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Have women's clothing sizes changed?


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When I was 40 (I'm 63 now), I weighed 130 and I was a perfect size 10.   Have they started making the sizes larger?  I see people mentioning their weight as in the 120 to 130 range and they're talking about wearing a size 6.  At my very thinnest, in my late teens at around 110, I wore a Jr. size 7. 

It's been so long since I've worn anything but plus sizes!  I'm looking forward to shopping in the regular stores instead of the "Plus" stores & departments!  I figure I will go down a size with each 20 pounds I lose, and I can hardly wait!

Claire
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I think it depends on the height of people.  I do think sizes have changed some since the size of us American women have changed!  Like Im 142 now and put on an 8 the other day!  I was wearing 8's when I was like 135 before.  Wont I look cute in my 9 year old styles!!! LOL
I think the sizing standard for women's (American) clothes has changed....I have a size 12 skirt that I wore in the early 70's to mid-80's that fit very loose.  I still can't get it zipped up all the way now - but can go to the store and buy size 10's with no problem. 
Claire,

Yes, I strongly believe sizing has changed.  Here's why I think so.  (funny, I was just talking about this to a friend yesterday) The average female in America wears a size 14.  I believe years ago, it was a 12.  So, I believe most clothing manufacturers increased the size 12 to fit a 14 woman to keep with the average.  THEN there is the psychological reason for the size change.  If you knew you were a size 12 but a 10 fit, wouldn't it make you feel good?  So, those who were wearing size 12s 20 years ago are now wearing 10s.  Those in 10s are in 8s, etc. 

I also think it's the manufacturer's discretion for sizing.  For example, most of my clothes are size 8...I'm 138 and 5'7"  I have some 6s that fit.   I also have a Gloria Vanderbilt pair of jeans size 9/10 that won't go over my butt!  So...I guess it all comes down to how you feel, not what size you are.

That's my two cents.
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yes i think the industry has definitely increased the sizes of clothing for women.  there's still not enough choice, though.   i've always thought it was unfair that men could go into a store and buy exactly the sleeve length and collar size that fit them, and we had to fit into whatever.  everything was too short for me, sleeves, pants legs, all two inches short.  now i've discovered tall girls, (a canadian store) and i'm looking forward to wearing 14 talls. my 16's are just beginning to get baggy!  haven't worn 12's in 40 years, so i will be happy with 14s.  was NOT happy with 18s, and they don't carry as much in that size, and nothing bigger than that.  ordinary dept stores still don't carry much in tall sizes, but there are a few that do. the average shoe store can't fit me either, i have long narrow feet.  but i've gotten used to that!
I think you're right too.  Not based on my own experience, but my mother's.  She says the same thing.
I think there is less standardization. 

I could be the one Cekurs is talking about (127 - and I fit into a size 6 last weekend), but when I compared the 6's I bought with the other 6's on the rack - they were totally different.  I *know* that these aren't the typical size 6.

I have 8's in my closet that fit, 8's that are tight, and 8's that are so big I can pull them off over my hips without unbuttoning them. 

If you think about how much more diverse our population was than 30 years ago, it makes sense.  There are physical traits associated with specific races - but the world now is made up of a lot more inter-racial people.  I would expect designers and manufacturers would have had to change in order to accommodate. 
elin, I agree with you as far as the clothing for women being too standardized, but I have the opposite problem than you have.  I am short and most often have to hem any pants from the store.  And the petite sections don't have as much selection.  And as for shoes, I have what my kids call duck feet, very wide and flat, so most styles do not fit  (What's up with the witch shoes that are in style anyway?)
lol cgolisgowski!!!!!  my mom was just telling me this morning to buy some of those pointed toe shoes!!  I was like my feet are big enough!  I wear a 10 shoe- dont need them to look longer!!!LOL

I like the wedges!  esp. the ones that ty up the ankle, my hubby likes them on me too! :)
I think it has much to do with what type of size it is. In womens clothes you have several types of sizes: Womens, Petites, Juniors, misses, and fashion. For example I can wear shorts in a size 6 for misses, size 8 for fashion, and size 10 in juniors. And skirts usually run smaller because you tend to wear them on your natural waist line.
Wow, you right moonsky9 about the skirt. I wear a size 16/18 skirt size, but I wear a size 20 pants!!!! I didn't get it until now. I know I have a weird body shape anyway...my thighs are 25 inches each and my hips are 54! I just want to wear my old clothes...not shop for new ones, but the ones that I wore 3-4 years ago. I have bought maybe 10 pieces of clothing since getting this big...most of my clothes are expandable. Which is a BIG BIG no no. After I have lost my weight I will only be spandex and lycra to work out in that way I will KNOW that I have gained 5 pounds from my clothes, instead of fitting into stretchy clothes that normally give a 20-30 pounds of self-denial. "They fit, so I must not be gaining that much"
Also don't forget my mantra as an athlete (distance running and martial arts): "muscle weighs more than fat" - so if you're exercising, you may weigh 10 lb more and fit into the same size clothes as a lighter person with a higher body fat %.  I'm 154 now and I fit in the size 10 clothes I bought at 145 a couple years ago... I wonder what I'll fit in at 145?
Women's sizes have totally been getting bigger.

When I was in high school, I wore a 10. Twenty+ pounds (and many years) later, I just bought a pair of Banana Republic jeans in a 10 and they are baggy on me - no way is that a 10!

I agree with Neeners. A friend who worked in retail used to tell me that sizes were getting bigger because manufactures were using it as a selling point - women are more likely buy the smallest size that fits them.

I have to admit, I do love BR for allowing me to continue to fit into 10s, despite the weight gain! lol
I think that different brands may also have different sizings...perhaps they want to flatter their customers into buying sizes that normally wouldnt fit...Im not sure about how the sizings have changed over the years though...
Wow - ignorance is bliss.....I mean, I love the idea that I'm wearing a 10 now....and cringe at the thought that it is probably really a 12 or 14.....
Yes I think they have- I was a little flumoxed when I read my journal from 5 years ago- I was weighing in at over 260 yet I was in a size 22....this year- I was 308 and a 3x (scrubs) and a 24- Just my Size jeans- I am now at 285 and just bought a new pair of Just my Size jeans- size 24- granted they are baggy around the waist- but just right in the thighs... I bought a pair of exercise pants I think also Just my Size- size 22 and they fit perfectly! So- part of it could be the different materials- but is weird that 5 years ago and 25 to 30 pounds less- still in a 22!!! I still am going to try to wait until I lose another 20 pounds before I invest in a new pair of jeans.... once at goal- I think I will buy "fancy jeans!" at Dress Barn...
Clothing sizes definitely have changed!  If you shop for vintage clothing, you'll notice you have to buy a size or two larger than you would need in modern sizes.

It's also much harder to find clothes for large women in vintage clothing, so I'm looking forward to (hopefully) reaching my goal weight, so I'll have an easier time!
I remember hearing on the news a while back something about clothing manufacturers making US Women's clothing sizes larger so that women could feel better about the size they wore. Because women are larger now (8 of 10 adults are Obese), they made the cuts bigger so women could feel happy about wearing smaller sizes. It's just a gimmick to get you to buy new clothes. LOL
naia_zifu - what you said about the vintage clothing is so true.  Have you checked out the waist on some of those dresses and gowns....wow - can anyone say corset?
This makes so much sense!  When I was in high school, I always wore a 6.  (Graduated 10 years ago.)  And I was really skinny, so it's always amazed me how many people buy 4s and 2s and 0s now, when there is no way that I could have ever fit into one of those sizes.  When I get back down to six 6 or 8 range now, I'll have to keep this in mind - that it might not be the same as I used to be.  (Which is ok, I'm trying to get back to college weight, not high school.)
naia - I can't wait to buy clothes off the rack in the misses department again!  At age 40 - size 10 (medium) (now that's probably a 6) I could buy things off the rack without trying them on.  I want to wear belts again!  I want to have more choices in styles and colors instead of buying what I can get in my size (2x - size 20!) at age 63.  I'll be so happy if I can get into an 16 by next fall, and postively jumping for joy when I finally put on those size 10s again!  I'll be 65 by then, officially a senior citizen, and I intend to be a skinny old lady!

Claire
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