Two years ago I lost 12 lbs. The incentive was my 40th high school reunion. I was really skinny in high school, and although I will never be skinny again, I wanted to look young. Specifically, I wanted to looked younger than a few select classmates. Preferably, younger than all my classmates.
I wasn’t exactly successful, but 12 lbs was okay. I bought a slinky dress in the same size I wore 15 years ago to my 25th reunion. Not bad. It was softly lit in the banquet room, which also helped. It helped everyone else too, but I like to think it helped me especially.
So I was rummaging through my closet the other day, and I came upon some old clothes. The same size 10 that I am now so proud of wearing. I don’t have to explain why I have some clothes in my closet that are fifteen years old. You know you do too.
I found this skirt.
I loved this skirt. I love the sheer chiffon material, the border at the bottom, the sarong shape with the tied waist. I bought it for a classy Sunday afternoon wedding, and I wore it with a sexy little tank top. Don’t worry, I had a cardigan in case the weather was cool.
I loved this skirt. So I put it on. Or rather, tried to. Holy Mackerel. Not only couldn’t I button the waist; I couldn’t get it to slide down over my hips. It just sat around my waist like the inner tube I used to float on at the Lake.
But it’s a size 10! Like I wear now!
Then it dawned on me – what should have dawned on me two years ago when I first lost the weight. Although I am now a size ten, I am also 16 lbs heavier than I was the last time I wore a size ten. It’s not because I’m so ‘toned’ from all the yoga. I’ve been scammed. The clothing manufacturers have re-sized everything to make you feel better.
I googled it, and found I was right. It’s called vanity sizing. The clothing industry claims it’s not just for vanity. It’s to keep a “medium” the size that the average woman needs. And average women are bigger, so average sizes are bigger.
And it’s not just women’s sizes. Men’s Dockers pants in a size 36″ waist are really 39.5″ at the waist.
So we can all feel good buying the same size while we get big in the middle.
But I’m looking on the bright side. If I can maintain my current weight, then fifteen years from now, at my 57th reunion, I’ll be a size six. That’s what I wore when I graduated high school. I’m skinny again!