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MacMadame
08-26-2010, 01:39 AM
Most of the people I see on a daily basis are neither. They are firmly in the size 6-10 range.
I don't think you can generalize based on sizes like that. It also depends on how tall you are. For me, size 6-10 would be overweight, not normal. I'm pretty short and have a small frame.


Yep-and every time you pick up a tabloid magazine you see some article about Oprah's fluctuating weight. She's thin! She's fat! She's losing! She's gaining!

Instead of celebrating her success, too often many times her publicity revolves around her weight. Not all the time, but too darn much.
I agree with you to some extent, but I also think that Oprah has brought at least some of this onto herself because she has made her weight a public topic of conversation by doing things like having whole shows about it.


This straight up annoys me. Every single woman IS a real woman! Whether they're model thin or obese, they're all REAL! I'm short, and a size 4. By your defintion, I'm not real because I'm not a size 12? I really despise the "real women have curves" thought process. Sorry, but that's just BS. We're all real.
Amen! What kills me is when people say things like "I want to be healthy, not a size 0 or 2" as if no one who is that size could possibly be healthy. Not all size 0 people are 5'10" and model skinny.

I don't think it helps matters to demonize the thin either as I sometimes see people do. It's like it's okay in some circles to call someone a skinny bitch when it wouldn't be okay to call them a fat pig. That's just as bad as the circles where it's okay to call someone a fat pig IMO.


Before all of this vanity sizing
I hate to tell you this, but there has been vanity sizing since the birth of the ready-to-wear clothing industry. :P

The way that industry works is that a line's "medium" is supposed to be their main seller. The formulas for ordering fabric and running the business are based on this premise. So, if they cater to a clientele with smaller sized-women, their medium will be smaller than a line that caters to a larger clientele. Then, as women's sizes have changed overall as a group -- getting thicker waists as corsets went out of style, getting larger overall as obesity rates rise -- sizes change to match.

This makes economic sense as you don't want your line to fit people who don't buy your clothes and its easier to change the sizes than to come up with all new formulas.

From what I've seen as a person who's been buying clothes since the 70s, the big jumps happen about every 10-15 years as it takes that long for an entire population to change. I was a size 8 in '71. I'm actually smaller in the hips, legs and arms now (But bigger in the bust and taller -- I was just 13 back then and not done growing) and now I'm size 2. So you figure since the 70s, that's at least 3 changes in the sizes, maybe 4 as I might be a 6 in 70s clothing today. It's hard to tell.

But some of this "vanity sizing" we really have only ourselves to blame. Talbots did a study of their customers and discovered that the majority of them have certain sizes they just will not buy. It doesn't matter if it fits perfectly. They don't want to buy clothing with that bigger number on the tag! If women didn't care, we could do all sizes by inches and the only thing that would change would be what numbers were on the sizes that the stores carried. I.E., The range would go up as people got bigger.

I thought I had a quote from someone who asked what people smaller than a size 0 do. I have a friend like that and she buys stuff in the kids' department. There is also a size 00 but it's actually a Jr. size so it doesn't work if you have a bust or hips.

You don't even have to be smaller than a size 0 to find stuff in the kids' department. A size 16 is about a size 2. I have a pair of skinny jeans and a gorgeous sweater I got from Justice for Girls when I was in there with Mini-Mac. The only problem is, girl sizes have no waists so some stuff isn't cut right. OTOH, if you are someone who isn't shaped like the typical Junior or typical Misses fit model, going to the kids' department or the mens department might work for you depending on what the article of clothing is and how you differ from the norm.

vesperholly
08-26-2010, 02:38 AM
Honestly, the worst problem I see with vanity sizing is that it's manufactured so shoddily that quality control isn't what it should be. One size L doesn't always equal the next size L. I've held up two of the same size tank top at Old Navy, and one is longer and wider than the other.

And of course, the cut of a shirt makes a big difference. When I was a size 12, I could get away with size S tops, if they were that "trapeze" cut like an a-line skirt, because I'm much smaller in the bust than the waist/hips. But I'd be wearing XLs if the shirt had a band at the bottom.

cruisin
08-26-2010, 02:55 AM
^^ Just an FYI, there are size 00 and XXS in women's clothes too.

Vesperholly, part of the size difference between the same size, of the same garment, in the same store, is that different people assemble them. They are pretty much stamp cut, so the cut pieces are the same size. But different sewers will leave a little more selvage than others. With sergers, you can't really see it as they trim as they go. But it can create a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch difference.

MacMadame
08-26-2010, 06:19 AM
Honestly, the worst problem I see with vanity sizing is that it's manufactured so shoddily that quality control isn't what it should be.

I don't think that has anything to do with vanity sizing. It's just a quality issue. Some manufacturers are worse than others about that no matter how they do their sizing.

Stormy
08-26-2010, 02:53 PM
I don't think that has anything to do with vanity sizing. It's just a quality issue. Some manufacturers are worse than others about that no matter how they do their sizing.

I agree. I like Old Navy but some of their clothes really are crap quality, no matter what size. The jeans seems to last a while but the shirts are awful. Gap seems to be slightly better and I haven't been in a Banana Republic in years. New York and Company seem to have good quality stuff and they aren't too expensive.

Say what you want about Abercrombie but everything I've bought from them (and I've bought a decent amount) has lasted forever and a day. I have some of their t-shirts from over 5 or 6 years ago that I wear weekly and they're still going strong.

I've also noticed the size 00 trend coming back. It seemed to me that I didn't see that size for a while and I have in my past couple of shopping trips. But if it's a legit size that some women need, that's fine.

Andora
08-26-2010, 03:54 PM
I agree. I like Old Navy but some of their clothes really are crap quality, no matter what size. The jeans seems to last a while but the shirts are awful.


I once had an employee there straight up tell me that their sizing was all over the map due to clothes coming from different factories around the world. When trying on jeans, three different pairs in the same cut and same size fit differently. There's a reason a friend of mine has skirts/pants there ranging from a 6 to 12. Boggles the mind. Bluenotes is the same way, but their jeans have lasted forever.

Quality/sizing control issues are why I've always liked the advice to buy trendy, short-term items from cheap stores and, if I can, invest more in things I want to last. The Gap and places like that are good for that at a decent price, even if you're on the bigger side. If only their clothes weren't so damn ugly at the moment. Stupid '80s retread in fashion.

Stormy
08-26-2010, 04:45 PM
If only their clothes weren't so damn ugly at the moment. Stupid '80s retread in fashion.

Yup. This. When I saw zippers on the bottom of the legs on a pair of jeans there yesterday, I just left shaking my head.

cruisin
08-26-2010, 11:24 PM
Yup. This. When I saw zippers on the bottom of the legs on a pair of jeans there yesterday, I just left shaking my head.

It's not just Gap, there are a lot of jeans with zippers on the bottom. Ranging from cheap to very high end. With some of them, I think it's just because the lower leg opening is so tight that no one would be able to get the pant leg opening over their foot without a zipper.

vesperholly
08-27-2010, 01:29 AM
Vesperholly, part of the size difference between the same size, of the same garment, in the same store, is that different people assemble them. They are pretty much stamp cut, so the cut pieces are the same size. But different sewers will leave a little more selvage than others. With sergers, you can't really see it as they trim as they go. But it can create a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch difference.
I asked once at a Gap why one size 14 pair of jeans would fit differently than another. The sales assistant told me that the stamp cut machine splays out when it cuts large piles of clothes, so as it goes down, the bottom pushes out and the pieces on the bottom are larger, hence larger clothes labeled the same. Don't know how true this is, but sheesh ... and they have the nerve to charge $70+ on clothes with such poor quality control.


Yup. This. When I saw zippers on the bottom of the legs on a pair of jeans there yesterday, I just left shaking my head.

I saw black lace leggings at Target the other day. Should I wear them with my jellies? :scream:

cruisin
08-27-2010, 01:54 AM
I asked once at a Gap why one size 14 pair of jeans would fit differently than another. The sales assistant told me that the stamp cut machine splays out when it cuts large piles of clothes, so as it goes down, the bottom pushes out and the pieces on the bottom are larger, hence larger clothes labeled the same. Don't know how true this is, but sheesh ... and they have the nerve to charge $70+ on clothes with such poor quality control.


I suspect that the fabric could do that. It could (with knits), do the opposite. the machine could stretch the top layers as it pushes down. I am guessing it's a combination of the cutting and the sewing. I got the serged seam explanation at some store, forget which. :lol: Guess they are trained to explain the size differential in a way that makes customers think - "Oh, that makes sense". :lol:

Stormy
08-27-2010, 02:05 AM
I saw black lace leggings at Target the other day. Should I wear them with my jellies? :scream:

Only if you've got the neon legwarmers to match! :lol:

cruisin
08-27-2010, 02:28 PM
Saw an article (can't remember where now) that Madonna's daughter Lourdes is now designing clothes (with a little help from good friend Stella McCartney). A very inexpensive line that has roots in Moma Madonna's breast plate days. It's :eek:!

joeperryfan
08-27-2010, 03:34 PM
I don't know about the US but in Europe certain brands (like Bershka) offer sizes that are too small even for my friend who is 5' 6" and is barely 100lbs (and no, she is not anorexic, it's just her genes and she can't gain much weight no matter how hard she tries). I wonder who is buying them, even teenagers aren't that skinny...:wideeyes:

I'm 5'0'' and 90 lbs or so, some of those sizes fit me, but truth be told even I have tried on some clothes that were too small, so i do have to wonder who was that supposed to fit... Your friend at 5'6'' is considerably bigger than me, so the clothes proportions are different for us.. don't even get me started on that... About a decade ago most clothes stores in Portugal carried items made in the country, I didn't have trouble finding clothes then, we used to complain when clothes were made in Spain because they were lower quality, these days we are happy if the clothes are spanish... Outsourcing to Morocco and Bangladesh, etc has taken a big toll on quality, most clothes these days are crap and the proportions are a joke. Once I went to Mango and tried on 4 pairs of pants, all same size, one was so large it wouldn't hold on my hips and I couldn't fit into another one, how is that possible?
I understand that each brands caters to a different section of the market so the sizes differ from store to store, but within the same brand they should be somewhat similar, it's a joke.

I agree with the poster who is annoyed by "real women have curves" and such ideas, this is my natural size, what am I supposed to do, turn into a guy?

Andora
08-27-2010, 04:23 PM
I agree with the poster who is annoyed by "real women have curves" and such ideas, this is my natural size, what am I supposed to do, turn into a guy?

I like the idea better than real women accept the body they're given, or something. I have curves (and then some), but my naturally slender or very skinny friends are just as "real" a woman as I am. Though I'm completely jealous of the ones who are naturally small despite bad eating habits. :P

I'm not quite sure what the best answer is, but even as a curvy chick, the "real women have curves" campaign isn't something I'm in love with.

danceronice
08-27-2010, 04:43 PM
I agree with the poster who is annoyed by "real women have curves" and such ideas, this is my natural size, what am I supposed to do, turn into a guy?

I see the point, but possibly consider it's backlash against a media/culture that's been telling the natrually curvy (ie girls who have hips to go with busts instead of obvious silicone ad-ons to a toothpick frame) that they're unfeminine, repulsive, undesirable, ie that there's something fundamentally flawed about them. They should be eating ceral twice a day, drinking diet shakes, taking diet pills, hitting the treadmill, until they whittle themselves down to something worthy of being seen in public.

(And much as I find their commercials weird, I give some props to Fruit of the Loom for using fuller-figured models in an underwear ad and being overt about--no "real women have curves" just "this is my body, and my underwear looks just fine on it, thank you.")

Of course that doesn't even begin to address the other area where the media likes to demolish womens' self-esteem--anti-aging products. Because we may be thin or we may be fat but we're ALL going to get old. (Well, ideally. My grandmother used to say "Don't get old", and I would retort "It's better than the alternative.")