General Comments on Measuring Directions

Both the corsetière and the designer are concerned in rendering Spencer Service. The corsetière supplies a description of the uncontrolled figure, accurate measurements of the controlled figure, and a description of unusual conditions. The designer then creates a garment which will fit the client, smooth out awkward lines, and give complete support to the abdomen and back.

All instructions should be written on the order form which is the connecting link between corsetière and designer. Do not send information on separate sheets. Avoid extremes in measurements.

On each order form there is a space--for your name and address--client's name and address--name and address of doctor if garment is prescribed by a physician--description of figure--set of measurements--the material--the style of garment and all special features which may be wanted.

All descriptions and measurements asked for must be given for our complete understanding of the client's figure and her needs. Make up the orders carefully, correctly, and com pletely, from the client's name to the last comment. If measurements or descriptions seem abnormal, check to make sure they are correct and then state on the order--" Measurements (or description) unusual but correct."


No measurements for a Spencer garment should be taken until you and the client are satisfied that all soft, movable flesh has been relocated by an adjustment of the figure controlling garment.

The measurements you send to us give our designers the picture of the client's figure. If the measurements are taken after proper flesh control, our picture of the client's figure is correct ; otherwise it is not.

This need for control is very important as the soft, movable flesh, especially through hips, abdomen, diaphragm, and bust must be distributed to give good figure lines.

If the client is a Spencer wearer the ideal garment to use for control purposes is the client's old Spencer. First remove it, mould the bones, and readjust it on the figure.

For clients who are new to Spencer Service, a Spencer Figure Controlling Garment or a Spencer Belt and a Controlling Bandeau are necessary, unless they are wearing some other garment which can be so adjusted as to give good control of the figure while measurements are being taken.

The Spencer Figure Controlling Garment has lacers at front, sides, and back, and because of this great range of adjustment can be used for figures of many sizes.

The Sample Belt is very useful when measuring for a belt. It is not so effective when measurements are being taken for a corset or Spencer-All, as it does not provide as much control of the diaphragm as is given by the controlling garment.


Careful outlining is essential if the corsetière is to visualise the finished garment. It assures the corsetière that bulges and curves are taken care of, and that heights above waist and lengths below waist conform to comfort, health, and fashion demands.

Straight pins should be used whenever possible. If they are used in lengthwise tucks of the undergarments, they do not slip. Safety pins may be used if necessary, although it takes much more time. Whenever possible, pins should be placed over the boning of the garment used to control the figure.

In each specimen outfit there are included two tape meas- ures. One has a buckle attached. The one with the buckle is to be used in taking the waist measurement. This tape should be left exactly at the waist where the measurement is taken. All measurements for heights above the waist are taken down to it. All measurements for lengths below the waist are taken down from it.


1. Outline waist with tape.

2. Outline top (for Spencer-All and Bandeau outline both bust and top edge) with pins.

3. Outline seven inches below waist with pins.

4. Outline bottom edge of garment with pins.

1. The waistline is a narrow line straight around the smallest part of the figure. With the client standing, locate smallest part of the figure at the sides, between the lower rib and the top of the hip bone. Place the tape measure at this point straight around the figure, parallel with the floor when client is standing. When the abdomen is full and high, there may be a tendency for the tape to slip up in front, and when there is an extremely hollow back there may be a tendency for the tape to slip down at back. In such cases it may be necessary to pin the tape in place.

2. After placing the tape at waistline and before taking any measurements, have the client sit down. Place pins pointing downward at each side back, at each under arm, at each under bust, and each side of centre front above waist, outlining just where the top edge of the garment is to come.

For the average figure the pins at back will be about 3½ inches above waist, under arm about 2½ inches above waist, under bust low enough to avoid having the new garment touch the bust when the client is seated, and front about 1½ to 2 inches above waist (slightly lower than the under arm). These measurements of course vary according to the needs of each figure and are given here as an example of well proportioned measurements.

Large figures and those with excess flesh above waist require a garment made higher than usual ; small figures, or those without excess flesh can wear a garment made lower than average. When the client's ribs are prominent, the garment should be low enough to avoid touching the ribs when the client is seated.

3. Have client stand, and place pins pointing upward exactly seven inches below waist, as follows :--At each side front, at each side hip, and at each side back.

4. With client standing, place pins horizontally to outline the bottom edge of garment as follows :--One at the side back where the buttock joins the leg in middle of leg, one at each side hip, and one at each side front.

The pin at side hip should be just below the fullness of the figure at that point, and is usually about one inch further down on the figure than the pin used to indicate the back length.

The pin at front should be at least one inch higher than the pin which indicates the hip length. For best proportions, plan to have the front one inch shorter than the hip on small figures, increasing to as much as two and one-half inches shorter than the hip on large figures.


For Spencer-Alls and all bandeaux the full part of bust must be outlined. Place pins pointing downward each side of front at the fullest part of bust, at each under arm, and at each side back. Be sure to put the pins at under arm and side back on a line with pins at bust and parallel to the waist tape.

The top edge of garment must be outlined for Spencer-Alls and Especially Designed Bandeaux. Place pins horizontally at each shoulder strap at side back, at each under arm, and at each shoulder strap at front. These pins should be placed about as follows on the average figure :--At back, about 5 inches, increasing to 6 or 7 inches above waist where there is an excess of soft flesh at the shoulder ; under arm 5 to 5½ inches ; front 8½ to 9½ inches.