The only difference is between the sizing systems of then and now. People often said that Marilyn Monroe was the same size as an average American woman. One contributing factor to this myth was Marilyn Monroe’s extreme hourglass shape. It probably partially comes from the fact that women’s sizes today are not at all equivalent to the sizes of the women during the 1950s.
From the 1980s, to adapt men’s and women’s dressing table and expanding girth, the U.S. Department of Commerce eliminated this uniform sizing machine. It resulted that a size 8 would have been roughly equivalent to a size 16-18 in the 1950s, though this sizing scheme varies from brand to brand.
What size was Marilyn Monroe?
Many of her dresses are maintained and are still around to measure. One of her apparel makers also chimed in. Those measurements were 5 ft, 5.5 inches tall, 35-inch bust, 22-inch waist, and 35-inch hips, with a bra size of 36D. It was approximately 2-3 inches less than the average American woman in the 1950s and 12 inches less than average today. Her weight fluctuated a bit, usually rising in times of depression and falling back to her normal afterwards, but she was listed by her dressmaker as 118 pounds, and the Hollywood studios tended to list her between 115-120 lbs.
What size will fit Marilyn Monroe today?
The answer is not so simple because of the differing sizes from brand to brand and country to country. It is, in fact, Monroe’s intense hourglass shape that might have made it hard for her to find the perfect size while shopping for clothes. But, she could afford to have her clothes custom made, which she did.
Many of her dresses that exist throughout her career were about the same size. We could see a variation of an inch or two. That is having been said, Marilyn Monroe, at times, could have her dresses so tight they would have to be sewn onto her. Something more comfortable in size 4 (American) and something like an 8 (U.K.) is likely more accurate with most brands. However, it should be noted that a 22-inch waist in many popular American jean sizes now would be below a 0. So the exact size is difficult to nail down thanks to this non-standardized sizing system we have now.
Elizabeth Hurley, in one of her statements, quoted that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16, and that explains it all. She exclaims that she was fat, and she wanted to measure her clothes in the exhibition. She states that Marilyn Monroe was bulky.
If you’re curious about her size compared to modern contemporary fashion models, based on BluFire Model Registry, models are usually in the area of a 34 bust; 24 midsection; and 34 hips, which is extremely near Monroe’s dimensions of 35-22-35. They list the standard version now at 5 ft. 8 inches, to Monroe’s 5 feet 5.5 inches. Elizabeth Hurley, who is mentioned above, quoted Marilyn Monroe to be “fat,” when she has around the exact measurements: 34-24-34, though it is about 5 inches taller than Monroe was.