Fatties demand froofy Fifties frocks!

There are a lot of things that I wish came in my size. But near the top of the list are poofy vintage ’50s dresses, like this:

I’ve always drooled over dresses like these when I come across them, but I know they there’s no chance of finding one in my size unless a plus-size manufacturer starts making reproductions. Which was driven home to me by a post called Why Can’t I Find a ’50s Dress That Fits?, which I found through another one of Sal‘s link roundups.

Some of it just…made me laugh.

That’s the#1 question I get in my inbox. Other versions are, “Why are the waist sizes on all your 50s dresses so tiny?” or “My measurements are 36-30-37 (or 42-37-44, or 39-33-38). Do you have a 50s dress that will fit me?” In fact, I get this question so often, I am going to address it here for all of you who have been frustrated in your search for an authentic vintage dress.

36-30-37? Ha, try 51-44-48.  I gave up on finding authentic ’50s dresses in my size a long time ago.  Not because there weren’t fatties in the Fifties, but because pretty poofy dresses weren’t made for them either.

Most of the suggestions that the blogger gives seem equally ludicrous to me. Buy separates instead of a dress? Wear a corset? Have a vintage dress altered to fit me? Buy a dress from the ’60s instead of the ’50s?  Yeah, none of those are going to help me.

I’m sure the suggestions are useful for many women, so I’m not denigrating them. But they’re just more evidence of how thoroughly fat women are, and have been for a long time, marginalized in the world of fashion.

So, plus-size clothing makers, listen up. You already make a decent amount of flapper, rockabilly, and Old Hollywood-style glam lacy dresses. Why not start making some gorgeous pastel frippery as well? For inspiration, I present the following vintage dresses from Etsy:

This one is a little different, but equally deserving of plus-size copying:

I would so seriously love to see Domino Dollhouse, Kiyonna, or ASOS Curve start making dresses like these.  *sends them telepathic hints, and hopes they’re reading my blog*

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5 thoughts on “Fatties demand froofy Fifties frocks!

  1. I’m a little smaller in the bust and bigger in the hips than you, but I can almost squeeze into the 4x from Bettie Page Clothing. Other than that, I just have to make my own.

  2. Plus Size 50s Prom Dresses are available 🙂
    there are retailers who specifically make dresses in the above fashion to custom measurements, and sell off the rack- Dolly Couture sells up to a size 18, and from there it would go custom sizing. as for Authentic vintage it is possible to find it: the caveat being it will sell out EXTREMELY quickly because it’s a sought after size and style
    . I have found a few Swap/Sell pages on facebook have been really great for this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/241038785936927/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/369735976429282/ Because Plus Size vintage is *rare* the communities that support it are pretty tight and are very friendly/supportive.

    Asos has sold similar styled 50’s prom dresses in the curve range usually in a price range of $150-230 dollars such as: (http://images-ff.asos-media.com/shmotterstorage/4276/large_717333c1-3135-4007-8728-d74baa71f6dc.jpeg).

    Whirling Turban is one of the brands to make authentic style Repo 50’s dresses to custom measurements: http://whirlingturban.com/
    Dolly Couture is known for 50s/60s Vintage Tea Length style Repo dresses: mainly as wedding dresses but she can make them in ANY size (note I have purchased a custom made Dolly Couture dress for my wedding based off 2 styles the Beverly which is a wedding dress and the Miami Beach, which is a special occasion dress)
    http://dollycouture.com/

    Here are a few Etsy Designers I’ve had success with
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/CheriseDesign
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/VigilanteLabs
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/MissBrache
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/GinAndSinEtsy

    for a cheaper option there is also Chic Star- this also sold on Domino Dollhouse. I dislike the fabrics they use as they are both scratchy and cheap.
    http://www.chicstar.com/

    Pinup Girl Clothing is in the process of expanding the plus line they have from 2X (2X generally fits up to a size 18/20) to include 3X and 4X. Hell-Bunny is another 50s Repo Brand that goes to 4XL- the majority of the halter style dresses have a full elastic back with shearing which then enables the dress to fit a varying number of bust sizes. Bettie Page Clothing (similar to Pinup Girl Clothing and Hell Bunny) sell up to a 4X, the 4X really measures out to a size 18/20 depending on measurements.

    this seller on Etsy is well known for her Authentic 50s Dresses, and she has carried many in plus sizes: http://www.etsy.com/shop/butchwaxvintage

    my measurements are 47-49 bust, 38-41 waist and 48-52 hips. I hope this helps in your quest to find foofy 50s dresses be it quality repo or authentic.

  3. Have you checked out yystudios on etsy? Expensive but all custom and such high quality fabrics and construction. So glad I am learning how to sew. Not the best option for everyone, and time consuming, but it feels really empowering.

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