eli5 Why aren’t women’s clothes sized by measurements like men’?


I can understand uniquely shaped clothes (halter tops, etc) but why not pants, skirts, suits, etc?

In: 603

Sometimes they are, but often times there’s more overall variation in women’s shapes than men’s. Men pretty much go straight up and down, so they don’t need to account for hip/waist ratio, it can just be waist size and length. But women, they could have a small waist with big hips, or a stomach but no hips. Or be large chested on a small frame, or be an xL but the weight is all in the arms or stomach vs chest.

For pants, skirts, suits, they often are, at least in mid-higher end brands. There’s no easy way to do so for garments like dresses or tops (men’s casual shirts are generally not sized by measurements either).

Also, because men’s measurement sizes aren’t really accurate anyway. So it just ends up being an arbitrary designation as well, just on a different scale.

Because of the Sears Catalog.

Originally, dress sizes were meant to correspond to ages. A size 8 dress was meant to fit an 8 year old girl. You could purchase the dress or the pattern and make it at home. This would have been in the first part of the 20th century, when you could buy a whole-ass house from the Sears Catalog.

For next several decades, vanity sizing changed how dresses, and thus women’s clothes, were designed, made, and marketed. That is, if a woman is normally a size 12, but you create a ‘size 10’ dress that fits her, she feels flattered and buys the dress.

Around the 1970s, the pattern companies gave up keeping pace with changing sizes, which is why a woman’s dress pattern size is about 4 sizes bigger than her off the rack dress size.

Nowadays the best fashion advice for women is to buy a garment that fits the widest part of whatever it’s supposed to fit (bust, hips, &tc), then tailor the rest.

Because they don’t do both waist and hips and rise and butt coverage.

It’s messed up because even if we had sizes like that the angles and curves don’t have a good way to be explained.

My bigger butt and small waist is a weird ratio (well not if you watch tictoc and filters but mines mine and doesn’t fit normal clothes either a gap at waist or my butt doesn’t fit )

Plus legs esp upper part has different circumfrance and thus if you manage the rise butt coverage and waist the legs might not have enough room for your particular legs.

So imho everyone just fucking gave up and slapped an arbitrary non standard number on it and called it a day.

Men’s pants, some brands even today yet, listed the waist and inseam on the permanent tag facing outward. Not a chance that women’s pants would do the same.

They don’t want to see a high number. Low numbers sell.