Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 13:54:25 -0400
From: Wendalyn Nichols
Subject: Re: RE>Plus Size Singles

Anyone with large female relatives would be familiar with "plus size" - it
was being used during my brief stint as a department store clerk in 1979.
Normal sizing for juniors is odd numbered (5-7-9-11-13 etc.) and for women
is even numbered (6--8-10 etc.). Women's sizes go on up into the thirties
and forties, but junior sizes don't; they normally go to 15 as a maximum.
Plus sizes are a way of making teenagers feel they're not wearing an 18 or
20 by labeling clothes differently beyond the 15 cutoff. Different
manufacturers did it differently, but the most common way was to use 1+,
2+,3+ etc. which would really have corresponded to 17,19,21 etc.

Grant Barrett on 06/18/98 02:05:59 PM

Please respond to American Dialect Society

cc: (bcc: Wendalyn Nichols/Trade/RandomHouse)
Subject: RE>Plus Size Singles

I have a, uhh, rather large younger sister, and I'm pretty sure my
brother and I made fun of her when I was a kid (let's say more than 15
years ago) for the "plus" size clothing. One of the retailers had a
size called "pretty plus" and we changed it to a "fatty plus" which
sounded much better when we taunted her.

I'm so ashamed.

Grant Barrett