That's why, in recent years, as the American population has become generally more overweight, brands from the luxury names to the mass retail chains have scaled down the size labels on their clothing.
"You may actually be a size 14 and, according to whatever particular store you're in, you come out a size 10," said Natalie Nixon, associate professor of fashion industry management at Philadelphia University. "It's definitely to make the consumer feel good."
I can remember the advice given in the book, Jane Brody's Nutrition Book, written by Jane Brody, a noted nutritionist.
But few people need measurements to tell them they're overweight. Instead, remove all your clothes and take a long, hard look at yourself in a full-length mirror.
That book was published in 1981. Since then we have seen new measurements, like the BMI, take center stage for people to know if they are fat, or not. Now clothing sizes are no longer reliable. I say, it's time to look in the mirror.