Hi all and happy Monday! (cough, blah* I hate Mondays) This little post was written by the vintage mother. Working with vintage clothing, we often get women trying on dresses that are almost a perfect fit. This is a guide to help you find the perfect fit…
*also please excuse the formatting on the post, for some reason, the paragraphs refused to space, no matter how many times I separated them, they kept going back together. My head nearly exploded with frustration and I am now officially giving up. If anyone has had this problem in wordpress and knows how to fix it, I would love for you to share the info and save my sanity x
Get the right fit…
The importance of the correct undergarments for vintage clothing.
Often women will come into the shop, try on a dress, and it will fit perfect but for the bust area. THIS my dears, is all about the bra.If you happen to have vintage undergarments that actually fit you and the era, you are in luck, but, it is difficult to get the right size as the sizing was different then. So as a general rule, i will give you some ideas on how to get the right look.
In the 20s, the style of dress called for flat chests, as curvey shapes would never due. The bras of the 20s had no real cups to speak of and some women actually would bind their breasts to get the right look. Basically you would be better off bra less,or wear a tight tube band to flatten you a bit.
In the 30s,the dresses were very svelte and clingy. Backless gowns often called for going bra less. If you dont feel you can do that, sew cups in with a few stitches by cutting them out from your own bra. The bias cut, fitted, fluid dresses of the 30s also meant you didnt want any lumps and bumps…in which case a one piece body shaper or the slip type, would help a great deal. Also, with the 30s dresses,the waists may not have been too tiny,but pay attention to the hip size,as they tend to be smaller.
The 40s werent as “confining”as other eras.They wont fit braless,but a regular bra usually works.Make sure you wear the right size. The “how to measure”for bras has changed signifigantly in the past few decades,and apparently most people are wearing the wrong size. Waists were also getting narrower,and the masses wore girdles and rubber corsets with garters for the stockings. Long line bras would do the same for the waist and the one piece bra/girdle with garters were great for evening dresses.
The 50s were probably the most restricting of the 20th century.The waists were meant to be tiny and the bust was curvy and uplifted…definitely not comfortable! Dresses with measurements of 36 bust and 24 waists were not easy to fit into.The girdles got tighter, bras got padded and the smiles on the womens faces werent so much a smile as a grimace. (I dont think we need to go that far) When buying a 50s dress, watch the waist size,which is the most important.Your bra should be a more sturdy uplifting type and if the bust of the dress is too big, it is easier to take that part in then to try and make the waist bigger.
Once the 60s arrived, things changed pretty dramatically in terms of undergarments and push up bras will still get the best fit with the majority of styles. By the mid to late 60’s the dress shape had loosened and pretty much anything can be worn under them.
I dont feel there is any real need to refer to the bras of the 70s (not that many were even wearing them) or the 80s for that matter as by that time, the over all standard of bra shape is one that is still mainly used today and therefor poses no difficulties in getting the right shape for your dress. So I guess the moral of the story is dont be disappointed if you find the perfect dress but the fit in the bust is all wrong. There are ways to fix that! (in general, by plenty of padding)