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Hollywood waist

Josefly | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I thought I knew what a Hollywood waist was, but now I think I was wrong. I saw shorts in an online catalog with the waist and it looked completely different from what I expected. Can anyone tell me what the characteristics of this style are?


  1. kaitydid | | #1

    from what the article in threads was, i thought it was an above waist with no seaming at the waist, and it uses darts or pleats to shape it at the top.

    1. Josefly | | #2

      Yes, I read that article, too. But high waist skirts and pants have only recently come back into fashion, and I thought that the term has been used for the past 2-3 years to describe a method of attaching elastic to the waist without a casing, with a smooth waist instead of the bunched or gathered look usually associated with elastic. Do you know the type of elastic waist I'm talking about? Is there a different name for that? I'm afraid I must've had "Hollywood waist" confused with some other name.

  2. Teaf5 | | #3

    Hollywood waist means a fitted waistline with a facings rather than a waistband.  It was very popular on the A-line skirts of the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the hourglass shape was in vogue.  It can be used on a high waist, a natural waist, or a low waist/hip hugging waist.  Most high waisted pants are faced rather than banded, so they're also Hollywood waists.

    1. Josefly | | #4

      Thank you so much for clearing that up for me. The walking shorts I saw in an online catalog must've had the facing stitched down about an inch or so from the top edge, making it look more like an applied waistband. There were belt loops also. I'm so glad I finally understand the idea. Do you know the kind of elastic application I was trying to explain? Where wide elastic was sewn to a self-facing, then folded down inside the waist and tacked only at the seamlines? It looked like a smooth faced waistline, but there was some stretch, no gathering or puckering as usual with an elastic waist. It was usually used with knits, I think. That's what I thought a Hollywood waist was, being unfamiliar with the term, and maybe it was called that since it had the same smooth, unbanded look.

      1. Teaf5 | | #5

        Since the folded elastic waist you describe doesn't have a separate waistband and is self-faced, it could be classified as Hollywood.  I don't think the term is very technical or an industry standard; I suspect it was a catchy marketing term introduced in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  I would use the term "self-faced elastic waistband" for the technique you've described.

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