Vanity Sizing: 1970s Misses Wrangler Jeans vs 2017


As part of my downsizing I'm in the process of sorting through my collection of vintage ephemera to get it organized for when I list it online. I came across this tag I had set aside after I removed it from a pair of vintage Wranglers I bought a couple of years ago. It has a sizing chart inside so I decided it's time for another vanity sizing infographic! 


As always, your clothing size is not:

A measure of your health.
A medical consultation.
A substitute for a scale and tape measure.
A reflection of your worth.
A reason to beat yourself up.
A measure of reality.  

Past posts about vanity sizing:

What a 1960s shift dress can teach us about the growing movement with "vanity sizing."
Size Zero Tolerance for Vanity Sizing
000 and Vanity Sizing

Comments

  1. This is why I am still a 9/10 even though I weight 45 lbs more now than I did in 1973. I recently bought a vintage sewing pattern and realized I had to cut the size 18 to fit. When the pattern was new I would have been between a 6/8 and a 9/10. The clothing industry has not done me any favours in letting me imagine I have not changed size in 40+ years!

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    1. The industry practice of vanity sizing definitely enables denial while it increases their sales.

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  2. Amazing to see it in print this way! As I've mentioned to you before, I always find it amusing to think back to my mother's clothes from 40 or 50 years ago. She wore a size 12, but was only 5'3" inches tall and about 120 pounds. By today's standards, she'd probably wear a size 2! She would really find that laughable. Vanity sizing and processed snack foods (not to mention spandex!) have not served us well!

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  3. P.s. showed the chart to my husband, who was amazed. Guess men's clothing doesn't deal in vanity sizing fantasies?

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    1. Probably because for men's pants sizing is usually in inches. You gave me the idea to do an infographic for men sometime. :)

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  4. Averyl, I remember you mentioning these jeans a while back. While clothing size has definitely grown with us (but not you specifically! Ha ha...) one thing I noticed was that your vintage Wrangler size chart is for Juniors while the 2017 size chart is for Misses. This is an important distinction because Junior sizing is for teens who's bodies haven't fully grown yet. Misses are for fully grown women. (Of course some smaller women could probably wear junior sizes well into adulthood, assuming they have a small frame with slim hips.) Junior sizing, even today, is for smaller young women and the measurements reflect that.

    To simplify, you're not exactly comparing apples to apples. More like crab apples to apples... But the point is still well taken. Vanity sizing is a reality. And it's not doing us any good!

    Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Hi Sarah! Actually, if you take a closer look you'll see the 1970s sizing is for BOTH JRs & Misses. Wrangler wrangled them together.:)

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  5. This vanity sizing is crazy! I just got a new karate belt. I still wear the "same" size that I did when I was in college when I started training, but instead of getting a size 3, I needed a size 5 to get the same belt length. With karate, I guess bigger means stronger, lol

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    1. Sizing is so nutty! I hadn't considered that vanity sizing can go the other way, or that they would tinker with karate belt sizes. I guess I always figured something like that would be in actual inches.

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