Monday, July 19, 2010

exciting news: I have an ass.

So I decided to stop dithering and start a blog. Mostly because I keep buying pretty, pretty things and would like to share this fact with more people, but also because sometimes I have Thoughts! about Important Things! And while I might not actually be able to take myself seriously, hence the exclamation points, I still like writing them down.

For instance, today I was thinking about the fact that if you have, say, hips that are 42 inches around, it is difficult to find vintage clothes that fit. Even if you're small enough on top to fit into things, only full skirts will fit most of the time. I'm not, actually, plus size-- in the upper range of straight sizes, yes, but most of that's down to height and an inconveniently large pelvis. But I still get frustrated, because sometimes it seems that all vintage blogs everywhere are run by women with waists I could put my hands around. (I have large hands. But still.) And I want the pretties, too.

There are good reasons for the dearth of vintage, especially from the 30s-50s, in smaller sizes-- people were smaller on average back then, larger clothes were frequently cut down to fit successively smaller people, most women wore body-shaping foundation garments that let them fit into the clothes Nature didn't intend them to wear unaided. But what it comes down to is that I have a goddamn difficult time finding cute vintage to wear, and that is distressing, because I don't want to have to buy a girdle.

I have a small section of my garment rack (there's not enough room in my closet, so I have a supplemental garment rack. What?) devoted to "should I ever lose 15 pounds, I will wear these." This is probably mildly unhealthy of me. The dresses are awfully pretty, though.

So, what are our solutions, as bigger-than-average wearers of vintage? Well, there's learning to sew. This may also entail learning to regrade patterns, because of course most extant vintage patterns are for smaller sizes too. There's buying repro instead of vintage, which has a lot of advantages. Repro clothes come in a wide range of sizes, and you can safely chuck them in the washing machine. But they're also frequently more expensive than vintage-- I can reasonably expect to get a cute, wearable vintage day dress for under $40, while a similar repro dress may cost twice as much.

Mostly, though, it seems like the answer is to keep being diligent and do a lot of digging. Hit your thrifts and local vintage stores regularly, develop a critical eye for plus-size clothes that might be cut down to fit you, and carry a tape measure EVERYWHERE. I'm totally not kidding about that last one; knowing my measurements and carrying a tape measure means that, if I do find the dress I want and can't try it on, I don't have to just eyeball it and hope for the best. Instead, I can which out my tape measure and find out absolutely for sure that the dress I want is three inches too small in the waist. Sigh.

As a consolation, have some pretty clothes that should actually fit a modern size 10-12, and that are actually available for purchase from assorted Etsy sellers!

1. Factorygirl82 2. biretu

3. Reneesance 4. 1stlove

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