Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wee Women


petite2
Pictured Above: Sacony advertisement featuring members of the Rockettes in acetate dresses made for petites (Life, 1953)

While The Boy's mother explored my Etsy stock yesterday, she asked me a question for which I (rather embarrassingly) had no solid answer: When did petite sizing first appear? 

As a certifiable pocket person, a professional historian, and a vintage clothing dealer, I decided it was practically my duty to know this. After significantly more virtual digging in the University archives and collections than I had anticipated, I came upon a few New York Times articles from the mid-1920s that satisfied my mission. The richest of these artifacts is excerpted for your pleasure below. Viva la little women!
 

7 comments:

Michelle Gartner said...

I am not sure but I think sizing was a little more standard back in the day. Now I don't have any clue what size I am because one brand runs small and the other large and then some in between... I love your header by the way. (glad I followed the link from Twitter)

sarah louise walker said...

That was a very interesting question indeed, and I loved that you wrote about it. I really like the last line about purses, I don't think they take that into consideration anymore, sadly!

avintagespirit (Lizzy) said...

That was an interesting question, that I hadn't really thought about. That article you located is really fun ("wee women" hehe), and being a history geek I found it especially interesting.

pineapplemint said...

if there are any women more sensitive than those who have accumulated too much flesh...

hahaha!

Pretty Little World said...

I had no idea about this either! Thanks for finding the info!

It seems like the way that a petite garment is structured has also changed with time. The vintage dresses I come across marked as petite usually have a short torso and long skirt, whereas new petite clothes often have a regular torso and short skirt.

Great post!! You're going to have me thinking about all sorts of vintage clothes-making questions today!

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

How funny! Y'know, I've run across a couple Sacony dresses in the estate we purchased from a very petite lady. I wasn't familiar with the label, but perhaps they specialized in petites. This woman has some of the biggest hems I've ever seen on a skirt/dress. I am wondering if she purchased this way, had them hemmed, or hemmed them herself.

Jessica Cangiano said...

As a fellow pint sizeian, I have honestly wondered about this point, too. Thank you very much for digging up a great answer. Love this post!


Wishing you a stellar November, honey!
♥ Jessica