1960 Party Dresses


$19.98, $18.98

$15.84, $18.98


$16.98, $19.98

For a timeline perspective, think of Ricky Nelson’s girlfriends on Ozzie and Harriet.

Described as Bouffant, these dresses were towards the end of the New Look style of very full skirts introduced by Christian Dior in 1947.

Thirteen years is really quite a long run for one particular style. In fact, I can’t remember any other style that has been popular as long.

As to the prices, what would $19.98 be in 2012 dollars?

Go here for more specific information, but the list below will provide a brief comparison.

In 1960 a new house cost $12,700. Median price in 2012: $235,700.

A gallon of gas was 25 cents, then. Gas this week: $3.32.

In 1960 the average cost of new car was $2,600.00. Average cost of a new car in April 2012: a whopping $30,748. This is an all-time record.

Kraft Miracle Whip 51 cents Maryland 1960. Current price is about $3.00.

Jello 35 cents for 4 pks Maryland 1960. Don’t know on this one because I don’t buy Jello.

Del Monte Peaches 29 cents per can in 1960. Seems like they’re about $1.29 now.

Fresh Eggs 49 cents per dozen Maryland 1960. Just paid about 2.50 for free range.

Land O Lakes Butter 67 cents per pound Maryland 1960

Corn 6 for 25 cents Florida 1960.

Pack of chewing gum 5 cents Maryland 1960.

Pork Chops 59 cents per pound Maryland 1960.

The average house is 20X more costly, but that might not be a fair comparison because houses are bigger and grander (though not better built).

Gasoline is probably a good one to compare; it’s current price is about 13 or 14 times what it was in 1960.

So, let’s take the lower inflation rate of 13X the 1960 costs.

That $19.98 dress would have a price tag of $259.74.

Oh, my. That doesn’t include new shoes, purse, or jewelry.

But aren’t they cute? And so lovely swirling around on the dance floor.


Filed under 1960, Antiques/Vintage, Dresses (Including Formals), Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Montgomery Ward, Vintage catalogs

5 responses to “1960 Party Dresses

  1. Fran

    I remember a fanciful dress I had at 12. It was store bought from Sears. It
    was for Easter. It was the gray one with flocking on it and a black velvet collar.
    I think it was about $12.50. Can you imagine. It was the fanciest dress I had
    ever seen except in movies. Don’t think you remember it. You would have been
    4. Oh well. That was something to behold. Love

  2. Wesley Horton

    I was fortunate in that I lived to see all of the 1960’s (I was born in ’59) It was a unique period where American mores were changing. The adaptation of new styles and colors, new ideas (some good, some not so good) and as I recall, the beginning of the loss of civility on many fronts.

    I must say, I enjoy greatly reading your blog, as I just stumbled on it this evening. Thank you,

    Kindest Regards,
    Wesley Horton

  3. Betty Iatan

    my name is Betty Iatan
    My daughter is 15 years old. She has a prom on the topic with New York in 1960.
    Please tell me where I can rent or buy a dress like these presented in your blog
    Best regards,

    Betty Iatan

    • I have seen several dresses like these sold in antique malls. If you can’t find one in your area, you might want to contact the Ruby Grace booth owners at Lone Star Antique Mall in Haltom City, Texas: 5605 Denton Hwy
      Haltom City, TX 76148 phone +1-817-503-0441.

      Hopefully, you and your daughter will find something really lovely. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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