Tag Archives: sizes

The Acme Dress Form, 1956

At first glance this seems like a really good idea, an adjustable dress form that could be used by women of varying sizes and ages. The examples show a slim teenager, a young woman, and their mother all using the … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Off to a False Start? The US Government’s First Attempt to Standardize Sizes

Finding a sizing system that suits most women is the gold standard for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers themselves. During the Great Depression, the US government decided to do something about the confusing array of methods used by manufacturers.  Using an … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, 1940s | Tagged | 3 Comments

Lissmode Half-Size Dresses, 1931

In my search for the origins of half sizes, I happened upon a pamphlet called “How to Sell and Service the Half-Size Customer.”  Published in 1931, it was put out by the Jack Liss Dress Corporation.  Part a basic guide … Continue reading

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The Half Size Brand Leslie Pomer

Regular blog readers know my fascination with half sizes, a category designed specifically for shorter and wider women. Although half size clothing existed before World War Two (and part of my quest is to discover the origins), business boomed after … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, 1970s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Harford Frocks and the Older Woman

The 1947 packet for a Harford Frocks saleswoman contained something for almost everyone in the family, from young children upwards. There were school clothes for girls and boys, outfits designed for teenagers, and even a few things for the man … Continue reading

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Dorothy Thompson Wears a Size 20, 1955

Known for her hard hitting reportage about global and national politics, famous journalist Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961) was also interested in clothes.  In 1955, she wrote a column called “I Wished They’d Remember Me” in which she lamented the lack of … Continue reading

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Half Sizes Part 5: The Record in Montgomery Ward Catalogs

I’ve long been fascinated by the category of “half-sizes,” a term now associated with clothing for shorter and wider women.  But until the US government issued standardized sizing guidelines in the 1950s, the term “half size” could mean just about … Continue reading

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“Stout” Sizes at Montgomery Ward

In 1912, the Montgomery Ward catalog launched a new size range for larger women.  Originally called “stout” sizes, the company expanded its standard size range from a 32 inch waist and a 42 inch bust in 1900 to a 40 … Continue reading

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Made to Measure Clothing from Montgomery Ward

The big American catalog companies that started in the late nineteenth century—1872 for Montgomery Ward and 1888 for Sears—fueled the American ready to wear industry.  In order to supply clothing to far flung parts of the United States without easy … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Height of Chic—Sewing Patterns for Older Women, 1938

While leafing through the 16 page brochure, Butterick Fashion News from April 1938, I knew right away that this page was dedicated to patterns for older women.  What were the clues? First of all, the drawings were different.  While other … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, General | Tagged | 1 Comment