Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A History of Women's Clothing Sizes

Our workroom supervisor, Brittany, 
e-mailed me a great article today from TIME about women's clothing sizes in history.
Here are some interesting facts I gathered!:

- True sizing standards didn't develop until the 1940's
- Initial sizing was based on a person's age, so a child of the age of 8 would wear a size 8. (How did that work??)
- U.S. manufacturers wanted a change in the sizing system when it was estimated that they were losing up to $10 million a year
- The National Bureau of Standards re-analyzed the sizes of women's clothing by basing the measurements of women who had served in the Air Force, this created a sizing scale of 8 to 38 with height indications of tall, regular, or short.
- There were no size "0", let alone triple zero as we have today.
- The original 1940's sizing standards were withdrawn in 1983 because of vanity sizing, thus numbers started to get smaller.
- In 1958, a size 8 corresponded with a bust of 31 inches, a waist of 23.5 inches and a hip girth of 32.5 inches. In ASTM’s 2008 standards, a size 8 had increased by five to six inches in each of those three measurements, becoming the rough equivalent of a size 14 or 16 in 1958. We can see size inflation happening over shorter time spans as well; a size 2 in the 2011 ASTM standard falls between a 1995 standard size 4 and 6. (Slate)
- In the 40's a model was a size 16, in the 60's a 12 - which was the size of Marilyn Monroe.

To read the full article, click HERE.

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