In the Good Ol' Summertime....Summer Fashions

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.

 I'll bet the red and white shorts looking piece here is a bathing suit.  The concept of wearing a suit as a clothing piece isn't new to this century.  Funny how much more covered this lady is in her bathing suit than many girls today are in their clothes though, isn't it?

I've always loved how the pattern company illustrators demonstrated how versatile a wardrobe you might create with the purchase of a pattern.  I haven't looked at patterns in years upon years but I've heard they are quite expensive now.  Still, if I thought I could build a wardrobe from a single pattern I don't think I'd mind the expense much.

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!


Lana said...

New patterns are very expensive and they do not fit right. They use computers to expand the sizes instead of real people like they did in years past which just does not work! This was a huge part of why I quit sewing. It is crazy to have gone to the time and expense of constructing a garment to find that it does not fit at all. I would love to wear what Laura Petrie wore but I seriously doubt it would look anything the same on me. In fact, cotton button up blouses just don't fit me at all..sigh....oh to be tall and willowy.

I did purchase a new bathing suit for the summer after 16 years of the old one. I was able to get a swim skirt with shorts underneath and a separate top which is way more modest and comfortable than most offerings out there. The great thing is that this fall when suits go clearance it is often the tops that are inexpensive and I can just get another top for a whole new look!

olderandwiser said...

I loved looking at these patterns! I remember wearing shirtwaist dresses, my favorite. So many women, including me, wear pants now. It's a shame. Maybe someday these styles will come back. I did buy a bathing suit I really like last week in a department store. It's a one piece with boy legs. It reminds me a lot of a 50's, early 60's bathing suit. I'm glad to see, at least in some swimwear, the styles are becoming more modest.

Debby in KS said...

I remember my mom wearing a lot of those clothes on the patterns. And she made them all, probably until about 1974 or so. She would make us matching dresses for Easter every year. She also made me several dresses that I picked from pattern books. She said I always liked the jumpers. They were sleeveless dresses with full skirts. Then, if it still fit in winter, I could add a long sleeved shirt and tights. I wish I had some pictures of those.

I wear mostly dresses & skirts in summertime. And I always wear dresses to church. I joke with the women there that my Grandma would KNOW if I wore pants lol. For that reason, I wear tights in winter. KS winters aren't for wimps and otherwise, I'd freeze. I'm always surprised when I see women wear heels with dresses (in winter) and their legs are blue because pantyhose are no longer in!
Tights, ladies! Blue goosebumpy legs are not attractive!!

Little Penpen said...

I love those styles and would wear culottes now if I could find some cute ones! We have Hobby Lobby that puts all their patterns by Simplicity on sale for .99 cents every so often.

Glenda said...

I have made the decision to go back to sewing clothing, as one can get a much better fit, choose one's own style, and dress nicer. As Little Penpen mentioned, Hobby Lobby puts Simplicity and McCall's patterns on sale frequently for .99.
In order to get a good fit, from a pattern, it normally has to be adjusted to fit the individual. It is well worth the time and effort to find some flattering to one's figure patterns and use them in different materials for a nice, comfortable, modest, more dressy looking wardrobe.
In addition, making one's own wardrobe uses a person's creativity, develops skills, and gives the person control over what they wear. There are many patterns out now that look similar to what y o u posted.

Anne said...

I just want to let you know that those 50/60s sleeveless button up blouses are quite "in" now. You can find them at all major department stores and I love them. I live in the desert and wear bermuda shorts and tops for 7 months out of the year. Whenever I pass the mirror in one of my sleeveless, button up tops I flash back to the years I was a kid. Yes, the look is just the same.

Carolyn @ Our Gilded Abode said...

The idea of sewing one’s own clothing brings back such wonderful memories for me. My grandmother was a seamstress – she sewed for others out of her own home. There’s nothing really unique about that, but what impressed me was that she did not buy store-bought patterns. She kept a few pattern catalogs (remember those super thick ones?) and each customer would look thru the pictures of patterns and choose the dress they wanted Grandma to make for them. She would then take their measurements, and create her own patterns – drawing them on to newspapers and cutting them out. Even as a young child, this fascinated and impressed me. But, as an adult, I am totally in awe of her talent. She could make perfectly fitting recreations of her own without having to invest in bought patterns. Isn’t that amazing?

Anonymous said...

I love the look of the outfits you have shown. I can no longer wear sleeveless blouses. My upper arms are not lovely to look at at all. Even a cap sleeve is not at all flattering. I need a longer short sleeve than most ready made tops have now. I gained weight in middle age and I think half of it went to my upper arms. :)
Many of the tops now are shorter and cut your figure off and so you look even shorter. Sewing is such a help for both problems. I like Kwik Sew for basic t shirt patterns. They have one that shows many different neck variations too. Once you make one to fit it is so easy to just make more. .. As long as you can find some good knit material to use.
Joann's has a sale paper that has discount coupons in it. You can sign up to get it. I take it from others that there are tricks to using the discount coupons that make it an even better deal..but I don't know how. From the sale paper you can realize what is for sale each time and take advantage...and most of the stores like this and Hobby Lobby have monthly sales of their own and many markdowns. Always look around. I buy many notions for sewing from one used store here. They sell bags of seam binding, buttons and rick rack etc etc for relatively little money. Beautiful buttons can be taken off very cheap blouses and shirts from the used stores.
The short shorts with the over skirts are nice as you can wear the short set at home and for modesty when company comes or you want to go out, slip on the skirt.
So many ready made blouses now are designed so the first button and button hole is very low. On yesterdays blouses you would be to your third button when they put in the first one. Maybe it saves the cost of more material and buttons in manufacturing but I wish they would stop it !! :-)
Yes boys wore t-shirts back when. V very often stripe ones ! :-) Lady Lydia of
wrote years back about what cloths are reminiscent of mens and boys clothes and what is more feminine. Also how we stand and act. Like whistling or standing with both hands in our pockets etc. looks unfeminine. Lots of women's clothing are copied after men's. There is no doubt in the pictures you showed that these are women ! :-)) I remember seeing Katherine Hepburn in her wide legged soft material slacks..or Lauren Bacall. They looked like total women even in pants. :) And remember all those blouses in their thin cottons batiste, nylons or silks? Lots of pin tucks or some with lace inserts or pretty collars or accents of one type of another?? No plain t-shirts in sight . ... Sarah

Debby in KS said...

Carolyn, I had to comment that my Grandma did the same thing! She wasn't a seamstress for others, but she made many of her own patterns on newspaper. I think that is a talent!! My mom said she tried her own, but they never were quite right. "Not like Grandma's!" She said that sometimes her & my Grandma would go shopping, Grandma would see a dress or blouse she loved, & when they got home, she'd do a little sketch. A week later, she'd be wearing one that she made!!

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