Sep 16, 2008

My Mother's Dresses: the 1949 - 1954 Edition

What I find so appealing about this group of my mother’s dresses is that they date from a time I do not remember. These are all from either before she married or right after. So these were worn by a young woman I never knew. One who went to dances and had a more hourglass figure than I ever saw. And the taste is different, too. She definitely went toward patterns and color from the 1970s on. No black or cream for her after 1970. Although there was the time she notably wore a very pale ivory dress as the Mother of the Bride….....Okay, it did have a large pastel flower on the chiffon overlay. And in all fairness, the bride was wearing her wedding gown, a beautiful and grand 1953 New Look lace gown, so there was not doubt as to who was the bride. And no, I was not the bride in question.

Anyhoo, three dresses that gave me insight into my mother and her life.

First: her 1949 High School Graduation dress set. Love this. Very pretty, clearly moving toward adult life and a set she could wear at college. My sister had custody of this for some years - and wore it well.

Second: a nicely tailored Stewart’s wool suit , early 50s, with pleated skirt. Probably purchased while at college or right after, maybe into the first year of marriage. Slightly boxy jacket but a tiny! waist on the knife pleated skirt. She probably got some wear out of the jacket, but not the skirt. Both my sister and I wore this in the 80s and 90s. I always felt very chic and ladylike in this and wore it with modern jewelry.

Third: a watercolor floral chiffon cocktail dress. This is most likely from 1950-1954. And it shows the direction her more mature taste would head in. I do believe this was altered in the neckline - another dress we wore in the 80s.


fuzzylizzie said...

Hollis, You are really lucky to still have your mother's dresses! Mine was a complusive de-clutterer, and things that were not worn were thrown out. Lizzie

Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...

I do feel fortunate. My grandmother who went to Mexico City in 1912 with trunks of trousseau quality gowns threw them all out....