Infant Size 8 Girls patent black school shoes Only worn twice- still brand new Still with original box.
As we all know, some small women have very large breasts, and some large women have very small ones. This sizing conundrum was particularly irksome to the Mail Order Association of America, which was well aware by the late s that women often returned clothing because of poor fit.
But the statisticians wisely recognized that women might balk if a sizing system forced them to confront—or tell a sales clerk—their own exact poundage. As an inferior alternative, they imagined a system based on a single measurement of the upper body and combined that with a height index regulars, longs, and shorts , and a lower body girth index regulars, stouts, and slims. These basic sizes were combined with a T, R, or S, to indicate height, and a plus or minus, to represent lower body girth.
The system was published as a commercial standard—a recommendation, legally required only for the pattern-making industry—in The industry was at first enthusiastic about these recommendations, and major mail order companies like Sears and Montgomery Ward started to adopt these government sizes. But enthusiasm eventually flagged.
By , the NBS downgraded its Commercial Standard to a Voluntary Product Standard, and by , the government withdrew the standard entirely, damning future generations to inconsistent fits and many, many mail order returns. The study accounted only for white women; women of color who came in were measured, but their measurements were discarded.
When the NBS re-analyzed the data to produce the commercial standard, they distorted results even further by adding the measurements of women who had served in the Army during World War II—likely among the most fit women in the population.
The ASTM recommendations have evolved over time to accommodate a very real trend: In , for example, a size 8 corresponded with a bust of 31 inches, a waist of We can see size inflation happening over shorter time spans as well; a size 2 in the ASTM standard falls between a standard size 4 and 6. This may also explain why smaller sizes are constantly invented. The standard listed 8 as its smallest size. The ASTM standard listed a size 2. In , ASTM lists a standard for size They installed body scanners at 13 different locations across the country and, over the course of about a month, scanned the bodies of almost 11, people between the ages of 18 and For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab.
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