Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G
sinetimore

That Dirty Little Sew And Sew

I am now convinced every woman needs to learn to sew.

Because it will expose just how full of shit the fashion industry is about body types and sizes.

So I have acquired a few more costume patterns to either make or use as bases for other commissions later down the line.  Including one woman who is pestering me for a Sailor Mercury.  Not overly difficult, but I did pick up a pattern to help make sure I get it right.

And as I'm looking over the measurements she sent me and such, I notice that something seems...amiss.

The average size for a woman in the US is a size 14.  This is generally the top end of patterns (patterns for adult women generally fall into two ranges, 6 -14 and 16-22).  It lists the measurements as 36-28-38.

I want you to pay really really close attention to those numbers.  I say again -- 36-28-38 is a size 14, the average size for a woman in the US.

Everybody still with me so far?  That's good!

An odd thought struck me, so I decided to check something out.  There are people who track the measurements of celebrities.  They come close (some of them will claim they can tell which women are natural and which have implants.  They will say some are natural when it's been confirmed elsewhere that they did indeed have implants.  Some guys just like to dream).  Not perfect, but close enough for a little experiment.

The question is:  based on the publicly available measurements, what size would these women be considered if they walked into a Macy's or something like that, and how does that square with the "public record" of what size they wear?

Let's play!


Our first subject is one Kathleen Marie Ireland, legendary supermodel, business mogul, and avid golfer.  She also did acting, both regular and voice acting, was a certified personal trainer, and claims she can burp the alphabet (no, I'm not kidding, she actually publicly made that claim).  Quite the resume, I'm sure you'll agree.  So, let's take a good look at her and make some guesses about her size.

Miss Ireland stands 5'10" tall (177 cm), just two inches shorter than me.  According to the info on celeb tracker sites, she weighs 141 lbs (64 kg), and her bra size is a 34B.  Her measurements are 36-25-36.

So, the question at this point is, what size is it claimed that she wears, and what size is she based on the pattern listing?

According to the pattern, Miss Ireland falls somewhere between a 12 (34-26.5-36) and a 14 (36-28-38).

But according to the tracker site, she wear a size 6.  According to the pattern, a size 6, the smallest without going to the children's sizes, is 30.5-23-32.5.

So, if we assume the mass-produced pattern made for the general populous is correct, Miss Ireland is actually pretty close to average size, just a smidge smaller.  A size 6 would have her popping off like textures in Assassin's Creed -- Unity.

Okay, that's just one person.  Maybe we should try someone else.


Our next subject is Eleanor Nancy Gow, better known to the world as Elle Macpherson.  She is likewise a legendary supermodel and business mogul.  Her dad owns a soccer team in Australia and, according to legend, once punched out one of his own players.  Besides intimate apparel and some green juice shit that supposedly makes you live longer (it probably just makes it SEEM longer), Macpherson has also tried her hand at acting and even had a development deal with Miramax in the days after her appearance in the movie Sirens.  Let's go to the map.

Miss Macpherson stands 6 feet tall (183 cm).  According to the info on celeb tracker sites, she weighs 128 lbs (58 kg), and her bra size is a 34C.  Her measurements are 36-25-35 (91-63-89 cm) and, as you can see, she has a somewhat atypical body shape.

So, what size is it claimed that she wears, and what size is she based on the pattern listing?

According to the pattern, Miss Macpherson about a size 14.  A size 10 is 32.5-25-34.5, just a smidge small, and a 12 is 34-26.5-36.

But according to the tracker site, she wears a 4.  To get these measurements, I needed to go to the kids' Princess Peach pattern I finished last month.  According to that, a size 4 is 23-21-24, and is 41 inches high.

...it doesn't look like fashion sizes are entirely accurate, does it?


Okay, Round 3.  Our subject this time is one Jennifer Love Hewitt.  Miss Hewitt is a longtime actress and singer, having gotten her start at age 10 on the kids' musical series Kids Incorporated (the series that also gave us Martika and Fergie).  Miss Hewitt has appeared in several TV shows and movies, from Party Of Five and The Client List to Can't Hardly Wait and Groove Squad Cheerleaders (no kidding, she voiced one of the members of the trio).  She has also appeared in a number of lad's mags like Maxim and FHM.  So let's look at a picture.

Now, Miss Hewitt is an interesting case, because at one point, she was claiming she could wear a "size 0".  I have no idea what a size 0 is, but that isn't what is listed on the celeb tracker sites, so we are going to ignore that.  Miss Hewitt stands 5'3" (159 cm), weighs 125 lbs. (55 kg), and her bra size is a 34D.  Her measurements are listed as 38-26-39.

So, what size is it claimed that she wears, and what size is she based on the pattern listing?

According to the pattern, Miss Hewitt is a size 16 (38-30-40).  A 14 (36-28-38) is simply too small

But according to the tracker site, she wears a size 10, whichi is 32.5-25-34.5.  Also, while she is only one size bigger than Miss Ireland according to the pattern, the celeb tracker site lists her as two sizes bigger than Miss Ireland.  Whoever is responsible for the math, would you please show your work?

Okay, let's test your pattern recognition at this point.  We have three women so far, with numbers indicating roughly what they should be, both for the pattern and the celeb tracker.  So let's see if you can predict how this next one goes.


Our next subject is my fellow Pole Scarlett Ingrid Johansson.  Johansson has been acting all her life, with her breakout role coming with The Horse Whisperer.  She has starred in movies and stage, winning a Tony award for her part in A View From The Bridge.  She also sings, and not only has released albums, but even did a song for Disney's recent live action Jungle Book adaptation.  She is presently best known as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (appearing with Chris Evans, who she had previously worked with on the movie The Nanny Diaries).

Miss Johansson stands 5'4" (163 cm), weighs 120 lbs (54 kg), and her bra size is a 32DD.  Her measurements are listed as 37-26-36.

So, what size is it claimed that she wears, and what size is she based on the pattern listing?  I can almost guarantee you will get the first part wrong if you are guessing.

According to the pattern, Miss Johansson is somewhere between a size 12 (34-26.5-36) an a 16 (38-30-40).

But, according to the tracker site, her dress size is a size 4.  Despite being just a smidge bigger than Miss Ireland, her size is the same as Miss Macpherson's.

Don't think this is bullshit yet?  Let's try just one more and see what happens.


Our final subject for this examination is one Ashley Graham.  She is considered a plus-size model and is a body activist.  She has captured the attention of American pop culture, with appearances on The Tonight Show, Entertainment Tonight, NPR, and the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

Miss Graham stands 5'9" (175 cm) tall, weighs 170 lbs (77 kg), and has a bra size of 38D.  Her measurements are listed as 42-30-46.

So, what size is it claimed that she wears, and what size is she based on the pattern listing?

According to the pattern, Miss Graham is somewhere between a 20 (42-34-44) and a 22 (44-37-46).

But, according to the tracker site, her dress size is a 16.  Despite her size difference in the patterns between her and Miss Johansson being between 4 sizes (best case scenario) and 10 sizes (worst case), her celeb tracker size difference between her and Miss Johansson is 12.

These numbers DO NOT COMPUTE.


I understand the reason for describing your size with a dress size.  It's a shorthand.  But that's only when comparing yourself to regular people. Anyone who compares themselves to celebrities, based just on sizes, is going to be crushed because the numbers are skewed.  And if they compare themselves based on the actual measurements, they'll see they are actually pretty close.  The latter is simply something to shoot for, while the former will give any person a complex because it is something they will never achieve.  Because the women they are comparing themselves to don't achieve it, either.  The sizes are in name only, the math they use is completely different and no regular woman will ever match it.

So this is why I say all women should learn to sew.  Or at least, learn sizing.  It rips away the illusion that so many think they need to live up to.  And trust me, a Big Mac is much more enjoyable than all the kale you can eat.
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