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women's clothing sizing

The Ridiculous Truth About Women’s Clothing Sizes

By Vera Sizensky

Created: 08/16/2015
Last Updated: 08/16/2015

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Clothing sizes are all over the place. Across different brands—and sometimes even within the same one—your size can fluctuate a range of numbers. And if it seems like over time your go-to size feels roomy while you aren't actually losing weight, you're not going crazy. That’s vanity sizing.

A recent story in The Washington Post highlighted the rise of vanity sizing with a graphic illustration. Here's how they break it down: "A size 8 dress today is nearly the equivalent of a size 16 dress in 1958. And a size 8 dress in 1958 doesn't even have a modern-day equivalent—the waist and bust measurements of a Mad Men-era 8 come in smaller than today's size 00." The data comes from the American Society of Testing and Materials and is pretty eye-opening.

No woman can be defined by just a number, and while vanity sizing is intended to flatter shoppers, in truth it can make finding clothes that fit just plain complicated. Take a look at this graph for yourself.



If you’re wondering which brands are offenders of vanity sizing, check out this graphic from FitBay.



What are your thoughts on vanity sizing? Tell us in the comments below!