catalogs logo
catalogs.com logo

Clothing size for women

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Does size matter?  Why size standardization is vanishing from fashion industries

Does size matter? Why size standardization is vanishing from fashion industries

Clothing size for women is becoming increasingly difficult to decipher.  This can be attributed both to changing times and to a phenomemon known as ?vanity sizing.?  While Americans have statistically gotten larger, women?s clothing sizes have gotten smaller.  The end result is that the current American clothing size system is skewed and there is no true standardization of sizing in the fashion industry.

~

The primary underlying problem with clothing size for women is that in the United States, sizing is based on data from 1942, when women were on average 5 feet 2 inches and weighed 129 pounds.  Today, the average woman is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs 142 pounds.  Technically, clothing sizes should be increasing to accommodate changes in the figures of American women. 

Before you continue reading about the Clothing size for women there is a special announcement we would like to share with you. Catalogs.com has negotiated special medicare rates for our vibrant community of seniors. If you are over the age of 60, you can head over to our Seniors Health Section which is full of information about medicare. All you need is your zip code and a few minutes of your time to potentially save 100s of dollars on your medicare bills.

Get Free Catalogs When You Sign Up

Don't wait, sign up and get undefined Free Shipping Offers, Discount Codes and lots of Savings Now!

However, retailers have become acutely aware that sizing affects women?s attitudes, and attitude can affect a woman?s decision of whether to purchase a particular clothing item.  These days, each and every designer has the right to create their interpretation of each clothing size for women.  Thus, designers have adopted a trend known as ?vanity sizing? 

Some brands have even revamped their entire sizing system. For example, the Chico’s brand did away with the traditional 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 concept and instead carries clothing sizes that range from 0 to 3.  Designer Lane Bryant has a line of “custom jeans” that range from size one to size six….but the actual sizes compare to 14 to 28.  Old Navy and the Gap used to carry both even and odd size clothing numbers (0,1,2,3…6,7,8…etc) but today they only have even numbers. 

Some high-end designers such as J. Jill, Anne Taylor and Coldwater Creek have even introduced size 0, 00, and other subzero sizes.  It’s anyone’s guess as to how far the vanity sizing craze will really go.  Perhaps clothing size for women will eventually be advertised in negative integers.

In 2003, a study that measured over 1,011 pairs of women’s pants found that more expensive brands tended to reflect smaller sizes than cheaper ones of the same nominal size.  The vanity sizing trend is also reflected in a line from the award winning film “The Devil Wears Prada.” Happy to be a size 6, the impressionable young fashion assistant Andy Sachs is soon brought down to size: Six, her mentor declares, “is the new 14.”

To see vanity sizing in action, just take a look at Marilyn Monroe, whose voluptuous body required a size 16 back in the ’50s.  However, by today’s sizing, Marilyn would actually more of a 6/8. Generally speaking, clothing sized in the 1950s can be cut in half for an idea of today’s mainstream sizing.

The dramatic fluctuation in clothing size for women over the past few decades, along with the sizing inconsistencies between different brands, designers, and stores, has made it very difficult for many women to know exactly what size they are.  These days, it is impossible for shoppers to tell if a garment will fit unless they actually try it on.  Perhaps this is why women take so long in the dressing room! 

Whatever the future may hold for women’s clothing sizes, one thing is for certain, before you purchase an item, make sure that the stores or boutiques maintains a sound return policy!

 

Popular Savings Offers

 

cc

Top Deals

See All

Recent Posts

Get Free Catalogs When You Sign Up

Don't wait, sign up and get undefined Free Shipping Offers, Discount Codes and lots of Savings Now!

Categories

Saving Tools

Follow Us

Logo

Since 1996, Catalogs.com has been considered the web's catalog shopping authority. Our trends experts have carefully reviewed thousands of catalogs and online stores and have featured only the most respected, distinctive, and trusted ones. From popular favorites to new discoveries, you'll shop and save with exclusive coupon codes!

Invitations for applications for insurance on Catalogs.com are made through QuoteLab, LLC and transparent.ly. Submission of your information constitutes permission for an agent to contact you with additional information about the cost and coverage details of health and auto insurance plans. Descriptions are for informational purposes only and subject to change. Insurance plans may not be available in all states. For a complete description, please call to determine eligibility and to request a copy of the applicable policy. Catalogs.com is not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program. By using this site, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.