Is cut completely different to modern day sizingYou cannot go on what "dress size" of 4/6/8/10, which is cut to fit the mass market and a wide variety of body types.  Vintage dresses, especially from the fifties, were cut to be worn tight, which can seem restrictive from our modern day dresses and of course vintage fabrics are over fifty years old, so they need some care and consideration when taking on and off.  Be gentle with your new dress, it has lasted this long and can certainly last a lot longer.

A lot of vintage dresses where made specifically for the wearer, which is of course absolutely fabulous, but does make for a wide variety of sizing.  Having said this custom made clothes are generally very easy to alter to fit your size, this is something I do regularly with my own dresses, a nip and a tuck there, definitely goes along way,  you must, however, know your size.  

To help I have ESTIMATED the closest size using Small/Medium/Large ranges... this should start you off.  But you must measure from your existing wardrobe to ensure the perfect fit.  See below.



Need help with this? it's a lot easier than it seems. You have your tape measure right? No not a metal one but a fabric sewing tape measure, this is what you need, the other one will not do.

The measurements you need are for the garment, not your body size, your clothing needs to be bigger than you,  remember you do need  room to breathe, move, function.  Trust me I've done it before... squeezed myself into the most fabulous party frock for an occasion, only to find half way through the evening I can't actually breathe, move or function and this my friends is no fun, there is suffering for the sake of fashion but this was beyond,  I couldn't get out of my dress fast enough, lesson learned.

I think a good gauge for comfort is the garment being 2" bigger than your body measurements.  This is ideal, this gives you the aforementioned "room".  All measurements on my clothing have been taken whilst the garment is laying flat, this is the correct way to measure clothing.  The number is then doubled, for example a bust measurement of 17 = B 34.

Step 1: Find a dress in your closet that fits you perfectly.

Step 2: Lay it down flat and whip out that FABRIC tape measure we were talking about above.

Step 3: Measure following my guide below.... then DOUBLE the number, this is the size of the dress you are looking for.

Shoulders: are measured straight across from one shoulder seam to the other.

Sleeve Length: from shoulder seam straight down to sleeve end.

Bust: this is measured from under one arm to the other.

Waist: measured straight across from one seam to the other, there may also be a small range of this measurement if the waist is elastic and has some stretch to it.

Hips: measured approximately between 5 - 7 inches below the waist line, from side seam to side seam.

Dress Length: take measurement from shoulder seam and measure straight down from that point to hem.


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