“Rule of 10” will help gauge your figure

Do you know the ideal measurement for your figure? John Robert Powers tells you how to calculate them!

Compared with the American standards of the perfect form today, Venus would be out of the running — way out! Modern athletics and nutrition have streamlined the American woman. Today she is taller and casts a more willowy shadow than the woman of other times.

Women: Do you have the ideal figure? (1950)


Figures from the past: 1915, 1926, 1931 & 1947

1915 figure was really no figure at all. Straight up-and-down boned corset made women look bulgy. Clothes completed potato-sack effect.

1926 figure symbolized the “tubular twenties” with its straight, uncorseted figure. Boyish lines were unflattering to many women.

How the perfect woman's figure has changed

1931 saw a changing figure. Rigidly girdles, bias-skirted fashions were more feminine, but not exciting by today’s standards.

The perfect woman’s figure (1938)

1947 featured the padded-hip, full-skirted fashions and the famous “New Look,” which is as dead today as last week’s corsage.

How the perfect woman's figure has changed

Figure of the 1950s

Do you have the ideal figure for the 1950s?

How ideal is your figure? It is something you should know. There is a right set of proportions for every height and frame.

Method explained

The rule of 10, frequently referred to in this column, is the basis of the ideal. Your bust and hips should measure the same, and your waist 10 inches less than either.

But even though your measurements are correct by this rule, your figure may be out of proportion to your height and frame. Imagine a woman of 5 feet 2 inches measuring 38 inches around the bust and hips, and 28 inches around the waist! That’s hardly ideal for her!

There’s a difference

Don’t confuse frame with bone structure. Your frame refers to the breadth or girth of your skeleton. If your shoulders and hips are broad, you have a large frame; if they are narrow, your frame is small.

To simplify your calculations, my Physical Education Department made a table for you to follow. The figures are based on the woman with an average frame. If you have a small frame, deduct one inch to determine your correct proportions. If your frame is large, add one inch.

Women Do you have the ideal figure - Models in 1950

How to calculate

If you’re a short woman of 5 feet to 5 feet three inches, the following are your standard proportions: Bust, 32 inches to 33 inches; waist, 22 inches to 23 inches; hips, 32 inches to 33 inches.

If you’re a medium-tall woman of 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 6 inches. your ideal measurements should be: Bust, 34 inches to 35 inches: waist, 24 inches to 25 inches; hips, 34 inches to 35 inches.

If you’re a tall woman of over 5 feet 6 inches, you must stack up to these measurements for perfection: Bust, 35 inches to 37 inches; waist, 25 inches to 27 inches; hips, 35 inches to 37 inches.

Notice not one word has been said about weight. Your weight will be correct if your measurements are!

Lingerie girdles bras from 1950 (1)


About this story

Source publication: The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California)

Source publication date: January 31, 1950

Filed under: 1950s, Beauty & fashion, For women

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