100,000 US Women measured for 1940s Dress sizes

WPA measures US women up for standard dress sizes –

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1940s Fashion Report for Glamourdaze – Jan 1940. USA

At the L.Bamberger & Co store in Newark, New Jersey, stylish stouts, junior misses, half size women, extra talls, and all other types of women born equal but definitely not in equal proportion, are now being measured as part of the WPA project for standardising sizes of women’s ready to wear garments.
The WPA ( Works Progress Administration ) hopes that at least 100,000 volunteers will let themselves be measured to try and help reduce the annual $10,000,000 bill for misfits and alterations. Detailed measuring instructions are contained in a 50-page manual, and include 59 different measurements, all to be taken in centimetres.

The measuring starts with taking weight and height of subject. ( above) Almost life sized charts guide the WPA workers. Cotton brassiere and pants are part of WPA equipment and are laundered after each wearing.

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Body marks made with skin pencils serve as points of reference for measurements. Marks shown include neck base, sagittal plane, arms-eye, greatest extension of bust, trunk line, average waist level. Girth of sitting spread! – important in cutting women’s skirts, is taken with subject sitting erect on table too high for feet to reach the floor. Her knees touch the edge of the table.

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Vertical trunk girth – an important measurement for designing swimwear, is taken by passing tape over shoulder and under crotch.

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Height of tibial – is related to skirt lengths. The observer should squat at side with eyes at the level of the gluteal fold.

Girth of sitting spread! - important in cutting women's skirts, is taken with subject sitting erect on table too high for feet to reach the floor. Her knees touch the edge of the table.

Abdominal girth – is taken with tape at point of greatest abdominal extension.

© Glamourdaze 2014
source Life Magazine Archive.

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