Saturday, September 3, 2011

3 September 1957 “Fall Fashion and Skin Care”

fallfashion1I thought it might be fun to look at some fall fashion today. This simple little layout in one of my vintage magazines shows the basic silhouettes and the corresponding Advance patterns to make them. One can often find these vintage patterns today and I have included images of the two I could find, so that one could be on the lookout for them.

fallfashion4There are also many repro vintage and even modern patterns with similar silhouettes that you could use as the base for the wardrobe.

What I like about the old days dictate of fashion, is in many ways it allowed more freedom of expression and less money needed to be spent. With today’s ‘anything goes’ mingled with ‘what’s hot right now’ we often are left wondering what is appropriate to wear and almost live in a sort of fear of clothes. I cannot tell you the number of people who have written me telling me they long to dress in vintage but are scared. We have literally become scared of expression and fashion. And, therefore, we live in a sea of cheaply made and corporate logo printed t-shrits, yoga pants, jeans, and velour track suits. There is no dressing for one’s age and often we see older Hollywood starlets, fresh from the knife, trying their darned-est to look 21. When, if we dressed more glamorous and age appropriate, we would look better, feel better and not be as judgmental to our own looks.

It seems as if even women in their 40’s-60’s feel the need to sexually stimulate some 19-22 year old male out there some where. He is faceless but stands in for some sort of standard to which we are meant to dress. Sexy is more important than fashion and very often style and chic has very little to do with a teenage males idea of sexy.

When one can take on a silhouette that you like, regardless of period, we can build a wardrobe that can contain less, be better made and stretch farther. Than the self expression can come from the styling (Vintage pins, scarves, jewelry, hats, belts and so on are rather inexpensive).

fallfashion2Skirts, jackets, tops in a limited color family that you look good in makes for a larger array of combinations by simply adding styling.

  fallfashion3  You can find it is as easy to slip on a skirt and top (which without thinking would go together when one simply buys or sews in a matching color family) and a pin and out the door. Suddenly when you are at the market you will see people comment on how put together you look and it took as much time as pulling on yoga pants and a t-shrit.

I also find the current trend of looking down one’s nose as ‘matching items’ as some sort of Taboo against fashion. While once matching ones’ shoes belt and pocketbook or hat was considered correct, today it would be scoffed at and told it was too ‘matchy-matchy’ or ‘old fashioned’. When, quite honestly, if you had an array of fun shoes belts and pocketbooks in a few shades, you would easily know how to accessorize and you could also mix n match if they were in the same color scheme. Having no rules simply leaves us open to need to buy more and never feel we have ‘anything at all to wear’.

 diorfall57Here is a Dior look for this Fall 1957. We can see the skirt raising and even the swoop of the neck beginning to head toward that Mad Men look of the early 1960’s. I happen to like this style as well, as in many ways it is almost a more modern cleaned up version of the mid 1950’s. The silhouettes are the same but skirts are shorter, necklines a bit more flattering and patterns are becoming quite lovely.

This little vignette film, “A Day in the Suburbs” in Darien CT in 1957, is worth a watch. This is a short under one minute film that is cute and shows some darling ‘at home’ fashions. It can be watched HERE (I couldn’t embed it in the blog, sorry about that.)

Designing_woman A great film to watch, and own, is the 1957 Comedy starring Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck is “Designing Woman”. It has Fashion as one of  its main elements and is a great wonderful film. I do wonder why the film industry, with their need to remake everything, don’t realize the gold mine they would have if they remade, in the old style of course no modern clothes or attitudes or ideas, the classic 1950’s romantic comedies. Oh, well, I guess we need another remake of a 1970’s sitcom as a movie or a comic book made film, right? Here is the trailer.

Now, to round out this talk of fashion, we must think of our best and most important fashion element: Our Skin. If we don’t look good and healthy, than it matters little what we wear. And in fact if we look radiant and well rested, even dungarees a cotton top and that gardening hat will be a compliment when a neighbor drops by or a passerby by waves at you in the garden over the fence.

Here are some basic vintage skin care rules and applications.

skincare1 skincare2 skincare3

Enjoy your day and as always, Happy Homemaking.

I would also like to mention that some time this month I am going to address the forum again, find out how to make it easier to join (We will have to deal with Spam until myself or others can delete it but if we can ignore it) and have a ‘Join the Forum Day’. We have so many wonderful topics and old discussions it seems a shame to waste them and not allow new followers to access and add to them. So, Watch for that, as I will announce it one day this month when I get it ironed out.


  1. Yes, in these days when anything goes and we are told we have more freedom than in days past, I agree, it seems like we have less freedom to do all sorts of things. When fashion or society dictated that "you do this now, and that later on," it meant that you actually got to do "whatever." Now, we are unsure of ourselves, and don't dare dress up, etc., and end up actually being able to do less, because we are not sure if or when it is appropriate.

    There was a day when women must wear hats to church or other functions. Now, nobody wears them, and I find myself without the freedom TO wear a hat if I wish, because I don't want to be the only one doing so, or I am not sure if I would be too dressed up. Nobody wants to be "the only one," and so we don't get to do it at all. Life is boring. There was a day when you could look forward to getting dressed up for a party, getting a new dress for Easter, getting a new hat for church, but now all that is gone. Now, you get a prom dress and a wedding dress, and that's pretty much it. So bleak.

  2. That is by far one of my favorite movies. I love the romantic comedy aspect but the clothes are worth the watch alone.

  3. A favorite movie of our family, too! BTW, it was from a story inspired by Helen Rose (the real Designing Woman) and written for Grace Kelly. Princess Grace declined, but even Ms. Bacall's dialogue sounds better with Grace's lilt....Long Time Lurker

  4. I love 50's fashion.....I would say I wear 50's inspired clothes with a couple of original vintage items in there. It suits and flatters my figure much better than modern clothes. I always wear full skirts or full skirted dresses with a slimmer fitting top and a belt to clinch in my waist. I wish I did have the confidence to dress completely vintage with hats and petticoats etc, but I'm ashamed to say that I too allow society to bully me into not feeling able to dress in that way. It is such a shame.
    I look forward to being able to join the forum once it's all sorted.
    Kelly in Yorkshire, England

  5. I love that link! I'm going to be re-watching quite often. :)

    One of my co-workers frequently remarks about "You and your dresses", as if it's something to be embarrassed about. I'd rather dress like a professional lady than wear jeans & tees every day, as she does.

    Your blog is a beacon of sanity for me!

  6. Have you seen Down With Love? It is a 50's style romantic comedy made with Ewan McGregor. Loved it!!!

  7. Vivienne, I love that movie too!

    Maybe where I live is just different but I see a lot of women wearing cute skirts, dresses, shorts outfits, etc looking put together with jewelry and accessories. I also see some moms in their workout clothes but that's because they've been exercising. When I venture out of my little bubble I see more jeans/tees/tracksuits with Uggs. If anything some women take it to an extreme. At the junior high orientation it can be a bit of a scene. I saw a number of women wearing dresses suited more for a low key wedding than meandering thru the crowded and unairconditioned school halls saying hello to their child's teachers and catching up with other parents. I'm not saying these women dressed badly. They looked beautiful, just a bit much. It's always been an unwritten rule in my town that at the school orientations mothers who aren't encumbered with little ones are usually dressed nicely. And even some mothers with younger children tend to dress up. It's like if you shlep around in t-shirts and shorts you're overwhelmed by motherhood. No one would ever say it but it's just kind of out there. So what did I wear to the orientations? A cute cotton skirt and button down short sleeve blouse knotted at my waist with leather flip flops, makeup and hair appropriately styled.

    A few weeks ago I threw on (literally, as I was running late) a navy skirt, lime polo shirt, a lime bracelet, lime headband because my hair didn't have tine to be messed with, and some cute flip flops that had a bit of both navy and lime. I got a lot of compliments about how everything matched. So maybe the tide is turning? I say if you like to match your accessories go ahead. And dress nicely if you want. Su, maybe your coworker doesn't have a signature style and she secretly admires you for it?

    Sarah H

  8. I wear skirts and dresses all the time. The last time I wore a pair of pants (snow pants) was when my 5 year old and I were sledding and I knew I'd have to sit with my legs apart to hold on to him. I have a church dress (very nice), a town dress or two (for school meetings, doctor appointments, shopping), and a few skirts, casual tops, and baby doll style dresses (with long skirts, not the short ones) for working around the house, to the bus stop, school drop off, etc.

  9. Ahh, fall fashion. I love the colours and the look. Danish Summer has been awful, much like Autumn, so I am not ready for it yet, but since I normally love Autumn, this post cheered me up a bit. Thank you. :)


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