A Stylish Stout Woman at the Beach, 1953

Found photo

In the 1920s, makers of plus size clothing, what was then called “stoutwear,” invented different names and sizes for different kinds of larger bodies.  A big breasted figure with a relatively small waist was named a “stylish stout.”  It was certainly better than the name given to shorter plus size women—the “stubby stout.”

The older woman on the right certainly fits in the stylish stout category. I’m imagining that she was on summer vacation but didn’t want to appear on the beach in a bathing suit. Since she still wanted to catch some sun, she wore a shirtwaist dress with short sleeves. The light colored fabric was a nod to the summer weather.  Her large bust makes her waist look tiny. Why the handbag? Perhaps she was on her way to the store.

And is the voluptuous young woman on the left her daughter?  If so, we can perhaps see how the daughter’s figure might look in a few decades.

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