Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This blog began as a description of my unsuccessful search for a long holiday skirt. I decided I could make one inexpensively like I used to do long ago.
On the Simplicity website I found this post from a frustrated customer.
ĒI got a fantastic pattern, Simplicity/Threads 2758. I was in the middle of cutting out the pattern when I discover itís not true to size! I just found out that itís 4 sizes off, that my normal pant size of 14/16 is actually a 20/22 or more in Simplicity sizing.Ē
For some time Iíve considered the effect of vanity sizing in masking the supersizing of society. Personally, sizing creep did me no favors as it allowed me to gain 30 pounds while continuing to wear the same size. This is important to the fashion industry. Making women feel good about themselves allows companies to pad their bottom line as we continue to pad our own bottoms.
Suddenly, hereís a company bringing us a dose of reality. They havenít changed their sizing. The measurements/size are the same as they were in 1960.
What does this mean for me? As I shop off-the-rack I can now buy a size 6 instead of the size 10 I wore in 1968. Even after my weight loss Iím still 13 lbs more than back in 68. Checking the average measurements for a size 6, I find 36-28-38. Yep thatís me all right Ė a size 6.
Now what if I decide to make myself a new dress or skirt. What if, like the poster on the website, I buy a size 6 pattern. The measurements there: 30 Ĺ -23-32 Ĺ. Oops!
The sizes of off-the-rack clothes and pattern sizes were once exactly the same. I bought size 10 dresses and made a few of my own from size 10 patterns.
The fashion industry has research to prove that women are more likely to buy if thereís a smaller size attached. Sizing creep has produced some ridiculous results. Since the old size 8 is now a size 0, the very small woman, who would have worn the old size 6, now is called size 00. If this continues, how many zeros can they fit on a size tag? Whatís the alternative, negative numbers?
Still, I donít understand the disconnect? Are women who make their own clothes less vain than those who donít? Are they willing to buy patterns according to their measurements because the final product wonít have a size tag in it anyway?
One solution would be to forget arbitrary sizing and just sell womensí clothes based on actual measurements. Efficient yes, but how many women want to sort through a rack where their actual waist or hip size is prominently displayed?
Finally, for the record I would have to buy a pattern size 14 to match the measurements of an off-the-rack size 6. Much as I hate sizing creep and believe it fosters false self esteem and is adding to our obesity problem, thereís some vanity in me too. I admit, Iíd rather call myself a 6. However, I must keep reminding myself that itís not real. Itís just a consequence of the supersizing of America.