Why retailers changed clothing sizes pt.2

In response to my entry Why have retailers changed clothing sizes?, Alaina asks:

Can you explain why/how early misses sizes were described a “size 14 years?” surely that was not a coincidence with the sizing system you describe in paragraph 5 (which, I agree, sounds completely plausible)

In the absence of my familiarity with your source material, I would reason that this was the beginning of the push back; when retailers began to wrest control of sizing from manufacturing. That it coincides with the advent of children’s sizing at retail is significant.

Previously, the divisional drafting system (“scale”) adopted for pattern making for production was limited to adult clothing. It only worked for figures that were mature because the scale relies on divisions of 8. [As an aside, don’t ask me about the imperial measuring system, specifically the inch unless you want a lengthy discourse. I prefer metric but for clothing drafting, no measurement increment has proven of greater utility than the inch]. The key landmarks of infants and children’s figures do not divide evenly by 8. Infant figures are divisible by 4, children by 6 etc. Thus, the divisional scale drafting system couldn’t be used for physically immature bodies. Continue reading Why retailers changed clothing sizes pt.2

One Size Fits Nobody: New York Times

mermaidSignificant Other disparages I post so infrequently but it’s difficult for me to read my words through the spittle of an extended screed. Case in point, One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10 courtesy of the New York Times which is but more pablum. I spent some time amusing myself, imagining how the conversation of assigning that story went down:

Editor: It’s been awhile since we’ve appeased the masses by skewering those stupid apparel industry people by writing about consumer’s favorite imaginary social ill -vanity sizing. Hey you, Stephanie, you could churn out an easy 1,000 words on it. You don’t have to do any heavy lifting, apparel people are stupid.

Stephanie: Sure thing. I have some great source material; like this chick who isn’t even in the industry but who looked at some Vogue magazines to develop an analysis of women’s sizing history to beef up my points. The apparel industry is so stupid that the circular logic and cursory “evidence” of her “research” that would get anyone in any other field of intellectual rigor laughed out of the room will fly right over their heads. Done well, I might be able to blame vanity sizing for everything from teenage pregnancy to the bombing of Dresden and on to the scourge of plastic cutlery! To be sure there is other research from someone with 30 years of experience making patterns and is an internationally renown authority on women’s clothing sizes who has been quoted by NPR, NY Times, WSJ, Forbes, Washington Post, Boston Globe, LA Times etc and whose site ranks much higher but her material is based on *math* -and of all things, she majored in economics- with a whole annoying slew of logic, charts and graphs that spans 16 entries and something on the order of 200,000 words! Sheesh, just her section on the history of women’s sizing is three separate entries and backed by data that I don’t want to read for a “business” cum fluff lifestyle piece like this. Continue reading One Size Fits Nobody: New York Times