How do We Measure?

We are asked over and over to sort items based on modern day sizing. So we have done our own customized chart to help give you an idea of what size each item is. This approximate size equivalent is also listed on each items description. This chart can also be found on every individual item's page throughout the entire site. You can also sort and shop specifically by size using the Shop by Size menu on the site.

Remember when in doubt - grab a measuring tape and measure something you own that fits you well with a similar cut and compare what your garment measures against our listed measurements! Everything is deliberately measured by the garment and not by the girl so you can do this! Just grab a similar item, lay it flat, and compare its measurements to the piece you are interested in!

All measurements are taken flat across the garment from side seam to side seam. We will often measure coats and jackets the same way but INSIDE the garment so you don't take the bulk of the coat into account. Any construction notes that might effect this method of measurement taking are noted in the descriptions given so please read those carefully. When you compare the bust remember most garments have cup size built into the front so make sure the back measurement matches up with your own dress and then if you are not sure if the cup part will work - just email and ask! Some items will have a bit of stretch to the fabric but are measured in their un-stretched shape or a range of inches are given to help you know how big it can go. 

Where We Measure

  • The Waist is at the natural waist unless indicated as empire.
  • An Empire Waist is measured at the seam just under the bust line.
  • The Hips are measured across the widest point of the hip area from side seam to side seam, approximately 10" down from the waist seam.
  • If it says the hip measurement is free or open that means in comparison to the rest of the measurements it is a free or open size
  • Shoulders are measured shoulder seam to shoulder seam flat across - if it has shoulders and no measurement is given its usually because there is no defining seam so it will work on a variety of sizes as it will drape where it needs to.
  • The Sleeves are measured from shoulder to end of the cuff or hem of the sleeve
  • The Bust is taken under the arm at the seam to under the arm. Again, note that this is measured across the back and there will be extra fabric built in for the bust area on 98% of garments
  • The Bodice is the length from shoulder to waist or neck to waist as indicated and is taken from the front of the garment at the approximate mid-point of the shoulder or neck, to the waist seam.
  • If there is a large banded seam at the waist this will be provided as a separate measurement
  • Skirt or Pant from waist to bottom hem is taken at the mid point of the front waist to the bottom hem
  • The total Length of a garment is taken if there is no defined waist seam. It is done from the mid point of the neck to the bottom hem

How We Decide on Size

Please remember that items are sorted by approximate size equivalents and some may fall under more then one category. Items listed under a specific size have been sorted based on the above chart. Please use it to check against a garment that fit you well.

Most vintage was not tagged with sizes and even if they are they do not match modern sizing at all - the result of made to measure!

When we assign a modern size we defer to the measurement that affects fit the most. For example if a garment has teeny shoulders and is full everywhere else it might be slated as a XS or SML but at first glance seem like a large. So it is important to check every measurement before buying please!

Remember that you can have items tailored once they arrive. Many items made before the 1960s where made specifically for one individuals measurements so they do not necessarily follow ANY set measurements, so there is no harm in you tweaking something so it is perfect for you! Just find a really great tailor or seamstress you trust.

We Send Items Professionally Cleaned

Shop knowing our garments are chosen based on the Shrimpton Couture Standard of Excellence - meaning each item has been professionally, specialty dry cleaned, or cleaned by hand when necessary. They have been properly pressed and are odor free. Items are only posted on this site if they are in excellent to mint condition.

The only exceptions to this rule are pieces that are very old or very delicate. These are sent with as much care as we can personally give to them but may still require specialist cleaning down the road. In rare cases, some items may have only been spot cleaned. This is always noted in the listing.

Vintage does mean pre-worn and loved so you cannot expect items to be like buying brand new retail, but the items we choose for the site get pretty close or are! Again, we only post items that are in excellent to mint condition..

If there are flaws that go outside of the normal part of aging, they are described.