Fashion in 1952 — Evening Dress

Forget the handsome guy (he\’s mine) One of my own original designs — two piece shot taffeta and brocade

I have now had well over 5,000 hits on posts that have designs going back to the early fifties. Not huge by some standards but good for Wrinkly Writers.
I came across this photo of me in 1952 (with my husband to be). I am wearing a dress I designed the year before (1951) But then it was long and simple — shot silk taffeta blue/black skirt and boned strapless top of gorgeous top silver and blue brocade. I later cut it short and used that material to make the sleeveless top (that you see here) to wear over the dress. It was a useful little outfit. A perfect fit too. All fastenings invisible.
Nothing wasted in those days. It wasn’t just that money was in short supply but we were brought up to make the most of what we had.
What I like about fashions of that era is the cut of clothes. They enhanced the figure. Good packaging with allure, rather than overt exposure of goods.

visit my other blogs
Writing For Joy
Diary Of An English Lady
Gladys Hobson — Author
Magpies Nest Publishing for my UK books.

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4 Responses to “Fashion in 1952 — Evening Dress”

  1. Payton L. Inkletter Says:

    What a sight for sore eyes, and it’s not your husband I’m talking about Gladys!

    (Having said that, I have often caught Missus Inkletter awfully close to the screen, panting, when she’s spotted photos of your mild-mannered half; she’d be salivating now but for the fact that she’s gallivanting and gamboling about 250 kms south in the paradisiacal playground that is Balingup and its environs.)

    Bring back that fashion I say!

  2. Gladys Hobson Says:

    Well, my beloved is also a sight for sore eyes — he puts my drops in at night (I can manage the day ones)
    Not so sure about the mild mannered.

    Yes, I liked the post war fashion of flared skirts and fitted waists. These days it is hard to know where a girl’s waist is!

  3. Damyanti Says:

    You look so pretty in this pic, Gladys….it is my dream to design all my dresses myself, but I can’t find good tailors in this country, and I’m not too keen on sewing!

    Beautiful outfit!

  4. Gladys Hobson Says:

    Actually Damyanti cutting and making up is not as difficult as it may appear. Once you have a block exactly right for your measurements and figure you can use it to cut any pattern. Trousers, shorts and swimsuits require shaping to go underneath and then adjusting. But the easiest thing there is to use an old pair of jeans that fit exactly and unpick the seams to flatten out and shape a pattern from. There is a method for cutting a block pattern. But if you have an old plain dress that fits perfectly then that too could be unpicked (Taking special care when unpicking darts) flattened out and a pattern taken. Seams, darts, gathers need to be allowed for. Now that outfit I am wearing in the photo is not as difficult as it looks. It started out as a long dress with a tight fitting boned bodice. (No straps).
    I think the skirt was circular to avoid bunching on the waist line. I cut the bottom off the dress. I cut a back bodice (likely from my block pattern) and then allowed the front sections to flare out so as to gather in with the cummerbund. It was either fastened with hooks and eyes or press studs with the brooch to add a bit of glitter. (No diamonds I assure you — other than my gold ring and locket I have no jewellery other than junk!)
    Would you believe? I have a pattern cutting book going back to when I left a secondary art school in 1948. The book was likely published earlier than that as some of the styles look pre-war. I chose it as my prize for overall achievement. Of course the fashions are a little odd (is anything odd these days?) but the cutting principles remain the same.
    I had a whole set of blocks (different sizes and basic garments – tops, skirts, plain bodice knicker housecoat etc children size too, and blocks for members of my family) cut in heavy Swedish craft paper. But I threw the lot out last year except for a doll pattern and I think mine — not that it would be any use as it is!) If you cut a pattern yourself you know exactly how it should be made. Sewing is not difficult once you get a little practice. I found some of the boys at school better than the girls, and they had never done any before.
    I expect pattern cutting books are still around and easy to use. You don’t need an IQ that would score you top of the MENSA league.
    Actually though, clothes are much cheaper to buy than make these days. You only benefit if you want a unique design. If you like designing clothes you should try sending a few to garment manufacturers – look them up, write a letter on headed paper (you’d enjoy designing a suitable heading – include freelance designer)) and who knows?

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