Clothing sizes?

Since I lost 30 lbs over the summer (go me!) I’ve bought a few new clothes in smaller sizes, namely work pants and jeans.

I used to be a size 10 (only because I refused to buy size 12) and the new clothes I bought were size 8. But I’ve noticed the pants and jeans are a bit on the baggy side.

Have clothing manufacturers altered what a size is as we Americans have gotten fatter? I am 5’5", 132 lbs, and I have never worn anything smaller than a size 8 since I’ve been an adult. In fact, I always thought a size 8 was a healthy size for me, and the thought that I might be able to fit into a size 6 is a bit confusing. Could a size 6 today be what a size 8 used to be?

Yes IMO the sizes have gotten larger. In my experience one thing that hasn’t changed are the sizes used in sewing, which is why I do believe the rest of the sizes have changed.

In 1979, when I was 19, I used a size 10-12 pattern (had to alter a bit), and wore the same size in my clothing. Now I still use the exact same sized pattern but wear a 0, 2 or 4 depending on the manufacturer.

Yes, indeed; this is nothing new. We’ve had several threads on women’s clothing where the topic of “vanity sizing” has come up, in just the 2.5 years I’ve been posting here.

A size 6 is more or less what a size 8 was a few years ago. Don’t be surprised if you find some things in size 4 that fit you as well.

Congratulations on your weight loss.

So to keep women buying clothes, manufacturers are upping the sizes now, to make them think “Hey, I can still fit into a size 8! Pass the french fries!”


Women’s clothing sizes are wacked.

Am I a 4?
Am I an 8?
extra small?

One should not be able to answer “yes” to all the above questions.

It’s possible, but more than likely, you’re not wearing the “cut” you should be wearing. Maybe you’re a “slim” thigh and not a roomy butt. If you look on a site like The Gap or Victoria’s Secret, you can see the differences. I love the fact that they make jeans for all different types of bodies.

Two things come to mind. First that maybe you were buying junior sizes before and now are buying misses sizes? They are cut different.

The second is your weight shifted. Perhaps your waist got smaller but your thighs and calfs or arms are heavier than before making the pants seem bigger.

I know my size is less than what I was ten years ago at the same weight but I think of it as redistribution and not the cut. I could be wrong though.

the rule of thumb on sizes and weight loss is (loosely now because of the “play” in sizes.), 10 pounds = 1 size.

therefore, losing 30 pounds should translate to 3 sizes. starting at size 10, you lost 10 pounds taking you to an 8, then 10 pounds taking you to a 6, then 10 pounds taking you to a 4.

size 6 should be a bit loose and size 4 just right or it might be a bit tight in some places. factor in body parts and go with the size that fits them best.

personally, i am an hourglass, so most of the time on pants the waist will have room because i’m fitting tush and thighs, in a skirt (a line or full) i am able to fit my waist. i’ve got broad shoulders so i’m up a size to fit my shoulders.


Well, I haven’t tried on a size 4 or a 6, so maybe I will. :eek: I haven’t bought a new wardrobe in 10 years (just a few items, here and there.)

Runway models…size 0? I thought height made a difference too.

No, height doesn’t make a difference.
Generally, a clothes manufacturer will say “X waist, Y hips, and Z bust is a size 10” Height is not a part of those measurements. Which is why a 6’ size 10 looks different than a 5’3" size 10.

You can find sizing charts for most stores on their websites. Those numbers will not be entirely untrue. But it isn’t exact (due to the way things are cut) and close enough is good enough - so something that was supposed to have a 26" waist may be an inch or so off. (Go to the store, hold up two pairs of jeans by the same manufacturer, same cut, same size. They won’t be the same. One will probably be a little longer than the other, one will be a little wider.)

FWIW I’m 5’5" and and 120, and I normally wear a size 4. I’m hourglass shaped, though so I have waist-gap issues. I also fit into a size 2 occasionally.

I’m 5’10" and I’ve given up working out how manufacturers size their clothing.

I weigh 155 lbs…which is about 20 lbs more than most people assume based on my build/appearance…and yet I just bought a size 6 dress two weeks ago…and I have size 12 pants that are snug out of the dryer.

What size am I??

This is why I don’t ever buy catalog clothing.

I don’t know what size I am. I don’t think anyone does. I buy whatever fits, and I don’t care what the label says. If you were to corner me, I’d say I’m a size 10…but I’ve tried on size 10’s that fall off me, and size 10’s I couldn’t even zip up. Even when they’re by the same clothing manufacturer in the same freakin’ color.

I don’t care about vanity sizing. I would just like to go by waist and inseam, like guys do. I know how I want to look, and I know when I feel good in my clothes, and it has nothing to do with the size on the label, because it’s so contrary I can’t consider it “vanity” sizing…is the size 12 pair of slacks lying to me? Or is the size 6 dress?? How can I be vain when nobody is telling me the same story?

I think it’s absurd and it makes me crazy.

There’s way too much variation in hippage, though. I have a friend who looks basically straight up and down but has the same waist as me, and I have big hips and a booty. There’s no way we could wear the same jeans, even if our inseam measurements were the same.

My mother and me often get trousers made at a seamstress. She remarks that we have the same measurements, within 1-2cm, for everything except waist (Mom’s got a Santa belly which I have so far managed to avoid), but the shape is still different. Mom’s thigs measure the same around as mine, but more of hers is on the inside, for example.

It still would help if I could ask for trousers by listing waist, hip and inseam, tho.