Tuesday, March 26, 2013

26 March 1950 “Spring Easter Fashions: Shoes and Hats and Dresses, Oh My!”

springfashion To continue are trip towards Easter this week I though I’d share a fun mix of ladies Spring/Easter fashions. What better way to shake those Winter Blahs then through dreamily imagining ourselves in petticoats, floral hats and immersed in a world of manners and comforting norms of fashion.

Just there, a gentleman holds the door for you. You bring your gloved hand up to protect your Easter bonnet as you enter, hoping he catches that bit of embroidery you did at the wrist of your gloves. Grandmother helped you with her ‘old time’ know how, of course. Now you are in and the men and boys rise to their feet. Oh, look, one offers you a glass of punch. You take it with a Thank you, and move to sit enmeshed in a sea of skirts, hats, and quiet gossip with the other ladies.

“What a darling hat” one says.

“Oh, my! whatever was she thinking in wearing that flower pot on her head?” whispers another

The local orchestra begins and the Spring Easter dance is underway. Hopefully the best the club has had to offer in years. You better get your dance card ready, it’s just pinned there to your groisgrain waistband. You spent last night, hair in curlers, laughing over coffee and snacks with  your friends, gluing little silk flowers to it. Dreaming of whose name would be writ upon it.

Now, there is dancing to be had, finger sandwiches, and later the Easter Egg hunt for the little ones on the lawn and egg races for young ladies and gentleman. Maybe Beaumont Mathews will take you out in a punt on the river and splashing you playfully, try and steal a kiss. Best look out, Mother’s watchful eye is never far away.

The day has ended and you drop lazily onto your little tufted stool before your vanity. You check yourself in the mirror, hold your dance card to your heart, then secret it away in your little ormolu dressing box that was mother’s when she was a girl. Ah, Spring, it has arrived at last…a gal can dream, can’t she?

Now, onto the Fashions...

elasticwaistbanddress I want to start with these lovely elastic waistband dresses from Spring 1955. Look how modern and fresh they look. And an elastic waistband is so easy to wear. You literally pull it over and button it up and off you go. Easier, I feel, than pulling on dungarees. And the hat and headband could easily be found at any department story today. If you took off the gloves and gave a modern slouchy hand bag to this pair, they’d look completely modern. A nod to you ladies who want to feel Now but also yearn to dress vintage. It isn’t all big petticoats, pill box hats, veils and gloves. There are many fresh young ways to dress 1950’s and blend with today’s casual styles.
springsuit1 A spring weight jacket can do a gal’s wardrobe a world of good. This lovely salmon pink can go business as here in black or top a lovely aqua slim fitted straight dress, or a matching pink pencil skirt and white ruffled blouse. Such a coat could easily be had today and for the very modern girl, she could pair it with her dungarees and some pink ballet flats or wedgies with a cork heel and a flowered headband.
springdressgreen I defy any gal, 16 to 60, to not feel fresh and ready for the day in a dress of crisp pleats and an easy movement skirt. the color speaks to the first buds of Spring and with a shell pink cardigan you’d make any man’s heart swoon.
 greyspringsuit2 I wonder, I just wonder, would the children sit up straight and take better direction from a teacher so dressed? It has been many times documented that people respond to varioius authority figure uniforms. We use it in the military and with the medical profession (though nurses have lost their lovely respected caps and darling white dresses) so why not teachers. This suit has a very slim modern cut. And I can guarantee that little girls who forever see mummy and siblings in dungarees would sit up and take notice of teacher in her suit. And many a little girl would dream of her own chance to dress like a ‘grown up’ one day. And when one is dressed up one must sit still, pay attention and behave. I find it odd that one can barely distinguish adult and children’s clothing. And sometimes this takes an odd twist resulting in sexy for child and adolescent for adults. Topsy turvy indeed. Yet, if we look to the cost of production we will see the real key to today’s ‘lazy’ fashion. Which do you think is cheaper to make, jersey tops and jeans or a suit such as this. The profit margin is greater with less fabric and more simplicity and sameness of design. We should not stand for blah daily fashion because we can buy it for $5 then toss it away.
greenspringdress Carefree and easy to wear with a jacket, cardigan or even a blouse underneath.
springblouse Ruffles in a tailored top. Feminine and business-like all rolled into one.
springshoes2 Now for the shoes.
shoes1springshoes  These 1955 Spring beauties cover casual to dressy. And the hose colors are also very modern. you will notice in the second image that one set of hosiery has imagery that almost appears as a modern leg tattoo. Only difference, of course, is this one comes off easily and is readily changeable. And to give an idea as to how ladies then didn’t have piles of clothes and shoes they were tripping over we look at price. These shoes range in price from $7 to $15 dollars in 1955 money. When we adjust for 2013 inflation that price range is $60.64 - $129.94. One might be surprised, but consider these shoes were well made and hand stitched NOT glued. They still exist today and can be worn over and over and they were most often made by workers with a decent wage IN this country not children in China or India. Having a few less shoes and helping to contribute to our economy so a working class father could work in a shoe factory and build a nice little bungalow for his family seems a fair exchange for piles and piles of ill made shoes, don’t you think?  (I might also point out that in 2008 when I started 1955 our present day $1 dollar was worth $7 1955. Today one 1955 $1 is now $ 8.66. That is the amount of inflation we have encountered in the past 5 years)

But, I digress. Look at these lovely shoes.The simple flats are adorable and would be fine for marketing and the open toed heeled sandals would make any Easter suit look a treat!

And what is Easter without a new Easter Bonnet?
easterhat1 springhats1 springhats2

Now, enjoy these lovely hats of fashion for Spring and as always have a lovely day and Happy Homemaking.


  1. Adorable! I am especially fond of the blue pleated dress, and I agree that it would be wonderful with a cardigan. The shoes are really nice, too.

  2. I loved this, especially your scenario at the beginning. :)

    I'll wear the white rosebud print uptop, with the pink flowered hat - it is awesome! I hope that I can get my eyes to look like hers too - maybe with copious amounts of liner.

    -Robyn V.

  3. You always give material for my day dreams! :)


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