To think that vanity sizing is getting ridiculous and to wonder where thin people buy their clothes?

(133 Posts)
LiegeAndLief Mon 25-Feb-13 19:44:09

10 years ago, I used to be a perfectly normal size 12. In recent years I seem to have shrunk to a 10. Last week I had to go down to an 8 in two separate shops - one of which I bought several things in a 10 from 6 months ago which fitted perfectly!

This is not a stealth boast as I am certainly not getting any smaller.

The thing that really got me is that both shops had nothing smaller than an 8, either in store or on-line. I'm a fairly average size and know plenty of people smaller than me. It just seemed utterly ridiculous that I was wearing the smallest size in the shop.

To be fair, in shops like New Look and H&M which seem to be aimed more towards a teenage market I am very much still a 10, verging on 12. But that just makes it worse as it really irritates me that I can't just be the same size everywhere!

carabos Mon 25-Feb-13 22:55:11

I don't find that I have a wide range of sizes in my wardrobe. Everything is 8 or 10, xs or s. I have a couple of things that I've had for donkey's years which act as a sort of benchmark and don't fit any differently today than they did 20 years ago.

I would say though, that I think there is more variation in bottoms than tops. My only size 10 things are trousers - I'm not pear- shaped, but the cut and fit of trousers does seem to vary more widely.

chickydoo Mon 25-Feb-13 22:57:04

Sorry not read all the posts
My wedding dress was a 12 in the 90's
I am now exactly the same weight, maybe a bit more toned though.
A 12 is huge on me these days, I now
buy a size 8, and even a 6 in some places...Boden, Next.
My wedding dress still fits the same as it always did. It is not me who has changed size!!! Very odd

sue52 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:58:19

Somebodysomewhere I kept loads of stuff from Biba and when I had a bit more money I bought the odd bit of designer, Bill Gibb, Halston, Thea Porter and the like. I fear you would to fight DD to the death to get your hands on it though.

Haberdashery Mon 25-Feb-13 23:02:52

Thirty years ago, I was a size 10 or perhaps a tiny bit smaller (but not enough smaller to have to seek out a size 8). I was 14. Twenty years ago I was a very small size 8. I was 24 and a bit larger than I had been at 14, unsurprisingly. Ten years ago I was a perfect size 8 and a little larger than I had been at either 14 or 24.

I am now a size 8 and at least 8 inches larger round the waist than I was thirty years ago when I was a size 10.

Happymum22 Tue 26-Feb-13 00:19:00

Yes, I'd say I am a size 12-14 and 5ft 8 but my recent purchases range from size 8-14 depending on the shop or style.
It is crazy! But very flattering when you're a size 8 ;)

MikeOxardAndWellard Tue 26-Feb-13 00:30:05

Yanbu. 10years ago I was a size 10. 23/24" waist. I am now several stone and many inches larger and yet I am a size 8.

Startail Tue 26-Feb-13 00:32:50

Sizes do seem suddenly to have gone barmy,
I'm a 14/16 top 16 bottom in a sane world.

So why can I get in a size 12 Seasalt top and not do up a size 18 gilet in H&M?

ZebraOwl Tue 26-Feb-13 01:53:32

YANBU!

I end up with lots of kidswear: splendid for avoiding VAT, rubbish for avoiding sequins/bows/other-things-that-scream-^this is meant for a small child^ & a nightmare for bottom half as I've long legs for someone of 5'4" so to be the right length stuff's too big at the waist, though The Magic Waist Elastic is my friend.

Beyond the childrenswear section of the clothing market, things are a bit limited. Places aimed for teens have sizes that come up smaller, so H&M, New Look, Warehouse & Top-Shop. I have some XS cardies from Zara that are a nice fit. I often layer a tshirt over a plain long-sleeved top & have taken to getting the latter from UniQlo as they're meant to be stretchy-fitted so I just wear the XS without it being stretchy (as it were).

It is really annoying, frankly. Plus some shop assistants are really snarky-hostile towards/about you: I ended up getting tops from Gap Kids that were too big for me because the assistant (ignoring my explanation that I really WAS doing just fine) insisted that was definitely the size I needed; and I had an assistant in Coast insist the skirt that was perilously close to sliding off my hips & bodice that was perching on my hips at its narrowest point MUST fit me because they fitted her and I was definitely not thinner than her. Uhhuh hmm

To me it is somewhat troubling that it is seemingly now much easier to buy clothes on the high street if you are obese than if you are at the low end of the healthy weight range. I certainly don't think people who're overweight or obese shouldn't be able to buy clothes on the high street, so we are completely clear; but it shouldn't be to the exclusion of smaller people & the current vanity sizing trend is part of the culture of normalising/refusing to acknowledge obesity, which is dangerous. I know there are lots of people who know fine well that they are overweight/obese whatever the label in their clothes says, but I also know plenty of people who assert they're fine because they wear size whatever...

Incidentally, one of the vanity-sizing-related things that really irks me is the whole business about "Marilyn Monroe was a size 16" is that she'd not be now because of the crazy vanity sizing business. She'd have massive issues finding clothes because of her incredible hourglass shape (22-23" waist!) but would be rootling through the 8s & 10s. Gah.

GetOrf Tue 26-Feb-13 07:22:33

It does make a nonsense of those silly articles who go on about slebs dieting perilously to size 0. It's an american 0 they're on about so a 4 in the UK - which by most reckonings would probably be about an old 6-8. So yes, very slim, but not ridiculously so.

Perhaps vanity sizing is borne out of the understanding that people are generally bigger now than a generation ago - not fat, but bigger built, taller in general etc. So perrhaps the vanity sized 10 is seen as an equivalent of a size 10 from the 70s. <Clutches at straws>

BinksToEnlightenment Tue 26-Feb-13 08:00:44

It's the exclusion of people who are actually not that thin that does my head in.

According to that UK size calculation chart, I'm a size 4 to 10 depending on where I shop. (I assure you that I am absolutely nothing like a size 4). But most places will not stock anything under an 8.

And this isn't Asda. It's Next, Zara, normal high street fashion. They forgot about the little guys!

Ooh it does make me cross.

Getorf I certainly think we are generally less hourglass than we used to be - partly because we wear much less restrictive underwear!

KenDoddsDadsDog Tue 26-Feb-13 08:04:28

myhead was just scrolling down to post that as well. Disgusting way to speak about people.

I hate shopping in H&M. Which is a pain because I like a lot of their clothes (their jersey basics are fab). I'm a size 14-16 on the bottom (I'm 5'10") and I can NEVER get their trousers on. The one near me goes up to a 16 and I can't even get them over my arse, let alone do them up.

So a trip to H&M usually results in me crying and then buying some chips....I should have learnt by now really.

LaQueen Tue 26-Feb-13 09:11:49

Totally agree GOML - back in the day, when I was a student, I was a size 8 - and yes, I was slender, but by no means dangerously skinny. Still had boobs, and the tops of my thighs were a bit jiggly etc.

Thanks to better nutrition and medicines, we're bigger built nowadays, with bigger skeletons.

LaQueen Tue 26-Feb-13 09:17:33

I do think though, that for a worrying amount of teenage girls now, being a size 16/18 is normalised, thanks to certain slebs like Beth Ditto etc.

This is not a healthy weight to be - and if someone is already a size 16 by the time they're 16, then it doesn't bode well for their future health.

DD1 is nearly 10, and has an athletic frame, with solid bones, broad shoulders and long legs - she's going to have the build of a professional tennis player. I watch what she eats, because I can already see that she has inherited DH's tendency to easily gain weight.

We never talk about diets/being overweight in this house - but I do encourage talk about being a healthy weight, and being physically strong and active.

chibi Tue 26-Feb-13 09:21:44

i have the same measurements as i did when i was 20. i weigh more, but i am fitter and more muscular.

i wear the same size as i did then. i have clothing that dates back to that time, and it still fits. i wore a 12 then, and a 12 now in most places.

this whole thread is a bit 'my diamond shoes are too tight and giving me bunions'- you went to try on a size 8 and it swam on you, so you had to ask for a -4 which was still a bit loose, and you're not even thin etc etc etc

if you are wearing anything under an 8, unless you are severely height impaired (3ft7 maybe) or have truly eccentric proportions, then yes, actually, you are thin. by anyone's standards

chibi Tue 26-Feb-13 09:26:42

and LOL at the idea that teenage girls are fat because beth ditto normalised it and they now aspire to it or something

which celebrity fatman do you imagine young men are aping and aspiring to ve?

doctorhamster Tue 26-Feb-13 09:31:55

10 years ago I weighed 11 stone and was a size 16. I now weigh over 16 stone and am a size 18 in most shops (occasionally a 20). So I've put on over 5 stone over the years, but only one dress size hmm

ICBINEG Tue 26-Feb-13 09:32:08

clothes sizes should be standardized to BMI.

Like a 12 should fit and average person with BMI of 22.

Then 10s would fit people with a BMI of about 20 and size 14 would be for people on around BMI 24 etc etc.

LaQueen Tue 26-Feb-13 09:33:03

Chibi back in the day, I was 5 ft 7, and a size 8...and no, actually, I wasn't thin. Looking at photos, I have boobs, and a bum and my thighs had a bit of a wobble, there's no denying it.

I didn't actually say that teenage girls aspire to be overweight like Beth Ditto. What I actually said is that being overweight, is now more normalised than it was 15-20 years ago.

ICBINEG Tue 26-Feb-13 09:39:44

Given that stressing about your weight, being picked on etc. are all highly correlated with gaining even more weight, I don't see that a little normalization and a few role models are actually such a bad thing.

I would rather teenage girls could think about losing weight in terms of being more healthy rather than because everyone hates a fatty. Because the first thing might succeed and the second seriously wont.

BinksToEnlightenment Tue 26-Feb-13 09:40:32

I'm not saying I'm not slim. I'm saying but there isn't a 4.

Why the heck would there be a 4? That's a size zero. I'm slim but there's no way I should be leaving a shop because they don't stock a 4.

Call these sizes whatever number you like, I just want one allocated to my size.

chibi Tue 26-Feb-13 09:41:55

really, cos i am 5'7, and a size 12, and nothing wobbles.

if you weren't thin at that height and size, i guess i must be clinically obese? funny, i have pretty well defined musculature for a fatty. one of life's mysteries i guess

ICBINEG Tue 26-Feb-13 09:42:39

What is your BMI binks?

BinksToEnlightenment Tue 26-Feb-13 09:48:54

It's about 19.5. Definitely not underweight.

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