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To be completely hmmm about "vanity sizing"

(40 Posts)
mollycuddles Sun 16-Oct-11 21:34:20

Every time there is a thread about obesity there is discussion about vanity sizing (I know, I know - MN cardinal sin - thread about a thread...)

I don't really get this. I'm about a size 12. I know this varies from shop/ catalogue to shop. I was a lot bigger until recently. I'm now about 3 stone lighter than I was 20 years ago and I was a 16-18 then. I keep reading that nowadays a 12 is an old 16 but it certainly isn't for me. Is it all shops? Some shops? What about sports clothes? Or is it a figment of someone's imagination?

So Aibu to being confused?

aldiwhore Sun 16-Oct-11 21:38:03

YANBU. I'm sure some shops have changed drastically and sizing IS quite off from shop to shop. But I have clothes from way back yonder that still fit and they're the same sizes as I've got now.

In most shops, there's a size variation within the sizes themselves, so meh, I just buy what fits, at present that could be a 12, 14, or 16 depending on what I try on and in which shop!!

SazZaVoom Sun 16-Oct-11 21:39:31

I am a size 10 in quite a number of high street stores. I am pretty sure i am not actually a 10 of a few years ago. I do think there has been some increase in size for vanity reasons (well, shops wanting to sell more so try and flatter customers).

I would like to say YABU, but i feel I cannot comment on whether YABU to find something confusing or not

EverythingInMjiniature Sun 16-Oct-11 22:13:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EverythingInMjiniature Sun 16-Oct-11 22:14:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PollyMorfic Sun 16-Oct-11 22:18:13

There's a lot of it about, but it's brand-specific. It's particularly annoying in brands that you might buy online/mail order, because unless you know beforehand that they come up big or small, you're going to end up with the wrong size and have to faff around sending it back.

White Stuff (skirts, notsomuch the tops) and Kew are the main offenders. I'm a tall size 12, sometimes 10, wtih a muscly build, and a 28/30" waist size for jeans. But a size 10 skirts from both those brands would be hanging off me, which is just ridiculous. If slim but not skinny and def not slight people like me need to buy a size 8, then what do the people wear who really are a size 8?

hatesponge Sun 16-Oct-11 22:24:33

I found an old skirt the other day that I bought about 10/11 years ago. It was a sz 16 from Top Shop. It is slightly smaller than a sz 14 I bought last month from Next.

I definitely think sizes are getting bigger, I know when I was last a size 14 I weighed at least 2 stone less than I do know, most shops I'm going into I seem to fit into a 14 now (even though I don't think of myself as a 14 really).

TheSecondComing Sun 16-Oct-11 22:24:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MowlemB Sun 16-Oct-11 22:25:30

I have a very old clothes hanger - a very old Dorothy Perkins hanger (from the early 90s I guess) and that says: Euro 36 - 38 and Uk size 8 - 10.

I also have a modern Dorothy Perkins hanger that says Size 12: 38.

So yes, I think some shops have changed their sizes.

MowlemB Sun 16-Oct-11 22:33:56

Also, for my 18th Birthday in 1991 I bought a long flowing skirt with buttons up the front. It was a size 12 from Dorothy Perkins. I weighed about 7st in those days. I still own that skirt and I am still a size 12 in Dorothy Perkins, but I can no longer get into that skirt - and I now weigh 10st.

So yeah, I believe in Vanity sizing.

FunnysInTheGarden Sun 16-Oct-11 22:35:26

vanity sizing is a way for the truly thin to make the rest of us feel shit about being in a size 12/14. Oh how they laugh in their size 6's, vanity sized up to a size 10...........

MowlemB Sun 16-Oct-11 22:35:41

Actually, I turned 18 in 1993.

noseybitch Sun 16-Oct-11 22:39:31

In the 80's a 10 had about 24 inch waist. I used to be more of a 12 then. Now I can often fit into an 8. I have a 26-7 inch waist....I bought a couple of size 10 vintage Laura Ashley dresses and I couldn't squeeze into them, they seemed for a shorter person too.

fatlazymummy Sun 16-Oct-11 22:42:55

Vanity sizing definitely exists [though not necessarily in all shops]. In the 70's [when I was a teenager] you could only really buy sizes 10, 12 ,14 and occassionally 8's in fashion shops and nearly everyone fitted in those sizes. I used to weigh 7.5 stones [bmi around 18] and I was a size 10 bottom, 12 top.
I found a pair of jeans in my wardrobe, size 12, from 14 years ago. The waist was absolutely minute. At the moment I weigh 12 stones yet can comfortably fit into size 14 trousers, so can't wait to see what size I end up in!

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sun 16-Oct-11 22:46:48

yy PolyMorphic re: White Stuff skirts - I have a couple of size 8 skirts from them that fit well, and I am definitely a 10-12.

fatlazymummy Sun 16-Oct-11 22:47:08

noseybitch people are definitely getting taller. That happens with every generation so I would expect it would be normal for people to be slightly 'wider' too outside of the obesity problem. People are also getting to have bigger feet too so we are getting bigger generally.

trulyscrumptious43 Sun 16-Oct-11 22:49:37

This is all making sense. I managed to lose some weight this year (hooray!).I was fitting a 12 before and now I'm sure I am a 10, but size 8 from Lands End falls off me and I had to send two pairs of trousers back recently and gave up on getting anything from there as they don't do size 6's (which I definitely am not!).
However I bought some obscure brand of trousers from ebay, I think they are a few years old, in an 8, and they barely do up.
An 8 from M&S is quite big on me too.
Yes, this begs the question, what do real 8's wear?

NotJustClassic Sun 16-Oct-11 22:53:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EllaDee Sun 16-Oct-11 23:08:01

It must vary a heck of a lot because I have everything from size 8 (ha! as if) to size 16 in my wardrobe and they do all fit me - I know I couldn't squeeze into the 14s in the shops where I bought the 16s, too!

Looking at old clothes, it clearly isn't really about fat (or not fat alone) - most people's actual bones must have been different when you look at hip and shoulder measurements. The proportions are just so different. When you think that when my granny's generation were born, the NHS didn't exist and no-one knew what caused something as simple as rickets, it's not so surprising really.

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Mon 17-Oct-11 07:13:38

I'm anything between a size 8 and a 14 depending on where I go.

Although in 1993, I was 8 st 3 and had just grown out of a Dorothy Perkins size 12 skirt.

I am now the same height but 10 st 8 and am a Dorothy Perkins size 12.


sue52 Mon 17-Oct-11 09:02:18

I have a load of old Biba clothes from the 70s. They are sized 10. They fit my DD perfectly and she is a size 6. So yes, size inflation is real.

bruffin Mon 17-Oct-11 09:09:19

I was a size 8 until 20 years ago and I had a 22 inch waist and was 7st. It was very difficult to get size 8 in most shops. My DD is a size 8 and is a 26 inch waist although she is taller than I am.

electra Mon 17-Oct-11 09:17:48

I think it depends on the shop.

mousesma Mon 17-Oct-11 09:26:48

Some shops inflate sizes and some don't. Next in particular is terrible for this their clothes are enormous and I always have to buy one or two sizes smaller then everywhere else when I shop there.
Some shops are not even uniform within their own store i.e. I tried 3 different styles of dress on in matalan and needed a 12 for one, 14 for another and a 16 for the third.

EdlessAllenPoe Mon 17-Oct-11 09:30:07

i was this weight when i was 16. then - it was a size 16 - and in some shops not even that.

now i can wear size 10/12 (depending on item)

i have a topshop skirt bought as a slimmer 18 year old - size 12 - 26" waist...very unforgiving cut (remember the a-line mini with cheque pattern thing?)...that was back in the mid-1990s.

sizing has grown. it is also height/ breadth... vintage stuff is often too narrow at shoulder / short in the leg rather than simply too small.

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