October 15, 2014

"a dress for all occasions"

In my post about my Little Black Dress, I mentioned how I originally wanted to make it as one of the 'adaptable' dresses featured in so many early 1950's magazines. I don't know if you are familiar with that particular concept.
So, when I came across an example (when taking pictures of nice dresses from the pages of 1950's issues of Margriet magazine for my growing Pinterest boards) I thought I would show it.

 This particular dress was featured in the magazine with instructions to draft the pattern in size 42. The pattern could also be ordered in the sizes 38, 40 and 42.

The philosophy behind this type of dress is obvious: Rationing of fabric had stopped by the second half of 1950 but fabric was still relatively scarce and expensive. The vast majority of women had to plan her wardrobe with care: Spending little and yet getting the most from those items in terms of variation and style was the ideal.

The title of this article is "a dress for all occasions" and the illustrations for this one are particularly clear. 
The dress is quite typical for its type: It has a straight, slim skirt and a very simple bodice. Even the collar is very understated. Which is typical too. Many dresses like this didn't have a collar at all and could be accessorized with that other favorite of this era: Separate collars and cuffs. 

Most variations on the right page are pretty straight-forward: Different belts, a scarf worn in the neckline, pins. The left page is more interesting: A jacket and a sash with pockets. The sash creates the looks of a skirt-with-flounce, which I really like. I've seen many examples like this from 1949 and 1950 and I keep wondering about them. I love a skirt with a flounce but I really wonder if this very simple option would really look so well in real life.
And I'm sure I have even seen a version somewhere with pocket bags with flaps on a belt.

As I mentioned before, I haven't made any add-ons for my LBD yet, and I probably won't. But I still like the idea of the dress for all occasions...

1 comment:

  1. i think the detachable cuffs and collars are a great idea especially when working with a wool jacket/coat as they are practical too,. your lovely lbd could take a simple collar in a black satin or a more textured one in black chiffon - which could make for an interesting neckline