Sizing & Condition
Sizing Information or “Will This Dress Fit Me”?
To avoid disappointment and restocking fees, please follow the instructions below about how to measure yourself to ensure the item you want will fit you. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about fit via e-mail or phone before you purchase. When inquiring, please have your body measurements available.
Vintage clothing fits differently than modern clothing, which is cut loosely to fit a wide variety of body shapes. Vintage clothing is cut much closer to the body than you may be used to. Underarms are cut higher and shoulders and sleeves are more snug. For this reason, it is important that you allow enough wearing ease to move comfortably while wearing your vintage garment. Vintage garments should always be worn with care and consideration of their age. A garment that is too small for you may become damaged with wearing. It is very important to measure your body accurately and be honest with yourself to avoid this.
Vintage garments were often tailored to fit an individual woman and evidence of seams and darts being taken in or out is not uncommon. For this reason, it is often possible to have a vintage garment altered to fit you if your measurements are off by just a bit. We are happy to answer any questions about available seam allowances, darts, and hem allowances before you purchase.
The vintage clothing we sell was designed to be worn with proper undergarments, including a girdle or waist cincher and a proper supportive bra. While not absolutely necessary, it can make all the difference in how your vintage garment fits and looks while worn!
What is Ease?
Wearing ease refers to the difference between your body measurement and the measurement of a garment. A close fitting garment needs at least 1”- 2" of wearing ease so you can move and breathe. In other words, if the fullest part of your bust measures 36", a close fitting dress should measure about 37” – 38" in the bust so you can wear it comfortably. Many people prefer their garments to be a bit looser, and so would require more ease. Items such as jackets and coats need even more ease, as you normally wear another garment under them. A garment with sleeves requires more ease than one without.
How To Measure Yourself:
Measure yourself with a dressmaker’s tape measure, which you can get at your local fabric store. If you don’t have one available, you can use a piece of firm string that doesn’t stretch, mark your measurement, and then compare it to a ruler or yardstick. Remember to not pull the measuring tape too tightly. Be honest with yourself!
Measure yourself over the undergarments you plan to wear. Do not measure over other clothing.
Bust Measurement: Measure over the fullest part of your bust while wearing a supportive bra. Your bra size is NOT your bust measurement! If you wear a bra size 36C, your bust measurement is NOT 36"!
Underbust Measurement: Measure around the fullest part of your ribcage, about midway between your bust and waist. This measurement is crucial for tightly fitted dresses and evening gowns to ensure fit. We are adding this measurement in our listings where we feel it is essential. A proper long-line bra or corset can make the world of difference in fit at this area!
Waist Measurement: Measure around the smallest point of your waist where it naturally curves in. Relax! Don’t suck in your stomach or hold your breath, or you’ll end up with a garment that is too small.
Hip Measurement: Measure around the fullest part of your hips. This is usually about 8"-9" below your waist. Remember to relax!
Shoulder to Waist Measurement: Measure from the top of your shoulder, where a normal shoulder seam would lie, down the front, following the curve of your bust. Don’t pull the measuring tape flat or you’ll get a measurement that is too short.
Length Measurement: Measure from the top of your shoulder, where a normal shoulder seam would lie, down the front, following the curve of your bust, to the point you want the garment to lie. Remember, most hems can be altered to your taste.
How We Measure Our Garments:
All garments are clipped to the mannequin to approximate actual fit. Use the measurements given as your guide to fit, not the photos.
Measurements given are of the garment itself, not the body that will wear it. The best way to determine if a garment will fit you is to compare the measurements we give to a similar garment from your own closet that fits you well. We measure all garments flat on a hard surface.
A – Bust is measured across the front from underarm seam to underarm seam. Items with a very fitted bust or boning are measured all the way around at the bustline.
Not Shown – Underbust is measured about 3" below the bustline.
B – Waist is measured from side seam to side seam at the waist seam, or at the smallest part of the waist if there is no waist seam.
C – Hip is measured from side seam to side seam about 8”-9” below the waist.
D – Length is measured from the middle of the shoulder seam to the hem.
E – Shoulder to waist is measured from the middle of the shoulder seam to the waist seam. This measurement is not given if there is no waist seam.
F – Sleeve length is measured from the top of the armhole seam where it meets the shoulder seam to the end of the sleeve cuff. We normally only give this measurement for elbow length or longer sleeves. If there is no armhole seam, this measurement is taken from the neckline to the end of the sleeve cuff.
G – Shoulder to shoulder is measured across the back from the point where the shoulder seam meets the armhole seam at each side. This measurement is not given for garments without armhole seams.
Skirt Length can be calculated by subtracting E from D.
Our vintage garments are one of a kind pieces of history. Each item has been previously worn and well loved, and then stored away in an attic or closet for many years. Vintage garments should always be worn with care and consideration of their age. At Couture Allure any flaws or issues will be clearly described in the listing. Most often, these minor flaws are not noticeable and do not affect the wearability of the garment you are purchasing, but it is our policy to inform you completely before you make your purchase.
We clean almost all of our items in house before offering them for sale. Washable items will come to you freshly laundered. Non-washable items are put through a 45-minute cycle in a steam chamber here in our offices. When required, we will send certain garments out to be dry cleaned with an environmentally safe method. If you choose to do so, you may opt to have your item professionally dry cleaned before wearing. Exceptions to our cleaning policy include items with fur trim, fur coats, leather garments, items with non-permanent accordion pleats, items older than the 1940s, accessories, and items with elaborate trims that our dry cleaner refuses. If an item has not been cleaned, we will tell you in the listing for that item.
Note: Couture Allure Vintage Fashion does not guarantee any garment against damage occurring from mishandling, dry cleaning or home laundering.
We occasionally offer garments with great merit for sale in "As Is" condition. Those garments will be clearly listed as such.
Couture Allure Condition Ratings:
Mint – Perfect and pristine with no signs of wear. Usually has the original tags still attached.
Excellent – Has been worn, but has no obvious or notable flaws. These items have no holes, stains, fading, or odors.
Very Good – Has been worn and has noted minor flaws.
Good – Has noted flaws, but is still considered wearable.