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.