Category Archives: 1960

Swimwear for Girls, Teens and Ladies, 1960

for teens

for Ladies

for Ladies

for Ladies

for Ladies

for Ladies

for Ladies

for Sub-Teens

for Girls

Notice anything unusual, compared to the current selections ~ I mean, apart from how naked they aren’t?

The catalog featured 1 – just one – swimsuit for Teens and 2 full pages for Ladies.

And the group that are called Pre-Teens now were “Sub-Teens”. There are all kinds of jokes to be made from that, but I’ll let it go for now.

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Filed under 1960, Ephemera, Fashion, Montgomery Ward, Summer, Vintage catalogs

Ladies’ Hats, 1960

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Filed under 1960, Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Hats, Montgomery Ward, Vintage catalogs

How women in 1960 achieved The Look

To achieve the bouffant looking skirt, like this:

$12.98

a girl would have to wear one or more of these:

or these:

However, it took something a bit more stringent for this look:

Sunback Sheath Dress – $7.98

or this one:

3 Piece suit – $22.98, Red Checked Beret – $2.98

One of these was required:

Girdles

The bouffant look was the easiest to achieve – you just needed a really full half slip. More if you could. These slips were called crinolines or, as we called them in Oklahoma: Can-Cans.

They were sold in tubes and would expand like a rubber dinghy when removed.

One girl could fill a whole seat on the schoolbus if she’d really gone all out. A friend of my sister wore a cancan made by her mother which had used 12 yards of netting.

Slips were a lovely, feminine part of a lady’s wardrobe. Montgomery Ward’s 1960 Spring/Summer catalog featured 10 pages of all sorts of slips: half, full, lacy, utilitarian, and maternity in a wide range of colors.

Years ago I bought a very nice half slip with a wide border of lace, but alas, it became as tattered as a flag left out in the wind.

When I went back to Dillard’s to get a replacement – they had one style. One. And it was ugly.

I’m afraid modern women have been sold a bill of goods (taken for a ride; cheated; swindled) by fashion setters. It’s not easy to find feminine designs.

However, a Lady of the Night no longer needs a speciality store. She can get her work clothes anywhere.

Ahem.

Okay, on to the girdles.

Those slender skirts like Audrey Hepburn wore needed something more than just a slip underneath.

A “foundation garment” was used to slim those hips. Smooth out those bumps. Hold in that tummy.

That same MW catalog had 25 pages of girdles and slimming undergarments.

25!

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

1960 Party Dresses

$21.98

$19.98, $18.98

$15.84, $18.98

$19.98

$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.

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

1960 Ladies’ Fashions

From the 1960 Spring and Summer Montgomery Ward catalog.

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

Maternity Clothes, 1960 – 1972

1960 Fall Winter Sears

1965 Fall Winter MW

1965 Fall Winter MW

1966 Montgomery Ward

1966 Montgomery Ward

1972 Montgomery Ward

It was 1975 when I was expecting our first child; I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy. All the books encouraged women to try and look their prettiest. They advised that it would help boost confidence, and I think the writers were correct.

My mother started sewing maternity clothes for me; I had the prettiest clothes of my life and more of them (she did the same thing again 5 years later when I was expecting our younger son; this time I needed winter clothes. She even made me a cape so I wouldn’t have to wear a coat that was gaping open in the front). I think it was important to her to do that for me because when she was expecting my older sister, she and my dad didn’t have much money. She said she only had two maternity dresses. She’d wear one and wash the other. Knowing my mother, I imagine she ironed them, too.

When I was choosing the tags for this post, it seemed right to check the Femininity box because that goes to the heart of why I’ve been thinking about maternity clothes. Rarely do I see expectant mothers wearing maternity clothes anymore, and even more rarely are they pretty ones. Before our first grandson was born Joe and I went to buy Anne a maternity dress and we went to about 3 stores before we found one, and even in 2003 the selection was very poor. It may be almost non-existent now.

I don’t understand this. Many of the current fashions are just plain ugly and extremely unflattering to women. However, some of the dresses I’ve seen this summer were quite pretty. So why not pretty maternity clothes?

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Filed under 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970s, Fashion, Femininity, Maternity, Montgomery Ward, Vintage catalogs

Nurses’ Uniforms, Hats & Shoes, 1960

When someone says “nurse”, this is still what comes to mind:

Sears Fall Winter 1960 catalog

Sears Fall Winter 1960 catalog

When did they stop using the traditional, identifiable uniform? It was sometime during my adulthood, but I didn’t notice at the time. All of a sudden I realized that I couldn’t tell the doctor from the orderlies, or the R.N.s from housekeeping.

In fact, when I went in for one of the tests before surgery, there was a whole group of people in scrubs in my … well, it’s not really a room; it’s a curtained off part of the pre-surgery room. Anyway, I was talking to a woman who I thought was a nurse, but in fact, she was the radiologist M.D. who was going to do the procedure. We’d never met before and she didn’t introduce herself, and I’m too embarrassed to stare at the name tags. I must have said something about wondering when the doctor was going to get there because all of a sudden everyone was kind of shuffling their feet and Joe said “She’s the doctor.”

Oops.

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Filed under 1960, 1960's, Fashion, Hats