Thursday, 7 July 2011

Altering your vintage dress

Fitz Alterations on Drury Street

Corseting added to dresses to increase their size

We often get asked about the sizing of vintage dresses and about the possibility of altering them so here's a whole blog post full of information!!!
It's a fact that women were smaller decades ago, the earlier the decade the smaller the frame!
It's nearly impossible to get larger than a size 10 from the 1920's. This was an era when boyish figures where all the rage, busts were non-existent or strapped down.
Diets were completely different, there was no such thing as fast food, quick fixes or convenience bites. Work, meals and play required a lot more time and preparation.
The 1930's and 40's began to embrace curves...slightly. But this was war time and rationing played a huge part on everyone's lives.
It is possible to source size 12-14's from these decades but it can take more time, some dedication and patience is required!
The 1950s embraced the womanly figure, waists were cinched in, busts worn high and pert and hips where accentuated and flaunted. The 1950s is probably the most popular style today as it was made to flatter a women's shape, not hide it. Sizing does increase from these periods but the waist was always the tiniest part.
The 1960s saw huge advances in technology which lead to manufacturing developments and the arrival of the dreaded fast food!!!
As food became more readily available and socialising became part of a lifestyle (and not something just used to snag a husband!) our sizing has increased. Vintage dresses from the 1960's and up will see the most diversity in sizes.

The reality of vintage sizing means that finding dresses above a size 16 is difficult. Unfortunately finding a dress above a size 18 is virtually impossible.

Dirty Fabulous does it's very best to source a wide range of dresses from all eras in a broad range of sizes. 
We want vintage fashion to be as accessible as possible!

Due to the marvelous fact that there is only ever one of each dress this does mean that alterations are necessary at times. Don't let this put you off.
We'll also be able to show you how your dress will look with any alterations.
Minor alterations in Dirty Fabulous are free, and larger alterations costs are minimal at €15-€50...Totally worth it!

  • If your gorgeous gown is too narrow and it has a zip down the back then a corset panel can be added to increase it by up to two sizes. This is an excellent option and very popular, especially for prom dresses.

  • If your dress is too large then it can be taken in up to too sizes, but it will never be altered at the bust so this part must fit.

  • If the dress you love has a side opening then unfortunately there is not a lot that can be done. Side zippers where popular in the 30's and 40's to give a lovely sleek silhouette, but they can be difficult to wriggle into!
Wearing vintage is a frame of mind, women in earlier decades spent more time and effort on dressing, it was an art form and a way of expressing themselves in a male dominated world...
Spend a little time on your vintage dress and you'll know it's worth it when everyone stops to ask "where did you get that fabulous dress?"

For fantastic alterations at fantastic prices we highly recommend
 Fitz Alterations on Drury Street. 01 6751818


1 comment:

ursula said...

Thanks for this info! I'm trying to find a vintage wedding dress and I couldn't work out if I could get something altered to be a bigger size!