Tag Archives: sizes

On the Road with Gloria Swanson for Forever Young

In the 1951 contract that Gloria Swanson signed with Puritan Dress was a clause promising that she would make a month long promotional trip every year to promote her line of Forever Young dresses.  Her archive is filled with documents … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, General | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The End of Half Sizes

The special category of half sizes, designed for shorter women with a “mature figure,” had about a seventy year history in American retail.  Although I’ve seen references in earlier years, it became an established concept in 1910s.  By the 1920s, … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Slim and Full Dresses in the Sears Catalog, 1965

The 1960s saw many fashion battles—pants, pantsuits, miniskirts, etc.  But when I was growing up at the time, I thought the biggest showdown was between the sheath dress (modern) and the shirtwaist (not).  Imagine my surprise to see versions of … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

The Roaman’s Catalog, 1971

While working my way through references to half sizes in Women’s Wear Daily, I discovered a new-to-me source of clothing for larger women, Roaman’s. It is an old company, beginning as a store front in Manhattan.  The first ads I … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Vogue Patterns and Half Sizes

Vogue Patterns came late to the half size dress business.  I’ve found offerings from McCall’s, Simplicity, and Butterick from the early fifties, but Vogue only decided to take this step at the beginning of 1960. Moreover, it was a very … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Life Imitates Art—Molly Goldberg Fashions

Not long ago I wrote about the play Me and Molly, in which the beloved Jewish-American character Molly Goldberg, played by Gertrude Berg, invented the category of half sizes for America’s older and wider women.  Not too long after the … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, General | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Today’s Fit on My Body—Vogue 1411 Pants

I took my own challenge to see if Sandra Betzina’s “Today’s Fit” line fit offered advantages for my own aging body.  The results were mixed, but I did learn a lot and got a new (if imperfect), comfortable pair of … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Today’s Fit Patterns by Sandra Betzina—A Line for Older Women?

In the Spring of 1999, Vogue Patterns launched a new line by well-known sewing expert, Sandra Betzina.  This wasn’t just a collection of new designs; instead, Betzina introduced a new sizing system that she called “Today’s Fit.”  “Today’s woman doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in 1990, 2000s, 2010s, General | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Pants (and Other Bifurcations) Go Mainstream, 1971

When did pants become acceptable garb for almost any occasion?  Of course that answer depends on where you look.  However, judging by the International edition of Vogue Pattern Book for August/September 1971, pants had really taken off. I counted nineteen … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Mannish Tailored Fashions for the Older Set

In a recent fishing expedition through interlibrary loan offerings I came across a fascinating title, The American Gentlewoman: Mannish Tailored Fashions. It lives up to its name. The author, (or “sponsor” as listed on the title page) was Sam Regal, … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , , | 5 Comments