I read an interesting article in Washington Post yesterday. It was about women dress sizes and how they have changed during the last decades. The key point was that the average American woman today weighs about as much as the average 1960s man. This fact has changed the standards for dress sizes. What was a size 12 in 1958 is equal to a size 6 today.
That’s actually very interesting, especially since the generation that was young in the 58s still buys dresses. My mother has always regarded herself as a little on the chubby side and she has a tendency to buy cloth that’s at least one size to big, sometimes even worse. If you ask her, she will tell you that she is a size 12 and when she walks into a store, that’s where she’s headed.
We have had this discussion frequently, since most of her blouses and cardigans are way too big over the shoulders. When we shop together she usually say things like: “This must be oversized, I never use this size…” when she is trying on a size 8 and I nod and say; “I know, that’s why most of your cloth are too big for you.”
At the same time, I realize that it must be a big change. If you grow up knowing that you are a size 12, you look upon yourself as chubby compared to your friends. You probably stay in that mindset. According to the Post´s article, a size 8 at the time where smaller than today’s size 00. Somehow I think that my mother is proud of the fact that she hasn’t gained weight over the years, that she can still wear the same dress size. When she tries on a size 8 and it fits, she believes that it has to be oversized, she knows she hasn’t lost weight, so she continues to look upon herself as a size 12.
That’s what makes it so treacherous. It’s always been a fact that sizes get bigger over the years, but that increase has escalated during the last ten years. I can’t help wondering how this change in sizes has cheered on the obesity problem that exists today. If you, like my mother, always used one size and that size still fits; can you really comprehend that you might have a weight problem? I don’t think so.
The picture is of my Grandma and my mother, it was taken in 1941. My grandma loved clothes and made her own dresses. From her I learned one of lifes more important lessons; it's the same amount of fabric in a beautiful dress as it is in an uggly one, so always take the extra time and efford to make a beautiful one. Life feels so much better then.
The absurdity of women’s clothing sizes, in one chart http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/11/the-absurdity-of-womens-clothing-sizes-in-one-chart