Crystal Renn advocates for designers to change sample sizes to an 8 instead of a 2


As preparation for this story I googled “how big are sample sizes in fashion” because I thought it was an impossible zero. It turns out that the size is about a two usually, which is also impossible from my perspective. I found this article at The Hollywood Reporter that explained, from a stylist’s perspective, part of the reason why celebrity women are so freaking skinny. It’s not just that there’s so much pressure on them to look tiny on screen, although of course there’s that, it’s also that unless they’re a big name and/or super small they may not be able to wear the latest designer dresses. It’s sad, really. A unnamed stylist told THR “Fairly or unfairly, you have to look at your clients’ figure and ask yourself if they can wear a sample size 2. If they can’t, it’s a big problem.” The article went on to interview fashion designer David Meister, who often clothes Melissa McCarthy. He’s made a name for himself by creating custom red carpet gowns with a fast turnaround time, while the more established designers can take weeks to dress anyone who isn’t a size two. I can’t believe I didn’t know that, and it shouldn’t shock me, but it does.

Well the models who once starved themselves down to size zero have something to say about that. In a recent panel to raise awareness of eating disorders, model Crystal Renn advocated that the sample sizes in fashion be changed to an 8, so that the clothes could more easily be tailored down or up depending on the wearer/model. That makes a lot of sense. You can’t get more fabric out of a two, you know? An eight is more versatile. The models on the panel also talked about the extremes they went through to drop weight, with a model named Amy Lemons describing how her modeling agent told her to eat only one rice cake a day – when she was just 17 years old! Here’s more:

Each of the models present shared compelling personal stories about their struggles with weight and body image in the modeling industry. Amy Lemons said that when her body started changing at 17, her agent recommended eating just one rice cake a day, and if that didn’t work, cutting back to only half of one. Katherine Schuette, who also studied nutrition, stopped eating even though she knew the dangers. “I knew down to the chemistry what was happening to my body when I tried to get to that size [0],” she shared.

It was Crystal Renn, who has publicly shared her struggles with eating disorders in her book Hungry, who spoke most passionately about the subject. After being signed by a model scout who told her to lose ten inches from her waist and advised her to look to Vogue for standards of what she should look like, Renn entered into years of obsessive dieting and exercise to get down to a frightening 95 lbs. “What I found,” Renn said of that time, “is that I felt nothing except hatred for myself.”

And the problem isn’t just with model agents; Ashley Mears says the problem lies much more in the editorial side of the industry. Chris Gay agreed, expressing frustration with industry standards set by designers and editors that he deemed ridiculous. “They’re not standards a woman can keep through her life or her career,” May said. “You’re replacing good models with new models because of unrealistic standards…”

Renn’s suggestion, which seems almost painfully obvious in its simplicity, is for designers to change the sample size to a size 8. She argues this could accommodate bodies between sizes 6 and 10, or tailored down to a size 0 if the designer wanted to hire a girl that thin. Renn posited that some designers feel pressured to keep their sample sizes small because that’s what industry leaders are doing–she of course made an exception for close friend Zac Posen.

“There are some people who lead,” Renn said of the designer’s attempts to diversify his runway, “and Zac Posen is one of those people.”

[From Fashionista via Radar Online]

I wasn’t familiar with Zac Posen’s thoughts on sample sizes, as Renn mentions here. I found that he was very recently part of a similar panel, with industry insiders and model Doutzen Kroes (love her!), which discussed the impossible standards in the fashion industry. He actually defended using super small sample sizes, saying they were “ideals that are so ingrained in our culture.” He cited the “sensation” over Kate Moss’s debut and said those ideals were “gonna be something… that people in fashion are going to be drawn to.” So I disagree with Fashionista’s editorial comments that Renn is making an exception for Posen. I think she’s calling him out, particularly in light of his recent comments.

Crystal with Zac Posen.

I love how “normal” she looks. She’s also done some plus-sized modeling, and her figure and looks have varied over her career.

Crystal is shown with Zac Posen on 6-4-12. The photos with the pink dress are from 10-22. The photos in the red dress are from 2-7-13. Credit: WENN.com

 

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97 Responses to “Crystal Renn advocates for designers to change sample sizes to an 8 instead of a 2”

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  1. m says:

    The smaller the sample means less fabric, and less fabric means less money spent on something that may never be worn.

    • hazeldazel says:

      yes, I read somewhere that a designer said that the reason models are so thin now is because it’s cheaper and easier to design around smaller and less curvy shapes.

    • Alexandra Bananarama says:

      m

      If the sample size is raised more people can try on that style and it raises the chances of someone trying it on/wearing it on a red carpet/bringing awareness to the style and designer.

      The cost difference is truly penny fractions. And the samples once out of season get sold.

      and yes it is cheaper to cut and design for boyish figures, those boyish figures want to look like they have curves… So designers must cut for curvy looks.

      In the end they won’t lose money. They just don’t want to design for fuller figures… Goop is a good example.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I’m not going to pretend that I spend my days in ateliers so correct me if my thinking is off, but: there will always be more ‘actuals’ than ‘ideals’ and the ‘actuals’ are the ones with the cash, so why make them go through the effort of starving when they’re going to buy the stuff either way? More goes into the price of a garment than materials used.

    • Actually, in most cases it’s the work that goes into the construction, not the amount of fabric. Otherwise you’d see different prices for each size, and that just isn’t the case.

      In fact, if it were the case, then baby clothes would be much cheaper.

  2. Migdalia says:

    Ummm I’ve heard that sample sizes are actually a 6…this was from someone who reps models, but can we get a confirm from someone involved in fashion?

    • That Girl says:

      Back in the day (like 90′s) they used to be a size 6 or 8. In the early to mid 2000′s they changed from 0-4. Linda Evangalista has actually talked about this before.

      • BW says:

        Back in the day, sample sizes were an 8. The dresses are still the same size, they’re just called a 2 now. How do I know? I’m old and I still wear the same size I did when I was 35 years younger and 30 lbs lighter.

        I like wearing vintage clothing:
        In 1960′s clothes, I now wear a 14.
        In 1970′s clothes, I now wear a 12.
        In 1980′s clothes, I now wear a 10.
        In 1990′s clothes, I now wear an 8.
        In 2000′s clothes, I now wear a 6.

        They are all the same size clothes. Just the numbers are different.

      • Joanna says:

        @ BW

        –wow, that’s wild!

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        My mother was a model in the fifties. Mind you, sizes were different back then, but she remembers that the sample dresses were always large on her and she *always* had to be pinned and tailored.

        I would say, judging by the waist size on her wedding dress, she was a size two or four back then. She usually wore a padded bra and a waist cinch to appear more hour glass shaped ( this was the look du jour until Audrey Hepburn came along, whereupon mom switched to peddle pushers, ballet flats, and super short hair.

        Her memory: everyone watched their figure and primped, but there was nothing resembling this insane pressure to turn into a different body type. Standards were very clear about what you needed to be to be a model, but they were fairly reasonable.

        Somewhere in my book collections have book by the head of a major modeling agency entitled something like “So You Want to be a Model?” It would be interesting to go back to that and see what it says about requirements. I read it as a teenager (when I hoped to follow in my mothers footsteps… then I realized that 5’3″ was not going to cut it) and I remember all of the advice was healthy and reasonable.

      • Annette says:

        Around about 2000 I was 25lb thinner and a size LARGER than I am today.

      • Annette says:

        “but there was nothing resembling this insane pressure to turn into a different body type”

        +1! That’s what I see as the problem with body image today – it’s not so much that there’s this “unrealistic standard” after all, every body type is natural and realistic to some people even if they are a minority group. (unless we are talking boob and butt implants of course). It’s that there’s this pressure to be something you are naturally *not*, like if you are not naturally slender, well then you SHOULD be and you are just lacking self control. And if you ARE naturally thin, well then that is no good either, because “only dogs like bones” and you NEED to fill out to look “healthy”. It does seem like back in the day well a clear standard still existed, however it was more accepted that if you didn’t fit it well that’s just how you were, and you were not judged as a bad person because of it. Now it seems a-ok to imply that others NEED to gain/lose weight in order to be acceptable – there’s this link between weight and morality that didn’t seem to exist before.

    • Debbie says:

      I work in fashion and size depends on the “level” of the label. So true designers like McQueen or Chanel are size twos and designer size two so that is very tiny. Now if you get into more bridge level they range from a 2-6 depending on the brand but they more often then not fall closer to a 2-4 however, the bridge cut is considerably more forgiving then designer.

      Fit models are typically size 8 just an FYI because of the exact reason the model gave its easy to scale an 8 up or down to get your sizing accurate for production.

  3. fabgrrl says:

    Well, my own dressmaking experience is limited, but going from a size 8 to a size 2 is NOT simple. Taking things in by a size, or even two, can be done. But I think the dimensions would be all off, especially since we are talking about very close fitted, glamorous, clothing here.

  4. RHONYC says:

    how in the world is Zac Posen prettier than her? he’s surprisingly gorgeous. 8O

  5. carol says:

    the fashion industry really needs to begin creating looks that look great on a variety of figure types.

    Of course they will not, because there is an advantage to keeping only one figure type in style. You can use it to make women feel inferior and ashamed of their appearance if they do not fit the mold – insecure people will buy more and more and more in an attempt to solve the ‘problem’.

    • fabgrrl says:

      Yes, very true. I don’t think there is a problem with skinny models (not anorexic or unhealthy, but skinny). You really want to see the clothes, not the body. But the actual styles ought to be something a regular woman would look good in.

      • carol says:

        I agree – I certainly dont have a problem with skinny models. Some people just naturally have that body type. Runway models are beautiful because they have that waifish and ethereal type of beauty.

        having said that, there are a variety of body types out there, and there are a variety of ways to be beautiful. For example, JLo and her guitar shaped body. As much as I dont like her as a person, her pear shaped body is fabulous and beautiful in a different way than skinny models are – but still beautiful none the less.

        The problem here, is that the fashion industry and the media refuse to accept that there are a variety of different ways to be beautiful. They instead, promote only ONE way of being beautiful and ignore all the others.

        Because of this, you get women who’s dream it is since childhood to become a runway model, but if they dont naturally have a very skinny figure, they will try to starve themselves to achieve their dream. AND normal everyday women are made to think that they are defective if they arent tall, skinny, and model like.

        This is completly needless! If only the fashion industry would just make clothes for every type of body, instead of only one type of body. I guess they have worked out that they can make more money by shaming women into hating their bodies.

        But I am not convinced. I think that they would still make a huge profit if they made clothes that are flattering for all sorts of different body types and then marketed them in such a way that explained to women exactly how to wear them. Like “if you have wide hips, here are some things we designed that flatter people with wide hips, and here is exactly how to create an outfit using these pants etc. If you love your hips and want to accentuate them, wear THIS. If you want to hide your hips then wear THIS. And pair it with THIS.”

        I’m telling you, they would make a fortune.

        Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I”m home with a broken ankle and bored out of my mind :/

      • Amelia says:

        Great post, Carol :) Feel better! Whenever I broke bones as a kid, my Mum would always fill me up with broccoli. I don’t know if it necessarily helps, but that’s my tip!
        I keep having to remind myself to convert US sizes into UK sizes. Initially when I read the post, I thought ‘Well, that’s not much of a step up!’
        And then I realised that you have to add 4 onto US sizes, because our size zero is a UK 4.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        I used to be one of those wctomorphic teenagers who could not put on weight, and get really uneasy when people assume that skinny is a problem a d that size 2 must be anorexic. I always assumed that women gravitated toward modeling because they already fit that type without a lot of effort. As I said above, had I fit the height requirement, I would have thrown my hat into that ring.

    • MaiGirl says:

      Exactly! It’s MUCH easier to sell something to an insecure person wanting validation than a secure person. Women are always told that our bodies are not good enough, and sizism is one of the main ways this happens. The simple fact that a size 6 was good enough for years, and now is a size 2, shows that inconsistency. There really isn’t an excuse for this change other than designers/society favoring impossible ideals for “high fashion”. I LOVE clothes, so it’s sad to me that this dynamic is so strong and so many people defend it. People in some concentration camps got more to eat than a rice cake a day!

  6. Chicagogurl17 says:

    Samples are typically 2′s and 4′s. A few more “household name” designers who typically sell their fashion lines in larger dept stores and some bridal additionally add a size 6 sample. It has nothing to do with a fabric cost or shortage — it has to do with finding someone who looks like a moving hanger to display your clothes. From the neck down, most designers want a blank slate — no boobs, no hips, no butt.

    • Seagulls says:

      Perhaps they should just dispense with the pretense of using people altogether and just use little robots with clothes hangers at the top.

      If the clothes don’t look good on people with boobs (of any size!), butt (same thing!), and hips (again, any size or shape other than jutting bones!), then that’s a failure of the designer and the design.

      95% of women past the age of 18 possess the above physical attributes in some fashion or another, and it is bananas that clothes are not designed to accommodate this reality. Even regular thin women don’t look vey good in some designer clothes – that’s not on the woman, that’s the designer.

  7. Redheadwriter says:

    Then designers need to just use mannequins to display their clothes.

  8. Rachel says:

    Close. Your. Mouth. Not in a “stop talking” kind of way. Because she has a very valid point. But in a very literal “why is your mouth constantly hanging open” kind of way.

  9. palermo says:

    Sizes have changed tremendously, even since the 70s. What was a size 10 then is like a 00 today. None of it makes any sense at all. As for runway models, they want them to look like coat hangers, no body to distract from the clothing

  10. Hakura says:

    I’ve always been pretty skinny, from elementary school until highschool graduation(I’m definitely NOT claiming any credit for that. I ate whatever I wanted to, just lucked out because my late father was skinny as a tree limb xD) I was a size 0 for years & years.

    But I’m 26 now, & have been experiencing the issues of designs’ sizes for a few years now. It’s incredibly frustrating, & more importantly, makes women feel horrible about themselves.

    It’s downright *wrong* & ridiculous. I promised myself I’d *never* support a big name designer, but it’s everywhere = Are the *male* models subjected to this too?

  11. flan says:

    Clothes are to be worn by people.

    The argument that they just want to show off their clothes and therefore need models to be as shapeless as possible therefore doesn’t make sense. Except to hide the fact that it’s just an excuse and not the real reason.

  12. Nan says:

    God, she is soooo beautiful. Better than any walking coat hanger can ever be.

  13. I Choose Me says:

    The best picture is the one of her smiling. Great smile and you can see the sparkle in her brown eyes. Wish more models smiled in photos rather than the half open mouth thing that soooo many models and actresses tend to do nowadays.

  14. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Not sure if this is really the case, but it appears like she has had some plastic surgery on her face…which in a way kinda takes away from her argument of natural beauty/body etc.

  15. only1shmoo says:

    Sadly, even “accessible” fashion houses have unhealty standards re. women’s sizes. I actually stormed out of Zara once because I was looking for a pair of dress pants; my size, 6-8, was labelled with a big fat (no pun intended) “L”. 10-12 was an XL, and I was so disgusted by the company’s standard that I left empty handed…not only because of that, but because clothing stores now insist on desinging pants for women who are shaped like pre-pubescent boys. It’s frustration beyond description!

    • dana says:

      glad to hear you say that..Zara requires you to go up a size! egads!

    • Lee says:

      It doesn’t help girls / women who “are shaped like pre-pubescent boys” feel any better about their body type when other women say things like this in a derogatory manner. I have this body type (5’2”, petite frame, etc) and it wears thin that women who push for body acceptance then turn around and slight smaller body frames. Can’t we all stop the body shaming? Don’t say accept larger sizes and then sneer at smaller women. It’s not doing anyone any favors.

      • Seagulls says:

        I think she might be expressing frustration that it seems now that all stores cater to a very slim, straight up and down body. Lots of women have that body shape, many more do not.

      • Hakura says:

        @Lee – I agree, & it did come across as though the ‘reference’ was purely meant to be negative -_-

        It’s *awesome* that there’s support for this message & helping women to gain self esteem. And especially getting to see how completely fake everything is in the entertainment industry, discouraging unrealistic comparisons.

        But then it went from ‘love & embrace yourself’ to “Real women have curves.” So, if you don’t have a large chest, wide hips or whatever, you’re not a ‘real’ woman? Now who’s being singled out & insulted?

      • Emma says:

        @Hukura I completely agree. I also see the “real woman have curves” slogan being used a lot with overweight women. I see it more and more with that particular group. Just an observation.

        No one should be singled out other than those who celebrate false body images like the VS Angels. None of them have those bodies naturally. They may be naturally tall and thin, but not bone thin like they’re shown in the catalogue.

      • dread pirate cuervo says:

        Amen! I do have some booty, but no “curves” & no boobs. Should I get my 32A’s & narrow hips surgically enhanced bc “real” women have curves? Real women come in all shapes & sizes & should seek out clothes that compliment their particular shape instead of complaining that everything doesn’t fit everybody. IMHO, of course. I would love to wear skinny jeans. But they look horrid on me & I am a size 2.

      • only1shmoo says:

        Sorry for the “per-pubescent” comment, it wasn’t meant as an insult to women who don’t have curves. I realize that women come in all shapes and sizes (i.e. I have hips but my chest belongs in Flatsville). The point I was trying to make is that the fashion industry is promoting the idea that all women should be skinny and built straight up and down — a result that, in the case of women who do have curves, could only be produced through extreme and unhealthy dieting. It wasn’t meant to be hurtful, but your comment makes sense, sorry for that : (

    • thinkaboutit says:

      Zara is a European brand and a very small portion of their target market is over a size 12. From a business model standpoint it makes perfect sense. In Spain a size 10-12 IS XL, it’s nothing personal and not meant as an insult to people used to vanity sizes (I’m a double zero in some midrange American brands, which is laughable to me!) They have figured out their audience and how to make the most money from it. In New York, for example, I don’t even bother going to Zara’s amazing sales because by that point in the season there’s nothing left under size 8. But the 10s and 12s must clean up!

    • Emma says:

      I know what you mean! I have no issue with catering to different sizes and shaped, it’s to be encouraged. I’m 5’5 about 125lbs and in dresses I wear a U.S size 2 or 4, but pants I need anywhere from a 4-8 depending on style, cut, brand, and store. It’s ridiculous. The only pants that fit me are the “curvy” editions of jeans. I’m fine with my hips and I like them, but stores do seem to be catering to those who don’t have them (again, nothing wrong with it, but I’d like to find pants too). I’m slowing switching my closet to dresses because they’re they only thing that fits well.

    • Smaug says:

      This Zara comment is so funny. I am really busty (30F) and (to me) average sized otherwise. I always fit in xs and small in Zara. It’s insane. I always thought Zara was into vanity sizing!

    • Luxe says:

      This is so true! I bought a fabulous dress from Zara online and when it arrived, the M felt like a XXS!! I couldn’t believe it. Now I only buy shirts and sweaters from them.

    • G. says:

      Really, because I’m shaped like a “pre-pubescent boy” and it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE for me to find pants that fit my body because of my lack of hips. Shopping has become a nightmare.

  16. Shannon says:

    That would mean designers would actually have to take a female’s curves into account, instead of designing for someone with the figure of a prepubescent boy. I would LOVE to see this happen, but I can see a lot of designers bitching about having to do it.

  17. Oops says:

    Could anybody explain to me to what corresponds a size 0? In France I’m 34-36 (that is the smallest) which is 4/6 in American size, what makes wonder who can have a size 0

    • bluhare says:

      You’d be a zero. I am a French 40 or 42 (maybe 38 on top) and I’m a US size 6.

      • Oops says:

        thanks, but strange because I searched and found 4/6 but french size are very different from what they were previously and we needs models of sizes what I wear cannot be worn by a woman who has more forms (in particular of breast) and vice versa

    • RobN says:

      Lots of vanity sizing in American clothing. Designers take the pants that were a 10 in 1980, slap a 6 label on them and people are so excited about being a size 6 that they buy more. Problem is that the people who truly were size 6′s, or smaller, still need clothing so they made up size 0 and 00 for them to take the place of the sizes they changed further up.

      • Oops says:

        yes I read that and I think it’s ridiculous, I don’t have boobs and I don’t need that a bra said the contrary :) , I think it’s the same for your size

      • Shannon1972 says:

        I find vanity sizing to be insulting. As if there is something wrong with my normal size, so they want to fix it for me.
        I worked in fashion, and I am very familiar with specs and sizing. There is no way I am a size four. At the Gap, I’m a 2/4…which is absurd. In real clothes, I am a 6 or an 8 depending on the label. Vanity sizing, for me, is a total turn off.

        The flip side though, is that sizing too large can ruin a whole brand. This actually happened at my husband’s old company, where the factory made a labeling mistake and size sixes were labeled as tens etc. Loyal customers freaked out. No one would buy it, and the brand sank like a brick. Once that happened, there was no coming back from it. It was a disaster.

    • French Reader says:

      Yes, the charts on online clothing websites tend to be a bit useless. I’m a size 34 here and I ordered a size 0 dress on Ebay once which fit perfectly, actually better than any size 34 in France could ever fit. Size 0 is a small 34 though in my opinion, so 34-36 could be a 2 (congrats, you can borrow a dress for the Oscars! :-P )? Sometimes I wonder why the US has such small sizes and we don’t, even though the average American has a higher BMI than the average European.

  18. Ginger says:

    Am I one of the only people that disliked Kate Moss when she first came on the scene? I personally do not find super skinny to be attractive, at all. I don’t judge women who are super skinny if that’s how they are naturally then cool. BUT I do disagree with fashion designers saying that EVERYONE finds that attractive. That’s a blanket statement. I personally find a woman’s curves to be attractive. And I’m not talking about being a size two with ginormous implants…some try to pass that off as “curvy” (side eye at Victoria’s Secret!) I’m talking about the quintessential “brick house” figure (36-24-36) or the hourglass figure. This is my own personal opinion. We should have room for ALL opinions on beauty, not ONE industry standard. That is just stupidity. And to encourage a 17 year old child to starve themselves is criminal!

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      That annoyed me as well – not stunning like Cindy Crawford back in the day.

    • Shannon1972 says:

      Yes! I thought she looked like an alien when I first saw her, and that Calvin Klein had lost his mind. She was so skinny, and her long straight hair was the opposite of what we were taught is attractive. She was a radical departure from the famous models of the day.
      After the glamazons that I admired as a girl (Helena Christensen is still my all time fave), Kate just looked so plain. I never thought she would become an icon. I feel sorry for young women today…so much pressure to look a certain (mostly unattainable) way.

  19. KellyinSeattle says:

    She is really pretty. As far as sizing, I really doubt the reason they go so small is to save money. I’m all for having a size 8 as “model” material.

  20. Blannie says:

    One of the funniest/saddest/most frustrating episodes of Project Runway every year is when they have the designers design for “real people” with real bodies. Last night they had to design for older women, some of whom were curvy, and boy were some of the designers flummoxed.

    As a 62-year old very curvy women, it is infuriating to hear this same story year after year from the fashion world. I love Carol’s idea of having fashions with some suggestions about what body types look best in different styles.

  21. Noel says:

    The problem with sizing in the US is vanity sizing. A size 0 at most places is massive. I cannot shop at Banana Republic or J Crew because their size 0 is more like a size 6. It is ridiculous. If you eat healthy and workout you cannot find clothes.

    • Tessa says:

      I’ve gained probably five lbs since my teens, and I have gone down two sizes at Jcrew. I used to be a 6, always a 6. Now I’m a 2! I’m 5’9! Yes, I’m pretty thin, but on no planet should I be a 2 at JCrew. It’s crazy.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      “If you eat healthy and workout you cannot find clothes.”

      Sorry, but this statement is ridiculous. I eat healthy and work out (spent 15 years in the military) but because of my bone structure can’t get below a US sz 8. Since I was 16yrs old I’ve been about a sz 10-12 (I’m currently a sz 12 3 months after having my 3rd baby). I’m 5’10″ and my hip bones, shoulders and (huge) boobs just don’t fit into smaller sizes. Even at a sz 8 I start to look too thin and people start commenting on how I look too skinny. There are plenty of ‘healthy’ women who aren’t size 0-2.

      • Noel says:

        You are very tall and you sound like you are small for your frame. I was not trying to be insulting. People come in all shapes and sizes. People who are smaller should not be forced to go out of their way to buy clothes due to vanity sizing. I am a poor law school student and I have shop at Zara and French Connection to find clothes which fit. That is expensive for me. It is hard to find cheap clothes if you are very small.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        I eat healthy and work out. I am very petite with delicates none structure. Teeny weeny. I am a size six, sometimes a four depending on the cut. I have never been a zero, not even back when I weighed 100 lbs.

    • thinkaboutit says:

      So true. I wear anything from a 00 to a 4 and size 25 jeans, and I am not “skinny” at all. I have a relatively big round butt and 32C boobs. So I see women smaller than I am ALL the time and I have to wonder, where the hell do they shop???

    • Lulu says:

      I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with Noel’s post here. I am 48 years old and have to buy my clothes from either The Limited (which still carries very small sizes) or juniors sections. And I’m really not even that small. I am 5’6″ and weight between 115 and 118 lbs depending on whether or not it is the Holidays (when I binge on cake and cookies!)

      If I had more money to spend, I could probably find things that fit at Ann Taylor, etc. but that is for rich thin women, not lower middle class thin women.

  22. A says:

    Women, we need to take back the power. I do strongly agree that we need more diversity of body types in the media-Mindy Kalling said it best when she wrote people are used to sample sizes or fat and fabulous and nobody seems to know what to do with anything in between. I think that’s an editorial problem and a Hollywood image problem.

    But in terms of clothes and fashion and what’s actually getting produced and available to buy, I think there’s a problem of perception more than an actual problem. Why do we think we have the right to buy clothes from a certain brand in a certain size more than those companies have the right to produce clothes in the shapes and sizes they want to? I can never wear a turtleneck, I can never wear anything backless, I can’t fit into Zara to save my life, J Crew skirts are awesome on me but I can’t put half of my left boob in any of thier shirts, I need to order bras off the internet and I have 5 different sizes of clothing in my closet that fit me right now from brands from Target through designer. And you know what this says about me personally, my worth, my beauty? Absolutely jack s–t. I patronize the brands that flatter me and don’t buy from the ones that don’t. It’s a free market, I’m allowed to do that and so are the companies that sell. If you have to try on 10 pairs of pants to find one that works well for you, so what? Learn what it is that works well on you and next time maybe you only try on 5. 9/10 pairs of pants not fitting you or having to go up/down a size or two depending on the brand says absolutely nothing about you personally, your beauty and your body,or that the companies that makes clothes are “evil” in some way. It just is the what it is. We all need to get the confidence to stop taking it personally. Could it be less annoying? Sure, but there are a lot of things in the world that are a lot more justifiably annoying.

    And if there are little girls growing up idolizing models and wanting to be like them, we as parents/aunts/siblings/teachers/mentors/women need to step up. You have no more right to be a model than you do a doctor, teacher, lawyer, waitress or stripper. Some people are better suited to some careers and that it just the way it is. We need to strongly guide girls to thier strengths and show them that there are many possibilities out there for them and send even stronger messages that in the real world, most people don’t make money off thier looks and people find love regardless of what they look like (it’s not like of the 1000s of wedding taking place this weekend that only size 2s are getting married).

  23. Mew says:

    As long as there are ppl willing to starve themselves and people willing to buy that product, they’re going to use them.

  24. Barbara says:

    Well maybe at least a 4 or 6 would get more of a chance of being accepted. My relative has 35″ hips so they would not let her walk the runway in NYC recently. She is 6′ 125 lbs wears a 2-4 size. The designers do use her though for samples so it is changing somewhat.

  25. Lulu says:

    Wow, is she freaking gorgeous or what?

    Sorry, I have no input on the fashion industry at all. All I know (from my sewing experience) is that a UK size 8 is a US size 2. That is all that my wee brain can handle thankyouverymuch.

  26. dep says:

    Changing the sample size would also mean models could work longer. There’s a reason un-developed teenagers are used – they fit the clothes. I was a teen model and managed to get a few really good shows but couldn’t keep my weight down long enough – so pretty much stopped modeling and went to college instead. I would have really liked to model and study and get my bills paid. However I also had trouble fitting in to some sample sizes in general due to my body structure (i have broader shoulders and slightly thicker waist than many other girls – but very small hips) which cut me out of quite a few shows and i was told a few times not to bother doing a go see other girls where going to because the designer’s clothes would have to be worked on to fit me properly.

  27. Trashaddict says:

    I’m not as upset about sizing as I am about so many places putting shoddy work on the racks and charging an arm and a leg for it. Unfinished hems, cheap skimpy material, no linings and generally crappy worksmanship. I learned a great hint about buying clothes when I was younger: cost per wear. Pay a lot if you will wear it a lot and it will last. The crap they make now doesn’t last. I’ll be shopping the resale stores next….

    • Joanna says:

      Yes, I agree, most of the time that’s true. I would rather have a couple pairs of high-quality pants, than 5 pairs of cheap ones. you can tell the difference. or I can, anyway.

    • jaye says:

      When I used to shop at Lane Bryant I noticed that I was paying high prices for clothes that didn’t last past the fourth wash. It’s one of the reasons that I shop at stores like Macy’s and Ann Taylor (on the sales and clearance racks, of course). I know that I’m going to get classic, well made pieces that will last a long time.

  28. wendy says:

    Even if the magazines and runways were filled with models of every shape and size women who weren’t models would probably still feel like crap about themselves because these models large or small have incredibly beautiful faces.
    People would still be going out and getting awful plastic surgery etc and not feeling like they measured up.

  29. Joanna says:

    Everybody needs to stop b*tching about their size. I don’t care if you’re built like a model, pear-shaped, whatever. You can get in shape and have a low body fat. but if you have a pear shape, an apple shape, or rectangle shape, it doesn’t matter how much weight you lose, you’re still going to have that shape. You’re going to have whatever “flaw” your body shape has. You just have to learn to accept it and dress it accordingly. Depending on how I dress, I can look bootylicious or taller and thinner. It’s all about learning to dress for your shape and the look you desire. but you have your basic shape and that is only so much you can do..if somebody doesn’t like it, f*ck em! That’s why the fashion industry makes so much money, they prey on the insecurities of women. Accept your body and love it, no matter what shape it is.

  30. judyjudyjudy says:

    if we are talking about haute dresses, they only make 1 sample as these are handmade and this is expensive to craft.

    Designers then take orders from paying customers for a version that will be handmade for their bodies and specifications i.e I want sleeves or no sleeves etc.

    When actresses want a “free” dress to wear on the red carpet, hell no they aren’t going to get one for their size. They will get the sample if it fits. So all these complaining actresses need to cough up some money and then they will get their size.

    Since when do designers need to take orders for free? On the other hand, when they want somebody to wear a dress from their fashion house, they will adjust…if they have the time to do it.

    To me, this sounds fair.

  31. WendyNerd says:

    Designer clothes are NEVER made for real women!

    I exercise eight hours a week, but I’m a size 8-10. I have a waist (Even my sister, who is in better shape and is a soldier, admits I am the only woman in our family with a real waist), and I wear a size six pant. So, why am I a size 8-10 in dresses? I’m also a 36 DD. I can’t wear anything smaller. So, whenever I get a dress, I always have to get something that is really loose/wide around my hips/waist because the alternative is wearing something really tight around the bust line that makes me look like I have a bunch of back fat. The worst part is, when I buy shirts, I always have to get something that hangs off my boobs over my belly so it looks like I’m hiding a baby bump or something that might not be too loose, but is too short.

    It’s such a pain in the ass because I work out A LOT (Last summer, I had ballooned up like crazy and got really big, and didn’t realize it until I went to the doctor and found out. Ever since then, I’ve become crazy about exercise [eight hours of cardio a week, some times four sets of two hours, sometimes three sets of two hours and two sets of one hour]). My ass has almost completely disappeared and none of my clothes fit and I’ve had to wear stuff I had worn in High School. But my boobs remain big. So, I’m still wearing shirts and dresses close in size to what I wore back when I got huge (usually only one size down if it’s a numbered size and usually the same letter size). I wear much smaller pants, but not in dress sizes or shirt sizes, and I’ve lost 30+ pounds. And yet, I’m wearing similar sized shirts and dresses. Because all clothes seem to be made with the impression that if you have big boobs, it automatically means you have a huge waist or hips. It’s maddening

  32. Mari says:

    Says so the model who goes from curvy to skinny like a yo-yo.
    Nevertheless, it is a good and important thing what she’s saying

  33. skeptical says:

    I think designers should be made to wear what they send down the runway. Designers are the ones demanding the models starve themselves & be so skinny. So much of “high end fashion” looks like one big circle jerk. In what universe is that stuff considered “ready to wear”?
    Too bad models aren’t allowed to unionize & strike. Models are being told to starve themselves to death.

  34. lisa2 says:

    Damn where do all you skinny ass people live.. LOL

    I’m 5’8 and am a size 10.. I think I look damn good. I could never get in a size 2 or 8 and honestly don’t want to. I just want cloths that fit and fit well. I don’t are about the number. They mess with your head. I don’t get why people get upset by designer cloths on a runway. I have no dream of wearing those cloths. Fun to look at.. but not realistic.

    I love Project Runway.. and the craziest episodes is when the designers have to design fashion for “real women” never understood that term. But they don’t know what to do or how do make fashion fashionable when the size is larger. I always scratch my head when they make stuff that looks terrible all because they have to use more fabric. I don’t get the problem but it is just an example of why designers don’t know how to dress women who are not in single digits.