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TOPIC: Has U.S. pant sizes changed or am I CRAZY!

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July 7, 2010 6:22 AM
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I've found stores have a pretty big variety in sizing from my shopping experience in the past few weeks. I can fit in size 14 shorts from Old Navy, size 12 jeans from Gap, size 12 skirts from J.Crew, and size 10 jeans from Tommy Hilfiger. It's a bit range, but stores are all different. And I have heard that in general sizes are bigger than they used to be.


Tommy Hilfiger's pants are definitely vanity sizing. Their 14s are labeled 12s (I compared the waist measurements of all the brands I own that fit me. I'm in all 12s of Tommy pants (about 4 or 5 pairs but about 2 different cuts) but medium and 12s in skirts and shorts of Old Navy (smaller waist than Tommy's). My levis are 14s and the waist measurements per size are the same as Old Navy (which I consider "accurate"). Hopefully that makes sense.

I don't know if it's actual vanity sizing as it I think a lot of it is just difference in cut and style...

Also something to consider when you guys say "I was an 8 in high school and now I'm a 6"... if you've lost weight from working out as well, you've gained muscle and lost body fat, whereas before, you were probably just "skinny" and you're smaller now. I know I am! I've lost 18 of the 30 lbs I gained (aiming to lose 40)... I'm smaller NOW than I was before I gained the 30 lbs, which would be 12 lbs. below where I'm at now. SAME clothes, different body.
  746692
July 7, 2010 6:55 AM
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I would love it if they went by measurements! There's no judgment there either like there is with a size. Just the facts, ma'am. They could do that with shirts too.


I went to buy a bra at Victoria Secret........the sales lady approaches, I tell her 36c.....she insists to measure me.............she says I am 38D (this is after weight loss)...........I LOL and say "I will not buy more bras simply because you say I have a bigger rack than I actually do! Now please get me a 36c in beige and I will be on my way!" Will NEVER go back there again!


I had the same thing happen there recently. I need to find a new source for bras!


I refuse to shop there. The salesGIRLS (and they are GIRLS, not ladies or women) are not interested in you, but only n pushing product. I have also had one insisit on measuring me. She said I was a 36D. I said I was a 34DD with an extender in the back. (I am wider across the back than the front; and no matter how much my weight has shifted "the girls" have never migrated around to be under my arms.) She insisted that I was the 36. She then said it didn't really matter because a 34DD was actually the same size as the 36D!!! Funny, they don't measure the same when you compare two of the same brand & style. She deposited me in a dressing room with a true gem of a bra you couldn't fold or crush -- or wash -- in the 36!. And left me there unattended for over 20 minutes. I don't know anyone that takes that long to try on one bra! That was over 5 years ago, I have never been back.
  188646
July 7, 2010 1:59 PM
I know that sizes have changed. It has happened gradually over the past 20 years--I am a packrat, and put away and get out my old clothes as my weight has gone up and down, and there is probably a two-size difference over sizing in the 80's.

I also think that even 20 years ago more expensive brands "ran" larger. (Heaven forbid that some rich gal would have to wear a large size!!) So now the cheaper brands have started vanity sizing just to sell.
July 7, 2010 4:48 PM
If you guys think regular clothes are bad about this, try ordering scrubs these days!

Despite wearing a size 8-10 at most places, I'm apparently considered a "small" according to the scrub company my office orders from. For the first few years that I was working there, I was stuck in BIG scrubs that were practically falling off because I had ordered the same size that I would have purchased at a regular store. Finally got the budget to order new ones and I'm anxiously awaiting the day when I won't have to worry about losing my pants in the middle of an appointment. lol.
  1146368
July 7, 2010 4:56 PM
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Come to Canada! Our sizes start at 0! Ridiculous.


Yea, I was going to say US sizes start at 4? We've got 00 over here!

Canada doesn't have "juniors sizes" although we do have odd number sizes depending on where you shop. I've found that although I am 5'8 and a 5/7 in Canada I'm a size larger (a 9) in juniors US but I have no problem with that considering juniors is well, what it sounds like, for young women. I also hear that a juniors 9 is equivalent to a size 4-6 misses in the US so that makes sense.

Regarding overall sizing, it depends on where you shop. You'll be a smaller size at more upscale stores b/c the clothes are made better. If you’re noticing that at non-upscale stores than it’s not really vanity sizing its accommodating the growing size of the US population. If the average US woman is a 16, might as well start bumping up the rest of the fit to keep women happy and continuously buying.
  1100181
July 7, 2010 5:02 PM
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I would love it if they went by measurements! There's no judgment there either like there is with a size. Just the facts, ma'am. They could do that with shirts too.


I went to buy a bra at Victoria Secret........the sales lady approaches, I tell her 36c.....she insists to measure me.............she says I am 38D (this is after weight loss)...........I LOL and say "I will not buy more bras simply because you say I have a bigger rack than I actually do! Now please get me a 36c in beige and I will be on my way!" Will NEVER go back there again!


I had the same thing happen there recently. I need to find a new source for bras!


I refuse to shop there. The salesGIRLS (and they are GIRLS, not ladies or women) are not interested in you, but only n pushing product. I have also had one insisit on measuring me. She said I was a 36D. I said I was a 34DD with an extender in the back. (I am wider across the back than the front; and no matter how much my weight has shifted "the girls" have never migrated around to be under my arms.) She insisted that I was the 36. She then said it didn't really matter because a 34DD was actually the same size as the 36D!!! Funny, they don't measure the same when you compare two of the same brand & style. She deposited me in a dressing room with a true gem of a bra you couldn't fold or crush -- or wash -- in the 36!. And left me there unattended for over 20 minutes. I don't know anyone that takes that long to try on one bra! That was over 5 years ago, I have never been back.


That sucks for all of you, I totally get it and I'm sure they are just trying to sell bras and not really help per say but FYI, a 36D and 34DD is the exact same size in the cup. You just have to figure out what size fits you best in particular brands or type of bras. Some people need the extra rib cage room others don't and some bras are stretchier than others so that you can wear the smaller band size. In high school I worked at La Vie En Rose in Canada, I was a 36DD at the time and that tidbit helped me tones especially when La Senza bras went on sale for $8.50 and they didn’t have 36DD (yea that’s right, I shopped at our competitor, they were cheaper!) I'm a 34C consistently now so no more need to play with the sizing but maybe this info will help others.
  1100181
July 7, 2010 5:08 PM
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But, wasn't it wonderful when we could buy the 'smaller' size 20 instead of having to purchase a 22 or 24?? lol Can't imagine the size I would have had to buy if it wasn't for the 'vanity' sizing...guess I am thankful for that! This subject can be looked at several ways...but, it does make it hard to shop online.


Ugh, I hate it! When Lane Bryant changed from regular sizes to 0-1-2-3-4-etc I was completely annoyed. I used to be able to walk in, grab a pair of size 18 jeans, and buy them without trying them on. Now that they have silly vanity sizes plus 3 different colors to dig through I have not been able to figure out what size/color I should be in. I go to their outlet stores that still sell the regular sized clothing instead of messing with that system. I think they do the same in Fasion Bug and Torid. The smaller number doesn't make me feel any better about myself. It just means I can't find pants!


For the reason I refuse to buy any more pants from LB. I can NEVER find my size. Nothing fits right anymore there!


I love the sizing at Lane Bryant. I could care less about the 0-1-2-3-4 sizing and completely agree they are vanity sizing (however, when I was first sized for those jeans the clerk guessed my typical clothing size and gave me the size to try on based on that). What I love is the variety in how they are cut. I have never in my LIFE, including when I weighed 108 pounds (I'm 5'1"), been able to find jeans that fit me properly. I have huge hips (genetically) and anything that fits in the hips is falling off my waist, not to mention too long. Their RED jeans fit me perfectly. I seriously don't know what I will do when I am too small for their jeans. :) (Oddly enough, I haven't had the same experience with their other pants... sometimes they fit and sometimes they don't, even the ones with the Venezia sizing)
July 7, 2010 5:37 PM
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I recently pulled a box out of storage that had pants in in from about 30 years ago. I checked the sizes, and since they said 18, I figured they might be too big, since I recently bought some 12's at JC Penney. Hah!! I could barely pull the old pants over my thighs!! Yeah, sizes have definitely changed. I know what size I wore at the weight I am now, and I am fitting in 12's whereas I was wearing 16's at the same weight before. It is not because of being super toned up either.


I had this same thing happen, which showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that clothes are a lot bigger than they used to be. My weight goes up and down, I put things away in a Rubbermaid tub for when I lose the weight later (the "goal box"), and try them on periodically. I have a skirt from the mid '90s (shut up) that is a size 12. I grabbed it confidently since I haven't bought pants bigger than a 10 in 2 years, and it was not even close to buttoning, much less fitting. Intrigued, I tried on lots of other things in that box sized 12, and couldn't fit into any of them. They are not doing us any favors. If I knew I was actually a size 14 or 16 I might have gotten my sh*t together years ago.
  1064797
July 8, 2010 1:07 PM
My friend was just telling me how she went into Victoria Secret and they measured her at a 36D and shes really a 36A. She said she about fell over she told the girl measuring her she did it wrong and the girl argued with her lol. I went there after I had a B.A. last summer and the girl told me I was a 34B I nearly cried until I realized she was wrong and I was really a 34D. Seriously rediculous!
July 8, 2010 2:07 PM
QUOTE:

The kind of stuff that woman have always complained about is permeating men's clothing too. Last summer every short-sleeved shirt I Iiked was some new bizarre fad called "slim fit". Which almost means just add a size on to what you'd almost wear, which is pointless so far as I can see. But the other "feature" is insanely tight sleeves, even if you get the next size. Like a shirt that fits me nicely, I can only just get my upper arm into and the minute I bend my arm the sleeve rides up and jams above my bicep. Surely to God I am not the only person in the universe with slightly big biceps, so whay the hell is everything that looks otherwise nice suddenly designed for someone with pea-sticks for arms? Do NOT tell me everyone has suddenly become skinny!


I have the EXACT same problem.
July 8, 2010 2:42 PM
They have changed. Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 when she was alive, but she would have been a 6 if she was alive today. They add about a half an inch every two years or so, I think.

On the bright side, you're the same size as Marilyn Monroe!
  288392
July 11, 2010 9:50 AM
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I recently pulled a box out of storage that had pants in in from about 30 years ago. I checked the sizes, and since they said 18, I figured they might be too big, since I recently bought some 12's at JC Penney. Hah!! I could barely pull the old pants over my thighs!! Yeah, sizes have definitely changed. I know what size I wore at the weight I am now, and I am fitting in 12's whereas I was wearing 16's at the same weight before. It is not because of being super toned up either.


I had this same thing happen, which showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that clothes are a lot bigger than they used to be. My weight goes up and down, I put things away in a Rubbermaid tub for when I lose the weight later (the "goal box"), and try them on periodically. I have a skirt from the mid '90s (shut up) that is a size 12. I grabbed it confidently since I haven't bought pants bigger than a 10 in 2 years, and it was not even close to buttoning, much less fitting. Intrigued, I tried on lots of other things in that box sized 12, and couldn't fit into any of them. They are not doing us any favors. If I knew I was actually a size 14 or 16 I might have gotten my sh*t together years ago.


No kidding about not doing us any favors!!! I want to be a TRUE size 6! So now I am going to work harder...for what I don't know...maybe a 2 is really a 6! Anyways it is weird that they have done this! I don't really want to tell people that I am a six when really I am not...you know
  29631
July 11, 2010 3:47 PM
You're not crazy ... I'm trying to get used to the idea that I'm now a size 4, at 5'6" and 132, when 25 years ago at 125 I was a size 10. Worst of all, I've been a medium in bottoms AND tops for the past 25 years, but now I'm small??? I have shoulders like a linebacker!

Then again, when I go to visit my son's high school, I feel awfully short amongst those Amazon teen girls. Maybe I am small, compared to his generation.
Edited by neglet On July 11, 2010 3:47 PM
July 11, 2010 4:31 PM
About Victoria's Secret selling the wrong bra size, this weird sales lady insisted that I didnt appear to be a 38D (looking at my exterior clothing) and had the nerve to say she was surprised that I wore a 38D. I never dealt with that sales person again, and she wasnt there yesterday! YES!Of coarse I got a 38D in a cute floral print!
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July 12, 2010 4:57 PM
Well, that was a rude awakening. If I was feeling at all smug about my misses size 6 pants being loose, just trying to squeeze myself into my daughter's junior size 5 skinny jeans completely humbled me. I couldn't get them up much past my knees, let alone all the way on and zipped up. I guess vanity sizing hasn't hit the junior department yet – or at least not quite as hard. That explains a little bit about why I used to wear a size 5 when I weighed 120 and can wear a size 6 at 140. laugh
  261869
July 21, 2010 10:44 PM
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Well, that was a rude awakening. If I was feeling at all smug about my misses size 6 pants being loose, just trying to squeeze myself into my daughter's junior size 5 skinny jeans completely humbled me. I couldn't get them up much past my knees, let alone all the way on and zipped up. I guess vanity sizing hasn't hit the junior department yet – or at least not quite as hard. That explains a little bit about why I used to wear a size 5 when I weighed 120 and can wear a size 6 at 140. laugh


There is not meant to be parity between junior and misses sizing. I have heard many times that you need to add about two sizes to get close; e.g. a misses 8 is closest to a junior 11, but really the two types of clothing are cut entirely differently. Junior clothes are for thin girls with high boobs who haven't had any kids yet. At any rate, a size 9 is far smaller than a size 8. I think the whole point is to make junior sizes so confounding as to keep the rest of us in age-appropriate clothing. :)
  1064797
July 22, 2010 5:40 AM
Yes sizing is screwed up...really depends on the brand.....also yes, I agree if like myself--I am almost 40 and shouldn't be wearing junior clothing anyway so I agree with the lady who posted about age appropriate clothing...anyway....bought a jean skirt for vacation---size 8 and I weigh 186# and am 5'8"--no way a size 8 but by Tommy Hilfiger, I am (NOOOO WAY!!!) anyway, it motivated me to exercise on vacation so I guess it worked....HA!!!
  1189861

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