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How measurements have changed in 60 years!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I found a couple of interesting websites:


This one is from an article that shows the old Metropolitan Life Height-Weight charts from the 50s. The second one from 1959 is the one I grew up with. They weigh you WITH SHOES ON!! Can you imagine!! And the weights are very low compared to today. I am 5'4" (5'6" on that stupid chart) with a small frame (my wrist is 5.5 inches) and I was supposed to weigh 114 fully clothed, the original goal my doc gave me when I was 21 years old and weighed 147. I can't imagine weighing myself with my shoes on. I weigh myself first thing in the morning in my jammies (which weigh about 1/2 pound....the kitchen scale is good for things other than food). I hate weighing at a doctor's office because I can't strip. And it was just as bad during pregnancy: back when I had my babies in the early 70s, if you gained more than 20 pounds they screamed at you. I gained nearly 40 pounds with my first and you'd have thought I was trying to kill my baby. I gained 14 pounds with my 3rd child and was hailed a hero in the doctor's office.

The other article is about clothing sizes. As we all know every manufacturer has its own sizing system, and they change them every time they have a board meeting. Pattern sizes, though, haven't changed in a very long time and they used to match storebought clothing.

In the current pattern sizing I wear a 12. I have to adjust the hips smaller, but as anyone who sews knows, it's a lot easier to adjust hips than bust or waist. Marilyn Monroe was supposedly a perfect size 12 back in the 60s. I was an imperfect 12 when I lost my weight in 1970. Now at the Gap I wear size 00 jeans. I suppose it might make me FEEL better, but the size numbers don't mean much. I haven't changed, the sizes have.

People get degrees in marketing to change size numbers on us? Does it really make me buy more?

In the end I am a big believer in listening to your doctor's recommendations. She knows ME, my age and health and the life I live. It's better than any article in a magazine, keeps the panic at bay, and can keep us from attempting to achieve a number that isn't appropriate. I, for one, cannot be reduced to a chart.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am female, 6'3, and I am NOT on any chart. I have reached the time in life where the numbers are of no concern is to keep active and be sensible in my choices of what I put into my mouth and where I put my feet. I can't run, but I can still walk...if I cant go outside, I walk in my house...pumping my one pound dumbbells, or I dance...I try to get out of my chair at each commercial segment if I am watch TV...just cause I can...and it's got to be better than sitting there for the entire show. baby steps!
    2741 days ago
    Size inflation is annoying. I'm currently in a 14 pant size (at Target) which is the size I wore in high school and know to really be the size I was in high school I need to drop 2 more pant sizes. It causes me to have to try on more clothes than I think I should, I mean shouldn't one size be the same at all stores so I can just grab a L shirt at all places?
    2769 days ago
    I am 5'7" and at 14 wore a size 14 weighing 128. At 30 I was 5'7", wore a 14 and weighed 142 - my doctor then saying this was my weight. Today, I am 5'7", 72 wear an 18 and weigh 222. I would be happy to get down to 180 - but being a Diabetic on insulin, everything sticks to my ribs - so I try not to look at numbers anymore, but I do wish the number on the scale would move down. The Dr. today says my weight should be 160 - go figure and my height is always measured with no shoes so at least I know that is actuate. LOL Great blog...

    2776 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2332407
    I enjoyed this blog Nell. I remember the days also.
    2778 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Yes, I too remember the days when one size was your "true size" no matter in what store you shopped. I'm so envious that mens sizes are so straightforward ,and simple.
    2778 days ago
    2779 days ago
    I don't get it. When I take a peek at those far-out sizes, i.e., 0,1,2, they look extremely small to me. I definitely can't see them ever being a size 12 match. I'd be very happy to be a "real" size 12 and the clothes I'm seeing in a size 12 look the same to me as when I was a size 12 and thought I was too big (I was wrong).

    It feels like we're speaking a different language here or maybe, as I said above: I don't get it. Are you shopping in "young adults"? The Gap, to me, isn't an "adult store".
    I'm also not getting why we should feel better if we wear a size "00". Where is the acceptance of a woman's figure?
    2780 days ago
    great blog
    2780 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    emoticon emoticon
    2780 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3876543
    I remember those charts and that when I weighed 120 at 5'4" my doctor put me on a diet - I was a teenager! That began the struggle!
    2780 days ago
    That's why I buy at Goodwill, yard sales, and the Salvation Army Store. You judge the sizes based on how they look, because none of the numbers are the same!
    2780 days ago
    I don't buy size zero. It's a psychological thing. I bought girl's large shorts to exercise in. A girl's large is a little smaller than a women's extra small. My smallest clothes from the women's department are marked 1/2
    2780 days ago
    Yes, say it loud, Nell! Vanity sizing has helped disguise our ever expanding selves. You often read "you don't want to be a size ZERO, do you?" Actually that would be just fine, because that's what we used to call a size 8.
    Pattern makers have held the line and still tell it like it is (and used to be).
    2780 days ago
    Size inflation is at the very least CONFUSING. I read every size guideline when ordering on line and it is eye opening as you have made so clear here. Good blog!!
    2780 days ago
  • DR1939
    I just buy what fits me and looks good and ignore the sizes. They vary so much from company to company.
    2780 days ago
  • GABY1948
    This is so true and I did know it. To me it is like everything else in the impress someone else or to SELL more! Good blog
    2780 days ago
    My wish for this year: learn NOT to look at numbers.

    :) Thanks for sharing!
    2780 days ago
    The weight ranges seem to be the same for me then as they are now. The current one just doesn't mention frame size.
    2780 days ago
    I saw the vanity sizing as I was on my way down, when My old size 12 pants finally fit again (except for the old high waist, since my weight got redistributed with age). Now I have pants that fit ranging from size 6 to size 14. I can't imagine being totally sized out of the industry as you have been.
    2780 days ago
    I donĀ“t think I want to use those links, when I was young I did not even know that the sizes I use today existed...
    2780 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Great. God Blessings To Everyone. Have an Enjoyable Day. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2780 days ago
    I so agree. Numbers mean nothing when you're healthy and feel well. Charts and sizes will always change I think, although I don't know why things can't be more standard. I remember I used to be able to go into any store and a size whatever would be the same everywhere pretty much.
    2780 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    2780 days ago
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