June 21 and what do we have here in Georgia? Temperatures in the 70's range and humidity in the 90% range, which means that 76F feels thick and heavy. It's been raining the past two days. I'm not complaining. The first day of summer comes in meek and mild. I take that to mean we'll have a pleasant summer. We've had them before, where temperatures are rarely much over 90F. They are imminently the most pleasant of all summers, with enough rain to keep things green and lush and enough sunshine to keep us from going stir crazy indoors.
I've been thinking about summer, the old fashioned sort of summer I knew growing up and maybe even the summers before I was born when fashions for summer were modest and lovely. Yes, it's clothes on my mind today.
I was recalling yesterday as I drove home from my grocery shopping the neat and pretty summer things I had. No tee-shirts in my childhood, but pretty button down sleeveless shirts in gingham checks and floral prints paired with solid color shorts. Now I did a search online to see if I might find such an image of what I meant, but I'm afraid the only ones that are featured are pin-up types of photos and that was not at all what I had in mind. Then I thought I'd look up Laura Petrie, you know, Mary Tyler Moore's role as Dick Van Dyke's wife...Well she wore slacks on screen and not shorts, though I'd have sworn I'd seen her in capris and Bermuda shorts as well. But no. No images. The image I have in mind is very tailored and looked neat and cool at the same time., something like the opening image with those tailored sleeveless blouses. I'll just have to rely on memory and trust that your memories might be the same as mine!
I remember wearing culottes and skorts, too. Culottes were very full in the leg, often had pleats at the waist and when you stood it appeared you were actually wearing a skirt. This example above is what I recall culottes being like. Skorts were shorts with a sort of apron that fastened across the front so that at first look it appeared it were wearing a skirt, but when you turned it was definitely a short. I could not find a skort image at all and the computer search was confused and certain I'd misspelled the word 'skirt', lol.
These skorts and culottes were cute as could be but you'd best believe that neither was considered suitable for wearing to church! You know back then it was strictly dresses and nothing but a dress or a pretty skirt and blouse. These cotton dresses look lovely and cool, don't they?
I've always thought the playsuit sets from the 1950's and early 1960's were imminently fashionable and smart. The one above is a mix and matchup wardrobe. The white shorts and the white top can pair up as well as the aqua plaid top and skirt. I love that little bag she's carrying. A lot of the photos of such sets, usually include the shorts UNDER the skirt. A wraparound skirt was especially popular with these sets. Often a short sleeve collarless blouse was included which gave you a third option and the ability to wear the shirt as a light jacket. The clothing then was so structured with interfacings and darts and such that it never looked limp nor casual when worn as a jacket over the sets. And then of course, you had the option of creating four more outfits as you wore it as a jacket or separately with the skirt or shorts. A woman simply changed up her accessories or shoes and the cost of the 'wardrobe' was considerably reduced.
Sigh. Not my era and I'm not one to look for vintage clothing but sometimes I am tempted...Aren't you?
Having seen what Vogue is offering up for summer of 2017, I just might go hunt up some vintage looking patterns in my size!