Clothes sizes have changed enormously over the decades so vintage sizes are often different to their modern equivalents. A 1950s dress in size medium could well be a size small or even extra small in today’s sizes. You only need to look back at the whole debate about whether Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 to realize how measurements have changed!
There’s also the added problem of sizing differences in America, Europe and the UK, a size 10 in the UK is a size 6 in America. So, here are my top 5 tips for buying vintage clothes and coping with the sizing differences. I hope they’re helpful!
Always know your measurements
Pop your clothes on the stool…
Never buy something that will fit you after you diet
Ask for measurements
Waists used to be a lot more defined that they are now, so if you’re buying online it’s always worth checking the exact sizes for vintage clothing, especially for mid-century fashions with nipped-in waists. If the seller hasn’t listed the bust, waist and hip measurements make sure to ask them, otherwise you’re just playing size Roulette!
If you can’t find it, make it
Larger sizes were a lot more unusual in the post war period than they are now, so it’s generally harder to find vintage fashion in plus sizes. A great way around this (if you’ve got nimble fingers and some spare time) is to make your own clothes. It’s really easy to get hold of vintage sewing patterns and vintage fabric. If you don’t fancy this there are some great companies out there who will make authentic clothes for you from vintage patterns and fabric.