Sizing is very difficult on vintage clothing. In different eras people had different body types and ways to size clothing.
What may be a 4 today may have been an 8 or a 10 in a different era. Therefore the only way we can really tell a fit is to measure
an item in inches. Our policy is to measure as accurately as we can bust, waist, hips, and length. *Bust is always measured armpit
to armpit (seam to seam) FLAT. *Waist is measured seam to seam FLAT. *Hips are often not necessary to measure unless the item
is fitted at the hips. *Length is measured shoulder seam to hem. So that if an item measures 14" inches flat at the waist,
it is a 28" inch waist. Anyone with a 28 1/4" inch waist should not be looking at the item, it will not fit. If the item has
"give" (can be stretched) we will measure both stretched and unstretched. So measure a comfortable fitting item of your own to
You might think it is difficult to actually wear vintage clothing in your real life. Not so. Anyone can carry it off. You just need to know what to wear it with.
If you are new at this remember one thing, pretty much anything can be worn if you match it with something new.
This is the easiest way. Any vintage top can be worn with a pair of great jeans. Most vintage bottoms can be worn with a great tee shirt. Almost all vintage dresses can look great with a
jean or leather jacket and a pair of boots or flats. This way you can make a statement without "going all the way", if you are not the pin up, jitterbug, tattooed, dancing queeen.
HOW TO TELL WHEN YOUR VINTAGE CLOTHING IS FROM:
*Peter pan collars - small rounded collars found on jackets, coats and blouses. Were popular in early 1960's.
*One shouldered dresses and tops are charactersitic of the 1970's disco era.
*Bracelet length sleeves on jackets and coats are typical of the late 1950's.
*Uneven and jagged hemlines (what we call 'hankerchief hem' today) were at the height of fashion in the late 1920's evening wear and reappeared in the late 70's.
*The empire line - dates a garment to the early 1960's.
*Halter neck dresses and tops are a distincitve 1950's shape.
*Sweetheart necklines are generally 1940's.
*If a dress has it's waistline at the hips it may well be the Roaring 20's.
The care labels (eg washing instructions) we see inside today's clothing were introduced in the 1970's. so if you have one of these inside your garment, you can be sure that it's 70's or later. Although do be careful, check that it has not been cut out, easy to tell by material remnant.
Most clothes made in the 50's were made by the wearers themselves or by dressmakers, so dont be surprised if they dont have a label in them. Generally only the top-designers had clothing labels.
Looking at the labels themselves can be a good indication; eg 1930's was art-deco style lettering and the 1960's had bright and playful designs.
have a good look at the zipper or other fastenings. Zips were rarely used before 1940's, plastic zipper dates to the 1960's. So any clothing before the 60's is likely to have a metal zipper.
make sure you get accurate measurements as a size 12 from the 60's may be a size 8 by today's clothing standards!
This guide has been compiled in reference to 'Viva Vintage' by Trudie Bamford, Penguin Books 2003.
Terrible picture of me Halloween 2009, wearing vintage 50s
(note saddle shoes!)