Yesterday I did a post, illustrated with vintage patterns, showing which styles are best for each of the three main body types (shaped, semi-straight, and straight).
Are you a curvy girl with a shaped figure? Then the shapes of the 1950s will flatter you. These two patterns are reproduction of two designs from the 1950s. I really like that the big companies have reproduced some of their archives (but sadly they don’t seem to cover the 1960s). The silhouette is now quite different, with lots of fullness at the hip, which serves to make the waist look tiny. Of course the drawings are exaggerated but this look basically evolved from Christian Dior’s post war New Look. The full, petticoated skirt really makes the torso appear diminutive. The close-fitting through the bust is often achieved with princess lines, allowing a nice long slim diaphragm. The shoulders are natural and soft, probably without pads, although the skirt would be supported with at least a stiffened petticoat, possibly more. The necklines are often open and a little bit revealing, making the neck look slim and long. My personal view (as someone with the traditional hour-glass figure) is that these very exaggerated skirts are not as easy to wear. I prefer the 1940s skirt look, although the upper half of these dresses are very fetching. For shaped women I suggest trying them more as a knee-length dress, with some of the fullness removed.
I have to admit I favour the 1960s. I just love the simple styling that allows neat tailoring. The ideal body shape for the 1960s is a straight figure, summed up with the well-fitted sheath (the dresses on the left). The dresses on the right are more of a shift shape, with an A-line flared skirt, which was also very popular in the 1960s. The shift is a much looser fit than the sheath, shapes are rather better for women with hips and bottoms. However the most interesting about the sixties is that it is essentially a youthful silhouette (girls have straight body shapes, women tend to curves) although all these models appear to be in the 30s or 40s.
Although there is an association of 1970s clothes with extreme trouser shapes, huge collars and lurid colour schemes, in reality the 1970s produced a wide range of wearable dresses for shaped bodies. The simple shapes of the 1960s now have much more bust and waist shaping introduced. I especially like these empire lines which can really flatter shaped figures. We often see the nice slim fit through the upper body, a defined waist (often a high, empire waist that flatters a nice bust, and makes the legs appear longer. I noticed that Sewitorthrowit just made up this dress. I love her blog and it made me laugh that she had made this dress up twice (and hated it both times). With the more tailored styles we still see waist definition and elegant sleeves.
If you like the 1980s the patterns are really cheap. In fact most charity shops have them for 50p or £1. Your aunty will have some flappy blouses and enormous pleated trousers patterns in her store, for sure. The 1980s is also a decade that has a bad reputation, which isn’t really deserved. The best body shape for 1980s styling is also the straight or semi straight body. The fitted, column dress often has plenty of shoulder detail – often complemented by a dropped or absent waist and hip detail. The shapes are actually similar to the 1920s look, to some degree, but more relaxed.
I am going to stop at the 1980s; I cannot personally really discern clear trends as we went into the next decades and century. To sum up
Which decade do you like best?