Thursday, January 31, 2019


While taking inventory earlier this week, I made the following observations.

Bad Sizes

Sizes are all over the map. Not only are dress sizes inconsistent between labels, the sizes of dresses from the same label are inconsistent, too. I knew this before, but doing inventory affirmed what I already knew.

I bought a black sequins cocktail dress from a consignment shop a few years ago. The label was Dress Barn; the size was 14. I was wearing a size 16 or 18 back then and I was surprised that the size 14 Dress Barn confection was actually a little big on me (go figure), but I purchased it anyway because it was only $5. Needless to say, I was swimming in the dress when I tried it on this week and it ended up in the discard pile.

And although I am usually a size 12 these days, some of my old size 14's and 16's fit fine and were keepers.

Dead Brands

I own many nice dresses from labels that no longer exist: Newport News, Spiegel, Fashion Bug.

Back when I did all my womenswear shopping online, Newport News and Spiegel were my best friends. When I finally started shopping in person (in girl and boy mode), Fashion Bug became my new friend.

I miss my old friends.

Source: Unique Vintage
Wearing Unique Vintage (Source: Unique Vintage)

Enrie Scielzo
Enrie Scielzo, male womenswear model


  1. British clothes are the same
    I have a size 20 (US 18) which is too small and a size 18 (US 16) which fits perfectly

  2. Stana, Will we ever figure out women's sizes? I think there is only one answer -- no! So the solution is we have to try them on ... and that is so much of the fun! 👧

  3. I'm with you, girl. Sewing pattern companies updated their standard sizing about 50 years ago -- they are remarkably consistent across the industry.

    Ready-to-wear? I can fit anywhere from a size 8 to a size 22, depending on style and brand ... when placed one atop another, THEY ARE ALL EXACTLY THE SAME. No wonder that girls and women have trouble fitting themselves, when they rely only on manufacturer's sizing. The size label is only a name. You are not the size label. You can change the name of the size if it bothers you.

  4. I miss your old friends too...........especially Newport News. Lew Magram was another old friend.
    Gendre Amore

  5. Once I found Avenue and Catherine's and had free access to dressing rooms everything changed for me. But the sizing is truly a "range". I would squeeze into an 18 in one of the Macy's dresses and be swimming in an 18 at Avenue or Catherine's. So I just started wearing decidedly more fem clothes when shopping at Macy's and stopped asking if I could use the changing room -- I just took my selections in and tried them on. Nice to stop the buy-try it on at home-schlep it back to the store when it didn't fit.

    Have you noticed it's easier to fit into that range of sizes now that clothes have a larger percentage of Spandex content? Recently I've added a few pounds and most of my recent purchases seem to accommodate the change -- but it's clear I shouldn't push it!

  6. Dear Stana,

    I am 6-0 exactly * in bare feet, and currently weigh 220. There are still some size 14 skirts that fit me, and almost all size 16 skirts fit fine. I have one or two old size 16 dresses that fit snugly, some size 18 that fit snugly or perfectly, and others that I had to buy size 20. All the sizing I just mentioned was without foundation garments. With tight flab-reducing foundations, I can reduce to the next lower size. I also have noticed that for the same dress, size 16W fits as well as Misses size 18, and 18W fits as well as Misses 20. I find that my skirt sizes are smaller than my dress sizes. As I wrote, my skirts that fit range from 14 to 16, while my dresses range from Misses 16 to 20 (or Women’s 16W to 18W).

    * Note: I’m 74 now and have undergone a 1” age-related shrinking from my peak height of 6-1 barefoot. I always stated my height barefoot, while many people state their height with shoes on. So, now many persons exactly the same height as me claim they’re 6-1, and when I was at my peak height of 6-1 barefoot, many others exactly my height claimed 6-2. I expect I’ll drop below 6-0 sometime down the line.



  7. I used to shop Spiegel and Fashion Bug too. I had a coat from Fashion Bug that I loved and wore until my husband finally told me it had to go. I wish I still had it.