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8 is the new 14 April 13, 2009

Filed under: body image,emotions,weight loss — Susan @ 12:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Today’s post is about…clothes!!

I had a shocking and weird experience in a clothing store last week. I was checking out some jeans – I have really never had any “nice” jeans – just big, floppy “casual fit” Levi’s that sort of hung on me. The saleswoman came over and asked if she could help.  I said I probably needed a size 12.

I have worn pretty much a size 14 for the past 5-ish years, and before that, 12.  I have really never worn a size 10 in my adult memory, and NEVER anything in single digits.

She looked at me skeptically and said, “No way are you 12.” I said, “Yes way.” So she gave me a 12 and a 10. I went into the dressing room. The 12 was indeed, way big. The 10 fit pretty well. I was happy. I came out of the room. She appraised me and said, “You need an 8.” I started laughing hysterically. I said no. She shoved an 8 into my hands and thrust me back into the dressing room.  And… THEY FIT.

I didn’t buy them because I was in too much of a state of shock, and I also didn’t like how high the waist felt. They came up wayyy over my navel, which felt weird. So I didn’t get them. But I spent the rest of the day muttering to myself in disbelief, “I wear a size 8?!?!”

But I have remained dubious. My theory (not even a theory, it’s fact) is that clothing sizes have gone down, down, while remaining the same size.

And last night I proved it. I went on a romp through my closet, trying on everything I could. The good and crazy/happy news is that I could not find a SINGLE PIECE of clothing that doesn’t fit me because it’s too small. (several too big now) That was trippy. I mean really hard to even believe.

But I noticed that the OLDER that a piece of clothing was, the larger the size.

Finally, I found an old pair of shorts, maybe 15 years old. Tried them on. They fit me sort of snugly, but fit OK. JUST LIKE THE SIZE 8 JEANS in the store. I looked at the tag on the shorts. SIZE 14. I swear!!!!!!!

Another thing. I got married in a size 12 wedding dress. This was in 1988, 21 years ago. And guess what? I weighed 19 pounds LESS than I do now. There is no way that I could squeeze into that dress today. A size 12.

So, sizes have been shrinking while clothes stay the same. I find this incredibly annoying but of course I understand the marketing concept behind it. Women will be ecstatic to THINK they wear a size 8 when they are actually a 14 from 1988!! Ugh.

I really think they should abolish these arbitrary stupid sizes and just make everything the true number that it is, based on inches. Size 30. Size 35. Whatever.

If the numbers had stayed true to 1988, I would have probably been up to a size 20 or something, which would have alarmed me a lot earlier. But I think I felt like 14 was “bad, but not TOO bad” – ie I could still shop in “regular” instead of “plus sized” stores.

The whole thing is just weird. So while I am mildly excited to be fitting into those size 8 jeans, part of me knows it’s just bogus.

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13 Responses to “8 is the new 14”

  1. Shelley Says:

    I know that sizes are different now – for crying out loud, I’m wearing a size L in shirts, and when I was in high school in the late 70′s I wore a M…and I weighed 60 pounds less!!!

    …but really, doesn’t it feel nice to escape into a tiny size? Just don’t analyze it too much or else you will arrive back to reality!

  2. RobFitness Says:

    That has to be a pretty great feeling to be in the single digits. Way to Go!!! Keep it up and you’ll be a size 2 before you know it.
    I’m so proud of you for making it to this accomplishment.

  3. Size 2! Now you really have me ROTFL.

  4. Holly Says:

    Yep. It’s called vanity sizing, and it has been going on for literally decades. Don’t even get me started on how sewing pattern sizes are so different from RTW (ready to wear) sizes.. the vanity sizing of clothes has made that even worse.

  5. somedayistoday Says:

    I totally agree with you on the size issue…size does matter! ;)

  6. Jennifer Says:

    I wouldn’t care what size it is now…I would be doing a happy dance with size 8!!!

    That is awesome!!

    And congrats on the weight loss, that is fantastic!!!

  7. Andrea Says:

    That’s awesome!

  8. Chou-Fleur Says:

    Yeah, sizing is pretty much a fraud. It’s not new, either. The best department stores back in the day of I and J Magnin did it as a matter of standard practice. It was really funny to see racks and racks of clothes marked 0, 1 and 2 which average-sized women wore. There seemed to be a nearly perfect correlation: the higher the price, the sillier the size metric.

    Today there’s also a lot of variation from manufacturer to manufacturer, and it’s kind of fun to compare how different companies use sizing to quietly market their stuff.

    However, as interesting as all this is, the really, really cool thing is that you are on a roll! Chuck those too-big duds and go get yourself some new threads you love!

  9. That’s great you find jeans that you love and fit well….that’s what matters!

    Yes, clothing companies have been changing sizes. In fact, Marilyn Monroe actually wore about a size 8 in today’s standards (not the often reported size 16). She was not plump as she has often been portrayed.

    I’ve often heard from professional shoppers that they sometimes “cut out” the dress/pants/suit size for their clients, as if they saw a size 12, they’d feel bad (though they shouldn’t). It’s all psychology. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s the FIT that should count, not what the label size says. And I have clothes that are different sizes due to differences in manufacturers. If I’m a size bigger, so be it. I’ve gotten over it.

    And really, do we actually NEED to see a size 0 when shopping…I think not!! It’s great you’re really becoming educated, and realize what factors are in play.

    So just be excited that you’ll look good in those jeans! Hey, it’s tough to find jeans that fit well :-)

  10. jadepark Says:

    it’s totally true. and sizes still fluctuate but sizes in Old Navy are such that I think I’m a size 6 in there (NOOOO WAAAAAAAY). And I AM NOT A SIZE 6 EVAR. Banana Republic also “runs large” like Old Navy but not quite as big as Old Navy. But if you want to keep yourself in check try on Dolce and Gabbana. I think I’m a size 100 zillion gazillion in D&G. :P

  11. KnK Says:

    kick ass!
    yeah, sizes are arbitrary (esp women’s sizes) but regardless, things are now TOO BIG instead of SMALL. that’s something to celebrate. congrats on taking steps to be healthier– and succeeding!

  12. [...] it was hard to choose but the following post is the one we coose to swap today.  To visit her site click here  I personally would claim, own and defend the size 8 status!  [...]

  13. Karen Says:

    Yes, I went through this same phenomenon a couple of years ago and then had the same realization. Now, I don’t care what size it is, as long as I look fantastic in it :-)

    How’s this for weird: I shopped for jeans recently and brought two sizes into the dressing room. The smaller size fit although slightly snug. I tried on the larger size and it was SMALLER…I couldn’t button or zip!! WTF?? I checked the label, too. Things that make you go hmmmmm….


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