Buying Vintage Clothing Online
It is good to know what your measurements are and how to properly take them.
GOOD VINTAGE FIT TIP: We recommend printing this chart off and noting your measurements in the column on the right. Be sure to have your actual measurements noted AND the measurement you will want with "ease" added to that.
Ease is a little more space in the garment that lets you actually move in it. Ever been stuck in a dress that you got into in the dressing room but was unable to move in once you did? Maybe that's just me, but the point is there wasn't enough ease for me to put my arms up to get out of the dress. Good thing I am great at wiggling... I eventually got out of it, eventually.
On non-knit items here are the guidelines for adding ease:
1.5" to 4" bust ease
1" waist ease
2" hip ease
2" hip ease
So, if you have a 36" bust then plan on purchasing items that measure 37.5" or more. If the item is a knit or has stretch to it than you can go smaller if you are looking for a tight fit.
GOOD VINTAGE FIT HINT : If you are purchasing a piece of clothing for a special event, we recommend that your wear the under garments you will be wearing on the day of the event WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR MEASUREMENTS! IF you do not wear a push up bra and Spanx on a daily basis but you are going to wear those items on your wedding day, have them on when you take measurements. It is impressive how many inches these things can shave off a belly and/ or a booty!
These guidelines are for garments that are fitted. A 40's retro wiggle dress will look better with a tighter fit. Like this one from Wear It Again. As you can tell, this dress looks AWESOME on the model. The measurements and description provided are clear so you know what to expect when it shows up at your door!
Whereas if an 80's style slouch or baggy fit is desired, a bust measures 48" and you are a 38" bust than this garment will work for you provided the more finite measurements are suitable. In the case of this dress from The Wishing Wardrobe the hem of the shirt tapers and ties just below the hips. You will want to make sure the length of the top and the size of the hem will work for you. You must use your best judgement.
If I still lived in Maine I would love to have this lovely wool dress from MySweetiePiePie! It would be perfect for layering over what I call "Slidey Pants" . Most of all, I love that it would grow / give me a little extra room when I needed it to after a long winter of hibernation! A knit item like this definitely has a bit more give and the amount of ease needed will be substantially less than in the bombshell number above.
I hope this has been helpful! Happy hunting!