Size matters

Jacqueline Passey declares that yes, there is such a thing as vanity sizing:

10 years ago I had a 24 inch waist and 36 inch hips and I wore a size 6. Today I have a 26 inch waist and 38 inch hips and size 6 is too big.

Ten years ago she was 18 (I think); do teenagers get their own size scale? Not that anyone eighteen thinks (s)he’s a teenager or anything.

Maybe it’s time for something other than numbers. Example: In the early 1950s, hosiery manufacturers were trying to distinguish among a line of three or four sizes without using accusative terms like, say, “large.” I shuffled through some advertising pieces from this period and happened upon a 1953 ad from Wayne Knitting Mills, who sold stockings under the Belle-Sharmeer brand. They offered four sizes, as follows:

BREV (purple edge) for slender or small legs. Sizes 8 to 10½

MODITE (green edge) for average size legs. Sizes 8½ to 11

DUCHESS (red edge) for tall, larger legs. Sizes 9½ to 11½

CLASSIC (plain edge) for largest legs. Sizes 9½ to 11½

Now obviously there’s more description necessary for a dress than for a pair of nylons, but I, for one, would like to be able to go into the store and ask for shirts in, say, “Duff Man,” rather than ask where all the 4X Talls are hiding.







6 comments

  1. Veronica »

    17 February 2007 · 1:29 pm

    Yup, Juniors sizing is different.

  2. CGHill »

    17 February 2007 · 2:44 pm

    But I thought that the juniors got the odd numbers: 5, 7, 9. (In fact, there used to be a store around here which catered to exactly those sizes.)

    Then again, I don’t have any compelling reason to shop for women’s clothing either.

  3. Jeffro »

    17 February 2007 · 5:12 pm

    I’m just tickled when I find a section that features clothing by Omar the Tentmaker – then maybe something will fit.

  4. McGehee »

    17 February 2007 · 5:33 pm

    Maybe it’s time for something other than numbers.

    I, for one, would like to be able to go into the store and ask for shirts in, say, “Duff Man,” rather than ask where all the 4X Talls are hiding.

    Funny, but you know the clothing manufacturers would opt for more euphemistic sizes — though probably inn reverse. Otherwise I’d have to lose 100 pounds to fit into “grande.”

  5. Jacqueline »

    17 February 2007 · 9:28 pm

    No, I was wearing clothes from the women’s department then too.

    I suppose the real test would be to go try on the brand of jeans I used to wear then (Levi’s).

  6. Mister Snitch! »

    17 February 2007 · 10:20 pm

    “I, for one, would like to be able to go into the store and ask for shirts in, say, “Duff Man,””

    Duff Man LIKES this idea. O, Yeah!

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