’50s Shopping

Getting back to my youth....

I am in the middle of a long stretch of life consuming me. A long week in the truck, moving our customer from one facility to another (aka a lot of work), while still trying to work my other jobs. Then this weekend. September 30, 2023, I took a few “me” hours. Even after this little outing, more office as well as yard work. The following day, Sunday, more work between some pickleballing and the Browns game, then two days in Nashville for a trade show, a day at home catching up (after two days with six hours drives bookending each day), a day in the truck and then a four day weekend in Chicago visiting our daughters, again with bookending six hour drives.

I kinda nailed this outfit, just sayin’…….

Out the door midmorning and off with a basket of clothes to sell and turn into new things. I was fairly successful! I picked up a cute (albeit tight) skirt, a body suit, a great Henley and a blazer to die for! On what was a gorgeous day, I then stopped to do my photoshoot (content, baby!). Throughout I was texting my friend Blazine about the main purpose for the day.

In mid-November, I will be returning to Erie, for my annual few days with friends at the Lake Erie Gala. The weekend concludes with a ’50’s Sock Hop. I don’t really do shticky things, I have no intention to do the sock hop thing. But I wanted to do a ’50’s cocktail party look. Blazine met me at a fabulous vintage store, which was overwhelming. They had everything (quite literally EVERY thing) from decades going back before the ’50’s. From dresses of every type, to day wear, formal, cocktail, you get the point, to lingerie, to separates, on and on and on. So after trying on quite a few dresses, we finally settled on one. I cannot state how wonderful it was trying on these dresses. It took me back to my childhood, trying on “things” in secret. Blazine was so great, helping me zip into this or that, pulling one option after another.

For various reasons, these were the final options. You have to keep in mind, this dress was actually from the decade of the 1950’s, 70 years ago! Women had very small waists. Clothing had zero give, no stretch. I have bigger arms than most women, especially women from my youth (okay, just before my youth). Therefore, there were many dresses I had no chance of getting my arms into. You can see here a small sample of all of the dresses available.

So, I will leave it at this: which of these dresses do you think I bought? Remember, I have to be able to get into and out of it on my own. Cost is always an issue (I would NEVER do this if not for this event, these are way out of my price range). And I have to live in the dress for an entire evening. So many of these dresses, given the evolution of fabrics over this time, were simply not comfortable.

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17 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    I really like the one on the right; the one on the left, is front button and would be easy to get on and off.

    All three are beautiful!

    Davina

  2. With all the criteria for fit and comfort, I’m guessing you bought the dress on the left. For 50s cute I might have gone with the one on the right.

  3. Being a product of the 50s-60s, I recall that period fairly well, although I have never really been interested in recreating the looks for myself. This post brought to mind something else. Through most of my life at home, I recall my mother wearing a house dress on a daily basis, as did all the other women in our community. The only exceptions I can recall were women working on harvesting equipment.

    Then something changed. I can’t put an exact date on it, but I think perhaps early 1968 was when my mom started wear slacks. She wasn’t the first, of course, but around that time, she and most of the women in our community adopted slacks and jeans as daily wear. Is strikes me as an interesting, transitional moment in the culture of mid-America.

    I don’t harbor any nostalgia for the frumpy old house dresses of days gone by.

  4. kandi,
    The period during the late 50s and early 60s was a true opening up of colour and styles after the austere years of the late 40s and early fifties . Even the day wear was glamourous with full petticoated skirts and dresses and the wonderful choice of colours in heels . ” IF ONLY !”
    It’s so sad to see women now almost turning their backs on femininty , are we the only ones that truly celebrate it ?

    As for your Lake Erie gala , do what any society girl would do and wear a cocktail outfit for the afternoon and then change into a lovely 50s style full length ballgown . I only have one but it still feels very special to swish your way round the dance floor .

      1. Kandi,
        The dresses I have that might pass as cocktail dresses were all charity shop finds and my lovely French ballgown with matching jacket in a dark metalic blue was given to me by my gender counsellor to give me a start when I stepped out the door , you can imagine how special that dress is to me .

  5. The first outfit is so lovely and yes you nailed it
    As far as what did you buy I’m going with the red polka dot dress, very cute and looks great on you
    50s fashion is great and so feminine

  6. You emphasized comfort a few times so I’m guessing the Navy dress. It looks the most comfortable of the three.

  7. That would be my dream store, though I doubt there’s anything that would really fit a plus size girl like me. Still, I just love vintage dresses so much. Women used to be so feminine and that’s what I wish I could be, but to try and blend in today means being less feminine, but a girl can still dream. You look absolutely lovely in every one of those dresses and I enjoy seeing you model them.

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