Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sizing, Cinchers and Bears...Oh my!

So, as I'm searching through Etsy's vintage goodies, I'm feeling a bit like a kid run amuck in a candy store, lol. The only problem is, I find myself allowed to look but not taste. Why? One word: Sizing

The first thing a newbie needs to understand is that vintage sizing is a totally different animal than our modern dimensions. The challenge is further compounded for those of us accustomed to wearing nothing but oversize, shapeless clothing. I'm going to have to get re-aquainted with having a shape again. eesh

V-8 moment #1: If your chest is a 42 and the garment measures 42, it aint gonna fit!
(courtesy of the ladies at FL)

You would think this would be common sense yet somewhere in my neophyte vintage brain, I figured, "I'm a 42...it's a 42...good to go." Uh, no. You need "give" which translates as extra inches for an item to fit. You also need to consider how the garment will be worn. eg a blouse with a bit of ease might be okay but a jacket with the same amount of ease might not work if you are layering bulkier items underneath.

V-8 moment #2: They wore girdles!

As a vintage virgin, I was starting to feel really freakishly made. Why, oh why could I meet the bust and hip measurements in some items but NEVER EVER the waist? Am I that freakishly thick in the waist? Seriously, I'm inches bigger than any 1950's item I've seen. Then a lovely gal over at FL mentioned proper foundations. Well, duh!
She mentioned Rago Shapewear by name as they carry plus sizes. Hoorah!

Waist cincher just went to the top of my wish list! LOL

So, still no actual vintage street clothes in my collection, but I'm learning!

Some other tips from the FL Gals: Don't buy a smaller size thinking you'll lose weight and it will fit. Don't buy anything so seriously damaged that fixing it isn't worth the hassle. Ask sellers about things like odor and arm pit stains. Check the upper arm measurements and get a feel for where the waist will hit. I'm told there's nothing worse than getting it home to find the waist is somewhere around your neck. And probably the best advice of all...don't buy it unless it makes your heart sing. If it sells, you'll feel bad for a teensy bit, but some other I-have-to-have-this item will be along in a matter of hours or days.

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