Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's in a Size? 1950s Misses Sizes

Sizing standards have changed so much over the years, it's hard to know what size one wears any more.  Add to that the fact that in the 1950s, garment manufacturers made clothes in many more sizes than their counterparts today, and the choices can be dizzying.  This week we're looking at the various size ranges manufactured in the 1950s and what that means for you when you're shopping for a vintage dress.

If you're tall and slim, you probably wear a misses size.  Misses sizes are perfect for the slender woman with wide shoulders, a long waist (at least 16" shoulder to waist) and long legs.  The size numbers are even and in the 1950s started at 8 and ran up to a 20.  The clothes shown here are all from 1951.  All four women are different ages, but all wore a size 12.

 Every woman should have a black crepe dress in her wardrobe.  This one by Herbert Sondheim has that touch of sophistication with it's soft skirt and flashes of yellow at the throat and cuffs.

This young looking grandmother wears a gray wool suit by Anna Miller.  The stiffened swirled peplum is a feature that she has the height to wear successfully.

If you're a young woman who likes to experiment, try a coat and dress ensemble instead of a suit.  This one by Pat Warren for Nantucket Naturals is in three tones of yarn dyed gray wool jersey.

A teenager tall enough to wear a misses' size will find that most vintage dresses that fit look too mature.  Try separates instead!  A plaid cotton shirt and pleated gray flannel skirt by Toni Owen are simple and smart.