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Plus Size Vintage

VivaciousLady

New in Town
Messages
21
Location
WA State
Hey gals,

Thank you for this thread full of resources. :) I must have at least 50 tabs open right now, LOL!

I spotted this dress on Old Navy's site. Of course it is not in XXL- does anyone have it in their stores??? I get really annoyed as I finally decided to shop at ON, and they never have any of their dresses in XXL size. :eusa_doh:

I just love that dress... figures! :rolleyes:
 

BeBopBaby

One Too Many
Messages
1,176
Location
The Rust Belt
If it makes you feel any better, I tried this dress on at Old Navy a couple months ago (it came out with the summer clothing a while back) and it was very unflattering in cut. It was not cut well for a larger sized sized gal. The waist was also empire length, i think it would have been much more flattering had the waist band been at the natural waist.
 

VivaciousLady

New in Town
Messages
21
Location
WA State
Oh dear, thanks for letting me know BeBopBaby. I seem to have bad luck at ON with their tops. Pants, on the other hand, I am always going a size down. I got a great pair of swing dance pants there. Weird!

I'm up in the air about getting a girdle. Is it worth it? Does it really help (allow you to fit dresses better)? Do you gals wear it every day or only with dresses? [huh] Sorry for all the questions... just curious :)
 

Lady Day

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
9,087
Location
Crummy town, USA
I dont wear a girdle for everyday, but if I wear a dress, I do wear a shaper. Its like a flesh toned biker short deal. Not only does it smooth my lines, but it keeps me from getting chub rub :eek:

Just My Size makes a great shaper that you can get a Walgreens or CVS for about $6 a pair. I wear those for everyday. :)

Hope this helps,

LD
 

katiekat

New in Town
Messages
13
Location
Washington State!
I'm a rather round girl, and I swear by Spanx if I have to wear some sort of bodyshaper. It's most definitely not vintage, but until I can either get my hands on a sewing machine, or drop the extra person I seem to have permanently attached to my middle, it's what I've got. :)

:eek:fftopic: What part of WA are you in VivaciousLady?
 

RetroQueen

Familiar Face
Messages
53
Location
Milford, MI
I saw it mentioned earlier in this post, but I thought I would mention it again, the reason that you often see such a small waist measurement in vintage clothing is because the ladies did wear foundation garments. I wear a steel-boned hourglass corset, which cinches my waist down 5 inches and I also wear the bike short shaper to smooth out my figure and minimize the ridge that the corset causes around my hips. My measurements with the corset is 49" - 34" - 47". And yes I can still eat while wearing it (although I eat smaller portions), and I do not feel faint. :) But I did not get down to this size right away, I had to work down to it by consistently wearing the corset to get used to the feel of it. The corset can be a controversial topic and may not be for everyone...but I wanted to mention it.

Also, I think you would find variations in the sizes and the way garments fit not only because of the difference in the way companies size, but also because from what I understand ladies used to always have things altered to fit their shape properly. So a size 18 in one garment may fit well, and in another may not because they have been altered to fit the original owner.
 

VivaciousLady

New in Town
Messages
21
Location
WA State
katiekat, I'm in western WA-- ever heard of Kitsap County? :) Thanks for your reply btw. I have the Rago one (Corselette?) bookmarked, but just am not 100% committed to getting the stockings and so on just yet -- I am thinking of Spanx myself, but wasn't sure how well they worked. I do a lot of swing dancing, too, and can't decide if foundation garments will help or hinder that!!

Lady Day, d'oh! I was just at Walgreens, buying some cold cream after reading THAT thread from here... *sitting here all refreshed feeling, great tip by the way* :eek: Thanks for the tip-- I'll have to look!

RetroQueen, I actually have a corset for 1800s reenacting, but I don't think it would give me the right silhouette lol !

Thanks again guys, you are great! ;)
 

RetroQueen

Familiar Face
Messages
53
Location
Milford, MI
VivaciousLady said:
RetroQueen, I actually have a corset for 1800s reenacting, but I don't think it would give me the right silhouette lol !

Probably not. :) I wear an hourglass style which gives me more of the 50's nipped waist look.
 

lisa

New in Town
Messages
1
Location
Island Lake Il.
RetroQueen said:
I wear a steel-boned hourglass corset, which cinches my waist down 5 inches and I also wear the bike short shaper to smooth out my figure and minimize the ridge that the corset causes around my hips. .
Holy Buckets! 5 inches? wow.. I have never measured myself in a girdle but I never imagined they could do so much!

I have a fuller figure and have been having trouble finding vintage dresses to wear... (44 36 46 without undergarments)
 

ITG

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,483
Location
Dallas/Fort Worth (TEXAS)
lisa said:
Holy Buckets! 5 inches? wow.. I have never measured myself in a girdle but I never imagined they could do so much!

I have a fuller figure and have been having trouble finding vintage dresses to wear... (44 36 46 without undergarments)
Lisa, I know what you mean. Sounds like we're about the same size! Most of the vintage clothes I find are teeny tiny.
 

VivaciousLady

New in Town
Messages
21
Location
WA State
I don't know about you ladies, but after seeing so many glamorous movie star portraits I fall into the perception that that's what everyone looked like back then. (My common sense is vacationing in Maui during these times apparently)

I found a really interesting site, Square America that has "found" vintage photos. It is great to look through these photos as pretty much all shapes and sizes are represented. :) (I particularly like the photo booth pages...)

The crazy thing is that while looking at these pictures, I couldn't help but admire how many ladies on the forum here really have the vintage look nailed! :)
 

Caroline

One of the Regulars
Messages
244
Location
Hyde Park Mass, USA
Miss Dottie said:
However, I have seen quite a few snappy vintage inspired things at torrid.com.

Hello ladies! In my never ending quest for cheap goods online, I see that Torrid.com is having a MASSIVE clearance on the clearance stuff. I've never ordered from them so I can't chime in on quality, customer service, or fit, but since they've been mentioned here I thought I'd point it out. There are some cute dresses and even some bridal items in the dress clearance. Happy hunting!
 

Miss Dottie

Practically Family
Messages
663
Location
San Francisco
VivaciousLady said:
I don't know about you ladies, but after seeing so many glamorous movie star portraits I fall into the perception that that's what everyone looked like back then. (My common sense is vacationing in Maui during these times apparently)

I found a really interesting site, Square America that has "found" vintage photos. It is great to look through these photos as pretty much all shapes and sizes are represented. :) (I particularly like the photo booth pages...)

The crazy thing is that while looking at these pictures, I couldn't help but admire how many ladies on the forum here really have the vintage look nailed! :)

Wow! What a great site, VL! Thanks for sharing!
 

DillyDolly

New in Town
Messages
8
Location
Texas
Plus Size Vintage?

I have a lot of vintage inspired pieces, but I'm wondering if anyone has any good sources for plus size vintage? When I say plus size, I don't mean a 14-16, I'm extremely busty and it's hard to finds anything. Thanks for any information in advance.
 

December

One of the Regulars
Messages
297
Location
Hampshire, England.
Oh I know the feeling!

The only thing you can do is shop around. Try ebay, where vintage pieces are often listed with measurements, using the size selection in the side bar.

Try on all pieces in vintage shops.

It does exist- I regularly find 40"+ clothes, you just need to be patient and look closely.
 

Lady Day

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
9,087
Location
Crummy town, USA
DillyDolly said:
I have a lot of vintage inspired pieces, but I'm wondering if anyone has any good sources for plus size vintage? When I say plus size, I don't mean a 14-16...


Hi :)
I think this would be a great time to lay out some guidelines I have discovered via trail and error when trying to find plus size vintage.

-check out the sizing guides in the sticky at the top of the Powder Room forum. It will give you a good estimate as to what sizes were common in those times.

-Vintage sizing for larger sizes went by bust size after size 20 (38" bust) so a size 40 would be a 40" bust and so on. When you mentioned sizes 14 and 16, you are talking modern sizing which has gotten a lot of vanity sizing thrown in. You would do best to chuck sizing numbers all together and go with simple bust/waist/hip measurements in everything.

-when looking at plus size vintage on eBay or other sites, take into account the amount of ease you will need to make it fit correctly. If the measurements for the garment are 47" in the bust, and you are 47", chances are you wont be able to breath :) I give myself a fair amount of ease depending on the era the garment is from. If you do get a plus size garment from online, make sure you also know the upper bust and arm hole measurements, as well as length of torso. The worst thing you can do is get something that fits in the bust, but the waist makes it look empire when its not 'sposta be :eek:

-I personaly got tired of ill fitting garments and decided to make my own repo. You will find plus size patters a lot more readily available than you will find the garments. What better time to take up sewing?! :D

-I find it easier to invest in larger size accessories (shoes, jackets, stockings) when I can find them, gather a modest collection of actual vintage garments, and then for daily wear, knock out a few repos to fill in the gaps.

A big reason you dont find too much larger vintage is a lot was hand made, because department stores only went up to a certain size, then it was either mail order (thanks Lane Bryant) or make your own. Smaller quantities of that along with the 'use it up' mentality of the time meant less survived.

*whew*
Hope that helped. There is also tons of info in this thread, I suggest a skim of it at least.

Good luck!

LD
 

DillyDolly

New in Town
Messages
8
Location
Texas
Thanks for the responses. I'm even having a hard time with patterns. With measurements of 56 40 52, there's not a lot out there. I've actually bought a couple of inspired/repro at Lane Bryant for cheap. I have a 40/50's party dress and a two 20's-30's style dresses. I would just love to find something really vintage if I can. I will keep an eye out :D
 

inge77

New in Town
Messages
18
Location
Philadelphia
try Amazon Dry Goods!

DillyDolly said:
Thanks for the responses. I'm even having a hard time with patterns. With measurements of 56 40 52, there's not a lot out there. I've actually bought a couple of inspired/repro at Lane Bryant for cheap. I have a 40/50's party dress and a two 20's-30's style dresses. I would just love to find something really vintage if I can. I will keep an eye out :D
Hi Dilly Dolly, For vintage patterns that come in real plus sizes, definitely try Amazon Dry Goods' pattern catalog. They sell patterns for repro. clothing of about 1450-1980. I'm about to order some myself!!:) :)
 

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