Sizes!? / by Maru Aldea


Sooo.... what size will you need in that?

A brief history in sizing...

Before the standardization of sizes most clothing was made at home, by hand or by a seamstress or tailor.

World War I changed everything (well... the Depression)... Manufacturers needed to make clothing for the masses affordably thus standardizing sizing. A girl age 16 was a size 16 and so forth... *this is why older clothing sizes DO NOT translate to actual population sizes. they have changed constantly.

This proved to be unreliable therefore the Dept of Agriculture (in the US) stepped in... yeah; weird...

There were initial 58 measurement  points that eventually were pared down to five specific points:






Upon the release of the new standardized measurement guidelines in 1958...making weight loss and dieting culture big business...Everyone’s heard Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 in the 60’s which makes everyone sigh with relief... butttt sorry to burst your bubble ... in the 60’s sizing started at a size 8...not a 0...

The guide had basically been revised a lot... but it wasn't until 1983 that things got WEIRD...

Most manufacturers stayed roughly aligned to the pre-existing standards in order to make it easier for their customers to find stuff that fit. But in many cases, sizing became dependent on the measurements of a  brand’s particular series of fit models. And just as many brands began preying on the egos of their consumers by using VANITY SIZING to sell goods.

Vanity sizing or rather “Insanity Sizing” is essentially the practice of shifting sizing metrics to make shoppers feel skinnier. *read this TIME article: Sound familiar? Why am I a size 2 at X retailer but an 8 at another?

As the US population gets bigger and more diverse we are still marketed to revere smaller figures...... and manufacturers will continue to size clothing “insanely” because you are subconsciously  more likely to buy it. 

The body positivity movement is encouraging. Numbered sizes WILL continue to vary from retailer to retailer. So try not to get discouraged by the numbers you can/can’t fit into and let’s start to look at things from a different perspective.   We need to go back to  knowing our measurements. (full circle man...)

New technology will also make it a lot easier to predict how things will fit YOU.  3D body scanning (its happening at a small scale already)  AR (augmented reality)....

Soon you will be able to just scan yourself and see how a garment will fit you...

Post your thoughts below!