to think Marilyn Monroe probably WAS a size 16 after all?

(152 Posts)
MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 13:05:55

I have spent the last 2 days clearing out DM's attic, and found loads of old clothes up there (the house has been in the family a long time and has a large attic) including my great aunts wedding dress. She got married in 1960.

My dgm often referred to this aunt as being quite stout, and her wedding dress was a 16. I tried it on, as you do. I am a size 12, bmi of 25, 5'6". It was too small. By quite a margin. sad I am nearly 40, and have been aware that vanity sizing was on the generous side, but this has really shocked me.

Having spent the rest of the evening "investigating" this by trying on more motheaten vintage clothing we discovered a size 10 in 1960 was about a size 6 now. (Dsis is a 10 and needed at least 3 more inches around the waist, although the wedding dress fitted beautifully) and that it wasn't just the wedding dress that didn't fit me, there were 3 more dresses in there, all size 16, and all too small. sad

valiumredhead Wed 06-Mar-13 13:20:31

American sizes are 2 smaller than UK aren't they? So she would be a UK 14 I think.

I want to kindly tell you to GAG - you are a size 12, hardly something to be sad about smile

Floggingmolly Wed 06-Mar-13 13:24:14

It's all this vanity sizing - I reckon a size 16 then would probably be equivalent to size 10 now.

Scrazy Wed 06-Mar-13 13:24:26

American 16 would be a 12 in our sizes, wouldn't it?

MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 13:25:25

I am thrilled to be a 12 valium - this time last year I was a size 22! smile

valiumredhead Wed 06-Mar-13 13:27:07

Congrats OP! Be happy not sad grin

MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 13:28:38

Ah, yes, hadn't thought about American sizing being different to ours - probably due to the shock of how much UK sizes have changed in 50 years!

valiumredhead Wed 06-Mar-13 13:28:44

The other thing is apart from sizing we are a completely different shape now than 40/50 years ago, people were generally much more petite.

Other way - American 12 is UK 16

MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 13:32:21

Thank you valium. I guess I was just really suprised at how much thinner women were 50 years ago. I think the average then was about a 12 (about an 8 in todays sizing) which I would now think of as very slim.

Maybe I should ditch the car, the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine to lose the last few pounds! grin

PopeBenedictsP45 Wed 06-Mar-13 13:34:02

"The other thing is apart from sizing we are a completely different shape now than 40/50 years ago, people were generally much more petite."

How does that work? Do you mean we're fatter now? How can we be a different shape altogether?

valiumredhead Wed 06-Mar-13 13:34:05

How have you done it OP?

ChunkyPickle Wed 06-Mar-13 13:34:15

American sizing is ridiculous.. I am definitely a large lady - BMI about 40 - yet an XL from Old Navy (standard cheap clothes shop - like New Look) was a little bit big.

Over here, as soul destroying as it is, I know that an XXL will be pushing it and an XXL is more likely to fit.

The biggest trouble is they all vanity size differently.

Scrazy Wed 06-Mar-13 13:34:38

Yes so when I bought American clothes and I was a 10, I was buying 6's. That's right, it's the other way round.

LadyPessaryPam Wed 06-Mar-13 13:38:44

We were expected to have 24 - 26" waists 45 years ago, I struggled with 28" as I am very high waisted. it was the bane of my life, I longed to be proper woman shaped sad

CardinalRichelieu Wed 06-Mar-13 13:40:33

Not very long ago there was an exhibition of costumes from famous movies at the v&A (Scarlett O'Hara's curtain dress, Keira Knightley's green dress in Atonement etc) and there was one of Marilyn Monroe's dresses, I think from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The waist was teeeeeny, about 24 inches max. But her boobs were pretty big (unsurprisingly). I wouldn't even be able to categorise it as a single dress size as her dimensions were so unique, but excluding the boobs it was about a 6-8.

I reckon an 80s size 10 is a today's 6.

BubaMarra Wed 06-Mar-13 13:44:43

Average waistline has gone up in the last 60 years by 6 or 7 inches, average breast size by one cup (I think). And fat above our elbows.

MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 13:45:21

Weight watchers mainly Valium. And walking, lots of it!

I've cut out the wine and beer and stick to vodka or gin and slimline tonic.

I always have a pan of homemade vegetable soup on the hob to snack on.

I've stopped eating sausage rolls for breakfast! grin

valiumredhead Wed 06-Mar-13 13:46:58

Well done you! smile

impty Wed 06-Mar-13 13:48:47

On the other hand Im 5'10" and tower over my grandparents. So if you are taller i would think you would be wider too.smile

MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 13:58:53

smile thank you.

My dgm's had no electric appliances when they were bringing up children, no cars, no fast food, no supermarkets so walked to the shops daily, walked the school runs, did all the washing by hand and used to hang their rugs/carpets over the washing line and beat the dust out of them, so I suppose it stands to reason they burned off more calories (and ate less of them too I would imagine!)

InsertWittyUsername Wed 06-Mar-13 14:02:46

She was absolutely tiny, although even with the change due to vanity sizing she wasn't the old sizes people quote either - all her clothes were custom made. In today's sizes, her 22 inch waist is smaller than a US size 0.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/04/marilyn-monroe-was-not-even-close-to-a-size-12-16/
http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/mmdress.asp
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/marilyn-monroe-was-not-a-size-12/

HaplessHousewife Wed 06-Mar-13 14:04:33

It's definitely changed even in the last 20 years. I was tiny as a teenager, 6 stone at 16, going up to 7 stone at 18, and 5'4" so not short. I'm guessing I was even less at 14/15. I used to buy a Top Shop size 10 and my mum would take the waists in.

I was overjoyed when they started selling size 8 because I could get clothes that fitted. I now weigh over 9 stone (so 50% more than back then sad) but wear a size 10, there is no way I could have got away with just taking in the waist on a modern size 10.

Mominatrix Wed 06-Mar-13 14:04:45

I saw the white dress Marilyn wore in Some Like it Hot at the Costume exhibit at the V&A and can hand-on-heart say that there is no way she was a UK size 16. The dress was TINY. Yes, she had curves, but the waist on that dress was a 24inch max (probably less).

QuickLookBusy Wed 06-Mar-13 14:09:48

Mominatrix I was just about to post exactly the same thing.

I was looking forward to seeing it and actually thought it would be much bigger. I was astonished it was so tiny. In fact most of the women's costumes were.

Mominatrix Wed 06-Mar-13 14:09:55

America is extremely guilty of vanity sizing. I have not gained weight since Senior School, and can still fit into clothes I was wearing during my last couple years (17-18). Back then, my size was a size 4 US. By the time I finished uni, I was a size 2. Now I am a size 00 US, and some of those are slightly big!

fluffyraggies Wed 06-Mar-13 14:11:09

My mum was in her 20s in 1950's London and she and her friends all wore those swirley skirts with lots of stiff net peticoats underneath, a little jumper and a wide belt. It was common for girls to store their peticoats under their bed, as they took up so much room. Bit of social history there.

Anyway - she and her friends aimed at having a 16" waist. She gave me a few of her old wide leather belts for me to wear when i was a teenager, and you could see that they were all worn on the tightest hole - 16". Wow. That's with a thin jumper tucked in remember!
(i wore them, but on the largest hole wink)

Mominatrix Wed 06-Mar-13 14:12:53

16 inches! Scarlett O'Hara needed a corset to get her waist that tiny!

frankie4 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:14:15

Marilyn Monroe would have worn a very tight corset under the dress, like most women at that time, which is why her waist was so small. But I have also been to that exhibition and saw how small the dress was. Even with a corset it did not look any bigger than a size 10.

A few years ago I was excited to try on a Biba outfit of my DM from the 1960's when my DM was in her 20's, and I could not get into it at all, it was tiny. My DM has worn a size 16 since she was 16years old, and I am a size 12-14.

fluffyraggies Wed 06-Mar-13 14:16:26

Wait! Serves me right for trying to go by memory! blush
just under 23", i've just been and measured the belt.
Still tiny shock

FreudiansSlipper Wed 06-Mar-13 14:20:46

no she was never a size 16

I have been lucky enough to handle some of her clothes and last year went to an exhibition of her clothes (about 15 outfits) at her biggest she was a uk size 12. That was in some like it hot when she was pregnant you can see her weight changes throughout the film

she was fleshy tiny build but not that toned she also always wore her clothes tight spilled out of them that I think can often make you look bigger

CardinalRichelieu Wed 06-Mar-13 14:21:15

Love how this thread has brought out all the costume nerds who went to see the dresses at the v&a!

furnessian Wed 06-Mar-13 14:22:31

Yes, I saw MM's white dress and she certainly was tiny.

My mum and her friends were all young in the Fifties and all were all tiny; personally I think a great deal of this can be attributed to war-time rationing.

Also women wore waspies under their dresses, to enhance their waists and many of the dresses worn, incorporated boning.

In the 1950s, my dress size would be a size 14. In 1980, I was a size 10. Today (I am exactly the same dimensions over 30 years) I am a size 6 to 8 so something very strange is going on!

QuickLookBusy Wed 06-Mar-13 14:28:56

I have a skirt which I bought in Top Shop about 20 years ago. It's a size 12.

My DDs have Top Shop dresses, size 8s and I have worn a couple on holiday.

I weight the same now as I did 20 years ago so sizing has definitely changed.

Miggsie Wed 06-Mar-13 14:30:20

Anthony Summers' very well researched biography of Monroe states that in her prime Marilyn's measurements were 36-24-36.
He got this from her dress designer - who should have known.

I have some old Vogue and Simplicity patterns from the 50's (as I love the Doris Day look!) and my measurements would have made me a size 16-18 then, and I have to use the size 16 pattern. Today those measurements have me a size 10-12...and I cut on the size 10 line.

So today's expectation of a "normal" woman shape is to be 4 inches wider than 1950.

I remember about 10 years ago doing a play set in the 50's and my friend lent us some genuine 50's skirts, dresses and petticoats (her mum was a dress designer and kept all the nice stuff) and only the women who were size 10 in the play could get them on.

DonderandBlitzen Wed 06-Mar-13 14:32:32

People tend to have their wedding dress altered to fit them, so the lable may not be a true reflection of the size. Although it sounds like you tried on lots of dresses and found the same thing each time

Fillyjonk75 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:37:15

Yes, I think she probably was a size 16 - then. Now she'd be a UK 10-12.

My mum was a size 14 in her youth when she was 9 and a half stone, and she's 5'7".

I am the same height and was in a size 8 at the same weight. I tried on one of my mother in law's jackets, made in about 1965, it was a size 12 and only just fitted.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 06-Mar-13 14:39:17

I have lots of vintage clothes from the 40/50's the jackets fit me much better than modern sizing as i am not very broad. I have a few dresses they fit well and some of these are a 12 I am a tight 12 I think it depends on your shape I have a small build with too much blubber

I also have a few bits from the 20/30's they are much smaller (no sizing) especially the tiny gloves

Fillyjonk75 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:39:23

But it's fair that sizing has changed, people have got bigger and healthier, not just fatter. Women have bigger bones, are taller, broader and have a bigger muscle mass.

Fillyjonk75 Wed 06-Mar-13 14:42:27

And all the talk of a 16" waist was poor women just being massively pulled in with a corset, and also being small and frail anyway. My 7 year old daughter has a 23" waist and she's right in the middle of the healthy BMI range.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Wed 06-Mar-13 14:47:47

Don't forget though that MM would have worn lots of waist clinching underwear like girdles and basques, so her figure wasn't completely natural.

My great aunt was a buyer for Harrods. She was a tall, well-built woman, a real clotheshorse. I was very slim in my 20s and simply couldn't wear her clothes, because I had an athletic build and my midriff hasn't been pushed in by shaping underwear. I couldn't do up the waist buttons, but conversely they bagged around the hips.

Then again I couldn't get my shoulders into the jackets, let alone do them up!

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Wed 06-Mar-13 14:49:09

especially the tiny gloves - god yes we have some bits and pieces from the 1900s and 1920s - in the family dressing up box, so bizarre - and they are tiny.

I have some vintage dress patterns and made up a 50s evening dress - the shape eas soul wrong. It was designed for someone wearing a girdle, a4 when it git on the waist it was way too big over the bust. I didn't discover this until I had cut and constructed nearly the entire dress, and it was a lot of work - fully lined with covered buttons. sad

Dunno what to do with that and all my other patterns now

I thought that Marilyn wore nothing underneath her dresses and was often sewn into them so they literally were skin-tight?

I'm sure I remember reading in biographies of her that she would stand naked and be sewn into things.

I'd be surprised, based on that, and looking at photos of her (like this: 2.bp.blogspot.com/-b14m8bMZ1kc/TuJekAESjyI/AAAAAAAAA-Y/Cetxx6eXrBQ/s1600/keziahmm-2009061562158-grammaticas2009061540719jfk53original-original.jpg), if she wore shape altering underwear, girdles, etc.

Nancy66 Wed 06-Mar-13 15:07:14

At the time of her death MM was around 8stone 5 pounds....and she was around 5ft 5.

By today's standards she'd be a Uk size 8 to 10

Nancy66 Wed 06-Mar-13 15:08:55

...oh and my mum has an original Biba dress from the early 60s with a size 10 label in it.

I am a present day size 10 to 12 and I couldn't get it past my knees...would be a size 4-6 by today's standards.

clara in that photo she is ^ definitely^ wearing a girdle. You don't get the crease at the waist without a girdle.

Thing to remember with Marilyn was that her weight fluctuated, so sometimes she'd be like this and sometimes like this.

VAVAV00M Wed 06-Mar-13 15:17:55

She was about a UK 6/8 (dress maker notes vary between 33-35.5 inch hips throughout her career). UK 16 = US 12 btw, I'll source some down for you later.

VAVAV00M Wed 06-Mar-13 15:21:14

I have a 22-23 inch waist anyway, it is possible, people used to shout 'PEAR' at me while getting changed at school. I am over 6ft and have wide hips and broad shoulders so I do actually look in proportion, I'm a slim extreme hourglass figure. I have never really cared for it tbh.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 06-Mar-13 15:28:54

UK sizes have changed

When I was 18 I was 7 and three quarter stones and a size 8.

25 years later, i am nearly 9 stone, have had 2 children, so considerably wider round the waist, and a bigger bust, and i am still an 8 in some shops, notably Monsoon, Next.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Wed 06-Mar-13 15:32:45

clara even if not wearing a girdle, wearing restrictive underwear for years does change your shape.
A modern-day case in point would be Dita Von Teese who is an hourglass shape and naturally tiny, but constantly wearing corsets has reduced her waist even more.

JeeanieYuss Wed 06-Mar-13 15:43:45

MurderOfGoths- Are you sure that is not just her knicker line in that photo? Looks more like it than a girdle I think..

msrisotto Wed 06-Mar-13 15:54:03

Loving the pictures of MM. She looks so healthy and happy in them.

I didn't know that always wearing corsets physically changed womens' shape!

chrome100 Wed 06-Mar-13 15:55:26

I am, by today's standards, a size 8-10. When I was in my later teen years, I was anorexic and weighed around 2 stone less than I did now. I didn't have periods, I didn't eat, I felt awful. And I STILL didn't have a 23 inch waist! I am therefore not convinced that women were that thin at all. Yes, I accept they were thinner than today's women, and that vanity sizing definitely exists, but for them to be that thin does not make sense.

I am very interestsed in local history and have lots of collections of old photos of my area from the 40s/50s. I have to say that although ovewhelmingly there aren't many fat people, the women still look healthy and in proportion and not any thinner than thin people do today.

Here another pic of her in that same dress: blog.jokeroo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/MMonroe2.jpg

I really don't think she was wearing a girdle or corset. The material is so thin, you can see through it.

I may be wrong though...

Clarabella I can see a v-shape at the front of that dress starting just where her wrist is touching it. Could just be a seam but it looks more like an outline to me.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Wed 06-Mar-13 16:06:09

Very envy of the people who have remained the same weight/size for 25 years. I, OTOH have remained the same dress size for 25 years, which, as we have established, is not exactly the same thing. I tried on a suit I bought as a teen recently, which brought home to me the difference between a 1988 size 12 and a 2013 size 12.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 06-Mar-13 16:13:53

I don't know how anyone could think she could have been a size 12, let alone 16. There are plenty of photos and videos of her and her tiny 22 inch waist and slim curves. Are people blind? Or have they seriously deluded themselves into thinking that their fat size 16 bodies look like that?hmm

msrisotto Wed 06-Mar-13 16:15:03

rtft people are talking about vanity sizing

chrome Almost everyone wore corsets/girdles until the 60s, so waists were much smaller

MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 16:26:27

Zebra - the point I was making is that a dress from 1960 that was labeled a size 16 fits a modern day size 10 woman like a glove - so no, of course I don't think she was a modern day 16. I do however think that she was perhaps a size 16 when the size 16 dresses were much much smaller than they are today.

MsWetherwax Wed 06-Mar-13 16:29:42

Lady Isabella, my dm was a size 12 in the sixties when she weighed 8.5 stone. At 63 she is still a 12, but weighs 11 stone. She doesn't go out dancing 5 nights a week anymore either so is definitely not as toned! [ grin]

chrome100 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:32:28

But they weren't naturally that small, they were pulled in?

digerd Wed 06-Mar-13 16:34:54

You look at the black and white documentary films of the ladies working during the war. They were all thin, but that is because in those days and post war for a few decades afterwards, people did not have enough money to eat a lot of food. There were very few people with cars and people walked. Labour saving devices were not there and then too expensive for most. Also no TV - people were on the move all day.

Before breast implants, big bosoms were a symbol of sexyness. Even then some women had big breasts and were thin otherwise. The sex bombs of that era were also Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren, but they were bigger hipped and waisted so corsets were worn to give the cinched in waist/hour glass figure If corsets are worn at meal-times, you can't eat much as tummy cannot expand.

There were standard measurements and the smallest was a 10 = waist - 22" Hips 34", size 12 was waist 24", hips 36", size 14 waist 26" hips 38".

When Miss World had to show themselves in a one-piece swimsuit, they were checked for "falsies and corsets" which were barred. Remember watching that in Black and white. In those days beautiful shapely legs were also considered a high asset. Saw no match-stick thin thighs then .

higgle Wed 06-Mar-13 16:35:00

My mother was ( she has shrunk a bit now) '4", 8 stone 10 with a 26" waist,
this made her a size 14 in the 1970's Even when I'm a size 10 I can't get into her lovely old clothes.

bruffin Wed 06-Mar-13 16:35:48

I had a 22inch waist from my teens into my late 20s. I was 7st to 7.5 stone and 5ft 2
My dress size was an 8 to 10 but size 8 was difficult to get hold of in the 70s/ 80s.
Now my Dd is a lot taller and a 25 inch waist is an 8.
There is no way she would fit in to my old size 10.

digerd Wed 06-Mar-13 16:46:58

I used to buy children's clothes as the length was just right for me being 5foot 2 and 7stone 9. aged 15-16 in the 70s.

digerd Wed 06-Mar-13 16:48:21

ps
The clothes were for 5-16 year-olds - I was much older.

Fillyjonk75 Wed 06-Mar-13 17:45:27

^Before breast implants, big bosoms were a symbol of sexyness. Even then some women had big breasts and were thin otherwise. The sex bombs of that era were also Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren, but they were bigger hipped and waisted so corsets were worn to give the cinched in waist/hour glass figure If corsets are worn at meal-times, you can't eat much as tummy cannot expand.

There were standard measurements and the smallest was a 10 = waist - 22" Hips 34", size 12 was waist 24", hips 36", size 14 waist 26" hips 38^

Thank fuck for being born in 1975.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 06-Mar-13 18:08:37

MM was often sewn into her clothes. You can often see her tummy is rounded (she fell pregnant quite a few times and miscarried) you can also see she is wearing a corset at times she was still never a size 16

NuttyNewDog Wed 06-Mar-13 18:15:23

Couldn't agree more! DD1 (size 6 to 8) wore a size 12 eighties dress of mine to her school prom, no alteration needed. I'm still a size 12 but there's no way I could get it over my knees these days! It probably means I've gone up a size a decade, so I'm all in favour of vanity sizing!

MrsKoala Wed 06-Mar-13 18:31:18

Has anyone said how tall she was? My nana had a 24" waist which i was berated with growing up when it became obvious i would not . However, my Nana was 4ft11in and i am almost 5ft11in so being almost a whole foot taller i think that's okay! We are just bigger all over. Mum 5ft5in so halfway between us. Does that mean my daughter will be 6ft5in? shock

bigTillyMint Wed 06-Mar-13 18:33:39

Yes, I agree Jamie - I was a size 10 in my early 20's (25 yrs agoblush) and the same jeans now would be a size 8 at the most .

Wishihadabs Wed 06-Mar-13 18:53:23

Up thread someone said their 7yo had a 23" waist sorry but that is too big. A child of that age should be lean with a BMI of 12-15 not 19-25 as in adults.

Mominatrix Thu 07-Mar-13 06:26:06

People can and do have naturally small waists -especially if they are not very tall. I have not taken a tape measure to me, but I have belts which are 60cm which I wear over clothes, and I have a dress from the victorian times which I can still wear which has a 22 inch waist. I am not particularly small for my ethnicity and height.

RapunzelAteMyHamster Thu 07-Mar-13 09:53:01

Vanity sizing doesn't exist. Manufacturers don't sit and specifically knock 2 sizes off the whole line.

12 is a clothing manufacturer's medium, that's all, the average size that a clothing line makes most of. Then they make less of the 10 and 14, less again of the 8 and 16 and even less of the 6 and 18. All clothing lines target different segments of the population, all of whom are a totally different shape from each other. So your average M&S shopper is a totally different size from your average Miss Selfridges shopper, so your 12 will be totally different in size, not because M&S is trying to make their shoppers feel better about themselves, but because that is how their market is shaped, and they won't make as much money if they cut hundreds of things designed for skinny teenagers. Some lines will cut differently for big bottoms or a thick middle as their average, so their 12 might appear bigger when actually it's the same on the top. A line targeting a sporty customer will cut utterly differently again. Patterns from the 40s are designed to fit women with smaller rib cages and shorter bodies, as your average woman was smaller boned and shorter.

There isn't a single scale which everyone works from, so it isn't possible for there to be one specific standard. So what people think is vanity is practicality from a manufacturing point of view.

sansucre Thu 07-Mar-13 10:03:46

According to articles I've read about MM and her costumes, I have exactly the same measurements as her and I'm a UK size 6. (I'm 5ft 4.5')
Clothing sizes are ridiculous. Like MM, I'm busty but with a small back and more often than not, some size 6s are too big across the chest, which is laughable.

My mother was very slight, and I recently found a pair of her YSL shorts from the 80s and they're an Italian size 36, which technically should fit me as that's the Italian size I wear. But they don't, they're far too small. I remember when I was little, size 8s suddenly appeared in the shops as before then size 10 was the smallest size you could buy. (And why I think my mother bought her clothes from European designers.)

I think as diets have got better, food more plentiful and the way people live their lives, so have our bodies changed. Amongst my friends, I'm easily the most petite, yet in my family, I'm easily the biggest.

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 10:16:03

My SIS was always very competitive especially with me. I remember her boasting how she could pull in her waist to 18" with a belt, and of course, when young, there was no overhanging or under protruding bulge. Her normal waist measurement was 21" and mine was 22" - not pulled in. We were both tiny hipped and waisted. 16" I cannot believe, unless a young skinny teen.

As we got older the waist became wider and no way could it be pulled in without discomfort and bulging above and below. Only a full body corset could make that possible and then you can't sit down or even breathe.
So we now let everything hang out naturally, as comfort is now our priority.

We are now still in size 8s, but have a 28-29" waist. < unpulled in>
< and much larger when sitting/slumping.>

Mintyy Thu 07-Mar-13 10:23:26

My mother was 5ft 6" and always weighed just a couple of pounds under 9 stone. She wore a size 12 or 14 in the 70s. And she was considered to be a perfectly average size, not particularly slim.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 07-Mar-13 10:24:26

I can tell from vintage knitting patterns that women where smaller a generation ago. 36 inches was a plus size bust.

persimmon Thu 07-Mar-13 10:37:32

This is a bit different but I did a course with lovely Ruth Goodman some while backk and she said that in Tudor times most women would be considered absolutely minute by our standards - not just the poor, malnourished ones. And Victorian dresses tend to be teeny - Charlotte Bronte's looks like a child's dress to me. We're so much better nourished that we have larger, thicker bones which add both mass and weight, no matter how fit and slim we are. obesity crisis aside, it can't be a bad thing as our life expectancy is so much better than our ancestors'.--although I'd love to be a bit thinner--

persimmon Thu 07-Mar-13 10:38:13

strike through fail, pah!

WillSantaComeAgain Thu 07-Mar-13 10:40:53

Scalett O'Hara's waistline was 16" before she had Bonny (and, if you read the book, Beau) - the scene in the film is Mammy getting her into a 17" or 18" waist with the corset. But, its worth remembering (and I know its fiction) that Scarlett has to be really forced into the corset, and doesn't eat so that she can fit.

zebra nice to see you have such a positive attitude to different sizes.

I think it comes down to petiteness rather than fatness - if you ever meet any women from TV even today, they are resolutely tiny. Not in a skinny/catwalk model sort of tiny, but that really really small frame that (if you're 5'9" and a healthy 24.9 BMI) seems just absurd that they can be the same species.

Also, body shapes do seem to have changed - as I'm sure they have done over the centuries - now I think women seem to have larger waists and busts, but skinnier hips? Maybe intervention in the birthing process means that a good set of child-bearing hips is not a pre-requisite to surviving labour grin.

persimmon Thu 07-Mar-13 10:46:26

Hairdressers always make me feel ENORMOUS, like another species.

Trills Thu 07-Mar-13 10:48:20

I think YABU to have an opinion on it at all, really.

I expect that the "size 16" thing was entirely made up out of someone's head.

Marilyn Monroe probably wore tailor-made clothes, because she's an unusual shape.

Any reports we have of her weight are pretty useless, because her weight changed over her life, the reports may not be accurate, and weight is not always a useful proxy for what size clothes you wear (see any MN thread on "if you are 5'6 how much do you weighh and what size clothes do you wear?")

Apparently part of the reason Audrey Hepburn was so thin is because of suffering from malnutrition growing up during the war.

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 13:17:02

Audrey Hepburn had a beautiful face, but her body looked unhealthily skinny to me.
For a tiny framed healthy-looking body and face, Natalie Wood always looked beautiful to me in her films. But think she too had her waist cinched in to give those so admired curves.

Why on earth are curves undesirable now- except for enhanced boobs?
Ridiculous.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 13:38:12

you have to remember that MM changed shape alot, there are scenes in "Gentleman prefer blondes" where she does look more like a modern size 12/14 with some strong shaping underwear (so a then size 16) - it's just more that in other years she's very thin, most woman fluctuate over the course of a decade (which is when most of her hit films were made).

Modern clothes are more generously proportioned, but also not just scaled up, the ratios have changed.

And wearing shapewear all the time does change your body shape, the victorian corsets pushed internal organs into different places as ours now naturally are and less protein in the diets of children made people smaller and more willowy.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 13:39:55

Delicate -that's the word I'm looking for! A lot of people who grew up in 30s/40s by the time they were in their 20s/30s look more delicate than now, regardless of how much fat they've got on that frame.

LineRunner Thu 07-Mar-13 13:45:18

So Monroe was a UK 20? Excellent.

Fishlaar Thu 07-Mar-13 13:56:50

I have a fitted skirt from C&A that I wore in the late 70's/early 80's. I was a size 16, and took a lot of stick for being overweight which until I met my DH led to some very low self esteem. I was having a clear out of the loft a while back and came across it. I was really surprised to see that next the the size 16 on the label it also said 28" waist, which I believe is a size 12 today. It made me so mad for being made to feel like I was a big fat lump back then.

MinesaBottle Thu 07-Mar-13 16:36:50

I'm confused now. Bear with me:

Throughout my teens and for most of my 20s I was about 8.5 stone and a size 6 (which didn't exist in the late 80s/early 90s so I wore 10s and then 8s when they became available). I am now 39, just over 9 stone and in most shops a size 12! (at least on the bottom - hips are 37, waist 28 and boobs 36B). If it's true about vanity sizing how can I have gone up 2 or 3 sizes when I've only gained just over half a stone?

I am rubbish with numbers though.

Erm, minesa, can I politely point you to the bra threads....with a 28" waist you are almost certainly not a 36 ;)

I though the comments about us generally being bigger in terms of bones, structure, height etc. At 5'6 I am taller than all of both my and dh's mums/aunts.

MinesaBottle Thu 07-Mar-13 16:54:35

Confession time - I don't often wear a bra (despite what I think is my size, they are firm and still point north...for now) so I have no real idea what my bra size is blush I'm probably more likely a C or D cup I guess given the size of my waist and ribcage (small).

I do have a couple of dresses from the 1920s which I got in the US and the labels say size 20!!!!!!! - sizing was totally different in the US back then, clearly!!! According to ads from around the same time, US dress sizes went up to 40 which from what I can gather would be about a UK 14-16 today.

Lucky girl re firm and pointy! You are probably a much smaller back, more like a 30, and therefore quite a few cups bigger too.

I live vintage style but would never fit me I suspect so reproductions it is :-(

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Thu 07-Mar-13 16:58:34

minesa I'm 37 and your stats are not far off mine - I have a 29/30in waist (I'm dieting at the mo so it fluctuates) - and I take a 12 in mumsy shops and a 14 in trendy shops. I'm a 42 in Italian clothes.

I think if you were size 6 in your 20s your shape must have changed considerably even if your weight hasn't. Even at my thinnest, in the late 1990s, (9.5 stone with a bmi of 18) I was still an 8-10. I am tall and broad shouldered though with small bones, classic ectomorph.

Rapunzel that's fascinating, it makes sense. I automatically pick up a size larger in TopShop, and a size smaller in Matalan.

MinesaBottle Thu 07-Mar-13 16:59:12

The good thing about 20s dresses is they are designed to hide skim curves wink

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Thu 07-Mar-13 16:59:22

You are all-round thinner than me though grin

MinesaBottle Thu 07-Mar-13 17:01:36

Panpiper I have definitely got larger around the hips, and a bit curvier overall. I think I was more straight up and down iyswim when I was in my 20s, I am more of an hourglass now although not much of one. I take a 12 in Topshop and a 10 in mumsy shops, as far as designer clothes go it depends on the designer, some of them definitely cut large and call it a medium!

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Mar-13 17:04:17

I have lots and lots of old paper dress patterns.
The sizing is very different from the modern ones.

Much smaller.

bruffin Thu 07-Mar-13 17:16:02

M&S used to be notorious for vanity sizing. I think its less so nowadays compared to other shops

Coffeenowplease Thu 07-Mar-13 17:26:21

Plenty of people wear a 22 inch waist. Thing is its not often found in shops these days. I have a dress thats made for a size 10 or thereabouts with a 22 inch waist and it fits very well. Its from about 1970 though and i cant find a lot of modern clothing to fit my measurements.

Im not even thin really just small. Im only 5ft 1 and have a 26/27 chest and 29 hips.

unitarian Thu 07-Mar-13 18:12:07

I'm admitting to being 60 which means I was a mini-skirted teenager. We were nearly all skinnier back then. My DD is 39 years younger than me and has much chunkier legs and hips than I had. I've noticed she has started wearing longer skirts since she saw a photo of me in 1970 with a very short skirt and 'Twiggy' legs.
I always considered I had a big waist at 26". Bust was 32" and hips were 34". I'm now a size 12 but my hips are the same.

It was partly diet but not in the way you'd expect - we didn't have fast foods but ate lots of carbs and had to eat the fat on meat. I have my mother's cook book which is the same age as me. There is a picture in it of some bacon. It's nearly all fat!
Our parents were still influenced by wartime rationing so nothing was wasted and everything was home cooked. Very few sugary snacks other than home-made cakes. We got 6d (2.5 p) a week in the 50s for sweets and that bought a bag full to last us. A Mars Bar was 6d.

It was partly genetics/ parental diet. My mother was slim and had been hungry for a lot of her childhood, followed by wartime rations and she was fairly typical in build for her generation.

There were also foundation garments and she would wear a corset even though she didn't need one. Her bra was like armour plating!
Teens like me loved those elasticated belts that nipped in your waist and you could roll up the top of a school skirt under the belt to make the skirt shorter.

It was partly excercise. We walked a mile each way to primary school, and came home for lunch so we walked 4 miles a day without thinking twice about it - and that assumes we ever walked in a straight line! We were up and down walls and trees. At secondary school we cycled or walked there. Even in the late 60s I would walk two miles to school. By then I was having school dinners - meat, potatoes and 2 veg, steamed pud and custard. Yet we stayed stick thin.

We also had our school milk, National Health orange juice and cod liver oil!

ChestyLeRoux Thu 07-Mar-13 18:29:09

I think a lot of people are still very skinny now.A lot of people I know are.They do however live a lifestyle like unitarian describes and walk lots and have an active life,and eat what they want and just burn it off.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Mar-13 18:50:42

MM was a size 4-6 UK (size 0 - 2 US) most of the time. A size 8 at her biggest going from her actual measurements.

One of the reasons we may have come up with this sie 16 idea is US to UK size conversion and vanity sizing AND the fact that she had huge boobs. In order to fit into off the hanger clothes like blouses, she probably had to wear a size (or two) bigger than she might otherwise have had to, in order to accomodate this. Otherwise she'd have buttons pinging open. This is a problem I've had myself.

Also, in terms of waist size, how long your torso is comes into the equation. It can actually be harder for someone who is 5' 0" to have a smaller waist than someone who is 6' 0" because your hips and ribcage hold your shape; your waist does not have the bone structure to support it. Its not strictly true that the taller you are the bigger your waist is for this reason. MM at 5' 5" or 6 was over the average height for today, so wasn't short.

Finally, going back to the previous point; our diet today in childhood favours more bone growth, not just height or fat. It means that actually our modern day bone structure is bigger - hence why height has increased by several inches - and therefore you would also expect hip and ribcage sizes to have increased; its not necessarily going to appear as a height increase. I'm not convinced that society's increases in BMI and dress size are purely and simply down to being fat.

RatPants Thu 07-Mar-13 18:55:23

I am an almost exact size 8 now, anything I pick up from a rail fits me fine but during my teenage years I was almost exactly a ten and my weight is exactly the same.

Sizing is way out now.

Kiriwawa Thu 07-Mar-13 19:03:07

I love these threads - they're always such an exercise in stealth boasting (I'm 5'6", weigh 3 stone 4 as I have for the last 20 years, despite having borne 17 children. And annoyingly I now find I have to take a size 4, even though when I was 20, I took a size 12!). Gosh!

RatPants Thu 07-Mar-13 19:07:12

I wasn't boasting, just saying that sizes have changed. I'm only 26 so weighing the same as I did as a teenager isn't much to brag about really - I'm sure it won't be the case when I'm in my 50's. grin

unitarian Thu 07-Mar-13 19:16:53

I wasn't boasting either. My hips have stayed the same but I'm seriously considering a corset!

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Mar-13 19:21:55

they're always such an exercise in stealth boasting

Why is being HONEST about your measurements stealth boasting? Is it now unacceptable and taboo to tell the truth.

Anyone who thinks that can fuck off.

NO ONE should be ashamed or discouraged for saying what they are. A culture which makes us hide the truth panders to this idea of 'ideal' body shapes and having to conform to a certain range.

We are all different. There is no shame in being a size 4 anymore than a size 18. And the sooner everyone gets this through their thick head, the better.

biryani Thu 07-Mar-13 19:35:10

Apparently she was 8stone 4, but curvy in an hourglass way. Women were smaller then, apparently, with smaller waists.

Kiriwawa Thu 07-Mar-13 20:12:46

RedToothBrush - if you can't see that saying that you've stayed the same size despite having had numerous children and being 30 years older is boasting, then I suspect you're the one that's thick

Kiriwawa Thu 07-Mar-13 20:14:32

Oh and incidentally I have a size 16 M&S skirt that was my mum's in the days when it was St Michael - 19070s maybe? It's a size 12 if that. Waist to hip ratio definitely higher than now.

Haberdashery Thu 07-Mar-13 20:28:55

How is it boasting? What size/shape you are is not a boast, it's a FACT. I happen to be quite small widthways but it's not a boast, it's just what size I am. It most certainly isn't anything to be boastful about, given that it has required precisely zero effort on my part. And that's not a boast either. How on earth is it possible to boast about genetics/metabolism/pure blind luck? I get that some people want to be thinner and if you lose weight because you've tried really hard, boast away because you did well! But it's the effort in achieving a goal that will make you feel better about yourself/healthier/help you be able to buy nice clothes more easily/whatever your personal goal in losing weight was that is boastworthy, not the actual size a person is.

And quite honestly, I'd have liked to be a bit bigger for quite a lot of my life because it would have made it easier to buy clothes etc and people wouldn't have been so sneery about skinny people to me.

I just can't be doing with body snarking, full stop. I think we would be a much happier society if we were able to just be happy in who we are without people picking at us.

Kiriwawa Thu 07-Mar-13 20:35:31

Some of you haven't actually read my posts properly have you? It's very unusual to stay the same size/proportions for 20 odd years after children. That's what I was talking about and I was being slightly tongue in cheek.

Celebrate! You lucky people smile

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Mar-13 20:35:43

Why is it boasting?
Should women who have not changed their body size/shape dramatically shut the fuck up then?

I am a size 10. I have five children but only gave birth to 4 of them. I am 45.
How can that be boasting?
If I said 'i am a fucking marvel, I am the most gorgeous size 10 and look so much better than the rest of you slugs'

THAT would be boasting.

Listing your dress size and waist measurement is just stating facts.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Mar-13 20:37:58

Its not boasting to be honest. Sorry. Its just not.
If you have to cover that up or pretend thats not true that thats just wrong.

Its as wrong as deliberately being sneery about others. Whether they are fat or thin.

If you put on weight after having children, that actually perfectly acceptable.
But so is NOT putting on weight after having children.

You are what you are. Its that simple. No one should EVER be made to feel guilty for that. No one should have to apologise for it.

Whats so hard to understand about that? And how that has an impact on everyone. Just to be positive and honest rather than have to aspire to be / or pretend to be something else rather than accept the body you live in and live with.

Scrazy Thu 07-Mar-13 20:39:11

Well I am in my 50's and still wear the same size as when I was a teenager. Size 10. The fact that I was a stone and a half to 2 stone lighter might indicate that vanity sizing is going on. Not stealth boasting, honestly grin

Toadspawn Thu 07-Mar-13 20:42:11

Audrey Hepburn was a child during the starvation winter in holland during the war and her body never recovered.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Thu 07-Mar-13 21:08:48

I hate the phrase 'vanity sizing'.

As Rapunzel pointed out, average sizes have had to go up otherwise manufacturers would have run out of numbers. And it's not just that people are fatter (though obviously a lot of us are), we are BIGGER. I was whip thin in my 20s (don't worry kiriwawa, I'm two sizes larger now) but at 5'11 with broad shoulders I am bigger than my mum and far bigger than my grandmother .

My DD1 is 3 years old, the size of a 5/6 year old and according to the NHS average height calc will be 6'3 when she is fully grown. If sizes didn't change she'd be a, I dunno, 33 or something. And she's a normal weight for her height. In my generation she'd be insanely tall - for her generation she'll just be tall, like I was.

So is it vanity sizing or just sensible to copy the population? I think saying it's vanity is a kind of sneering that we're not all teeny tiny women anymore.

Perhaps we should celebrate that we're getting stronger and bigger and more athletic* rather than regretting it.

*yes, yes and fatter.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Mar-13 21:15:36

Erm, small point to what you say there Panpiper.

You wouldn't run out of sizes. You'd just use bigger ones.

In fact the converse is true to what you say.

If sizes continue to go in the direction they are we'll run out of sizes at the bottom end.

A few years back you never saw a size 4. They aren't common now, but they also aren't that uncommon either.

It won't be long before a size 4 uk will be a size 0 uk. Then what? Do we get a size -2?!

bruffin Thu 07-Mar-13 21:19:06

Agree Redtooth
As i said above back in 70/80s it was very difficult to get what was then a size8.

LineRunner Thu 07-Mar-13 21:22:38

I am certainly 'bigger' than my mother and grandmother - I am taller and more muscular.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 21:23:08

toadspawn - I remember reading an interview with a photographer about twiggy, he'd said that her body shape was sculped by a childhood with rationing, low protien diet, lots of bread and carbs, not a wide variety of fruit and veg throughout the year etc - he was saying later models might be thin, but they have much more substaintal frames. it does seem later generations are larger, not just fat, but frames.

Kiri - for a large percentage of the female population it's not boasting, they have remained the same size throughout adulthood. I know a lot of woman who are wearing things that are 15+ years old.

Scrazy Thu 07-Mar-13 21:23:41

I never saw a size 8 in the 70's when I was a slip of a girl, so wore size 10 the lowest size. I still wear size 10 now, mainly, but maybe a size 10 in Chelsea girl was very small compared to a size 10 in Richard Shops.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 21:27:53

Oh the taller thing is true too - my mum is same height as me, 5' 0 - she was saying you didn't get petite ranges when she was young, but not many things needed altering, now most clothes need to come from petite ranges or be altered, its just that the standard length has changed. She said she never used to get coat sleeves changed, now they always need doing - I think looking at the 'standard' clothes size, most now are catering for longer legs and arms as well as larger arses.

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 21:28:18

Statistically there are more taller people than ever before, but no scientific theory as to why. Anyway, for women the ideal shape fits their height , frame and is in proportion. But most will never be entirely satisfied and of course there is now cosmetic surgery/procedure enhancement.

But there will always be the genetically lucky people. I know many.
However, the most important asset is good health.

sleepyhead Thu 07-Mar-13 21:32:49

I'm the "biggest" woman on either size of my family at 5' 6" (size 12ish).

Compared to my mother, aunts, grandmothers, great aunts (and further back from the few items I've seen), it's not just my height. It's my feet (3 sizes bigger than my 5'2" mum), hands, shoulders, wrists, fingers.

I'm not surprised that standard sizes have got bigger. My bones are bigger (and healthier) than my foremothers.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Mar-13 21:33:21

Apparently average woman's height in the sixties in the UK was 5' 2".
Its now 5' 4"

Average foot size was 3.
Its now 6.

Haberdashery Thu 07-Mar-13 21:41:30

My mum (born 1944) is about 5'10". My grandmother (born 1916) was the same height. I'm 5'5". I think I lost out somewhere there. And no, my food intake hasn't been restricted in any way! My giant forebears seem to have spawned a runt!

I'm a size 8. I think they were both about size 16 at my age (but that's not far off in actual inches).

rockinhippy Thu 07-Mar-13 21:44:29

I collect vintage patterns & sizing back then was completely different to how it is now, different shape too,so yes she would have been a uk 16 as it was there & then, but not as a 16 is now, or even as was in more recent history,

& I'm afraid "vanity sizing" is a bit of a myth, several stores tried it, but it doesn't really work, lots if other things come into the equation, fabric consumption, buying ratios etc etc, besides in reality it just didn't work, so sizing soon reverted back as we are just not that dumb - sizes are a bit bigger than in the 80s but not actually that much

LineRunner Thu 07-Mar-13 21:49:38

Gosh, yes, foot size - good point.

Grandmas - size 3

Mother - size 5

Me - 7

DD - already an 8

rockinhippy Thu 07-Mar-13 21:52:53

I should have added to make more sense of it, the whole vanity sizing thing has more to do with where you shop now, as opposed to where you did when younger, companies mostly aiming at teens/twenty something's are selling smaller fitting "girl" shapes, where as companies targeting an older market are cut to fit post DCs womanly curves IYSWIM

She didn't wear corsets! Maybe girdles and waspies but not a corset.

She did a nude scene shortly before her death, which was fairly soon after a miscarriage sad so she was carrying a bit more weight. She still had a tiny waist.

sleepyhead Thu 07-Mar-13 21:55:47

Our family are all urban Scots, so tiny, sunlight deprived and malnourished grin. Southerners are all giants to us..

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 21:57:13

The majority of my friends at school were 5 foot 2. We had 2 taller girls in our year. I was 7stone 9, but my closest friend was 7stone 2, We wore size 4 shoes. My sis was 5foot 3.5" tall and took size 3 shoes. My bust was tiny, but everyone else's was huge < sad little me face.> Many did ice skating or roller skating as a hobby . I and my sister danced and enjoyed acrobatics. Other leisure time activities were walking and exploring. And horse-riding.

rockinhippy Thu 07-Mar-13 21:57:49

I had a 22 inch waist pre DD, it was 24 just after giving birth - without any help at all though I'd be kidding myself to say it was now though so it's not impossible without help - my DM had a 17 inch waist, again natural

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Thu 07-Mar-13 22:05:58

That's an irritatingly good point RedTooth

However I stand by my point that calling it 'vanity sizing' can just fuck off.

Perhaps we ought to start all over again with the sizes.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Mar-13 22:06:48

I suspect from MM's statistics that she was in need of a MN bra intervention.

36D-22-36. Hmm.

sleepyhead Thu 07-Mar-13 22:13:36

Yep, that woman was a 32F if there ever was one.

Eurostar Thu 07-Mar-13 22:19:35

I don't like the term vanity sizing either. As some have explained really well, they up all sizes as we grow - in height, width, as well as in fat. Of course obesity is unhealthy and life threatening, but the thinner women of earlier 20th century generations still got lots of nasty diseases, not to mention widespread osteoporosis. A sedentary and sugar laden lifestyle will kill us off, a "big boned" shape will not.

kaumana Thu 07-Mar-13 22:59:38

At work today we had discussion over a skirt we liked ( slow day) , which is only available online. Size 10 was the given for all, apart from me who had choose a 6-8. You would think that I was skinni malinki but I have a 28 w and 35 h.

Colleagues were happy that they were the same size as when they were a teen got married etc

I guess what I' m trying to say is, if sizing went back to what it was in the 80's and 90's, those who are in their 30s, 40s etc, might get there ass in gear!! ( I know I would)

RedToothBrush Fri 08-Mar-13 07:08:05

Quite Eurostar. We are getting bigger because we are healthier as well as unhealthier! Its a point that seems to get lost when comparing sizes of the past with the present.

Morloth Fri 08-Mar-13 07:37:41

Smaller isn't necessarily better.

biryani Fri 08-Mar-13 09:34:30

I agree. I'm a size 12 now and I was a 12 in the 70's. I was genuinely slim then; now I'm most definitely plump!

rockinhippy Fri 08-Mar-13 11:18:19

That would fit with when sizing overhauls DID take place in the 60s & 70s biryani but contrary to popular belief on here - there hasn't been on since - some stores tried it in the 90s, but soon reverted back as it just didn't work & had their suppliers up in arms over pricing & ratios - anyone finding they now take the same size as they did in the 80s onwards is more likely down to a change of shopping habits that any size overhaul - as I said before, stores aiming at young shoppers are cut to fit "girls" - stores aiming at older customers are cut to fit "women"

rockinhippy Fri 08-Mar-13 11:19:29

I should have added it was/is my trade & when employed I was involved with sizing policies for a lot of the major stores

kaumana Fri 08-Mar-13 12:12:07

I understand what you are saying however it doesn't explain why my size 10 trousers from Next 15 years ago have the same measurements as a size 8 now. I haven't changed my shopping habits, I buy my jeans from Top Shop as I did 20years ago and wear a smaller size than I did then even though I weigh more and my hips are bigger since having children.

Trills Fri 08-Mar-13 12:20:21

British standard sizing 1982 - no requirement for shops to actually follow this.

Next women's sizing guide

Size 10 , according to Next (in 2013)
Bust 86.5cm, waist 71cm, hips 95cm

Size 10 according to 1982 British standard
Bust 82 - 86 cm, hips 87 - 91 cm

So Next size 10 in 2013 is more like a size 12 by those rules.

Sazzle41 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:44:50

She was definitely a size 16 in he pregnant and occasional 'big' phases but if you see pictures at the start of her career and the year before she died, she looks like a perfect UK size 12 to me - i have a big collection of coffee table books with fab pics and to me she is at size 12 the perfect healthy, womanly figure

digerd Fri 08-Mar-13 13:06:12

Diana Dors was definitely no size 10. All the sex bomb film stars looked like healthy women with curvy hips even in the 30s. Not like today's scrawny/skinny look.
I remember hearing that MM was a size 14 decades ago. She certainly had lovely shaped legs.

Lindy123 Fri 08-Mar-13 16:32:19

I have always been a big Monroe fan and her weight went up and down just like ours today. She was actually at one of her her largest sizes in Some Like It Hot which still wasn't big. If you look at photos of her just before she died, she was skinny. The famous pose of her naked when she was young she was super slim. Marilyn just like us today was a notorious comfort Eater-drinker. Mainly champagne!

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