What size is this — really

As I read “Vintage clothing and accessories have teen prom appeal” (from the last Cotton & Quail Antique Gazette), it made me think of when I was a teen. All I wanted to do was be like everyone else to fit in.

Now, it seems like teens want to be different to fit in. Does that make sense? Think about that: You have to be unique to be like everyone else. Hmmm.

A much simpler train of thought led me to the question of sizes. I found out years (oh so many years) ago that formalwear sizes run smaller than “regular” sizes … or at least they seemed to for me when I was dress shopping. Perhaps it was merely my state of mind: That can’t possibly be my REAL size!

Anyway, sizes are different now. There’s no question about it. Sizes vary between manufacturers and between time periods. I fairly recently resurrected several pairs of jeans from my attic; after “outgrowing” them several years ago, I am now wearing them again. For the sake of discussion, I’ll even use the real numbers. They’re size 18.

“Santa” brought me a few pairs for Christmas, and they are size 12. Here’s the deal: the size 12s fit the same as some of the size 18s. They’re made by the same manufacturer … at least they’re the same brand. You would think that there would be a much more noticeable difference between a size 12 and a size 18.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with clothes?

I must recommend that whether you’re buying vintage clothing to wear or new clothing, always try them on. Of course, if all you’re going to do is display your vintage collection, it doesn’t matter if it’s your size … right?

And speaking of fashion, as I was watching the pre-Oscars red-carpet action, I couldn’t help but notice Penelope Cruz in her vintage gown. She was absolutely stunning! I’m
not a fashionista. My 7-year-old cares more about fashion than I do. My
normal uniform is jeans and a T-shirt. But I couldn’t help but notice
how striking Cruz’s gown was.

— Karen