In 1954 the average woman was 157.5 cm (5' 2") high, weighed 57kg, and measured 94-71-99cm (37-28-39 inches)
Comparitively, the average woman in 2005 measured 162.5cm (5' 3") high, weighed 67kg and measured 99-86-104cm (39-33.8-41 inches)
If you buy vintage patterns or clothes online, go by the actual measurements of the garment, and not the sizing. As you can see there is a vast different between vintage and modern sizes
Stockings & Suspenders
Seamed stockings are both a blessing and a burden to the vintage lady - will those seams never stay straight?! And those garters that suddenly release your stocking, causing the shame of suddenly ending up with a bunchy stocking around your ankle in the middle of the street! We recommend a 6 strap garter to keep those pesky seams in line, preferably one with strong metal clips for peace of mind (and they last longer!). There is no shame in wearing pantyhose either, this was invented in 1959, and there's a reason why it became so popular - no visible lines under those figure hugging pencil skirts, and freedom from the restrictions of tight girdles. Grab yourself a pair of seamed pantyhose if you're worried about authenticity - we won't tell !
True vintage style starts from the first layer you put on in the morning. Invest in a good fitting bullet bra, long line bra, girdle or corsolette to give you the perfect retro shape. While everyone wants to be seen to have authentic vintage undergarments, the reality is that the modern reproductions are better in so many ways. They are more comfortable for all-day wear, made of more hi-tech materials for a better fit and to let your skin breathe, and best of all you don't need to worry about them getting destroyed in the wash like delicate vintage garments.