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  • FIRST POST
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 25th Sep 17, 8:03 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    Women's clothes sizes
    • #1
    • 25th Sep 17, 8:03 PM
    Women's clothes sizes 25th Sep 17 at 8:03 PM
    Maybe I'm being trivial but I went shopping at the weekend and really struggled to find nice clothes. I'm a size 16-18 so yes I'm chubby but that's not uncommon these days.
    I was really disappointed. What was meant to be a happy trip to get new things for my new job left me feeling even fatter and like some unwanted minority.
    I don't remember Such tiny sizes growing up either. Maybe my memory is letting me down but i though size 10 used to be the smallest now I'm seeing 8 and even 6 as standard. Should I just accept I need to hit the gym?!
Page 9
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 29th Sep 17, 11:06 PM
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    Pollycat
    That said, if I go into H&M (I don't often, too old now) I can't find dresses to fit (size 14 in Next, M&S) because I need a size 18 and as the snooty young shop assistant said 'we don't do dresses that large!'.

    I'm on a diet now.
    Originally posted by Kathy535
    I would have smacked her across the chops.
    Cheeky b i t c h.
    There is no need for that.

    But good luck with the diet.
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 30th Sep 17, 5:49 PM
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    ripplyuk
    I haven't waded through this entire thread but I had a similar issue as the OP in TopShop a while back. Everything was tiny. They had loads of size 4 and 6, some size 8's but I could find almost nothing to fit me. My bmi at that time was 17, so not exactly 'large', so it must be upsetting for anyone who is even the average size 16, or bigger. I found it all to be totally unrealistic.

    Also, we keep hearing about how people are getting fatter, but people are also just larger. As in, their bone structure is larger. They are taller, their shoulders are broader, their ribcages and hips are bigger. None of this is to do with fat. I can see why shops have adjusted their sizing in line with this as there is no point in making the '1950's size 8' etc.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 30th Sep 17, 6:28 PM
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    Gloomendoom
    Also, we keep hearing about how people are getting fatter, but people are also just larger. As in, their bone structure is larger. They are taller, their shoulders are broader, their ribcages and hips are bigger. None of this is to do with fat. I can see why shops have adjusted their sizing in line with this as there is no point in making the '1950's size 8' etc.
    Originally posted by ripplyuk
    They didn't need to adjust their sizes though. They could have stayed the same. All they needed to do was produce more clothes in the larger sizes and fewer in the smaller size 6 and 8s.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 30th Sep 17, 7:42 PM
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    ripplyuk
    They didn't need to adjust their sizes though. They could have stayed the same. All they needed to do was produce more clothes in the larger sizes and fewer in the smaller size 6 and 8s.
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    They could, but then it could end up with all women being a size 20-something.

    I think they were right to just keep to what people are used to, i.e. Size 8 is very small, size 16 is for average size ladies etc.
    • indiepanda
    • By indiepanda 2nd Oct 17, 8:27 AM
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    indiepanda
    Sizes have definitely got larger.

    I lost about 10kg earlier this year and got back into some size 16 suits that I bought in about 2001. I also own a size 16 suit by the same brand (Precis) in 2015 - it is now enormous on me. (This isn't the only example.)

    I had wondered how in putting in quite a bit of weight I had only gone up one dress size, well, turns out I hadn't - add another one or two to that. I am now buying 12-14s and even got one top in a 10 this summer. I think this is why vanity sizing is a very bad thing - I was in denial about how quite fat I had got as a result. I have had to recalibrate what I am aiming for in size terms. I would have said what I am now would have been good enough but I still have a way to go, far too wobbly round the middle. Probably need to be a 10-12 or maybe even smaller to be a healthy size for my 5'4" frame (aside of my "child bearing" hips, the rest of my frame is quite small)

    There is also variation within shops - can take multiple items the same size into the changing room in the same shop, and find some too large and some too small. I find that especially stupid and it must be a big contributor to the fact so many clothes bought on line get returned - I know lots of people order multiple sizes in the same item to see if any fit. You would think shops would want to solve it. I recall even having worked out what size I should be in a shop based on their measurement chart, ordering stuff online and it's been too big so it's had to go back. It's like there's a conspiracy - the food industry wants to keep selling us more food we don't need and the clothing industry is lying to us about how fat it's made us!

    On the bras, I had a bad first experience in Bravisimo. The girl who did my fitting only tried one size and told me that it was meant to be that tight and insisted the fact she needed to rearrange me in the bra didn't mean the cups were too large. Well, 2 days of attempted wearing and deep red marks round my body and slight difficulty breathing properly and I was back. Next girl wasn't much better, instead of 32G she put me in a 34F which solved the tightness issue but still left me with underfilled cups. I suggested trying a 34E and she had to admit that looked much better - cups not baggy. I returned the bras I had bought from them and when asked whether they were too big or too small I had to say both! Only thing I will say for them as it was their mistake they refunded me on the one I had worn as well as the unworn ones.

    To the OP, yes, it is frustrating not being able to get that much choice in clothes although it is better than it used to be - shops I had stopped shopping in that I now have gone back to are stocking larger sizes than I knew - e.g. Oasis go up to 18. However, I can say having shifted some weight this year, I do feel and look a lot better for it. No amount of nice clothing in a larger size could cover us how chubby my face and jaw line had got or the massive rolls of fat that showed when I sat down (standing in front of a mirror gives a rather more flattering view of how you look... some photos were rather a shock!)

    I wouldn't focus on hitting the gym though - weight loss is mainly down to diet. Exercise can help, but too many people either consciously reward themselves with food post exercise or get hungry and eat more, so it rarely makes the hoped for difference on its own.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 2nd Oct 17, 9:15 AM
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    Gloomendoom
    They could, but then it could end up with all women being a size 20-something.
    Originally posted by ripplyuk
    Why is that a problem? It's only a number. I've said it before but my wife buys clothes on fit, not label size. As a result, she has clothes in her wardrobe with labels that range from a US zero to a modern UK 10. They all fit.

    I think they were right to just keep to what people are used to, i.e. Size 8 is very small, size 16 is for average size ladies etc.
    8 isn't really very small any more.

    (standing in front of a mirror gives a rather more flattering view of how you look... some photos were rather a shock!)
    Originally posted by indiepanda
    Mirrors are another issue. Accompanying my wife on a clothes buying session, I noticed that the mirrors in River Island and Next distort the reflection to make you look thinner in the middle. I expect other shops play the same tricks.

    The old adage that the camera adds ten pounds does have some truth in it. If you want flattering photos, the photographer needs to know what they are doing. Simply getting the focal length wrong can have the same effect as the fun fair changing room mirrors... only in reverse.



    Image source
    Last edited by Gloomendoom; 02-10-2017 at 9:19 AM.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • mark5
    • By mark5 2nd Oct 17, 4:55 PM
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    mark5
    Who said men don't have these problems?

    Men's sizes are all over the place from brand to brand.

    A medium Animal top is a large in firetrap or super dry.

    I'm 32/32 at the moment in diesel jeans but this can go up or down depending on brand, my weight is constant as well.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 2nd Oct 17, 6:46 PM
    • 23,366 Posts
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    Yes - you do need to lose weight.

    The tiny size labelling is because:

    1970s size 10 = is now re-labelled size 6
    1970s size 12 = is now re-labelled size 8
    1970s size 14 = is now re-labelled size 10
    1970s size 16 = is now re-labelled size 12
    1970s size 18 = size 14
    1970s size 20 = size 16
    1970s size 22 = size 18
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I think one of the differences is that more of us rely upon hormonal contraception, for which weight gain is a very common side effect. In the 70s, it wasn't used as frequently, but now, teenagers are put on the Pill to deal with heavy or painful periods, 16 year olds are encouraged to have implants (as this has contributed to a fall in the teenage pregnancy rates, that's fine by me, but it has even more likelihood of weight gain) and many adult women have either the implant or depo injections for anything up to 30 odd years of their life, at a time when the majority of foods are processed/packaged, rather than cooked from scratch at home.

    From what I remember, most middleaged and older women were large then, but mums, who were usually much younger than now, tended to be slimmer - perhaps due to hefting those giant prams around and not having access to the family car during the day if they had one - and a normal diet consisted of three meals a day, two of which were properly cooked, rather than nothing more than an energy drink, followed by some snacks, followed by takeaway and probably some more snacks. Kids also had to walk or catch the bus/ride a bike, which was much safer then, if they wanted to go anywhere.

    My mother also told me that if you were worried about your weight or were quite tired until the late 70s, the GP also would happily prescribe you slimming pills and then tranquilisers to be able to sleep. If that was widespread, it would make sense that the average size was quite a lot smaller, especially when even doing the shopping now involves a drive to a large supermarket after work or an online delivery, rather than a walk to the local shops during the day.


    Mind you, I also remember being derided at school for being fat because once puberty hit, I needed to wear size 10 trousers.



    I wish I were only that fat now.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • LavenderBee
    • By LavenderBee 2nd Oct 17, 8:39 PM
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    • 166 Thanks
    LavenderBee
    Mind you, I also remember being derided at school for being fat because once puberty hit, I needed to wear size 10 trousers.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    Funny you said that, you reminded me that I was a size 10 when I was 13, I was put on a diet of nothing but Ryvita and grapes by my mother who was absolutely horrified I was a size 10, because she'd been a size 8 at that age. She was born in the 50s, I was born in the 80s.

    Incidentally, she's been a size 14-18 since having me , and she's since complained I am too small when I'm below a 10!
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 2nd Oct 17, 9:31 PM
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    Gloomendoom
    especially when even doing the shopping now involves a drive to a large supermarket after work or an online delivery, rather than a walk to the local shops during the day.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    I was thinking that things have come full circle since the 1960s with regard to shopping. My mother used to have an account with the local grocer who used to deliver her order every week and collect her shopping list for the following week (E.H.Booth for anyone in the North West). She had a similar arrangement with the local butcher and fishmonger.

    Now she has an online delivery. The only change is the way they collect her shopping list.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 2nd Oct 17, 10:53 PM
    • 4,113 Posts
    • 11,074 Thanks
    Hermia
    I think one of the differences is that more of us rely upon hormonal contraception, for which weight gain is a very common side effect. In the 70s, it wasn't used as frequently, but now, teenagers are put on the Pill to deal with heavy or painful periods, 16 year olds are encouraged to have implants (as this has contributed to a fall in the teenage pregnancy rates, that's fine by me, but it has even more likelihood of weight gain) and many adult women have either the implant or depo injections for anything up to 30 odd years of their life, at a time when the majority of foods are processed/packaged, rather than cooked from scratch at home.

    From what I remember, most middleaged and older women were large then, but mums, who were usually much younger than now, tended to be slimmer - perhaps due to hefting those giant prams around and not having access to the family car during the day if they had one - and a normal diet consisted of three meals a day, two of which were properly cooked, rather than nothing more than an energy drink, followed by some snacks, followed by takeaway and probably some more snacks. Kids also had to walk or catch the bus/ride a bike, which was much safer then, if they wanted to go anywhere.

    My mother also told me that if you were worried about your weight or were quite tired until the late 70s, the GP also would happily prescribe you slimming pills and then tranquilisers to be able to sleep. If that was widespread, it would make sense that the average size was quite a lot smaller, especially when even doing the shopping now involves a drive to a large supermarket after work or an online delivery, rather than a walk to the local shops during the day.


    Mind you, I also remember being derided at school for being fat because once puberty hit, I needed to wear size 10 trousers.



    I wish I were only that fat now.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    I think portion sizes also have a lot to do with it. We seem to be following America with regard to portion sizes. When you actually look at what a portion of meat/cheese/rice/whatever should look like it is quite shocking. I always remember that a cooked portion of meat for one person should be the size of a deck of cards. If I served that to a lot of people I know they would be outraged! I have so many friends who will cook 2 or 3 portions of rice/pasta per person. No wonder they are big! The problem is once you are used to eating large portions it is hard to get used to more normal amounts. I had to learn this myself. I am five feet tall and used to wonder why I kept putting on weight. I then educated myself on what a petite woman should be eating each day and I was basically eating the amount a strapping six foot guy should be eating! I now eat the right amount of calories/nutrients for my height/frame, but I constantly have people expressing concern about the 'tiny' amounts of food on my plate (they are not tiny and I could lose weight and still be at a healthy weight for my height).
    • LavenderBee
    • By LavenderBee 3rd Oct 17, 12:46 PM
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    LavenderBee
    The problem is once you are used to eating large portions it is hard to get used to more normal amounts. I had to learn this myself. I am five feet tall and used to wonder why I kept putting on weight. I then educated myself on what a petite woman should be eating each day and I was basically eating the amount a strapping six foot guy should be eating! I now eat the right amount of calories/nutrients for my height/frame, but I constantly have people expressing concern about the 'tiny' amounts of food on my plate (they are not tiny and I could lose weight and still be at a healthy weight for my height).
    Originally posted by Hermia

    I agree with this, too, Hermia. When I was overweight (I am a only a couple of inches taller than you, so still shorter than 'average') I realised it was because I was eating the same portions as my ex, who had a completely different lifestyle and body to feed, than mine. When I cut down to the recommended portions on the back of packets etc, or smaller, it made a huge difference. I have weighed out everything (pretty much!) for the last 6 years. The difficulty is when you're cooking the same food for yourself, your spouse who probably has different intake requirements, and children too; you can feel like you need an abacus in the kitchen...
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 4th Oct 17, 12:24 PM
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    NBLondon
    You can lighten the proceedings by going out into waiting area at intervals and embarrassing your husband by asking him what he thinks while the other waiting husbands try not to look like they are looking.
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    Perfect, this is exactly my approach to shopping
    Originally posted by LavenderBee
    Never happened while I've been in the waiting space at Bravissimo - or the "husband crèche" as m'wife calls it. I did sort-of notice that in the Cambridge shop - all of the assistants were curvaceous ladies which does sort of (ahem) support the idea that they practice what they preach.

    It's been interesting following the debate... M'wife did comment a while back that there did seem to be a lot more small-back, large-cup options around and she finds that her current size of 38DD is not always around in the high street - which led us to wonder whether it was change in sizing or change in women. We concluded a mix of women generally being larger and more being on the pill (as Jojo has said) and my theory was that 30+ years ago someone who was actually, say, a 30E would have often been wearing a not-quite right 34C because that was all they could find/afford.

    The other factor in dress sizing has to be height. When I was a lad, there was one girl in my class at 6' tall and she was considered a freak. A generation and a half later - there appear to be far more young women of 5' 10" to 6' (without heels) and some are proportionately broad. Not fat - but just scaled up as it were. So if the sizing assumes that a given number has a certain height and proportion, a tall, slim woman struggles as does a short, wide one.

    (and all the other genders too...). I'm quite lucky in being a reasonably standard menswear size!
    This Be the Verse - Philip Larkin. The first line that everyone knows.
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 4th Oct 17, 1:20 PM
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    heartbreak_star
    there did seem to be a lot more small-back, large-cup options around...
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    Implants.

    ...but just scaled up as it were. So if the sizing assumes that a given number has a certain height and proportion, a tall, slim woman struggles as does a short, wide one.
    Yup, I always have issues with arm width...

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

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    • tara747
    • By tara747 4th Oct 17, 2:17 PM
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    tara747
    Vanity sizing has spread to some men's clothes too. I have two pairs of shorts labelled 36" waist and they are. The most comfortable pair of shorts I own are labelled 34". They measure 37"
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    What???

    Vanity sizing is rife in women's clothing but how can manufacturers claim that 37" is 34"???
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    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 4th Oct 17, 3:06 PM
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    NaughtiusMaximus
    Who said men don't have these problems?

    Men's sizes are all over the place from brand to brand.

    A medium Animal top is a large in firetrap or super dry.

    I'm 32/32 at the moment in diesel jeans but this can go up or down depending on brand, my weight is constant as well.
    Originally posted by mark5
    Agree with this, I generally wear either L or XL tshirts (yes I know, I'm fat ) but plenty of Ls by one brand are bigger than XLs by another. I even own a couple of George XXL tshirts which are actually smaller than a few Weirdfish L tshirts.

    Similar thing with trousers, in most cases I take a 36" inside leg but a Levi's 34 leg fits me fine.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 4th Oct 17, 3:25 PM
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    Gloomendoom
    What???

    Vanity sizing is rife in women's clothing but how can manufacturers claim that 37" is 34"???
    Originally posted by tara747
    To be fair, it only says 34, it doesn't actually say 34 what.

    I assumed they meant inches.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 4th Oct 17, 4:35 PM
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    Gloomendoom
    Never happened while I've been in the waiting space at Bravissimo - or the "husband crèche" as m'wife calls it.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    You've obviously not been in there when my wife has had a fitting session.

    I'm quite lucky in being a reasonably standard menswear size!
    I'm not. I'm tall with long arms and legs. A lot of men's clothing manufacturers seem to think that if you are 6'4" you must also have a 60" chest.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
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