A few months ago I did a in-store seminar titles, Retro Fits For YOU and the idea of the seminar was to help women find some body positivity and give guidance on how to find the proper fit for retro style clothing.
Size is a sensitve subject with most women, we are surrounded by a world that is either telling us we're too fat or were too thin. We are confused by shopping either online or in a physical store, because of things like vanity sizing or labels like, 'misses', 'juniors', 'plus size', etc. We are taught to try and be "perfect", to eat right, exercise, dress in the latest fashions and never look like we're actually living our busy day-to-day lives. My reaction to all that: Giant Middle Finger. No ones perfect, so listening to these unattainable 'orders' from magazine's, social media and even from our own friend's/family is enough to drive a person insane!
Meagan, what does all this have to do with sizing and clothing? It boils down to the outlook we have about our own bodies, how judgemental, cruel and uncomfortable all the outside 'noise' has made our society of women see about themselves. How WE as women view other women due to the fact that we can be so harsh and criticial about our own selves. I personally never realized how self loathing my own Mother is about her own body. She stayed with me for two weeks and had next-to-nothing positive to say about her appearance, which makes me so incredibly sad as she's a beautiful and strong person inside and out. I could write pages and pages of on the subject of #bodypositive, but let's get to some advice and discussion of fit in retro style clothing. We can't forget that dressing in retro is fun!!!
This is one of the first things I ask a gal who needs help when they are shopping and usually they will know their bra size (band and cup size), but will simply reply, "I don't want to know!" when I ask them about their waist size. Clothing brands vary from each other and can vary from style to style, so it's important to know your full measurements, especially when it comes to online shopping. It's helpful imformation for us sales gals and it's extremely important for your own sanity when you're looking at different size charts for individual brands and styles. The reality of knowing your actual measurements should not be painful or shameful, nor should be celebrated as either positive or negative, it's just a tool to help you shop and navigate throughout different retro style clothing brands.
Just remember: You are not a size label, you should not define yourself as a number.
Another way to measure yourself is with a roll-up measuring tape. If you do not have a cloth and/or vinyl type of measuring tape, use a piece of string and then compare the string measurements to a yardstick. When you measure for your bust, waist and hips, remember to wrap the clothing measuring tape and/or string taut, but not tight to get an accurate measurement.
All bodies are not created equal, so this is why buying off-the-rack clothing can be a hassel if you have areas of your body that (you consider) may be harder to dress. This does not mean you have a body that can't fit retro clothing, you have a body that is unique and wonderful and that may need to have a little tweaks done to the clothing.....not to your body! Proportions are something to consider when dressing retro, no matter what your size, shape height, etc., there are styles that will flatter you more than others and that is OKAY! Try it on, if it doesn't work, move on. It's just clothing, it doesn't define you! Of course, I'm not here to tell you what to wear, but here are some suggestions and thoughts on two of our clothing styles we carry at Cats Like Us.
Halter Swing Dress
Lucinda RIP Tide Swing Dress is flattering style on everyone.
+sweetheart neckline is great for all bust sizes
+nips in at the waist to help create the classic 1950s silouhette
+full skirt that flows away from the body and is comfortable
+halter straps flatters the shoulders and neck area
Black Fancy Vamp Dress is a classic stunner! We don't call this style 'body conscious', we call it body liberating!
+comfortable peasant style top can be worn on or off the shoulder
+great silouhette for all bust sizes
+stretch bengaline material hugs your body and is very comfortable for walking/sitting
+versatile wardrobe staple that can be styled many ways
The clothing styles from the 40s, 50s and 60s were all about celebrating women, so we believe it's only natural that a modern women would be attracted to these kinds of styles and that's why we focus on these eras of retro clothing at Cats Like Us. We are here to celebrate women, your bodies and your individual style!
Here is more information written to help you shop and explore retro clothing!
You are beautiful!