I spend much of my day measuring garments, measuring ladies to create garments for them, measuring models to fit them into garments...well you get the idea.  Suddenly I realized that the most common thing I hear from customers, friends and family is "Can you make those styles in plus sizes" or "I don't think vintage comes in my size".  The truth is most of the girls asking this question are not even close to what I would call a plus size, or need something custom made to fit their measurements.  So here's the opinion of a vintage dressmaker on why girls' idea of size is so misconstrued.
  So here goes, here's the biggest secret of all...are you ready for it?!  Almost every girl can find something wrong with how her body looks in almost any garment.  Thin, svelte, curvy, plump, lanky, petite...all of us.  I remember being on vacation with a friend and his uber gorgeous girlfriend, like you don't even want your man in her general vecinity, she's so hot, girlfriend.  We all went to the beach and she wore this crazy bath robe type coverup because she was embarrased to be seen in a bikini. This was the exact moment my crazy uncaring, delusional self-confidence was born.  If this bombshell thought she was any less than perfect, then obviously I couldn't trust my own self image.  I decided I want to be hot and that's how I'm going to feel about myself, end of story.  So long story short, unless you just decide to feel a certain way and say the hell with picking yourself apart, you're always going to be able to find something wrong, even if you have to make it up.  Also remember that hot girl you'd give anything to look like might just wear a bathrobe to the beach!
  So maybe you're not "plus size", or maybe you are, but either way you're probably lacking in the undies department.  Yep you heard right, lack of undies, er, undergarments.  The truth is most women up until the late 60s wore a lot more under their clothes than the women of today.
From shoulder to hips, women wore shapewear.  It was worn under most any garment to smooth and give a smaller waist.  It was even worn when exercising!
The use of corsets and girdles gave women a flawless looking shape.  Over time women gradually moved towards more freely fitting clothes and less restrictive undergarments.  Even as fashion moved back to fitted styles the shapewear wasn't quite brought back as a staple to everyday dress.  I think it's a pretty common misconception amoung younger women to think that women were just built completely different back then, but the truth is they just had wonderfully constructed undies.  Today we can luckily avoid steel boned corsets and opt for something much lighter, like spanx.  Most vintage dresses were made to be worn with shapewear and will fit much better when worn over the proper undergarments, no matter what size you are.  So if you want to rock a tee shirt and jeans, flowy dress, or boxy one piece go for everyday undergarments, but if you want to get the most out of tighter fitting pieces wear underwear that adds smoothness and curves.  You'll feel more confident and comfortable if you do!

     Yes, a lot of vintage is tiny tiny, but it was made in many sizes, and it can be found in most any size; it is just a bit harder to find the larger sizes.  It's not because larger sizes didn't exist; it's actually just because it wasn't kept.  Smaller sizes were cherished and held on to, larger sizes weren't. Quite a bit of  girls either lose weight at some time or intend to lose weight, and the first thing they do is get rid of what they considered "fat" clothes.  Whether they were actually heavy or just viewed themselves that way, they just didn't cherish the garments that reminded them of it.  Sad, but true.

 So to address the final issue, does vintage come in larger sizes, or can the "New Look", pinup, 50's styles dresses be made to fit women who are an above average size?  I say above average size because that is actually the definition of plus size.  Yep, if you're larger than the tiny "average" bracket you're a plus size.  I personally disagree with this, and when asked for a plus size I always assume the garment needs to be made completely custom with different proportions and construction.  To me, if you can find your size in a typical clothing store, then you aren't plus size.  The truth is, the difference between a size extra small and extra large is only 10 inches!  Not even a whole length of a ruler all the way around your body seperates a size 0 from a 16.  
  Many of the dresses from the 50s have very full skirts, and some have empire waists, which are perfect for women who have a bit more weight from their mid section to hips.  Shift dresses of the 60s are usually boxy and not quite as form fitting, and it's pretty common to find 32-34" waists.  Dresses with full skirts give curvy girls a great hour glass shape and can be easily made to fit many sizes.  So vintage or new, something can be found for almost any girl, any shape.  
  Svelte or plump, lanky or curvy, we all can rock vintage styles, new or old.  Just remember to buy some awesome underthings!  Take your measurements with your new undies on if you're looking for something form fitting; you'll be suprised to find how much better you match up to the vintage proportions this way. And if you're too tiny or too large there are so many great places that make vintage inspired clothing in all kinds of sizes to flatter any body.  Finally, remember: plus size is defined as "above average" and it would be silly to beat yourself up for being above average!

Thank you to all who read my blogs.  As with every post everything is lighthearted and mostly opinion and I always love to hear from all of you and different opinions, questions, thought or even senseless ramblings you may have!  I never write anything I intend to be mean spirited or hurtful so please do the same.
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