I get a lot of questions about sizing, so I’m hoping this sizing guide will be a helpful reference for those buying vintage clothing. Vintage sizing for women’s clothing (from 1930-1960) is vastly different than by today’s standards. What is considered a 1950’s size 20, for example, is close to a modern size 14. And in reverse, a 28″ waist by today’s standard falls into a size 6, but by vintage standards is a size 12.
Did you know that while today’s ladies sizing scale starts at 0 or 2, in the 1930s-1950s the sizes started at 8, 10 or 12? This is why there is the misconception that women during that time period were larger than the standard woman today. In fact, the average woman today is actually taller and wider.
The only true way to know if a vintage garment will fit you is to know your measurements. I’ve created two visuals below to show how to measure yourself and how to measure a child. (Let’s thank these paper dolls I had laying around for their mad modeling skills. Bravo ladies.)
When I measure garments for Thrifty Vintage Kitten I place the garments on a wood floor and take the measurements laying flat. I find this to be the most accurate way to get the measurements. Bust, hip, and waist measurements are taken flat and then doubled. I make sure to list all measurements in each garment’s listing, so there shouldn’t be any mystery on whether an item will fit you or your child.
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful! Let me know what you think. Any tricks you’ve learned that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!
I’m in the process of processing and listing a bunch of 1940s and 1950s baby clothes. I could just die from the cuteness. Here are some I’ve listed this week. All images are linked.
Be sure to stop by www.ThriftyVintageKitten.com for even more awesome vintage baby items!
Whoa. It’s vintage baby clothes galore over here at Thrifty Vintage Kitten! I’ve been super busy processing some 50+ baby clothes over the last couple of weeks. They’ve all been washed, ironed and photographed. Day by day I’ll be adding more to the shop! The stuff I’ve found is so exciting. 1950s rompers, 1960s bellbottom pants WITH suspenders (killing me with cuteness), AND more 1940s little girl dresses that you can wrap your arms around.
Vintage clothing is fun, unique and hugely popular right now. (Be sure to check out my store: It’s also old, which means those funky grandma odors can linger. Fortunately, there are a few tricks to removing body odor, mildew or musty odors, and that unmistakable mothball smell from your treasured garments.
1. GET SOME FRESH AIR. The easiest and cheapest way to remove the odor is to hang your vintage garment outside for a few days (bring it in at night). Hang the garment dry, before you’ve attempted to wash it. Alternate between sun and shade. Direct sun helps break down the moth ball smell. But be careful to not let the clothing sit in the sun too long…You don’t the vintage garment’s color to fade.
2. VINEGAR. Vinegar is especially effective at removing odors from vintage clothing. Put 1 cup in your washing machine at the beginning of the wash cycle. You may need to run the load more than once. After the first load, pull the garment out and run a smell test. Make sure your garment is machine washer safe.
3. GIVE IT A COFFEE FIX. For leather, place garment in a black plastic garbage bag with some dry, unused coffee grounds. Leave sealed for a few days.
4. BAKING SODA. Put your item in a paper bag or pillow case with an open box of baking soda for at least 24 hours. You may also sprinkle baking soda into the pockets and interior of the item or fill a sock with baking soda and leave it inside.
5. SMELLEZE MOTHBALL DEODORIZER. I have not personally tried this product, but it claims that it removes the smell by attracting it and capturing the molecules from the air. It’s a small pouch that you can hang in a closet or place in a drawer. Just place the mothball affected clothing on hangers, hang the bag right near the clothing, and smells will be absorbed. The pouch can be regenerated by placing in the sun for a few hours. This product costs about $12 per pouch and you can find it on the Internet. If you try this let me know how it works!
TIP: Avoid steam ironing and high dryer heat when trying to remove moth ball smell from your vintage clothing. This can actually cause the smell to set into the clothing, making it even more difficult to remove.
Side note: Can anyone tell me why anyone even uses moth balls? Do people have an excessive moth problem in their closets? If so, you might want to call an exterminator! The only moths I’ve ever seen are OUTSIDE my house.
For the best selection of vintage clothing (without the funky grandma smell!) including vintage baby clothes, vintage dresses, and vintage home decor, go to www.ThriftyVintageKitten.com
Christy (Thrifty Vintage Kitten)