Category Archives: Dresses (Including Formals)

Fashions, 1967

1967 was a fun year of fashion and had some really cute styles for teenagers.

Original caption:

“Confectionery Colors, this page, glow out to play all summer. Left: Trim T-shirt, about $8, crinkled over a ribbed A-liner, about $11. Center: Baby Beachdress, about $17. (See undercover notes on page 236.) Right: Swimsuit with its crinkle on the blouson side, about $18. Pakula earrings. All cotton fabrics by Halpern. Fashions are by Cole of California.”

The notes on page 236 were on what to wear underneath the spaghetti strapped dress.

My, how times have changed. Foundational garments, indeed.

Very often the tops that went with the hip-hugger skirts were ribbed knit material. I loved that look.

The mid-teen girls wore this style and I remember how cool they looked. I think I had one dress with the hip-hugger and wide belt look. And of course the baby doll style was quite popular in swimsuits, nightwear and dresses.

*Photograph and caption taken from the April 1967 issue of Seventeen Magazine.

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Filed under 1960's, 1967, Dresses (Including Formals), Ephemera, Fashion, Summer, Swimwear, Vintage Magazines

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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Annotated Progression of Ladies Fashion, 1785 – 1820

Having just read Persuasion by Jane Austen, I’m particularly interested in the details of that era. Today at the library I was able to check out several non-fiction books about her and early 19th century historical details.

However, this post features selections from my own copy of John Peacock’s broad treatise on fashion history.

These illustrations only roughly represent her years. She lived from 1775 to 1817; the pictures are for fashions from 1785 to 1820. Since Miss Austen completed the rough draft of Persuasion in 1817, her stylish characters would’ve worn dresses from the last sketch below.

(Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.)

Also, please note that they are intended to show the progression and details of fashion development. I think it helps to see how styles can sometimes ease from one to another. Other times they change radically.

1785 - 1798

1798 - 1800

1800 - 1811

Regency 1811 - 1820

Sketches are from John Peacock’s book: Costume 1066 – 1966, A Complete Guide to English Costume Design and History (copyrighted 1986). Mr. Peacock was the senior costume designer for BBC Television when the book was printed.

The calligraphy is by Rachel Yallop.

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Filed under 1700s, 1800s, Books, Clothing, Dresses (Including Formals), England, Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Hairstyles, Hats, History, Jane Austen, Shoes

Fashion Contrasts: 1770 and 1815

DK Costume Book by Rowland-Warne

Vintage Hats & Bonnets by Langley

Apparently it’s not a particularly modern practice for fashion designers to make yesterday’s clothing look dated and outmoded.

Even though the time gap (from the 1770s – 1815) shown here spans 45 years, the changes were huge. It’s doubtful that many women would be wearing the same apparel for all those years (despite the superior quality of fabric then as opposed to now), but it is possible that women who wore the 18th century styles when they were young may not have wanted to change with the times and would have looked extremely outdated even to a casual observer.

Albeit that we are discussing clothing, a comment about hair styles comes to mind. I read once that a hairdresser said he could tell within 5 years when a woman graduated from high school by her hair and makeup – no matter her age.

The difference in hair styles between 1770 and 1815 were at least as striking as the change in clothing: from massive powdered wigs to ringlets and close to the head buns.

Guild Hall, Windsor


The DK Costume book by L. Rowland-Warne was one that I bought in 1999 in Windsor. Every Sunday morning vendors were set up under the portico at the front of the Guild Hall – built around 1687 under the direction of Sir Thomas Fitz then Sir Christopher Wren. There were a couple of book sellers and I was able to get this costume book from one and a vintage Penguin Agatha Christie novel from another.

Vintage Hats & Bonnets by Susan Langley was bought on a trip to Massachusetts a few years ago. While Joe attended a class for his job, I drove over to Lowell and had an absolutely marvelous time at a hat exhibit at the American Textile Museum. Well worth the time if you’re ever in the area.

Fashion Museum, Bath


V & A


The V&A was the museum which Mr. Thackeray’s (Sidney Poitier) class went to for their field trip in To Sir, With Love. Remember the girls in their mini-skirts looking at the wide-skirted dresses?


At the Museum of Costume in Bath (in 2007 the name was changed to Fashion Museum) and then at the Fashion exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum, we saw the false hips that women wore under their dresses to make their hips so broad.

No, I can’t imagine it either.

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1967 Watches

From the May 1967 issue of Seventeen, here are several photos of watches. Mod seems to be a key word and idea from the manufacturers.

Perhaps this will help to fix a date on something you find in your mother’s jewelry box or at the antique mall.


Dresses – Judy Gibbs (a division of Puritan Industries
Watches by Caravelle (a division of Bulova)

White pleated tent dress – $30.00
White wide band watch – $17.95

Tie-dyed-look formal – $36.00
Gold 2 diamond watch – $29.95
(Not fond of the dress, but those are great shoes!)


Dresses – Judy Gibbs
Watches – Caravelle

Roman-style gown – $36.00
Roman numeral watch – $22.95

Mod floral tent dress – $23.00
Roman numeral pendant watch – $22.95


Caravelle (a division of Bulova) targeted the youth market by appealing to the less ordinary minded: “But for the more demanding girl, we offer this selection of, er, rather strange looking timepieces from $17.95 to $29.95 …We also make watches that look like charms, pendants, baubles, bangles and just about every other piece of jewelry you can name. Except, of course, a watch.”
you can name. Except, of course, a watch.”


Caption: “Don’t lose a moment to get with it! The NOW look in Mod…Mr. Taylor’s racy watch faces match the color of their big bands to time your day with dash.” The ad goes on to say that prices start at “a tiny $12.95 and up.” In 2011 dollars that would be about $50, and while it’s true that that isn’t exactly expensive, it’s still a lot for costume jewelry that’s likely to look dated in a year or two.


A little more formal, these watches by Swank include identification styles, which could be engraved with names or initials. Prices in this ad range from $25.00 to $60.00.


25. Waltham -$55.00
26. Vantage – $24.00
27. Caravelle – $20.00
28. Sheffield – $50.00
29. Taylor – $50
30. Croton – $60.00

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Filed under 1960's, 1967, Antiques/Vintage, Clothing, Dresses (Including Formals), Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Jewelry, Shoes