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: