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Old 02-25-05   #1
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Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda Helser
The Arizona Republic


Hoping to lose a few dress sizes this year?

Well, take heart, because it's easier than it used to be to fit into that coveted Size 6.

It's all because of the garment industry's dirty little secret, a trick of the trade practiced for decades by women's wear manufacturers who have progressively cut their wares larger while labeling them with smaller size tags.

Known as vanity sizing, it supposedly fools an expanding American woman into thinking she hasn't gained an ounce or an inch over the years.

Proof seems to come in the form of shapely silver screen siren Marilyn Monroe, who everyone remembers wore a Size 12 during her 1950s heydays.

"That would be equivalent to a Size 6 today," attests Meryle Epstein, 42, acting academic director for fashion marketing at the Art Institute of Phoenix.

Further proof comes from vintage clothing sellers like Mariamne Moore of east Phoenix, who must measure each of her aged garments to ensure a more accurate clue as to a contemporary size.

"For years we were getting our sizes changed each decade," said Moore, 61, whose inventory dates back to the 1920s. "Let's say you were a Size 12 in the 1950s, and if you stayed the same measurement-wise, you'd be a 6 today, or in the 1960s, that 12 would have been a 10."

Ann Siner, founder and owner of the resale clothing stores My Sister's Closet, said when she opened her first shop in Town and Country Shopping Center in central Phoenix 13 years ago, she and her staff went bonkers trying to arrange garments on racks according to their labeled size.

Not only did the same sizes varying widely among different designers and vendors, (typically, the more expensive the garment, the more generous the cut) but they even varied within the same brand name.

"There just isn't any standardization in sizes, and even though we do have a few things grouped in sizes like 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10, we learned to do most things in small, medium and large," Siner, 44, said. "And then we encourage people to try everything on.

"Ellen Tracy was notorious for it," Siner said of the longtime designer. "It was a real marketing tool for her because women don't really want to know the truth."

Men's clothing, however, is a different story. Standardization has existed since the government, needing to outfit Civil War soldiers rapidly, found consistencies among men's measurements and labeled them with sizes that corresponded.

Those sizes, based on those measurements, are still in use today.

"I'm really jealous," said Siner, who also owns two men's resale shops. "If a men's suit says 42 regular and a guy knows he's that, he can just pick it up and he's done shopping."

Although many women want to be lied to and resist knowing their body measurements, others find that sort of ignorance is not necessarily bliss.

"If I knew what actually fit me, the shopping experience would be a lot easier," said Stephanie Dowling, a 29-year-old marketing and public relations director in Phoenix.

The sizes in her closet range from a 6 or 8 in dresses to a 12 in outerwear.

The last time there was any standardization of women's sizes was in the 1940s when the U.S. Department of Agriculture did a large-scale study of women's measurements, urged on by the mail-order clothing industry. Still, many garment manufacturers developed their own sizing using the measurements that suited them.

To add chaos to the mix, American women have gotten not just heavier, but taller and more pear-shaped through the years due to a sedentary lifestyle and fast food. The U.S. Surgeon General estimated in 1988 that one-fourth of adult Americans were overweight.

Another attempt was made in the late 1990s to update the ignored standard for women's sizes when the American Society for Testing and Materials in Conshohocken, Pa., surveyed measurements used by garment makers and developed a chart of sizes to correspond.

According to the chart, for example, a Size 10 should fit a woman with a 36-inch bust, 28-inch waist and 38 1/2-inch hips.

Again, the garment industry almost universally ignored the voluntary guidelines. But their indifference is starting to cost manufacturers big bucks, particularly in the catalog and online clothing industry, an increasingly popular way to shop for busy Americans.

"They're losing a lot of money on returned merchandise," Epstein said, "There's over 50 percent poor fit, and women are getting fed up."

That's why the time might be ripe for taking another stab at size standardization.

The Fitme.com (LINK) Web site promises consumers a better fit by guiding them, according to their measurements, to the correct size in a particular brand.

Still another attempt to standardize the entire industry is a mammoth project called Size USA, sponsored by industry group [TC]2, which was launched in July 2002 and wrapped up in September.

After about 10,800 people (65 percent were women) in 13 cities were screened with an infrared scanner, the organizers, backed financially by 30 sponsors, including companies like J.C. Penney, have developed a better idea of today's body shapes and measurements.

Karen Davis, of [TC]2 in Cary, N.C., believes that the day will come when everyone can step into a body scanner to collect data on their measurements before hitting the mall with information that will afford them a better fit in less time.

"You'll go to a scanning booth and get a smart card, like a credit card, that has all your data on it, then use the card to find, say, a pair of khaki slacks," she said.

The card will search out the best store that carries a size to fit you and list the price.

Such a card would expand gift options for Phoenix executive Bob Guenther.

He tends to buy electronic gadgets for his bride instead of something off a rack.

"I bought my wife something in a Size 34 once, and she almost divorced me over it," Guenther, 65, said. "It was so big we used it as a tarp over the garage."
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Old 02-25-05   #2
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However...

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.J. Ignelzi. The San Diego Union - Tribune
Want to drop a dress size without dieting? Easy. Just switch your brand of clothing.

Because of sizing inconsistencies in this country, a size 10 woman can be a size 6, 8, 10 or 12, depending on the manufacturer. While vanity sizing can be momentarily flattering, it's a continual headache for shoppers, especially for those who buy clothing online or through catalogs.

Fitme.com, Silicon Valley-based Web site, offers one possible solution. The Web site's Size Genie lets you determine your optimal fit and size for more than 250 clothing makers.

"There's a thousand different brands of clothing and a thousand different fits. That means anguish both for shoppers and retailers," says Ram Srinivasan, of the 5-year-old Fitme.com, noting that poor fit accounts for 70 percent of all online and catalog clothing returns. Srinivasan said the Size Genie can help consumers shop with confidence, online or in a store, and that a better fit from the start will mean fewer return hassles later.

Simply register with Fitme.com by completing some personal information and then grab a friend and a tape measure. In order for the site to work, you need to do some work first.

Fitme's Size Genie asks for more than a dozen body measurements, and we're not just talking the usual bust, waist and hip stats. The Size Genie wants details. Like your arm length, mid-shoulder to back measurement, inseam and outseam, and every kind of girth measurement imagineable -- elbow girth, wrist girth, calf girth. Even navel girth.

Your measurements are recorded and kept in your own Fitme.com profile, which Srinivasan promises is private and secure and can only be accessed via a password.

Specify the garment you're looking for -- pants, dresses, blouse, swimsuit, etc. -- and choose from more than 250 clothing manufacturers.

Fitme.com's Size Genie displays your optimal size in that brand according to your recorded body measurements. Not only does it recommend your "best" size, but it also tells you how that size will fit various body parts. For example, your "best" size pants may fit in the hips but be tight or loose in the waist or inseam. Along with a brand's best size recommendation, it also lists two alternate sizes that may work for you, detailing exactly how they fit your body.

Taking the Web site out for a test drive, a traditional size 6 woman found she was a size 2, 4, 6, 8, small or extra small, depending on the manufacturer. One brand, Nicole Miller, apologetically told her they had nothing to fit her.

Srinivasan is hoping to expand Fitme.com by getting online retailers to use the Style Genie on their own Web sites. In the near future, he also wants to add a nutrition support system and a fitness element to Fitme.com, complete with 3-D body imaging and body composition accessments.

Looking for pants in all the right places
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Old 02-25-05   #3
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The truth (as everyone knows) is that people are getting fatter, and manufacturers are moving the goalposts to fool the public into thinking those extra 20lbs equate to 'heavy bones', or 'muscle', or 'buggered scales'.
Sometimes they do.
Mostly they don't.

With no size regulation, shops can choose just about any measurements and label them an 8, 10, 12 etc.

America has to be the worst for this.
Your size 6 is a 10 in the UK.

So you're happily walking around thinking 'well I'm a size 12, same as Marilyn was, and look how many men loved the way she looked'- it's a lie.
A US 12 is a UK 16, and a 16 does not equate to that slim curviness of the blonde bombshell.
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Old 02-25-05   #4
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No need to panic, because if you're unhappy with being a little chubby, or very chubby, or a lardass, there are a myriad of diets out there to help! Yippee!

Or not:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Tackett, Global Health and Fitness
Many Americans view a healthy lifestyle as something difficult to attain--and something that's not much fun. Traditional diets have taught us that to lose weight, we must count calories, keep track of everything we eat, and deprive ourselves by limiting the amount--and kinds--of foods we eat. Diets tell us exactly what and how much food to eat, regardless of our preferences and individual relationships with hunger and satiety. Dieting can help us lose weight (fat, muscle, and water) in the short term but is so unnatural and so unrealistic that it can never become a lifestyle that we can live with, let alone enjoy!

Diet's Don't Teach Good Habits
While very few diets teach healthy low-fat shopping, cooking, and dining-out strategies, many offer unrealistic recommendations and encourage health-threatening restrictions. Even more important, diets don't teach us the safest, most effective ways to exercise; they don't teach us how to deal with our cravings and our desires, or how to attend to our feelings of hunger and fullness. Eventually, we become tired of the complexity, the hunger, the lack of flavor, the lack of flexibility, the lack of energy, and the feeling of deprivation. We quit our diets and gain back the weight we've lost; sometimes we gain even more!

Diets Cause Frustration
Each time we go on another diet of deprivation, the weight becomes more difficult to lose, and we become even more frustrated and discouraged. Then we eat more and exercise less, causing ourselves more frustration, discouragement, depression. Soon we are in a vicious cycle. We begin to ask ourselves, "Why bother?" We begin to blame ourselves for having no will power when what we really need is clear, scientifically-based information that will help us develop a healthier lifestyle we can live with for the rest of our lives.
Deliberate restriction of food intake in order to lose weight or to prevent weight gain, known as dieting, is the path that millions of people all over the world are taking in order to reach a desired body weight or appearance. Preoccupation with body shape, size, and weight creates an unhealthy lifestyle of emotional and physical deprivation. Diets take control away from us.

Yo-Yo Cycle

Many of us who diet get caught in a "yo-yo" cycle that begins with low self-acceptance and results in structured eating and living because we lack trust in our body and are unwilling to listen and adhere to our body's signals of hunger and fullness. On diets, we distrust and ignore internal signs of appetite, hunger, and our need to be physically and psychologically satisfied. Instead, we depend on diet plans, measured portions, and a prescribed frequency for eating.
As a result, many of us have lost the ability to eat in response to our physical needs; we experience feelings of deprivation, then binge, and finally terminate our "health" program. This in turn leads to guilt, defeat, weight gain, low self-esteem, and then we're back to the beginning of the yo-yo diet cycle. Rather than making us feel better about ourselves, diets set us up for failure and erode our self-esteem.

We Are Not in Control
The attitudes and practices acquired through years of dieting are likely to result in a body weight and size obsession, low self-esteem, poor nutrition and excessive or inadequate exercise. Weight loss from following a rigid diet is usually temporary. Most diets are too drastic to maintain; they are unrealistic and unpleasant; they are physically and emotionally stressful. And most of us just resume our old eating and activity patterns. Diets control us; we are not in control. People who try to live by diet lists and rules learn little or nothing about proper nutrition and how to enjoy their meals, physical activity, and a healthy lifestyle. No one can realistically live in the diet mode for the rest of their life, depriving themselves of the true pleasures of healthy eating and activity.
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Old 02-25-05   #5
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Ok, so to shrink, we have to do more exercise and eat more healthily.

But how can you tell when/if you've lost a dress size?
You could go to one shop and be an 8 or a 12 within the same range.

One suggestion is that instead of 'inventing' clothing sizes, clothing labels should have the details of the measurements. For example in a pair of trousers, the label might read:

Inside Leg Length: 30"
Waist: 28"
Hips: 38"

But the complaint about this is women don't want people to know their measurements, they'd rather fool themselves that when they slip into that size 8, it's not a size 12, or 14.
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Old 02-25-05   #6
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i wish i was a size 12 so men would adore me just like they adored marilyn.
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Old 02-25-05   #7
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See, now that's cute.
But a US 12 means you're not beating the chub battle my friend, beware of the cream cakes!
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Old 02-25-05   #8
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funny articles though. now when chicks tell me they're a size 8 i can laugh, tell 'em they're really a 16 and punch them in the face... until they lose weight.
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Old 02-25-05   #9
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See a size 8 over here is either really slim, or really short.
A US8 aka UK12? Not so impressive.
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Old 02-25-05   #10
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i don't really know chicks sizes very well as far as dress numbers. i know how to look at a chick and say, 'damn, you're fat as fuck' but i'm not sure what number that translates into.
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Old 02-25-05   #11
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It depends what you think is 'perfect sized'.
Looking by that chick you had sat on your lap on Hawaii, I'd say she was a US4.

One person's perception of fat will be different from the next: I'm very critical of size and flab, and there's a bitch I know who I think is really fat, but the guys don't think so, even though her arse is like the rear end of a bus.
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Old 02-25-05   #12
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that asian chick? she had a pretty good body, but i prefer more tits and ass. i've been with girls that have awesome abs and are skinny as fuck, but they never have an ass on them and usually have a super small chest. i'll take a few pounds any day if it means they've got a great set of tits and a round ass.
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Old 02-25-05   #13
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That's good to know, I'm sure our readers will be pleased to hear that.

Who's the ideal then?
I think Laetitia Casta has a great figure, but then Kate Moss is also pretty hot too.
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Old 02-25-05   #14
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laetitia is definitely hot, but kate doesn't do it for me. her face looks too alien.

who is hot to me? if you would've asked me a little over a year ago i would've said only blondes, and that list would've been long enough as it is, but i've begun to appreciate brunettes, so now the list is just ridiculous.
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Old 02-25-05   #15
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It's nice to have a varied slection.
Do they all have huge norks by any chance?
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Old 02-25-05   #16
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norks? what the fuck is a nork?
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Old 02-25-05   #17
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Sybs, I shudder when you call boobs norks. It makes them sound like green sprouty things.
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Old 02-25-05   #18
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I get bored of calling them boobs...
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Old 02-25-05   #19
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I like kerjungers.
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Old 02-25-05   #20
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That's cuz yours are more like kerjungers
Nunga nungas is one of my faves.
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