. I still look like a sack in shirts--especially button downs. I like how I'm shaped and how I look--and it took a lot of work to have that happen, but unless I'm willing to spend $70+ on a fitted shirt in one of the upscale shops, I look blah.
  • Running_and_Coffee
    Running_and_Coffee Posts: 811 Member
    Just to play devil's advocate--a woman's size is an arbitrary number. It's not like a "32" which is supposed to be an actual man's waist size. If it's 0-14 for non-plus, kind of makes sense that the middle of those sizes reflects the average sized woman. Maybe an 8 who weighed 140 lbs was average in the 1950s, but I doubt that's true now...
  • temazur
    temazur Posts: 76 Member
    bwogilvie wrote: »
    Vanity sizing has even hit men's clothing, as this article in Esquire explained nearly a decade ago: https://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/a8386/pants-size-chart-090710/

    I take that article with a grain of salt, especially considering it's 8 years ago.

    I saw it earlier this year, pulled out a pair of Old Navy jeans and measured them from button to button hole on the pants. They were within half an inch of the size on the label. Same for everything else in my drawer of various sizes. I think the largest variance I saw was one full inch bigger. I don't consider that to be too awfully bad since they were a "relaxed" fit pair and still an inch under the next size. Nothing was even close to the larger variances shown in the article. Granted, I'm not buying designer jeans or anything, we're talking Old Navy, and old pair of Arizonas, some Levis and Wranglers. (yes, I'm cheap when it comes to jeans)



  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,234 Member
    Just to play devil's advocate--a woman's size is an arbitrary number. It's not like a "32" which is supposed to be an actual man's waist size. If it's 0-14 for non-plus, kind of makes sense that the middle of those sizes reflects the average sized woman. Maybe an 8 who weighed 140 lbs was average in the 1950s, but I doubt that's true now...

    it is so true. no rhyme or reason it seems. however, i am happy hot topic has done it a bit. i can now fit in a large as opposed to needing to go to torrid
  • CarvedTones
    CarvedTones Posts: 2,340 Member
    I suggest using measurements. I've found that I can more easily buy clothes using my actually waist size versus store sizes. Men's sizing does this the right way (although I've also heard that a 32" in men's isn't always a 32").

    That's true. I am about 32" now and most 32 pants are a little loose. I can wear some 30s but I don't; after losing the weight, the last thing I want is to wear clothes it looks like I am outgrowing. I have 2 pairs of khakis from Old navy that are the same line (same label) just different colors. One is a true 32 and the other is closer to 34.
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    I suggest using measurements. I've found that I can more easily buy clothes using my actually waist size versus store sizes. Men's sizing does this the right way (although I've also heard that a 32" in men's isn't always a 32").

    That's true. I am about 32" now and most 32 pants are a little loose. I can wear some 30s but I don't; after losing the weight, the last thing I want is to wear clothes it looks like I am outgrowing. I have 2 pairs of khakis from Old navy that are the same line (same label) just different colors. One is a true 32 and the other is closer to 34.

    Oh, that has happened to me there too with shorts. One colorway? Size 0. Different color? Needed a 2.
  • danae16
    danae16 Posts: 62 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    To take something of a tangent, in addition to sizing frustration (which I share), I’m also sad to see fewer and fewer ready-to-wear styles in a somewhat tailored fit. I’m not talking skin tight or anything, just fitted enough to have a waist vs. me looking like a sack of potatoes. I’m an hourglass, and hips are the biggest part of me, so if there isn’t a hint of waist, I look like a sack.

    I think the reality in the US market, anyway, is 2/3 of people are overweight with half of those being obese. There are evermore apple shapes out there. If a brand intends to address a mass market, they have to design styles overweight and obese people will buy, because they outnumber thin folks. So even if a garment fits, it’s likely to be apple shaped in a smaller size. last summer I looked and looked for a replacement for a chambray sleeveless top I had worn easily >10 years (threadbare ). It was definitely in OT. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I finally bought a $20 target top that I planned to have altered. I could tell from the photos it had no waist and was way too long to work the way my old top did, but it was the right idea. Shock when the tailor told me it was $70 to alter! I wore the heck out of that thing all summer and joked with my family my tailor takes a $20 shirt and makes it a $90 shirt. Yeah, I’m altering more stuff on my own, now. It would help if I had a serger.

    I feel the same way! I don't have hips, but I do have a chest and if they don't go in on the waist they look like a box! My mom can alter things, but she's 4 1/2 hours away. I could alter my own if I had a serger as well. As it is, I've taken a few things in at the was to help.
  • lucerorojo
    lucerorojo Posts: 790 Member
    Just to play devil's advocate--a woman's size is an arbitrary number. It's not like a "32" which is supposed to be an actual man's waist size. If it's 0-14 for non-plus, kind of makes sense that the middle of those sizes reflects the average sized woman. Maybe an 8 who weighed 140 lbs was average in the 1950s, but I doubt that's true now...

    I wore a size 8 in the 1980s and I was about 120 lbs. When I weighed 140 lbs., I was a size 14.
  • Noreenmarie1234
    Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 7,230 Member
    edited May 2018
    lucerorojo wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate--a woman's size is an arbitrary number. It's not like a "32" which is supposed to be an actual man's waist size. If it's 0-14 for non-plus, kind of makes sense that the middle of those sizes reflects the average sized woman. Maybe an 8 who weighed 140 lbs was average in the 1950s, but I doubt that's true now...

    I wore a size 8 in the 1980s and I was about 120 lbs. When I weighed 140 lbs., I was a size 14.
    I have my moms old clothes from 80s. Size 6 is snug on me, but in current sizes I have to get the smallest size. My 0 skirts are bigger than her size 6s from back then.
  • Running_and_Coffee
    Running_and_Coffee Posts: 811 Member
    lucerorojo wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate--a woman's size is an arbitrary number. It's not like a "32" which is supposed to be an actual man's waist size. If it's 0-14 for non-plus, kind of makes sense that the middle of those sizes reflects the average sized woman. Maybe an 8 who weighed 140 lbs was average in the 1950s, but I doubt that's true now...

    I wore a size 8 in the 1980s and I was about 120 lbs. When I weighed 140 lbs., I was a size 14.

    OK, was more just speaking to how general body size has increased as sizes has shrunk and that might in some weird way make sense. I am definitely NOT an expert of what clothing size=what body size/per decade. I have absolutely no idea what a size 8 actually was at any given point in time. :-)
  • lucerorojo
    lucerorojo Posts: 790 Member
    edited May 2018
    lucerorojo wrote: »
    Just to play devil's advocate--a woman's size is an arbitrary number. It's not like a "32" which is supposed to be an actual man's waist size. If it's 0-14 for non-plus, kind of makes sense that the middle of those sizes reflects the average sized woman. Maybe an 8 who weighed 140 lbs was average in the 1950s, but I doubt that's true now...

    I wore a size 8 in the 1980s and I was about 120 lbs. When I weighed 140 lbs., I was a size 14.

    OK, was more just speaking to how general body size has increased as sizes has shrunk and that might in some weird way make sense. I am definitely NOT an expert of what clothing size=what body size/per decade. I have absolutely no idea what a size 8 actually was at any given point in time. :-)

    I understand. I don't know if the average woman was a size 8 back then. I actually don't think so--I think the average size was 14. The average teenager/20 something was probably a size 8-12 though. Size 14 was considered "plus size" back then. But that is not "today's size 14", but a woman who probably weighed 140-150 back then.

    What you are saying, actually makes sense in a way. Plus size models today are size 8/10 and up I think--they are more like an average woman, than 0-2 of the regular models, who tend to be thin.

    I did not know there was a 00 size today, which is ridiculous. The problem with this, is that there are still women who are small, even though they are not the majority. What's next? Negative sizes??? It's easier to size up, but women don't want to go into the store buying size 22.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,611 Member
    Yeah, I just plan to try two or three sizes of the same thing on at a time and hope that one of them fits.

    My experience is that measurement charts for shopping online are not accurate enough.

    I'm used to all that - my pet peeve is sleeveless shirts with gaping arm holes that I need to have altered. And it's not like my arms are twigs or anything, lol. Fortunately, my mom has a sewing machine.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,611 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    To take something of a tangent, in addition to sizing frustration (which I share), I’m also sad to see fewer and fewer ready-to-wear styles in a somewhat tailored fit. I’m not talking skin tight or anything, just fitted enough to have a waist vs. me looking like a sack of potatoes. I’m an hourglass, and hips are the biggest part of me, so if there isn’t a hint of waist, I look like a sack.

    I think the reality in the US market, anyway, is 2/3 of people are overweight with half of those being obese. There are evermore apple shapes out there. If a brand intends to address a mass market, they have to design styles overweight and obese people will buy, because they outnumber thin folks. So even if a garment fits, it’s likely to be apple shaped in a smaller size. last summer I looked and looked for a replacement for a chambray sleeveless top I had worn easily >10 years (threadbare ). It was definitely in OT. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I finally bought a $20 target top that I planned to have altered. I could tell from the photos it had no waist and was way too long to work the way my old top did, but it was the right idea. Shock when the tailor told me it was $70 to alter! I wore the heck out of that thing all summer and joked with my family my tailor takes a $20 shirt and makes it a $90 shirt. Yeah, I’m altering more stuff on my own, now. It would help if I had a serger.

    I had a similar (but not quite as pricey) experience with a pair of sandals. My actual measurements put me at a 10.5 wide, but many manufacturers stop making half sizes before 10.5. Sometimes I can wear an 11. I got a pair of sandals from Zappos which fit great after I had a shoe repair guy take about an inch off the straps. He was surprised I would spend so much money to make them fit, but I loved them and wore the heck out of them.

    I'm willing to buy shoes from Zappos because the return process is easy and free.