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How Clothing Sizes Have Changed Over the Years

Did you know that clothing sizes have increased dramatically over the years? Even Marilyn Monroe’s sexy size changed. In the 1960s, a woman with a 34-inch bust and a 25-inch waist was a size 12; today, a size 12 would fit a woman with a 39-inch bust and a 32-inch waist. The discrepancy is unreliable, but one way to see how much sizes have changed is to look at famous Hollywood celebrities. Marilyn Monroe, for example, was a size 14 and a size 20 in her day, so her clothes were quite large.

As women’s waistlines grew, clothing manufacturers began to downgrade their size labels. They began to include lower numbers to encourage consumers to buy a larger size. This is called vanity sizing. This practice takes advantage of a woman’s aspirations to have a size smaller than her actual measurements. As a result, clothing sizes have become an effective marketing tool. But the process has not always been so easy.

The 1940s saw the first attempt at defining “American Women’s Clothing Sizes.” The size 8 woman was defined as having a bust measurement of 31 inches, a waist measurement of 23.5 inches, and a weight of about 98 pounds. The government funded an initiative to update the size standard, but many manufacturers were uncomfortable with the standard. Eventually, the government abandoned the size standard. But not before changing the standards.

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