Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sizeflation

So the other day I was all psyched about fitting into a new lower size again. I bought some new polo shirts and jeans from Land's End and I loved getting back into a new number.

Then a so-called "friend" told me to check the sizes for Vogue patterns. Pattern-makers probably don't have quite the incentive of ready-to-wear clothes vendors to make larger sizes in smaller number labels. Like, "Ooh, I love my new polo shirt, especially since it has this great lower number on the tag!" Pattern-makers probably haven't adjusted their sizes since the 1940s.

Sure enough, she was right:

Land's End: Size - bust, waist, hips (inches)
6 - 34 1/2 27 1/2 37 1/2
8 - 35 1/2 28 1/2 38 1/2
10 - 36 1/2 29 1/2 39 1/2
12 - 38 31 41
14 - 39 1/2 32 1/2 42 1/2
16 - 41 34 44
18 - 43 36 46

Vogue Patterns: Size - bust, waist, hips (inches)
6 - 30 1/2 23 32 1/2
8 - 31 1/2 24 33 1/2
10 - 32 1/2 25 34 1/2
12 - 34 26 1/2 36
14 - 36 28 38
16 - 38 30 40
18 - 40 32 42
20 - 42 34 44
22 - 44 37 46
24 - 46 39 48

So, for example, if you think you wear a size 8 from Land's End? Think again. You're really a size 14 with Vogue.

Then again, I've heard many times that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14. It's probably apocryphal, though. Those must have been 1940s sizes, anyway - today she would probably wear an 8.

It's only a number. RIGHT?

More on the Marilyn size thing at (where else?) snopes.com - the measurements listed there put her somewhere between a size 10 and 14 (from above). Thanks for the link, Carlene!

8 comments:

Holly said...

It's ONLY a number ... why let numbers rule your life? You have much better ways to spend you day!

:)

21st Century Mom said...

Yes - it is only a number! The only thing that counts is how you feel. And yes, that is a triple entendre.

Iron Pol said...

You've got this all wrong. Go the other way. Figure out what size you should have from Vogue, then BUY Land's End. Problem solved.

Or, do like me. Just keep wearing the old clothes, and have everyone tell you how baggy they look.

Mojo said...

Yep. I never put any stock in clothing size or scales.

Body fat baby!

Comm's said...

As a former Marilyn fan, I have since grown out of that infatuation, I am quite sure she was a 12-14 like the snopes article claims.

Pin ups like MM, Jane Russell, Mae West, Betty Page, were much more voluptuous in their day. There was really no such thing as exercise or dieting such as we know it today.

Its a shame that pop culture has continuted to claim MM a beautiful woman but a todays common mom with the same measurement is dumpy.

I like Lands End clothes and I am glad you get to wear them. Not really the style in the desert. Whatever the size on the label, its the smile that wins me over.

You got a nice smile nancy.

Steve Toby said...

Think the "sizeflation" in women's sizes is amusing? Well, I've discovered there's sizeflation in men's sizes too. A few years ago I was congratulating myself that, at age 40-something, I was still wearing a 33 waist size. Now, since that's supposed to be 33 inches, one would think it's objective. But, one day just for the heck of it I gave myself the acid test with a tape measure. Sure enough...my waist was really about 36" around (even a bit more, now). And the 33" sizes from most makers still fit.

The women's sizes are easier to inflate because they aren't directly related to a particular measurement. But men's sizes inflate too!

I wonder why...probably demographics. My theory: the baby boomers are the biggest and wealthiest segment of our population, and they'd rather believe that as they age they are still wearing the same size.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

If it fits, looks good and the price is right, buy it. Ta heck with what size it is. Do people come up and reach inside your outfit to see what size it is? Only you know what the number is and for that matter if I cut out the tag at my age I forget what size it is.

jeanne said...

it is ONLY a number. omg, i tell my kid this DAILY. every store you go into, the sizing will be different.

For women.

(OK was about to go on a rant about men's sizing then read Steve's comments.)
Still, buy a men's suit and THEY get everything altered and measured automatically. And men don't buy size "14" jeans. They buy w=32, length="36" because guess what? Everyone is made differently!

It's so infuriating.