When I were a lass, a size 10 was a 24" waist...

(89 Posts)
clary Mon 18-Aug-14 10:15:02

Admittedly that's a while ago <ahem> but I was a size 10 or 12 in 1978/80. Size 12 was 26" waist, 36" hip. 2" off that for size 10.

I have lost more than a stone in weight and dropped clothes sizes too (obv). Measured my waist the other day after reading about the diabetes risk associated with a measurement of more than 35". It was 27.5 which I was v happy with smile but that would make me a size 14 in old money.

But my size 12 skirts from before I lost the weight are sitting on my hips or below; size 10 is even too big in some shops.

I know that shops have sized up to make us all feel happier that we are still a size 12 or whatever, but surely this latest research shows that's not a good thing? If my 27" waist is a size 8/10 (!!) then 30" would be a 12, maybe 32" a 14, maybe 35" a 16? A lot of us would say, oh well, size 16, that's not that fat really. But suddenly it's in this diabetes danger range...

Are we not in danger of normalising being fat and making it acceptable? When I say we, I guess I mean clothes shops. And on another point, what the heck size does someone who is genuinely slim buy?

AuntieStella Mon 18-Aug-14 10:26:54

Sizing was regulated in the US until the 1980s, and when they deregulated so did everyone else and 'vanity sizing' appeared. It's been a free for all for so long now that I don't see how standardisation can be reimposed, especially in an ever more global market.

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 18-Aug-14 10:32:31

Yes, but some size 10 tops were absolutely huge. I have a size 10 ancient cardigan which is a 14 easily. Late 80's early 90's jumpers were huge. I went into labour wearing one.

Sizing has never made sense.

Missunreasonable Mon 18-Aug-14 10:37:29

I have some size 10 skirts from around 15 years ago (complete hoarder) and there is no way I can fit into them at the moment despite wearing 'current' size 10 clothes. I would need to be a current size 6 to get into old size 10s. I'm keeping the skirts as inspiration to get slimmer (never likely to happen).

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 18-Aug-14 10:47:43

Certainly M&S ajusted their sizes to make women squarer and waists bigger.

Great now I've had DCs, but having big hips and a small waist back then it made me cross. I lost the one place I could get trousers and nkt need a belt.

melissa83 Mon 18-Aug-14 10:50:09

I am wearing size 10 button up shorts and I am over 7 months pregnant. Sizes are silly now.

SuperScribbler Mon 18-Aug-14 11:10:51

But we also have to remember that in the past women wore "sturdy" undergarments to hold everything in. Even in the 50s and 60s many women (especially the over 30s) wore girdles, waspies or whatever to make waists artificially smaller. Maybe not in the 70s and early 80s and I wonder if the abandonment of corsetting did directly or indirectly lead to more "vanity" style sizing?

MrsDesperado Mon 18-Aug-14 11:45:04

I'd love it if they made sizing regulated / standardised. I know that if suddenly I could only fit into bigger sizes it would give me the kick start to living a healthier lifestyle. Also it would make ordering online and trying on a hell of a lot easier, too.

But equally I don't think you can compare sizing between an 18-year old whippet and a 40-something who's given birth. So I do sort of agree that a 10 in eg Jane Norman shouldn't be the same as a 10 in eg M&S

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 18-Aug-14 12:05:40

I hate this. I am a size zero (sometimes a 00) at the moment. I am skinny but not in any extreme way (also short so not that out of proportion). I often wonder what really thin people do for clothes. They must be in negative numbers...

Fayrazzled Mon 18-Aug-14 12:08:59

There's no doubt that vanity sizing exists. But the population overall is getting bigger- not just in a fat way (which is undoubtedly happening too)- but statures have changed also due to better nutrition. People are taller with bigger feet than they were thirty plus years ago, so body shapes have also altered.

melissa83 Mon 18-Aug-14 12:11:59

Childrens clothes are really good if your slim. They are also cheaper for brands as no vat. I like shopping the chinese clothes as most of the chinese girls are small framed and slim so easier to find clothes. Other than that I wear all bodycon as its tight so looks fitted as opposed to stiffer materials.

beccajoh Mon 18-Aug-14 12:17:11

I've got a size 12 skirt from 1998 lurking in my cupboard. I'm a size 10-12 now but no amount of breathing in or sturdy under garments will enable me to fit into the 1998 skirt. The waist is tiny! It's from New Look so nothing out of the ordinary!

hellymelly Mon 18-Aug-14 12:22:07

I am a 10-12 now, one up on when I left school as an 8-10, but I am much much fatter. I had a 23" waist then, 22" skirts would fit me. The sizing thing is silly. It is all semantics really. I saw on the Anthropologie website that they have a size 4. I even rang them, thinking it must be a mistake and that it would be their US sizing, but no. However the waist for the size 4 is bigger than I was at an 8-10 in the 80s (am 50 now). Most clothes started at a 10 then, size 8s only became more standard as the 80s progressed and have got bigger ever since.

Weetabixwife Mon 18-Aug-14 12:34:18

I was 34,24,34 around that time and had to be aware of myself size wise a lot as I was a model and had signed a contract that included a clause on changing how I looked including forbidding me cutting my hair.

I'm between a size 8 to 10 now but the three bits of clothing I still have from 30 odd years ago that are size 10 do not fit me at all, not that I have a need for clubbing hot pants as I shuffle round M&S these days.

storynanny2 Mon 18-Aug-14 12:34:37

Size 10 was actually 22" waist in the sixties and early seventies, not 24".
I've recently been looking at photos of me and my sister as young teenagers/early 20's in the early 1970's. We, and our friends, are a completely different shape than most young women today. However, although I have recently lost nearly 2 stone and back to my pre childbirth weight of nearly 33 years ago, my waist has stayed firmly at 30" despite it being 26" previously. Our bodies seem to have dramatically changed over the last 40 years. I agree with the poster who said feet are getting bigger as well.
In 1970 at the same weight as now I had to wear size 14 skirts and jeans, but today wearing size 10! I have measured my new skirt from per una, size 10, the waist is 31".
It is becoming impossible to buy clothes online due to the unpredictability of the sizes I find.

KittiesInsane Mon 18-Aug-14 12:36:12

Our (regulation) school skirts only came in waist sizes 20 to 28. I remember my mother sucking her breath in at the thought that I (completely square child) needed the second biggest size, as she'd been an 18-inch waist at that age.

I know that there were some stocky girls amongst us, and one or two noticeably plump ones. What on earth did they do?

hellymelly Mon 18-Aug-14 12:44:52

I agree that shapes have changed, it is even obvious on tv shows if you look at old 70s programmes. Women now are much straighter in the body, waists have gone somehow, even on really slim girls they often have no waist, straight up and down apart from breasts. I don't really understand why, as it isn't just a weight issue.

NigellasPeeler Mon 18-Aug-14 12:46:02

I agree I bought a pair of size 16 jeans and they are falling off me and look all baggy and frumpy.

gerbiltamer Mon 18-Aug-14 12:46:38

I was having the self same conversation with my DM the other day. When I was 16 I weighed 8st 11lb and measured a 25in waist and fitted a Dorothy Perkins size 12 short. Now my waist is -10 inches- bigger.

I think it depends where you shop to an extent. I am 32-24-35 and mostly wear a 10 in Topshop, ASOS etc. obviously in shops aimed at a more mature market (M&S, whistles etc) it's more like 8, occasionally 6.

gerbiltamer Mon 18-Aug-14 12:49:10

Sorry, this pad is a nightmare. Yes, sizing is ridiculous and I'm actively dieting and exercising like crazy to reduce my bulk to fit into a modern day 14. Don't get me started on jeans vanity sizing as my Levi's curve ID size 31 slight skinnies fit me.

bottersnikes Mon 18-Aug-14 13:19:36

It's definitely not just down to weight, more a combination of changing exercise patterns and diet.
So many of our diets now have an unbelievable amount of sugar in them, right from when we are little, and that has a dramatic effect on how our body lays down fat and the shape we are. Whether this is reversible years later, I don't know. I have recently started, gradually, cutting out as much processed food, sugar and dairy as possible; I have yet to look in the mirror and see a 1950s wasp-waist staring back at me, but I can hope!

Vanity sizing is really annoying. It's almost best to completely ignore the number on the hanger and just try several sizes on until you find one which fits. Or in the case of most Next clothes, give up and shop somewhere else!

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Mon 18-Aug-14 13:32:43

I am in despair at sizing, I have lost 3 and half stone recently bringing me from a size 22/24 down to..... who knows? I wear size 14 knickers from Tu or asda, size 14 dress from one shop, size 18 top from another, size 16 in most of my old clothes that I kept but size 16 linen trousers from BHS wont do up yet size 16 jeggings from same shop are too big. size 14 cheapy jeans from primark fit but not a dress in 18 ... I give up, saves me money as I dare not buy online anymore as I have no idea what size to buy, just try stuff on in the shops. I just wish every size was standard wherever you buy it then I would know where I was.

CarpeJugulum Mon 18-Aug-14 13:35:18

I'd love if waist sizing/leg sizing took the same tack as sizing for men - so you would know that you were an xx by yy, and then you just had to worry about the hips.

Tops would be more tricky I think...

LEMmingaround Mon 18-Aug-14 13:38:15

Oh just fuck off! You are healthy. Be grateful.

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