Vintage clothing fits differently than modern clothing, which is cut loosely to fit a wide variety of body shapes. Vintage clothing is cut much closer to the body than you may be used to. Older garments often do not contain elastic or stretch in fabrics. For this reason, it is important that you allow enough ease to move comfortably while wearing your vintage garment. They were often tailored to fit an individual woman and evidence of seams and darts being taken in or out is not uncommon. For this reason, it is often possible to have a vintage garment altered to fit you if your measurements are off by just a bit.
MEASURE YOURSELF FOR VINTAGE CLOTHES
Use a dressmaker’s tape measure, which you can get at your local fabric store. Measure yourself over the undergarments you plan to wear & not over your clothing.
BUST: measure over the fullest part of your bust while wearing a bra.
UNDERBUST: measure around the fullest part of your ribcage, about midway between your bust and waist.
WAIST: measure around the smallest point of your waist where it naturally curves in.
HIP: measure around the fullest part of your hips. This is usually about 8″-9″ below your waist.
SHOULDER TO WAIST: Measure from the top of your shoulder, where a normal shoulder seam would lie, down the front, following the curve of your bust.
LENGTH: measure from the top of your shoulder, where a normal shoulder seam would lie, down the front, to the point you want the garment to end at the hem.
Hat sizing conversion (measuring on the interior):
20.50″ = sz. 6.5
20 & 7/8″ = sz. 6 & 5/8
21.25″ = sz. 6.75″
21 & 5/8″ = sz. 6 & 7/8
22″ = sz. 7
22.50″ = sz. 7 & 1/8
22 & 7/8″ = sz. 7.25
To measure for vintage shoe sizes, measure from a pair of shoes that fit your feet comfortably. Use a dress makers tape to measure the length of the shoe on the interior and the width of the shoe at the widest point (the ball of the foot) on the interior. Hell height is left up to the wearer as to what is most comfortable to walk in.