Friday, March 1, 2013

A word about size....

It's about time we had this discussion.  To begin with, in our current marketplace a size 2 in one designer's dress can be a totally different size in another designer's dress. So, all sizes are not the same in today's world. When we talk about vintage sizes that's a whole other ballywick. You've got to know that you cannot compare today's size with yesteryear's size. For one thing, in the good 'ole days there was no dress size smaller than an 8. For another, many dresses were homemade, custom made or altered from a store bought dress. Any of you familiar with shopping vintage know by now that clothes were much smaller then and yes, that's because 1. People were smaller then  2. We have grown as a human species (especially in our lung and ribcage area)  3. Many dresses you find were worn by much younger women of the times and 4. Women wore corsets from a young age. 
So here's some tips when buying a vintage dress -especially online!
1. Be sure to measure your ribcage area and ask the seller for this same measurement on the dress as well. This is the most likely place where you just can't get the zipper up. You may have a small waist but the ribcage will get you everytime. 
2. Measure from your shoulder to your waist (and again ask for the same measurement from the seller as well). I've found this to be another area where the dresses are too shortwaisted for us. If there is a  simple strap an alteration can sometimes work by adding into the shoulder seam.
Stay tuned for my upcoming book on more tips and tricks for altering your vintage dress!