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What Is the Best Dress Size for Women?

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Different body types

Different body types

Perfect Size for Women

Many women ask what the best dress size is to see if there is a general agreement on what is the most appealing range. They also wonder what their personal ideal size is.

We will be using U.S. dress sizes as the basis for this discussion.

What Is the Best Dress Size for You?

The answer is determined by health and personal taste. The following guideline will help you figure out the answer.

  1. At what size were you most satisfied with the way you looked? Were you a 2, 8, or 12? If you were never satisfied with your body size, then disregard this question.
  2. At what size were your health markers at their best? Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels can sometimes be guidelines as to what your body feels is its ideal size.
  3. What size do you envision yourself being? Some women like the idea of being very slim.
  4. Realize that there are at least three different frame types: small, medium, and large. To determine if you are small, medium, or large-boned, wrap your longest finger and your thumb around your wrist. If they overlap, you are small-boned. If they barely touch, you are medium-boned. If there is space between your fingers, you are large-boned.
  5. As a loose guideline, here are ideal dress sizes per frame type for a woman of an average height of 5' 5. Genetics and other factors might determine that another size is ideal for you, but these numbers should safely apply to most women.

Ideal Dress Size per Frame Type

 Small FrameMedium FrameLarge Frame





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What Is the Most Appealing Dress Size for Women in America?

This number surprisingly varies depending on region, age, income, race, and media influences.

  • Women who live in regions with major media influences prefer to be ultra-thin because this is the typical type of female that is portrayed in film and modeling industries. In Manhattan and Los Angeles, many women are sizes 00 to 4.
  • People that live in regions such as the Midwest and the South tend to desire more average sizes. In these regions, a woman wearing a size 8 to 10 is considered thin and appealing. Women who are in the 00 to 4 range might be seen as underweight.
  • Teenagers and very young adults who absorb images and information from media outlets often experience peer pressure and/or put pressure on others to be thin. Sizes 00 to 6 are very common in teenage girls, partially because of youth and partially because of media influence.
  • People of higher incomes have more pressure to be thin, and there is a higher ratio of smaller women within affluent groups. Wealthy women are commonly in sizes 00 to 6.
  • African-American and Latino populations sometimes prefer women who are sizes 12 and up, but this also varies with income level and personal preferences.
  • Asian populations often prefer very small sizes in the range of 00 to 4.

The best dress size is really a matter of opinion, and because there are so many different variables, you might want to consider which group you fall into. The points above can help you determine what dress sizes are preferred in your category.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: I want to purchase clothes online, but I don't know my size. How do I find this information?

Answer: If you do not want to leave the house, you can purchase a fabric measuring tape online. Measure your chest, waist, and hips in inches. After you get these measurements, compare them to an online chart for women's dress sizes. At that point, you will know what your proper clothing size is.

© 2012 Life and Luxury

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