The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-16-2009, 09:20 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
What Does Women's Size X Look Like?

Watching TV this evening, there was a comment about an animated character being a size 4. Not really knowing what a woman's size 4 looks like, I google it, but with little help. (I did learn that to get the UK size, add 4. Maybe that'll come in handy someday.) So, does anyone have a table showing, say, for a 5'6" woman, a size 0 is x inches, 1 is y inches, and so on? Or pictures showing the progression from 0 up?

For men, I have a rough idea, having, you know, bought myself stuff. But with women, I don't have as much of a frame of reference, having been fortunate enough to never be brought shopping by girlfriends. (Commence the envy. )
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:21 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 23,790
Those are shoe sizes, cathy, not dress sizes.

A size 4 is something a model would wear, as in this picture. It's way skinnier than the average women could wear. A thin model could wear a size 2. Size 0 is for very petite women or emaciated ones. Size 8 in more normal skinny.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:30 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 26,011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Those are shoe sizes, cathy, not dress sizes.
In case this comment appears mysterious, it was in reference to a spammer post I removed.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-16-2009, 10:33 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Women's sizes are not consistent. Sizes 0-16 generally refer to the size of the waistband, but the measurement of a size 4 waistband can vary widely from brand to brand. Recently I was at The Gap trying on jeans, and their size 4 jeans had a 27" waistband. The sizes were separated by an inch in the waistband, so size 2 would be for a 26" waist, size 6 for a 28" waist, etc. I've found that Gap is pretty middle-of-the-road as far as sizes go.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-16-2009, 11:00 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
There is no way to tell, really, as it varies by manufacturer. It even varies within the manufacturer.

On July 4 I went to buy a pair of shorts, and I was in a big hurry. Such a hurry that I didn't want to go upstairs, so I went into the junior's dept., where the clothes are more "young attitude" but I figured I could find a pair of shorts. (This dept. also tends to be cheaper.)

Misses clothes are sized in even numbers, but juniors are odd numbers. I grabbed a 5, which used to be my size. Then I told myself that I hadn't been in a juniors dept. in 20 years so I also grabbed a 7. Note that I looked at the shorts and the 5 looked within the realm of possibility.

Well, I got the 5 on, but it was tight. I didn't want tight so I tried the 7.

Couldn't even get it all the way up.

Wait--it's supposed to be...bigger. I looked at it again. Same brand. Same style. Same style number. But a larger size. Size sewn into the inside of the waistband so it wasn't a case of them getting it wrong on the ticket. But they blew it. They got it wrong somewhere along the line, or else the 5 was way off. Or both.

At this point I was out of time so I grabbed a 9, looked it over, and bought it.

It's huuuuge. I have no idea what happened with the 7.

But this is a not-uncommon shopping experience for women.

Now, online/catalogue places like Land's End I've found to be very reliable. They will have a chart. You match up waist size, bust size, hip size, and the chart will tell you what size to order. According to Land's End you will wear a size four if your bust measures 33, your waist measures 27-28, and your hips measure 36. Other manufacturers will vary but it's going to be small or extra small.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-16-2009, 11:10 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Emerald City, WA, USA
Posts: 8,453
While it does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, most have charts.
Here's the chart for Brooks Brothers.

Generally speaking, lower numbers are thinner, larger numbers are less so. A 4 is going to be smaller. A 14 will be fatter than anyone you see on television.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-17-2009, 05:47 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Those are shoe sizes, cathy, not dress sizes.

A size 4 is something a model would wear, as in this picture. It's way skinnier than the average women could wear. A thin model could wear a size 2. Size 0 is for very petite women or emaciated ones. Size 8 in more normal skinny.
Note that "petite" in women's sizes, at least here in the US, does not mean "petite."

I believe it means "sort of short from neck to waist." Basically, it means your thorax is short. You could be overall short (typically under 5' 4") or you could have very long legs and a short trunk, I guess.

You can be XXL petite, or size 20 petite, for instance. Basically, you can be very very fat and still be petite, which is nice, I guess. I suspect that's not the only lie told to women shopping for clothes.

CP knows nothing about fashion and almost nothing about women. He did have occasion to raise girls and attend their clothes shopping on occasion. And no, in case they are reading this, are any of our kids overweight.

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 08-17-2009 at 05:48 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-17-2009, 06:28 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Those are shoe sizes, cathy, not dress sizes.

A size 4 is something a model would wear, as in this picture. It's way skinnier than the average women could wear. A thin model could wear a size 2. Size 0 is for very petite women or emaciated ones. Size 8 in more normal skinny.
Perhaps at one point it was... But I know that at some places (The Gap, Old Navy), a size 4 now will probably be too big for that model.

Old Navy is really bad about the sizes, and The Gap seems to be imitating them. I bought a size 6 three years ago... OK, it got a bit loose, so I bought a size 4 two years ago... OK, this one is starting to get loose again. I hope it is a case of the jeans adjusting and wearing out because I definitely will feel uncomfortable going to The Gap and finding out according to them I'm now a size 2 (impossible).

I've worn everything from a 14 to a 4, and again, I've found The Gap and Old Navy to be the worst offenders of vanity sizing. The jeans from the department stores are more likely to be truer to your model.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-17-2009, 06:31 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Oh yea, and "petite size" is for women under 5' 4". The idea is that the clothes will fit better. So the shirts' shoulder hemline will be at my shoulder instead of my arms, the long sleeves will still be short but won't completely hide my hands, and the pants will fit nicely without dragging on the floor.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-17-2009, 08:31 AM
Telperien Telperien is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
"Petite" is simply French for "short," and that's all it really means in clothing as well--cut to fit short limbs or smaller frames. It doesn't mean "tiny, dainty specimen of womanhood" as some people seem to think it should.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-17-2009, 08:39 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
You can't trust the junior's sizing, Hilarity, because the junior's clothes are so incredibly crappily made these days. Picture cutting a big stack of pieces of shorts. A cheap pair of shorts from the junior's section, they're going to be cutting a LOT at once. A Chanel suit, if you buy from the highest line maybe they only cut one. Now, you've cut a big stack of paper before, right? The bigger the stack, the more not-to-size the stuff on the bottom is going to be - you know, sometimes the stuff on the bottom gets bigger than the stuff on top. So you have to try on every cheap-ass garment before taking it home, because you don't know if it was on the top of the stack or the bottom - your 5 was on the bottom, maybe, and your 7 on the top.

Plus, junior's clothes are a lot more "up and down" than the misses' section, which theoretically has more room for curves.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-17-2009, 08:45 AM
badbadrubberpiggy badbadrubberpiggy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Those are shoe sizes, cathy, not dress sizes.

A size 4 is something a model would wear, as in this picture. It's way skinnier than the average women could wear. A thin model could wear a size 2. Size 0 is for very petite women or emaciated ones. Size 8 in more normal skinny.


Not really, no. That model is probably closer to a 0 in today's sizes.

Women's sizes are messed up, and vary a ton from designer to designer. For example, I wear a 4...and a 6, an 8 and a 10. Depending on where I got each piece of clothing, or an xs to a medium for non-numbered sizes.

Sizes have changed quite a lot - an 8 used to be the smallest size, but sizes have gradually been increasing, so now an 8 is closer to average than especially small (IIRC, 12 is average). People are correct when they say Marilyn Monroe wore a size 12 or 14, back when she was alive. But were she alive today, she'd have worn about a 6-8, usually (her weight fluctuated a lot). Still a bit bigger than your average actress today, but not by all that much.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-17-2009, 08:46 AM
corkboard corkboard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
I don't think the model picture linked above is wearing a 4, but I could be wrong.

My wife is 5'6". Before she had kids she weighed 118 and wore a size 2. After 2 kids she's about 125 and usually wears a 4, but can still squeeze into some of her size 2 outfits.

[off topic] Was it Family Guy? I was watching it last night too and also noticed the comment from Lois that she was a size 4. [/ot]

Last edited by corkboard; 08-17-2009 at 08:47 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:20 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 23,790
If you go to the site of the picture I linked to, you see that the women pictured is said to be wearing a size 4. That still seems reasonable to me.

Did people see The Devil Wears Prada? It was a big plot point that Anne Hathaway [!] was the fat one. By the end of the movie she gets down to a size 4, though, so she can start wearing some of the cool sample dresses like the other employees or like skinny-minny Emily Blunt.

Here's an apparel size chart that gives sizes and the equivalent measurements. Or one set of equivalents, since it's different from all the other equivalents already mentioned.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:36 AM
dragonlady dragonlady is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by badbadrubberpiggy View Post
Sizes have changed quite a lot - an 8 used to be the smallest size, but sizes have gradually been increasing, so now an 8 is closer to average than especially small (IIRC, 12 is average). People are correct when they say Marilyn Monroe wore a size 12 or 14, back when she was alive. But were she alive today, she'd have worn about a 6-8, usually (her weight fluctuated a lot). Still a bit bigger than your average actress today, but not by all that much.
My mother says she wore a size 14 in the early 60's. She was 5'4" and weighed about 120. Exactly my height and weight in 1980, when I was wearing an 8.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:42 AM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 6,492
And I was that height and weight in 1975 and was wearing a 12-14, which today translates into a Large.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:52 AM
MeanOldLady MeanOldLady is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Here's an apparel size chart that gives sizes and the equivalent measurements. Or one set of equivalents, since it's different from all the other equivalents already mentioned.
And then sizing charts aren't always accurate! Anecdote: I was shopping from Lands End, where I'd never previously shopped, so I decided to consult their sizing chart before making a purchase. I'm between M and L (Grr!) so I really wanted to see how they defined those sizes. To my astonishment, their chart claimed that I should be buying a XXL shirt. Are they kidding me? I've never been anywhere near a XXL in my life. So I figure their sizing charts aren't to be trusted, and buy a L just to be on the safe side. I planned on wearing the shirt at work, so I'd rather it be a bit too loose than a bit too snug. I'm not trying to pick up on anybody here. So when the shirt arrives, I'm swimming in it! I could have used the shirt as a blanket! Lands End, your sizing charts suck!

In answer to the OP: It depends. Was any of this helpful?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:57 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telperien View Post
"Petite" is simply French for "short," and that's all it really means in clothing as well--cut to fit short limbs or smaller frames. It doesn't mean "tiny, dainty specimen of womanhood" as some people seem to think it should.
Is this correct? I agree it means "short" (-trunked and -limbed) in the the clothing-size world, but...

Been a while since my high school French and I don't hang with French peeps, but I thought "petit" was closer to "diminutive" in meaning and average use, even though "short" would be an acceptable translation in certain circumstances.

I do not think the adjective "petit" would typically be used for a short, fat guy, would it?

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 08-17-2009 at 10:00 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:14 AM
badbadrubberpiggy badbadrubberpiggy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanOldLady View Post
And then sizing charts aren't always accurate! Anecdote: I was shopping from Lands End, where I'd never previously shopped, so I decided to consult their sizing chart before making a purchase. I'm between M and L (Grr!) so I really wanted to see how they defined those sizes. To my astonishment, their chart claimed that I should be buying a XXL shirt. Are they kidding me? I've never been anywhere near a XXL in my life. So I figure their sizing charts aren't to be trusted, and buy a L just to be on the safe side. I planned on wearing the shirt at work, so I'd rather it be a bit too loose than a bit too snug. I'm not trying to pick up on anybody here. So when the shirt arrives, I'm swimming in it! I could have used the shirt as a blanket! Lands End, your sizing charts suck!

In answer to the OP: It depends. Was any of this helpful?
I have heard this of Land's End, so last time I got something there I went smaller, and it was still a bit big.

Victoria's Secret is the same way, at least in their pants sizes - their size chart tells me to buy a full 2 sizes larger than actually fits me, and I like my pants on the loose side, so I'm not trying to squeeze into something two small.


Oddly, their measurements for shirt sizes are spot on, for me.

Last edited by badbadrubberpiggy; 08-17-2009 at 10:18 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:17 AM
badbadrubberpiggy badbadrubberpiggy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
If you go to the site of the picture I linked to, you see that the women pictured is said to be wearing a size 4. That still seems reasonable to me.
.

Actually, looking at the picture, the dress itself could be a size 4, but it hangs on the model - of course, clothes are supposed to hang off of runway models, they're meant to be living clothes-hanger, so showcase the clothes.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:27 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 13,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by badbadrubberpiggy View Post
Women's sizes are messed up, and vary a ton from designer to designer. For example, I wear a 4...and a 6, an 8 and a 10. Depending on where I got each piece of clothing, or an xs to a medium for non-numbered sizes.
Tell me about it. I started feeling angry just reading the thread title.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:41 AM
FalconFinder FalconFinder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by corkboard View Post
I don't think the model picture linked above is wearing a 4, but I could be wrong.

My wife is 5'6". Before she had kids she weighed 118 and wore a size 2. After 2 kids she's about 125 and usually wears a 4, but can still squeeze into some of her size 2 outfits.

[off topic] Was it Family Guy? I was watching it last night too and also noticed the comment from Lois that she was a size 4. [/ot]
What year was this or what manufacturer?

Back in the late 80's when I was 5'6"* and 120 (my thinnest), I was lucky to squeeze (painfully) into a size 10!

My most comfortable size (fitting, not loose, not skin tight) was around a 12/13.

We won't go into what size I wear now...


*Somewhere along the line, I seem to have lost an inch or so, depending on who measures me. I've gained weight and can only assume that's where I lost height...

Last edited by FalconFinder; 08-17-2009 at 10:43 AM.. Reason: forgot to add the asterisk and it's explanation
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-17-2009, 11:56 AM
ivylass ivylass is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Before I lost the weight, I was a size 10. I lost 40 pounds, and I can get into a size 4, but it's a tad snug. Size 6 is more comfortable, but there is a gap.

I think vanity sizing has something to do with it. When I was a skinny teenager mumbly mumbly years ago, I wore a size 8.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:17 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
I like how my pants are simply given measurements like 34 waist, 34 length. Why aren't women's clothes measured like that? Would seem to save a lot of trouble.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:46 PM
corkboard corkboard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalconFinder View Post
What year was this or what manufacturer?

Back in the late 80's when I was 5'6"* and 120 (my thinnest), I was lucky to squeeze (painfully) into a size 10!

My most comfortable size (fitting, not loose, not skin tight) was around a 12/13.

We won't go into what size I wear now...


*Somewhere along the line, I seem to have lost an inch or so, depending on who measures me. I've gained weight and can only assume that's where I lost height...
This was around 2000, no idea of a manufacturer. I only know the details b/c I was talking with a business colleague once who kept bragging that when we went out that night I'd meet his new (trophy) girlfriend (who was half his age), and that she was a size 2. Oh, and did I mention she's a size 2?

I remember thinking, big deal, my wife's a size 2- and I only knew that because she had just come home with a couple new dresses.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:47 PM
badbadrubberpiggy badbadrubberpiggy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I like how my pants are simply given measurements like 34 waist, 34 length. Why aren't women's clothes measured like that? Would seem to save a lot of trouble.
I completely agree, but I have no idea why they don't do it.

A few manufacturers sell by "waist size" but it doesn't necessarily correspond with your actual waist size, either - IME, for clothes by "waist size" you actually wear the size that's two inches or so smaller than your actual waist, but I'm not sure if that's true of men's sizes, too.

I would kill for at least more length options - we get 3, at most. Petite, average/medium, and tall. I'm just this side of too tall for petites, so I have to hem all my averages. I know plenty of people who too tall for tall.
Options in between those 3 lengths would be fabulous.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:11 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by corkboard View Post
I don't think the model picture linked above is wearing a 4, but I could be wrong.

My wife is 5'6". Before she had kids she weighed 118 and wore a size 2. After 2 kids she's about 125 and usually wears a 4, but can still squeeze into some of her size 2 outfits.

[off topic] Was it Family Guy? I was watching it last night too and also noticed the comment from Lois that she was a size 4. [/ot]
Yep, Family Guy, but I'm embarrassed to watch it. Love-hate relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanOldLady View Post
And then sizing charts aren't always accurate! Anecdote: I was shopping from Lands End, where I'd never previously shopped, so I decided to consult their sizing chart before making a purchase. I'm between M and L (Grr!) so I really wanted to see how they defined those sizes. To my astonishment, their chart claimed that I should be buying a XXL shirt. Are they kidding me? I've never been anywhere near a XXL in my life. So I figure their sizing charts aren't to be trusted, and buy a L just to be on the safe side. I planned on wearing the shirt at work, so I'd rather it be a bit too loose than a bit too snug. I'm not trying to pick up on anybody here. So when the shirt arrives, I'm swimming in it! I could have used the shirt as a blanket! Lands End, your sizing charts suck!

In answer to the OP: It depends. Was any of this helpful?
The whole thread has been pretty helpful, actually, if only to show that clothing sizes aren't the best designed system around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarinth View Post
While it does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, most have charts.
Here's the chart for Brooks Brothers.

Generally speaking, lower numbers are thinner, larger numbers are less so. A 4 is going to be smaller. A 14 will be fatter than anyone you see on television.
This was a good start to get a handle on the situation. 4 down is pretty thin, 14 up is somewhat big. The rest of the thread is kinda just filling in the gaps.

Thanks for the response all!

ETA: Seeing how S/M/L lines up with the sizes is particularly useful. At least I have an idea of the difference between S and L for a men's shirt, so I assume they're somewhat comparable.

Last edited by MeDrewNotYou; 08-17-2009 at 01:15 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:17 PM
NinjaChick NinjaChick is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I like how my pants are simply given measurements like 34 waist, 34 length. Why aren't women's clothes measured like that? Would seem to save a lot of trouble.
Because the world is a terrible place.

Actually, I have absolutely nothing to support it, but I'm convinced that it's intentional to keep you in the store longer (going through the racks, finding different sizes to try on) with the hopes that you'll find more stuff to buy.

And can we please stop with the ridiculous notion that anyone below a size 6 or whatever is some anorexic waif? Some people are just small overall. Other people are naturally skinny. Not being a fatass doesn't mean you have an eating disorder.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:22 PM
Telperien Telperien is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Is this correct? I agree it means "short" (-trunked and -limbed) in the the clothing-size world, but...

Been a while since my high school French and I don't hang with French peeps, but I thought "petit" was closer to "diminutive" in meaning and average use, even though "short" would be an acceptable translation in certain circumstances.

I do not think the adjective "petit" would typically be used for a short, fat guy, would it?
The "short" part, yes. It does mean "little," as well, but as I left my high school French behind me some years ago, I am not anything like an ultimate authority, and I don't even have a username like yours to live up to.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:24 PM
Telperien Telperien is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaChick View Post
Because the world is a terrible place.

Actually, I have absolutely nothing to support it, but I'm convinced that it's intentional to keep you in the store longer (going through the racks, finding different sizes to try on) with the hopes that you'll find more stuff to buy.

And can we please stop with the ridiculous notion that anyone below a size 6 or whatever is some anorexic waif? Some people are just small overall. Other people are naturally skinny. Not being a fatass doesn't mean you have an eating disorder.
And being a "fatass" doesn't necessarily mean you just sit around and stuff your face all day, either. Or are you one of those people who thinks that only skinniness can be "natural," but fatness is always artificially acquired?
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 08-17-2009, 04:18 PM
Nametag Nametag is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 7,725
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Is this correct? I agree it means "short" (-trunked and -limbed) in the the clothing-size world, but...

Been a while since my high school French and I don't hang with French peeps, but I thought "petit" was closer to "diminutive" in meaning and average use, even though "short" would be an acceptable translation in certain circumstances.

I do not think the adjective "petit" would typically be used for a short, fat guy, would it?
It depends; many a short man has been called petit despite his girth, but it really means "small"; when calling attention to a lack of length or height, the precise word is court.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 08-17-2009, 07:25 PM
The Devil's Grandmother The Devil's Grandmother is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I like how my pants are simply given measurements like 34 waist, 34 length. Why aren't women's clothes measured like that? Would seem to save a lot of trouble.
Because clothing manufactures hate women and want them to suffer.

Actually I think it's because the shops think the longer women are forced to wander around trying to find the right size the more likely we are to buy more things.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:38 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Devil's Grandmother View Post
Because clothing manufactures hate women and want them to suffer.

Actually I think it's because the shops think the longer women are forced to wander around trying to find the right size the more likely we are to buy more things.
When I asked my sister about the size thing today*, I heard the same argument. She also said she thought that the reason some places (I think Old Navy was mentioned above) was so that women can feel thin shopping there. She related that as a super-conscious teenager, she shopped almost exclusively at 2 or 3 shops that she was a size 7-8ish at so she could 'brag' (my words) to her size 10 friends. FTR she was and is generally a 10. Not my preference (you know, besides being my sister!), but if that's supposed to be fat...

*- It was actually a really good thing to ask about, since she gave me examples of friends who are a certain size. It was a little easier to picture them than to just figure out the raw numbers from a table, but it also gives the table a real-world counterpart to compare to.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 08-18-2009, 01:41 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
You can't trust the junior's sizing, Hilarity, because the junior's clothes are so incredibly crappily made these days. Picture cutting a big stack of pieces of shorts. A cheap pair of shorts from the junior's section, they're going to be cutting a LOT at once. A Chanel suit, if you buy from the highest line maybe they only cut one. Now, you've cut a big stack of paper before, right? The bigger the stack, the more not-to-size the stuff on the bottom is going to be - you know, sometimes the stuff on the bottom gets bigger than the stuff on top. So you have to try on every cheap-ass garment before taking it home, because you don't know if it was on the top of the stack or the bottom - your 5 was on the bottom, maybe, and your 7 on the top.

Plus, junior's clothes are a lot more "up and down" than the misses' section, which theoretically has more room for curves.
Yep. Part of the reason of widely varying sizes even within the same style of garment is the cutting the pieces in huge stacks, and part of it is variations in sewing the seams. If you get one piece of a garment that was cut large to begin with, and then the seams are sewn very closely to the cut edge, that garment is gonna be a lot bigger than one that was cut small, and then sewn with wider seams.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 08-18-2009, 02:18 AM
BigT BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
Yep. Part of the reason of widely varying sizes even within the same style of garment is the cutting the pieces in huge stacks, and part of it is variations in sewing the seams. If you get one piece of a garment that was cut large to begin with, and then the seams are sewn very closely to the cut edge, that garment is gonna be a lot bigger than one that was cut small, and then sewn with wider seams.
Back in the early '80s when my mom worked at Levi jeans factory, she was allowed to be off 2 inches either direction! I don't know if there are tighter regs now or not. But the place she worked did close down...
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 08-19-2009, 06:32 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Levi used to be considered a fairly good ordinary brand. However, AFAIK, it's shut down all of the American factories and now makes products only in overseas factories.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 08-19-2009, 09:27 AM
FalconFinder FalconFinder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by corkboard View Post
This was around 2000, no idea of a manufacturer. I only know the details b/c I was talking with a business colleague once who kept bragging that when we went out that night I'd meet his new (trophy) girlfriend (who was half his age), and that she was a size 2. Oh, and did I mention she's a size 2?

I remember thinking, big deal, my wife's a size 2- and I only knew that because she had just come home with a couple new dresses.
Thanks!

So, it appears the fashion industry drastically changed women's/misses sizing somewhere between 1986/1987 - and 2000.

When I was 120lb, I was really way too skinny for my frame and in no stretch of the imagination could have fit in anything smaller than a 10 -- let alone a size 2!
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 08-19-2009, 10:31 AM
lexi lexi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
This new sizing bugs me to no end!

When I was 17 to 23, at 115lb and 5' 9", I wore size 9 in missus and 8 in ladies, my jeans had a 26 waist and my measurements were 33-25-34 - I was no just slim, but model slim. I had done modeling and for most of the shows, all the clothing and shoes too were size 9 at that time (1988 to 1992) - there were some size 7 women but the were the petite models (under 5' 8").

Currently at 38, I weigh 140lb, at the same height, and my measurements are about 5 inches larger everywhere, and I find I am buying clothing anywhere between size 4 and size 9 - jeans sized by waist band are the only consistent thing, I wear 30 now.

I am guessing if I was the weight and measurements I was when I was young, I'd be in the size 0 and size 2 range.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:19 PM
andiepandie andiepandie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
Perhaps at one point it was... But I know that at some places (The Gap, Old Navy), a size 4 now will probably be too big for that model.

Old Navy is really bad about the sizes, and The Gap seems to be imitating them. I bought a size 6 three years ago... OK, it got a bit loose, so I bought a size 4 two years ago... OK, this one is starting to get loose again. I hope it is a case of the jeans adjusting and wearing out because I definitely will feel uncomfortable going to The Gap and finding out according to them I'm now a size 2 (impossible).

I've worn everything from a 14 to a 4, and again, I've found The Gap and Old Navy to be the worst offenders of vanity sizing. The jeans from the department stores are more likely to be truer to your model.
I've also noticed this, especially with Old Navy. I don't even bother going there anymore because if I want something that doesn't hang off me like a tent I have to buy from their children's section - but because children's clothes are't cut for people taller than 5 feet with boobs or hips, they never really fit properly either. So I just gave up trying to shop there altogether.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 08-20-2009, 04:23 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Back in the early '80s when my mom worked at Levi jeans factory, she was allowed to be off 2 inches either direction! I don't know if there are tighter regs now or not. But the place she worked did close down...
How much off do they let them be in metric countries? This could be a good use of that other way of measuring...
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 08-21-2009, 02:33 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
I remember that Jackie Kennedy was "a perfect size 10." Ha! I think that would be a 6 now. Audrey Hepburn's dress that she wore to the Ascot Races in My Fair Lady can only be worn by someone who is a Size 0. Consider that this is very close to the same time that the "perfect size" was 10 and you can imagine the influence that Audrey's thinness had on the fashion industry and young women's weight in the 1960's.

If you want to know what the ideal had been, take a look at Joanie on Mad Men.

I can't remember whether it is Bloomies or Nordstrom that has new "Contemporary" sizes. Yikes! I just went up a size without gaining a pound! I hate them.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 08-21-2009, 09:59 AM
rivulus rivulus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaChick View Post
And can we please stop with the ridiculous notion that anyone below a size 6 or whatever is some anorexic waif? Some people are just small overall. Other people are naturally skinny. Not being a fatass doesn't mean you have an eating disorder.
Exactly. From the opposite perspective, I am tall, about 5'11''. At my current (ideal) weight I am about a size 10. Makes me sound like a fat ass, right? Nope, I look well proportioned and even on the thin side. Several years ago I had a stomach issue that made it hard to eat, and I ended up going down to a size 6. I looked anorexic and unhealthy. Much like a model.

I don't think it's physically possible for me to get much below a size 4, because there's this thing called bones. Even with no flesh on my hips, the bones require a certain minimum size, and it sure as heck ain't a 0. Anyway, I'll stick to my size 10 and look just fine, thanks.

The point is, you have to consider height and skeletal structure -- not just dress size.

Last edited by rivulus; 08-21-2009 at 10:00 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 08-21-2009, 03:44 PM
Snickers Snickers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I like how my pants are simply given measurements like 34 waist, 34 length. Why aren't women's clothes measured like that? Would seem to save a lot of trouble.
Because then women would have to deal with knowing that they had a 30" waist (or whatever). Heavens! You can't just throw my non-modelness in my face daily like that!

(FTR, I'm a woman. Like everyone else here, I find women's sizes nonsensical and obnoxious. We're not shrinking flowers, we just want something that fits. So much the better if we can find it without trying on every pair of jeans in the store. I also think that whoever said that it's just to keep women in the store longer is on to something, there.)
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 08-21-2009, 04:02 PM
Tenebras Tenebras is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Since there's a bit of a hijack about men's pant sizes, there's an interesting thing about the waist measurement: You don't wear your pants on your waist. On the other hand, if you buy 34-34 jeans, they won't be 34 inches around the top, either.

This may be just a coincidence, but my actual waist is the same as the waist measurement on my jeans. The pants, however, are a few inches longer to accomodate the fact that I wear them down on my hips. So my pants (29 inch waist) are actually 34 inches around. I haven't washed them in a while, so they're a bit stretched out. On the other hand, my actual waist measurement is 29 inches. It's all very creepy.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 08-21-2009, 04:22 PM
lexi lexi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
For me my waist is always one inch smaller than ladies jeans on a waistband size. I'm in 30 jeans & have a 29 waist... Problem is finding the 33 to 34 length in ladies jeans, it used to be difficult for me to find long enough jeans, but luckily kids nowadays sprout up like weeds and are even taller than me! I wore skirts or boy's jeans until I was 30 because of this, and now I can wear ladies jeans - yay!
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 08-21-2009, 04:24 PM
myskepticsight myskepticsight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by rivulus View Post
Exactly. From the opposite perspective, I am tall, about 5'11''. At my current (ideal) weight I am about a size 10. Makes me sound like a fat ass, right? Nope, I look well proportioned and even on the thin side. Several years ago I had a stomach issue that made it hard to eat, and I ended up going down to a size 6. I looked anorexic and unhealthy. Much like a model.

I don't think it's physically possible for me to get much below a size 4, because there's this thing called bones. Even with no flesh on my hips, the bones require a certain minimum size, and it sure as heck ain't a 0. Anyway, I'll stick to my size 10 and look just fine, thanks.

The point is, you have to consider height and skeletal structure -- not just dress size.
Here is a good example of how sizing doesn't mean shit for how someone looks. I'm about 5'11" and a size 6 and nowhere near too skinny/anorexic like the poster I quoted above did at that size, and we are close to the same height. Stomach is flat but it and everything else still jiggles and pooches when I sit and etc. I don't call myself fat but I could be noticeably smaller before I started to look too thin - and I've been a 6 for over a year (multiple stores/brands of clothes) but I've been very toned and tight and also more like I am now, softer and not that toned at all. Trust me I looked a LOT better last summer at my toned size 6 than I do now at my "I'm lazy and drink a lot of beer" size 6. But it was just muscle turning back into fat and therefore no significant weight gain, but a big looks difference while staying the same size.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 08-21-2009, 04:25 PM
myskepticsight myskepticsight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexi View Post
For me my waist is always one inch smaller than ladies jeans on a waistband size. I'm in 30 jeans & have a 29 waist... Problem is finding the 33 to 34 length in ladies jeans, it used to be difficult for me to find long enough jeans, but luckily kids nowadays sprout up like weeds and are even taller than me! I wore skirts or boy's jeans until I was 30 because of this, and now I can wear ladies jeans - yay!
Talk to me when you need 36" jeans and are broke!
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 08-21-2009, 05:08 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Aside from height issues, an individual woman's chest/waist/hip measurements often do not match up perfectly with one dress size. A lot of women buy tops in one size and bottoms in another. Finding bottoms that fit properly can be a struggle for women whose waist:hip ratio doesn't match up with a standard size. Women with very different body shapes can wind up wearing the same size, because a woman with a size 6 waist and size 10 hips, a woman with size 10 waist and hips, and a woman with a size 10 waist and size 8 hips would all need to wear size 10 pants.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:38 PM
Daylate Daylate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
What does a size X look like? Don't any Dopers watch QVC fashion shows? Lots of X and larger. In fact, one of these shows so impressed me that I was inspired to write the following poem, entitled "Fashion's Sad Lexicon". With apologies to Franklin P Adams.

These are the saddest of possible words,
One X to two X to three.
A group of large ladies, too bulky for words,
One X and two X and three.
Gulping desserts with unrestrained passion,
Then bursting anew the limits of fashion,
These gals underwent a most startling expansion,
One X to two X to three.


I was going to send it to QVC but my wife wouldn't let me.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 01-31-2010, 07:53 AM
Justy Justy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
On this website you can search women by heght, weight, pant size, and shirt size. www.mybodygallery.com
I think that's what you're looking for.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.