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Customer Discussions > Fashion forum

When did an hourglass figure go out of style?

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Showing 1-25 of 241 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 15, 2009 1:40:02 PM PDT
J. Danvers says:
I wear misses or juniors sized clothing, and in all the sizing charts I've looked at, women's bust sizes are significantly smaller than their hip measurements within one size range. For example, my hip and chest measurements are the same, and my waist is 10 inches less, but I would have to buy tops in a medium and bottoms in a small to get a good fit. When did this sizing trend start?

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 5:59:02 PM PDT
Manasseh says:
As Americans continue to get fatter I guess they have to change the clothing. Just like as a man I wear a 50 coat and a 34/32 slack -- try finding a man's suit, ballistic vest or even a button up shirt that fits. Truth is though, fat people are in the majority and clothing makers cater to the majority. However, with some trial and error I have found the custom tailors at: to offer a great fit on Jeans, shirts, suits, etc and I believe they offer women's clothes too. Just be prepared to get a few items at first and work on your measurements in order to get your clothes to fit the way you like. Once you do you will love it. IF only I could get them to make Under Armour clothing I would be completely set!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2009 10:05:06 PM PDT
LRM says:
It has been this way as far back as I can remember, and I am in my 50s, but seems to be getting more so.. I have never been able to buy a 2-Piece suit or skirt/slack set because the top is always too small. Forget dresses altogether. What's even worse, lately all of the pants I have been trying on have very large legs, especially in the thigh area which is very unflattering to someone with slim legs. I am really tired of all the "relaxed fit" pants and jeans. Incidently, my husband who has a slim build has the same problem, it's not only women that are getting fatter.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2009 11:30:37 PM PDT
I know what you mean. I was out shopping for pants last week and discovered that *some* of the pants made by Mountain Hardwear have a much more flattering look on my relatively thin legs (compared to the rest of the world). However, while I was in the store shopping several women were loudly bemoaning the fact that the pants squeezed their thighs too much and why wouldn't the company cut them looser. Best of luck finding a more flattering fit!

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 12:02:03 AM PDT
its been like that a while now. I am 40-24-40. ITS HARD to find stuff to fit me unless its perverted stuff!! its annoying. But you live with it. And it gets hard to live with some times but remember, they might get the cute clothes, we get the cute figures ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 9:17:38 AM PDT
LRM says:
I am not familiar with this brand and would like to give them a try. Where did you find them?

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 12:37:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 12:38:31 PM PDT
Kid Icarus says:
It didn't, "lowered expectations" snl. All hail the curves and sculpted ones! Sequal! sequal!

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 6:06:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 6:09:00 PM PDT
Safiya Maat says:
Whats worse about the hourglass figure is buying dress shirts. I ALWAYS have to alter mine or they blow in the wind at my waist and are practically popping the buttons off on my bust. Same problem with pants, if it fits at the waist, the hips and thighs are way too tight, if it fits the hips and thighs I have to take the waist in. The classic hourglass figure seems to be falling more and more into obscurity and so is the clothing that fits it. I myself have trouble even finding bra's that fit as theyre supposed to because all the cup coverage smaller than a full coverage are actually cut smaller, forget the fact that my band size is just small enough that I can barely find the smallest size that fits me in stores. (I myself am cursed with a 36 band, 42 bust and hip, and 30 waist.) When did people with nice builds have to start cursing it because they cant find clothes to fit?

Men seem to face some of the same problems. My Fiance was cursed with big shoulders and has to buy his dress shirts one size up just to fit them and has to tailor down the waist and chest a bit. Has to take in the waists of his pants just because he actually has some sort of butt and most pants dont seem to cater to that.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 1:22:46 PM PDT
A. Koekkoek says:
Yes it would be nice if there were more clothes & brands that cater to hour glass shapes. The only time my hips were bigger than my chest was when I was a teenager.... adult now. 38-30-38, & yes the body gets smaller the clsoer you get to the middle so wear I would like to wear my jeans is about a 35. I must admit the more I loose weight the better things fit but if the thighs fit the waist is too big. And my problem with that is I like jeans to actually fit my hips not sit way below my belly button : ) Its either they are way to low or way over my hips & end up looking like I went to highschool inthe 70's. & another thing.... I do not have a long torso, my legs are longer. There is about maybe 2 inches between my rib cage & the tops of my hip bones. .... I wish somebody would start making clothes that are for people with my body type.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2009 12:25:59 AM PDT
LP says:
honestly i think it's catering to the "average" woman. since more and more ppl are getting alil fatter, it makes more sense for companies to cater to those needs verses the minorities. i've been working retail for a few yrs and it was only till then did i notice some companies even started making their clothes run alil bigger, so some of the bigger ppl can fit into a size "2"

Posted on Jul 18, 2009 9:08:43 AM PDT
Kim W. says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2009 10:45:25 AM PDT
L. Ruth Sr. says:
Think about it though, when you look at the models in the magazines or on television. What do they look like....boards. They have no curves, their bodies go straight up and down. Some of the models do not even have noticeable breasts. If the designers continue to make clothing to fit them, all of us who are cursed with curves or a descent build will forever be out of luck in the clothing department. We will have to live with it until a designer out there has the guts to begin designing for real life people with real shapes!!!

Posted on Jul 18, 2009 11:20:22 AM PDT
Desert Sage says:
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Posted on Jul 18, 2009 3:35:03 PM PDT
Rebekah says:
I have this problem myself. I'm five foot nothing and short waisted so most of my height is in my legs... so I can't go to petite because the legs are too short, but adult sizes are too wide... but teen sizes aren't shapely enough... Bah. Bras just don't exist in my size so I've gotten a few specially made over the years but it's much more money than I can afford... and it's not healthy to have a bra that doesn't fit. Everything else is made for porn stars. So I get the choice between looking like a tiny porn star or looking like a little boy. Lovely.

What gets me is that stores used to carry my size shoe and now no one does. I wear a five and I need heals in order to reach most things that are built for about 5 foot 6 women. My friends think it's great that I "can" shop in the children's department but... It's demeaning. I'm not a child. I'm 23! Also, children's shoes don't exactly have heals. Nor should they.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2009 4:07:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 18, 2009 4:12:43 PM PDT
Holly Short says:
Rebekah, at 4'9" inches and in my forties, I'm right there with you! I could rack up on the size ones and threes in petites when in my early twenties, but now there are none to be found which are properly proportioned. I was wearing twelves in the girls department then, mind you, yet I was very curvy and took at larger top. People teased me about being a blend of Dolly Parton and MaryLou Retton.

Now, some kid shoes have heels and platforms, but are too young-looking, so I order fours or fives, depending on the make, and add inserts, etc. to make them fit.Today, sample sizes even come in 7s, so forget the off-the-rack samples I used to buy! Both shoes and clothes are being made for taller people with bigger bones and fewer curves. :( I wish I could tell you that things won't get worse for us, but they certainly have become more difficult since the 1960s, and my mother, who is also tiny, tells me it has gotten steadily worse since the 1950s. We just have to roll with the punches, I guess.

One positive is that now tiny women who are also heavier or full-figured can now buy plus-sized petite clothing patterns. The rest of us need to keep altering or drafting our own patterns, I guess.

As for teen sizes, it appears that skinny, flat, and boyish (no curves) is THE style for young people. I miss the junior petite sizes which were curvy! My poor daughter, who is curvy and very attractive to more mature people, has endured ridicule when her schoolmates (girls) are worshipping at the altar of the boyish look. Apparently, if you're not flat and straight like a guy, you're not cool. :( Older guys at the pool can't take their eyes off of her. It's a strange situation, for sure. We just have to learn to like ourselves for whatever body we have, and make the best of the fashion problem, because fads and styles will change. They always have. These kids think Marilyn Monroe was hideously fat, but she was normal and healthy. Oh, well. In a few years the pendulum could swing the other way.

Posted on Jul 19, 2009 2:52:43 AM PDT
Ashley Abdul says:
my husband is in the military and we live in italy- buy italian clothes! women's clothes are made with the hourglass figure. waists are much smaller here. i have had 2 babies in 2 years and am preggo again now and i can still wear my american clothes through my seventh month along, italian clothes are cut much better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 11:29:28 AM PDT
Holly Short says:
My daughter went to Italy last summer on a school trip and she said as much. She bought a few things. But it's expensive to buy Italian from the US. Also, a lot of Italians are very thin because of all the smoking --it is the common and normal thing to do, and it keeps weight down. Not much in the way of larger sizes for curvier hips and busts, although the waists are smaller in proportion. I do agree they are well-made clothes.

Hope you love your time in Italy. Daughter enjoyed Florence much more than Rome and the other more 'commercial' places. :)

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 8:47:14 PM PDT
K. Manthei says:
Really there are all different body types. Hourglass is an ideal type (though some would say the waif type is ideal - either one is a more rare and harder to achieve type) and only 8 % of women today have an hourglass body shape (defined by a waist size 70% of bust and hips). Different clothing companies cater to different body types in reflection of this - many do cater to waifs as that is a typical model proportion - and if you are willing to spend some money you will be able to find something to suit your needs. Typically more expensive clothes are constructed better, though there are some exceptions, but often they also have more specific sizes and there are specialty clothing companies for people that are bustier, etc. So many people will still need alterations, as seen above height and proportion vary widely person to person and there will be no one size.

One thing everyone should note - not having an hourglass figure does not mean one is fat. My very good friend is very slim - not waif, just slim - and she just does not have big hips or a narrow waist. But her body is awesome and she gets plenty of male attention. There is just no one size fits all and it seems it would be illogical for all clothing designers to create proportions for the minority body type.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 9:29:23 PM PDT
Holly Short says:
K. Mathei makes some good points. But the waif type IS more popular at this time than it was in some previous decades, before the models were so famous because of television. what we consider "ideal" is a cultural thing, and the sale of clothing is based on what people WANT more than what they NEED.

Different designers/companies do have different cuts. As Americans get bigger, more are coming out with Plus sizes which are cut more generously. Retail sizes are far more generous than pattern sizes you buy to sew with, so there may be very little overlap. I know a woman who wears a size 12 misses pattern, but four to six in the stores. Yes, vanity sizing affects sales.

As someone who knows how to sew and is interested in fashion trends, I find the changes in our culture influence the clothes more than the actual body types they need to fit. There are clothes out there for non-idealized body types, but finding them is a challenge.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 10:28:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2009 3:44:00 PM PDT
Monos Deja says:
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Posted on Jul 21, 2009 1:14:56 PM PDT
J. Brown says:
I think it started with Calvin Klein's herion chic jean ads in the 90's. That's really when I first became concious of the fact that I had breasts and supermodels don't. I'm petite with a chest. It's murder finding clothes that fit. I have a 28" waist, and it's a real morale killer to have to go up to a size 6 or 8 in my shirts before I find something that fits over my chest without gaps or pulls. I know in my head that there's nothing wrong with my body, but when you're in a department store in a sea of clothes made for plastic-breasted mannequins it's hard not to think about all the ways a body can be manipulated into what seems for all the world to be "normal".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 4:39:53 PM PDT
Holly Short says:
J. Brown, I can relate to that, but I am older than you, and for me, it was the Twiggy types in the 1960s. Of course, being extremely short-legged did not help as I played with my mod Barbies, either! LOL...

Thank goodness for the supermodels that came later, because they had chests. With the Kate Moss types, we went back to the Twiggy types. Twiggy herself put on some much needed flesh and turned out to be curvy and beautiful by that time! Ahh, the changes in fashion are fickle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 6:13:17 PM PDT
Rebekah says:
Monos: I don't think I get the joke. I'm 23 and have never been pregnant... My family just looks like this. We are all very thin and short and the women are very busty. I don't want to give birth... So why isn't my figure changing? Haha?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2009 11:21:10 PM PDT
V.J.M says:
I think it started back in the 1960's with Twiggy. She was famous for being so thin, nowdays we would consider her very unhealthy, anixortic. Some Europian countries have passed laws saying that models must be of a certian size because they were getting sovery thin it was totaly un-realistic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2009 11:37:29 PM PDT
V.J.M says:
An hourglass figure is realisticly a perfect figure. Balanced and well porpotioned. There is nothing "fat" about an hourglass figure. An hourglass figure can be of diffrent mesurements as long as they are bananced withen a reasonalbe range. I don't think there are many women (not teens) who have number's exactly the same on top and bottom.
To me the worst looking women are the ultra-thin. They walk around looking like regected left-overs from "before" picture . Plus Doctors say they are by far the most unhealthy of all.
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Discussion in:  Fashion forum
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Initial post:  Jul 15, 2009
Latest post:  Jan 24, 2014

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