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Is there a difference between vintage and modern body measurements?

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The answer is “Yes” but not as much as you may think. Below are 3 different size and measurement charts, the first two are vintage and the 3rd is modern.

–Vintage size chart = 1930s Australia’s The Mutual Store

–Vintage size & measurement chart = Purple Kitty, LLC

–Modern size & measurement chart = Crafty Yarn Council

Now let’s take an example chest size of 34 inches (vintage and modern) and compare according to the three different size charts presented. As you see,  there’s no significant difference except for shifting of sizes for vanity purposes…at least that’s my interpretation. Maybe the difference was in the height of people during previous generations and not so much in circumference because of vitamins and supplements so readily available now.

Comparison of bust size 34 in 2 vintage and 1 modern size and measurement charts:

Era Bust Waist Hip Size
Australia’s The Mutual Store, 1930 Vintage 34 38 SSW (slim, small, women)
Purple Kitty, LLC Vintage 34-35 28 37 16
Crafty Yarn Council Modern 32-34 25–26½ 35–36 Small

Below are three different size and measurement charts to examine.  The first two are vintage and the third is modern sizing by Crafty Yarn Council.

Australia’s The Mutual Store, 1930s:

The above clothing chart (in inches) courtesy of http://www.circavintageclothing.com).

vintage-women-measurement-chart-and-sizes-1920s-at-vintageprojects.space

According to circavintageclothing.com, the first part of the 20th century Australia used an alpha system offering a much more custom or tailored fit:
–XXSSW = Extra, extra slim small woman.
–XSSW = Extra slim small woman.
–SSW = Slim small woman.
–SW = Small woman.
–W = Woman.
–XW = Extra woman.
–SOS = Small(?) outsized
–OS = Outsized.
–XOS = Extra outsized.

Purple Kitty, LLC’s  Vintage measurement & size chart:

Vintage Pattern Sizing 12 14 16 18 20 40 42 44
Bust 30 -31″ 32 – 33″ 34 – 35″ 36 – 37″ 38 – 39″ 40″ 42″ 44″
Waist 25″ 26 1/2″ 28″ 30″ 32″ 34″ 36″ 38″
Hip 33″ 35″ 37″ 39″ 41″ 43″ 45″ 47″
Shoulder Back 12″ 13″ 13 3/4″ 14 1/2″ 15″
Back of Neck 4″ 4 1/4″ 4 1/2″ 4 3/4″ 5″
Armhole Depth 7″ 7 1/4″ 4 1/2″ 4 3/4″ 8″
Waist to Underarm 7 1/2″ 8″ 8″ 8 1/2″ 8 1/2″
Underarm Sleeve Length 16 1/2″ 17 1/2″ 18″ 18″ 18 1/2″
Sleeve Width at Underarm 11 3/4″ 12 1/4″ 13″ 13 1/2″ 14″

Modern Woman Measurements & Sizes by Crafty Yarn Council:

Woman Size Charts
Size X–Small Small Medium Large X–Large 2X 3X 4X 5X
Chest (in.) 28–30 32–34 36–38 40–42 44–46 48–50 52–54 56–58 60–62
Center Back 26–26½ 27–27½ 28–28½ 29–29½ 29–29½ 30–30½ 30½–31 31½–32 31½–32
Neck–to–Wrist 66–68.5 68.5–70 71–72.5 73.5–75 73.5–75 76.5–77.5 77.5–79 80–81.5 80–81.5
Back Waist 16½ 17 17¼ 17½ 17¾ 18 18 18½ 18½
Length 42 43 43.5 44.5 45 45.5 45.5 47 47
Cross Back 14–14½ 14½–15 15½–16 16½–17 17½ 18 18 18½ 18½
(Shoulder to shoulder) 35.5–37 37–38 39.5–40.5 42–43 44.5 45.5 45.5 47 47
Arm Length 16½ 17 17 17½ 17½ 18 18 18½ 18½
to Underarm 42 43 43 44.5 44.5 45.5 45.5 47 47
Upper arm 10¼ 11 12 13½ 15½ 17 18½ 18½
25 26 28 30.5 34.5 39.5 43 47 49.5
Armhole depth 6–6½ 6½–7 7–7½ 7½–8 8–8½ 8½–9 9–9½ 9½–10 10–10½
15.5–16.5 16.5–17.5 17.5–19 19–20.5 20.5–21.5 21.5–23 23–24 24–25.5 25.5–26.5
Waist 23–24 25–26½ 28–30 32–34 36–38 40–42 44–45 46–47 49–50
58.5–61 63.5–67.5 71–76 81.5–86.5 91.5–96.5 101.5–106.5 111.5–114 116.5–119 124–127
Hips 33–34 35–36 38–40 42–44 46–48 52–53 54–55 56–57 61–62
83.5–86 89–91.5 96.5–101.5 106.5–111.5 116.5–122 132–134.5 137–139.5 142–144.5 155–157

The big takeaway is: create your own size and measurement chart! The above size charts are generalized and standardized to provide a starting point.  Craft Yarn Council has clear visuals and instructions on how to measure your body so your creations fit you well…click here.

Craft Yarn Council is a treasure trove of everything yarn, knitting and crochet how-tos, measurement charts for the entire family, how to take your body measurements and much more.

If you have a passion for working with vintage patterns, visit my Etsy store by clicking here VintageprojectsStore

Sources:

Craft Yarn Council     https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/

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