Friday, July 8, 2011

Sour Grapes


Edie McGinnis called me this morning and asked me to go to the Garment District Museum. In the 1930s, Kansas City was the second largest manufacturing district. New York City was first. The old manufacturing buildings have been turned into lofts, restaurants and office buildings.

While walking through the museum, I was struck by the waistlines of the dresses. Take a gander at the one above. I'm wondering if women had internal organs in the 1950s....or if we with internal organs are a new development in evolution. How did the zipper close? This must be proof that girdles are be better than Spanx. Girdles created a rigid, controlled waistline.
In 1947, Christian Dior created a new look known as a wasp waist. The skirt was full and voluminous and the waist narrow.


Is she or isn't she breathing? I couldn't tell if she's real or just a great illustration. But no matter....she had a wasp waist and that's all that counts. Lucky gal!!!



The museum has a great poster for sale showing some fashions and the fabric used to make them.


Twirling in her rigid girdle. (You can tell I'm full of sour grapes today!)

Until later!

Alma

39 comments:

  1. The model in the second picture is totally Dovima!

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  2. Either people were much tinier than now or those girdles were miraculous. My sixteen year old daughter who wears a size 0 or 2 (and seems very thin to me) could not get the zipper to close over her waist when she tried on my mother's size 8 party dresses from the 50's.

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  3. She did not have drive through anything, there was no industry of junk food, food was only eaten at breakfast, lunch and supper - sitting down in the kitchen or dinning room..... and she walked and climbed stairs.

    Seems to me skirts are coming back, now if we could just get cotton fabric for our clothes - no spandx or strech I would be a happy campter.

    COW in Texas (crabby old woman)

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  4. I know honestly, when I look at pictures of some of these women I just can't believe it. Makes me kinda bummed too. Well, I feel we are more athletic now, yea, that's it, we are more athletic. Whatever!!! :)
    Julie

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  5. Hmmmm. Who has a waist that small LOL. Those dresses are so beautiful and feminine. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a revival of the cotton frock with matching shoes, handbags, hats and beautifully coiffured hair.

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  6. That's so bizarre! One always thinks of small waists with corsets, but not with girdles! One does have to wonder. Pretty cool museum!

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  7. I don't think my wrist is that small, but....... wait for it......


    I could probably wear the hat!! LOL!!

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  8. Sigh. I can still remember when that dress would have fit me. Wouldn't get past my shoulders now, but once . . .

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  9. I recently had the task of cleaning out my MIL's house and was shocked at the tiny waistline of her wedding dress! How could it be?
    I'm thinkin'...lousy food! :D

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  10. mmmm not saying word except i am bubble wrapped hahahahah ... i've never been that thin but adore the styles of these dresses .... i'm with you on the sour grapes hehheh love mouse xxxx

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  11. I watch I Love Lucy early every morning on Hallmark Channel, and have been admiring the dresses. The details, collars, cuffed sleeves, all are wonderful designs with full skirts to hide the hips that don't match that tiny waist!

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  12. Their figures remind me of Kate Middleton....I am so jealous of their teeny-tine waists!
    Elizabeth

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  13. Sorry "teeny-tiny" waistlines!
    - Elizabeth (again!)

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  14. LOL.....sour grapes indeed !! What the heck...girdles...I remember them well. Thanks for the memories!!

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  15. I remember my mother pulling on her girdle to get dressed for work. Plus, how did women survive in hot summer weather wearing those garments???? She had a 26 inch waist and was 5' 9"; however, I never had a waist that small, plus I am short.

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  16. The shape of "people" seems to have changed to me over the years. I am certainly not "tiny" -- I'm a healthy size 16. However, I do have an hourglass shape. I have a terrible time finding pants and skirts to fit me in the waist once I get them to fit in the hips. I have to alter purchased clothes or make my own. People today seem to be much straighter - not as much variation between the waist and hips.

    I love the fabric from the blue dress!

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  17. Love the dresses, but my waist was never that small - even as a baby, I think!

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  18. OMG! I am in love with that blue dress! I know exactly what you are talking about with the waistline! I watch a lot of the classic movies and always wondered about the waistlines of the women. I don't see that anywhere these days... even on "thin" women... I figured it must be the hormones in the milk and meat we eat changing our shapes? lol! Thanks for sharing some pics of the museum... I'd love to visit...

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  19. I remember my mother in the late 50's and early 60's wearing dresses like that, also the hat, gloves and matching handbag when going out. She had a tiny waist but I think there were more choices to be made with food in the late 60's and 70's, tiny waists disappeared or certainly the corset wasn't worn as much.
    Unfortunately I did not inherit the skinny waist gene from her!

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  20. Hmm, we may have bigger waists, but on the bright side, think of the choice of fabrics and thread we have nowadays, not to mention lovely stitching blogs!

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  21. In the 1950s (pre five babies)I had a 24" waist! No girdle! Of course, I was 18 years old, had no boobs, but 34" hips. I remember reading at that time that your breast and hip measurements should be 8" more than you waist. I was an A line before they called it that. Now I am 75 and we won't discuss sizes.

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  22. ...once upon a time, and this isn't a fairy tale!! When my daughter was going to get married, 15 yrs ago, she could not get into my dress, and she was and is tiny, tiny!! Especially the forearms, never thought I was that small - funny how we always see ourselves in a different light. I sure don't like how I look now though!! I had all ready posted, but couldn't help looking at those photos again!!! and dreaming!! LOL!!

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  23. We have so many photos of Mom and her friends in the early 40's dressing that way...what style...when she Dad got married in 1948 the folks in neighborhood called Mom his "big wife"...she was 5'4" and built like a movie star...but they were mostly 5' and under...

    Love that blue dress...

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  24. When women had their babies back then they only were allowed to gain about 10 pounds. I remember wearing a girdle mostly to hold stockings up but it did keep things nice and tight.

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  25. One of my relatives told me how she had bought a fantastic girdle in San Francisco when she was young. It squeezed he waist and seemed to push everything to a dizzying bosom. She put on a dress and went to dinner with a "very ice fellow"-- and ate too much-- and then, when she was laughing very hard, the girdle split!
    She got away fast, and never saw that guy again.

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  26. ...and they didn't even have photo shop...I could fit one of those dresses over my ankle!

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  27. The GIRDLE! I couldn't wait to get to wear one! It was a rite of passage--and it was a hand me down--LOL! After about a year of it I decided--why--I was tiny-skinny (5'6" and 101) and it only helded up hose--there was nothing else to tighten or smooth as I had nothing except for a bust! LOL--those were the days..... I wore my MIL's satin 1949 wedding dress for our wedding in 1974--and it was a tad big for me and she was tiny too....What memories!
    I didn't know there was such a museum in KC--will have to check it out sometime.

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  28. Oh--and I have the dress! It is all put away in acid free tissue ready for the hopefully next relative. It was wore by my MIL's sister too. None of my DIL's wanted to wear it so hanging onto it incase a grand daughter would like it!
    MIL has been married 62 years & we have been married 37 years this month.

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  29. Don't feel bad about those figures. I have a lot of vintage patterns and the busts are so small also. What grown woman has a 30 inch bust? But the hip measurements are always large in proportion. Everyone must have been pear shaped. When I got my measured for my wedding dress 33 years ago, my measurements were 35-23-24. No wonder my husband was in love with me! Too bad I can't say it's that now days!

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  30. Ah, girdles and garter belts...I remember them well! We've come a long way baby!

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  31. I remember my grandmother ALWAYS wore a panty girdle - she was about 4'9" and never weighed over 100 lbs - even in her 90's she still wanted that panty girdle. Bless her heart - i still miss her so much - Melody

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  32. Wow! And that was before the gym membership craze! Still, I am so glad we girls don't have to deal with girdles or corsets or pantyhose anymore!! Not comfortable while we're stitching!!

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  33. Great post! Love those dresses. I too have some vintage patterns and the sizes are definitely different from today's size charts. I wanted to make a dress for my son's wedding from one and the sizes are so odd I would have to stand on my head to wear the dress!!!
    My Mother had a 19" waist when she got married and she fit into her wedding dress on her 25th anniversary...even after 8 babies!
    She was tiny and my Dad was a strapping 6'3". I can remember him picking her up out of bed on Sunday mornings and carrying her to the breakfast table for her morning coffee!

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  34. Lately I have been watching a lot of I Love Lucy, and I always admire the fashion- Lucy was always so well dressed! I wish some of those styles would come back- I'd definitely wear them.

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  35. You know, I had a 17" waist back in high school - my mother made all my clothes . . . my dresses for school were "shirt dresses" and I loved 'em! Now, I think (at 62) that my waist is not quite that small - LOL! Your pictures brought back some nice memories - thanks!

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  36. I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i love so much these style , for wear and for life....!
    Manu

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  37. I remember back in the day. I was in high school in the early 1960's and wore those skinny dresses now is a totaly different story.

    I know it's this pre packaged food we eat also FAST food = fat girl.

    was that in Kansas City or New York? the museum

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  38. This dress and without a model presents a great August.

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