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My wedding gown is marked "size 10". It was from Lazarus and it was expensive even though it came from the sale rack. It is satin with Alencon lace with empire waist, covered buttons, petticoat and a cathedral train. Recently, I took my gown from storage for a "size 4" person to try on as she was interested in borrowing it for her wedding (she was interested in a "retro" wedding!) I assumed it would need to be "taken in", but alas. it is TOO SMALL for her! I know that I was NOT as small as this person but our builds are totally different; I've always had large ta-tas (as evidenced from my wedding picture) and the girl is practically flat-chested, but the dress is too small in the waist and bodice for her. The peau de soie shoes I wore on my wedding day are clearly marked "size 6" and although I can still get my feet into them, they are very cramped, but today, I must get size 7 1/2 and sometimes 8; of course, depending on the brand and cost!
I've known for a long time that expensive clothes are made bigger than less costly clothes of the same size. I suspect that it is Psychology 101-- that women who can afford expensive clothes want to have smaller "sizes" to make them feel better-- and designers accommodate that!
In the back of my closet I have "meaningful and celebratory clothes"; e.g.: the outfit I wore on my first date with Gerald; the sweater from my high school graduation picture; my dress from a high-school banquet before the prom, as I didn't go to the prom; my first Pendleton jacket; my first cashmere sweater; an outfit I wore at IH; an outfit I wore at Rockwell; and clothes I wore in other pictures. I don't know why I keep them because I'm pretty sure I'll never--or probably want to--wear them again! Some of them are egregious "fashion faux pas"! I don't think I want to examine very closely WHY I've kept them or I might become very sad!
When my sister-in-law Carol came to the United States from Korea in 1968, she was a "size 4"; I remember taking her shopping and it was almost impossible to find clothes for her in the "grown-up" section rather than the kids' section. I imagine that size 4 of yesteryear would be size "00" today!
From The Wise Geek: IS CLOTHING FOR WOMEN GETTING BIGGER?
Women's clothing is significantly wider at the waist than clothes marked
the same size were during the 1970s.
Women’s clothing has gotten bigger, with labeled sizes now having larger
measurements. For example, in 2012, size 14 women's trousers in the United
Kingdom measured about 4 inches (10.16 cm) larger at the waist than the
same size did during the 1970s.
This practice, referred to as "vanitysizing" or "size inflation," also has occurred
in the US. Dresses labeled a size 0 in 2006 were found to be roughly equivalent
to a size 8 from the 1950s. Brands that make the physical measurements of
women’s clothing bigger but keep the label size the same have been more likely
to increase self-esteem in customers, making them more likely to purchase from
I believe the moral of this article is: VANITY, THY NAME IS WOMAN!