1968 Sears Spring/Summer Fashions

My dad would never have understood my love for old catalogs. Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs arrived in our mailbox 3 times a year: Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter and the Christmas catalog with toys, decorations and gifts.

When the new one came, the old one went. Well, I’m just thankful that other families kept theirs, because where would I get one if they weren’t on ebay? I’ve bought very few at antique malls. They’re rarer than hen’s teeth.

Today I’ll post some ladies fashions. Hopefully I can get to the teen fashions, shoes and furnishings later.

Some women still wore hats and gloves to church.

There weren’t any formal fashions for juniors in this catalog. The girls in my 8th grade graduation class wore dresses similar to these.

I loved tent dresses. My mother made one for me in 1967 out of blue lace fabric and I had blue shoes to match. I wore it when we went to Washington, D.C. that summer. At that time, the stairs in the Washington Monument were still open to the public. My brother-in-law and I climbed them clear to the top. The only thing I remember about it was how tired I got and that I took my dress shoes off about half-way up and that we took the elevator down. I don’t even remember the view.

It’s amazing to think that I went up in something of that height. Now I don’t even like going up in tall buildings and certainly didn’t go to the top of the Empire State Building when we were in New York City.

The striped dress in the above photo is similar to one that I had. Instead of blue and green stripes, mine was orange and blue. And something else about those horizontal stripes: when I was 14, there wasn’t an ounce of fat on me and I could pull it off wearing horizontal stripes. I would never do that now.

These models are holding gloves but that seems out of place, because this type of dress is what my mother called a house dress. She wore them daily at home and for short trips to the grocery store or dime store. If we were going to Sears or church or a luncheon, she’d dress up a bit more. I never saw her wear slacks until after I was married. We have photos of her wearing slacks when she lived in California in the late 1930s and 40s, but at some point she went back to wearing only dresses. Possibly because she had put on a bit of weight. I don’t really know because she never talked about it.


Filed under 1960's, Ephemera, Family, Fashion, Hats, Vintage catalogs

14 responses to “1968 Sears Spring/Summer Fashions

  1. I loved all the memories this post brought back, Carla. My mother always wore house dresses when I was growing up too. I think that was kind of the “uniform” for mother’s, don’t you?

    Great stuff!

    • There were 2 sets of mothers in my neighborhood. My mother was probably the oldest one of the older ones, who wore house dresses. Then there were the younger ones and they wore slacks, capri pants and shorts, sleeveless blouses and sandals. It was a peaceful division; they didn’t mingle socially but worked together at church and school functions. It would be kind of like Aunt Bea and Laura Petrie living in the same community.

  2. I can understand your love for catalogs! I look at these fashions (I was 1 year old in 1968), and think that some of them would be fashionable now. My mom never wore house dresses, but my mother-in-law did for as long as I can remember. When she passed away in 2005, we went through her old things and found many a perma-press house dress. I have to say, clothing items and sheets laundered much more nicely back then without 100% cotton being en vogue.

    • My mother was absolutely thrilled when perma-prest fabric was introduced. Before that everything that we wore was ironed. It was a huge labor saving invention. She could’nt understand the popularity of all cotton fabric when it came back into vogue.

  3. Lucy

    I LOVE those dresses! Thanks for sharing~
    Last year I tried to sew a 50s style dress for my doll and it ended up looking somewhat lopsided because the material was not that easy to cut, but it was trememdous fun to do. Yes, I’m really addicted to vintage dresses!

  4. Lorraine

    I love this post! It brought back many memories for me. My mother made me a tent dress. It was a blue print and I still have a photo of me wearing that dress. I don’t recall seeing my mom in pants until the 70’s. I found this post from doing a google search on house dresses. I live in Florida and it’s been so hot here that I thought it would be a cooler to wear a house dress and I could go in and out of the house in it. The patio dresses that I see in the stores look like pj’s or bathrobes to me.

    • Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the comments!

      Dresses are so much more comfortable than pants (especially in the summer), especially because they’re cooler.

      I loved tent dresses! My mother sewed most of my clothes and she made me a couple. Lucky you – I don’t have a photo of me wearing one, but I have the memories.

  5. Jen

    OH, WOW! Thanks for posting these!!! I too have bought some old mags
    from my teen days! (1965-1971, Seventeens!, Plus some ingenues, Glamour) THANK YOU!!! 😀

    • Are the magazines you mentioned your originals?

      Unfortuately, most of mine are not. I only have 2 Seventeen magazines which I bought in 1973, everything else I’ve bought on ebay or at the antique mall.

      If you have a blog, please let me know. I’d love to see photographs from the Ingenues and Glamours.

      Thanks for visiting!

  6. Pingback: 1968 Sears Catalogue | Home Improvement Canada

  7. Doris John

    I just thought I would try to find some Sears catalogue 1969 girl fashions. I used to live in a small northern community and Sears was the only way to get new clothes.

    • I’ll look and see what I have from 1969. I always looked forward to getting the new Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs. So exciting to open the big mailbox and see one sitting there with all the new fashions. I miss those days.

  8. Matthew

    It amazes me how abruptly white gloves went out of fashion. 1968-9 were probably the last years they were “in”, with the latter year seeing them used only for accessory (this catalogue has women both wearing them and not), and I can’t imagine a single person wearing white gloves in 1970, not anyone in the mainstream at least.

    It makes me sad because white gloves could make a comeback but it would take someone BIG to populize them, and I don’t see Kylie Jenner doing that anytime soon.
    R.I.P. the white glove 1900-1969, you were the epitome of class and good up keeping

  9. Wearing gloves and a hat gave a woman a very dressed up feeling; my husband says he feels that way when he wears a suit (maybe once or twice a year).

    I miss gloves and hats. When we were in England almost 20 years ago, there was a shop across the street from Windsor Castle that had a large box with drawers for different sized gloves. I meant to go back in and buy a few pairs, but I let time get away from me and just didn’t do it. My friends tell me that that shop is no longer there. (sigh)

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving the interesting comment.

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