It doesn’t need mentioning that the size categories used in garment stores, nowadays, are Extra small, Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL & Plus. But back in the 40’s they were termed as juniors, Misses, Women’s and Stout. Yes, stout was the term used for plus size formal dresses, then.
It is pleasant to know that even in the mid centuries, all types of body’ sizes were considered. During the 30’s the designing involved, line drawings which were not so accurate about men and women body shapes, which reflected in the designs. So the Stout or Plus were irrelevant.
If one flips through the catalogue of the 40’s, it can be seen that equal importance were given to plus size formal dresses vis-à-vis other sizes. Quite impressive! Certain techniques of Plus sized clothing of the forties, still remains relevant in today’s’ designs. For example,
Dark solid colors, like dark red, navy blue, black, sailor blue etc. were used in the forties, as also today, to give a slimming effect for the plus sized bodies.
Vertical pleats: All of the skirt’ dresses have long pleat lines on the front. Here the pleats don’t add volume they add vertical lines which helps in the slimming effect.
Floral designs or vertical stripes: Repeating floral patterns and stripes conceals the plus size by optical illusion, giving a slimmer look.
Plus size dresses are widely available nowadays, with the evolving society where all taboos are getting dissolved and plus size users are more open to place themselves in society.