Tag Archives: 1960's

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.

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

1965 Hats, Shoes, Purses, & Gloves

Here are more photographs from the 1965 Montgomery Ward Fall/Winter catalog.

Gorgeous, but I couldn’t walk in them.  It took a lot of poise. Girls actually practiced back then.

Heels a bit lower, but these are still beautiful shoes.

This is not a great photo, but it was the only page with jewelry.  I thought it might help someone date their mother’s jewelry or something they find at the antique mall.

My mother wore kid gloves like these.  Very elegant.

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

1965 Junior Fashions

Montgomery Ward Catalog Fall/Winter 1965

Described on page 7: Frank Saunders of London designs Separates with a British Accent for Wards, Brentshire Designer’s Collection…Zesty, new separates of 100% wool that’s been woven in Scotland and tailored in England with all the care of the meticulous British.

Our Cover Suit
A great new look in sprightly plaid! Hipster jacket puts the accent on a lowered collar and belt in solid color. Sleek pants tapered to the ankle. Hidden side zip, lined waistband. $29.97

Shoe
A two-eyelet tie that’s a real softie- the unlined vamp does it. Calf uppers. 1 1/4″ heel. Black and red, as shown. $9.97

This suit is influenced by Carnaby street (London) designs. Not long after the beginning after the British Invasion in music, everything British became cool, or hip as the MW blurb termed it. On televison, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. featured a very suave Napoleon Solo and his British sidekick, Illya Kuryakin. David McCallum may have been playing a Russian, but we all knew where he was really from. Another side note, Solo’s Robert Vaughn was a mix of Cary Grant/James Bond – both British.

The pink one is similar to a dress that Haley Mills wore in The Trouble with Angels, which was released in the spring of 1966.

The boarding school uniform influence was also popular. The uniforms in The Trouble with Angels were grey wool sweaters and skirts.
The Trouble with Angels (1966)

My sister had the outfit with the fringe around the hem.

About this time I had a sailor dress like the one pictured above, and also the plaid.


It’s a cold day again today, and I was thinking about coats, and fashions; then I got this catalog down off of the shelf and … well … I was thinking about how differently we dress for the cold now.

So I took another look at Then.

More 1965 to come: shoes, purses, Ladies and children’s clothing.

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Filed under 1960's, Fashion, Vintage catalogs

Hats, Old and New


On New Year’s Eve, Joe and I shopped for a bit in Lone Star Antique Mall and I decided to focus my picture taking on hats.


After writing the post at the end of December about Hats and Tea Parties, I was still in a hat mood.

Isn’t it charming? This little number reminds me of one that Lucy might’ve worn; maybe with that navy blue dotted suit of hers.


Didn’t care for the sign this one was sitting on, because I thought it was pretty, and not silly at all. However, since the booth owner didn’t ask me to redecorate, I left it alone.

With little organza flowers covering it, this one reminds me of ones that ladies wore to Sheridan Road Baptist Church in Tulsa in the early 1960’s.

Although most of them were vintage, one booth featured new hats.

Some of them were quite lovely.

How perfect for a wedding or a Sunday morning church service in the spring. It needs a white linen suit and a turquoise rhinestone brooch on the shoulder.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, Fashion, Hats, Local Shopping, Shopping, Texas

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls, Part II

McCall's magazine, December 1963

McCall's magazine, December 1966

McCall's magazine, December 1967

For a larger image, click on the picture; if a magnifying glass appears as you run your cursor over the enlarged image, it will enlarge one more time. I think the final enlargement will be about the size of the original in the magazine and is good for printing. I recommend using cardstock, or at least adhering the doll to something stiffer before cutting out. Regular typing paper will be about the right weight for the clothes. Also, I’ve had trouble getting a good print when using draft on paper dolls, therefore I now use a higher quality setting for printing.

For more pages and some Betsy McCall links (some of which are printable), go to my previous post here.

Hope you enjoy them.

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Filed under 1960's, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Ephemera, Fashion, Vintage Magazines

Christmas Then, It Was Different


Growing up in 1950s and 1960s America -it was a different world. My sons don’t really believe that. Like many other young people, they think that things have always been like they are now – for instance, crime and deviancy and government control, selfishness and a lack of self control, victimology,etc.

Life was palpably different. It was simpler. It was harder. It was better. (Right here is where one always has to insert the politically correct caveat about the things which actually have improved. That has become tiresome and I’ll resist it this time.)

A common complaint/observation about modern life is the commercialism, greed and joylessness at Christmas, which I believe is pretty accurate.

How has it changed? Well, for starters, it was a joyous season.

Born in the mid-1950s and raised in Mingo, a working class neighborhood, my friends and I looked forward to Christmas for lots of reasons, presents being only one of the many elements. Among them were the art projects and the yearly religious Christmas program at our public school, a program at church, shared secrets about gifts, helping my mother stamp the Christmas cards, receiving cards in the mail and hearing from friends and relatives, the family gathering to open presents on Christmas Eve (we had to wait until the sun was down and it seemed like it took forever). The big dinner at noon on Christmas day and the drive around Tulsa looking at lights on Christmas night. Daddy and Mama enjoyed it all as much as the children did.

One of my fondest memories is of the time I made marshmallow snowmen with toothpicks. That was a really simple thing but I remember how much fun it was.

Christmas wish lists were only in the cartoons. I never wrote one and if my friends did, they never told me about it. It never even occured to me.

None of the children in my neighborhood demanded particular gifts. Certainly there were things we wanted and told our parents about, but our world wasn’t centered around what we didn’t have or didn’t get. Christmas and birthdays were about the only times during the year when we got new toys but even then it was with restraint. I never had my own hula hoop or twirling baton or baby buggy or dollhouse, but some of my friends did and they shared nicely. It seems that I was the only one with Tinker Toys and I shared. My friend, Joy, had her mother’s original Shirley Temple doll and wicker doll buggy; we were allowed to play with it together.

My mother made all the females new Christmas dresses every year – everything else came from the store or catalog but even so it wasn’t as commercial as it is now. Retailers are only partly to blame for what has happened; we have become a very greedy, demanding society. There are gift registries for brides and babies and probably every other occasion; goodness, someone wouldn’t want a gift that they haven’t chosen for themselves!

We were not princesses and we certainly weren’t treated as such.

As for the decorating, we always had a cut tree and the big lights and a star on top of the tree. Each year my parent sent out lots of cards. Mama decorated with the ones we received and we enjoyed looking at them on display during December. She had a few other decorations sitting around, but it wasn’t the overwhelming obsession with more and more. I enjoy beautifully decorated houses at Christmas, but honestly, it is a little tiring just to even look at them.

This year Christmas is simpler at our house. Fewer decorations and I’m enjoying that. The perfect gift is not my goal; I am considering what each member of my family would enjoy and I’m also complying with what we can afford.

It is absolutely no coincidence that Christmas has lost a lot of joy in modern times. Leftist leaders have stripped as much meaning out of everything as they can.

If we can’t acknowledge the birth of our Saviour, how can we celebrate? Silly, manufactured “holidays” like kwanzaa and winter solstice are empty and hollow pathetic attempts at counterfeit substitutions for Jesus.

What is there to celebrate? God’s gift of His Son to a lost and dying world.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, America, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Current Events, Faith, Family, Mingo, Oklahoma, Tulsa

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls

In 1951 McCall’s magazine began a feature for girls: a paper doll named Betsy McCall. Looking at the page through the years until the last time it was included (I think it was 1995) is a mini-tutorial in late 20th century childrens’ fashions.

But to start, here are a few Christmas pages.

McCall's Magazine, December 1951

McCall's Magazine, December 1960

McCall's Magazine, December 1962

This site features Betsy McCall paper dolls from the first 10 years, 1951- 1961. You can get a printable size by clicking on the doll. Then select a page – this time click on High Quality Image. To enlarge for printing, click on the image again. This will print out about the same size as it was originally in the magazine.

Crunchy Monkey is a great site with a brief history of McCall’s magazine and lots of Betsy McCall paper doll pages from 1975 to 1995.

This page shows several old advertisements and sewing patterns for doll clothes.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Fashion, Paper Dolls, Vintage Magazines