SOMEWHERE between the ages of eleven and fifteen, the developing figure of the young girl may reach a stage where some light kind of foundation garment becomes desirable. Girls in these early teens are just beginning to be figure-conscious. If they are the sort that runs to "puppy-fat," they may be acutely self-conscious. They want a garment to shape their figures a little, but they do not want to relinquish their little-girl freedom of movement, so they should be fitted with something as light and unrestricting as possible. At this age, girls are not yet fully developed, and they cannot be comfortably fitted in grown-up figure types of garment. Usually a pantie-girdle, which they can wear without stockings, and a shallow brassiere are the best things for them.
Young customers making their first appearance in the corset salon or "bra-bar" should be looked after carefully, for they are important potential customers, and they are likely to be intensely loyal to the store that serves them well at their first go. It is easy to treat these very young ladies condescendingly–and very bad sales policy! Their first corset is a tremendously important affair to them, and the fitter should realize the fact and deal with the sale in a way that makes it clear she thinks it important too.
These girls have usually slim, compact figures, with firm flesh, a high but not full bust, and large buttocks which make the waist look small and produce a waist-to-hip development of about ten inches. Some manufacturers make garments specially for this figure, but if choosing from ordinary stocks, the smallest garments in lightweight elasticized types are the ones to select. A point to watch in fitting is that any fastener on the belt should be far enough forward to avoid the hip bone, which, in this figure, is likely to protrude.
A little nearer maturity than the early-teens girl is the late-teens girl or junior Miss type. Her breasts will be a little fuller, and she may now fall into any one of the basic figure types, but her bones may still stick out a good deal, especially the bony rib structure.
Because of this tendency to boniness, the junior Miss should be fitted with a belt or pantie-girdle which does not come any higher up than the waistline. If it is higher, the belt will cut into her ribs and be very uncomfortable. A corselette may also be suitable, but young girls generally feel happier in a light belt and a dainty brassiere.
And on the subject of brassieres, it is important to take a measurement of the ribs below the bust for this type. The bust is likely to be small in relation to the chest and diaphragm measurement, and care must be taken to see that while the breasts are firmly fitted the brassiere still allows plenty of room for breathing below.
Many Junior Misses, before they reach full development, present a slim version of the basic hip-heavy type, with small bust, slender waist, and as much as a twelve-inch spring from the waist to the rather full hips.
But any of the basic figure types may be found among the junior women of late teen age; and in the same way junior type figures may be found among customers of all ages. It all depends upon the way the bone and flesh structure of the individual happen to develop, and that is why it is so extremely important for the corset fitter to know the different figure types and be able to recognize them whatever the age of the customer.