This expressive photo from the Florida State Archives shows a party at the office of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company in Jacksonville, Florida. Although it is undated, the clothes are from the sixties. Looking at the shoes, my keen eyed friend Jen O thinks it probably comes from earlier than later in the decade.
I had a brocade prom dress in the sixties, so I could immediately recognize the fabric of the woman’s two piece outfit. It has everything a stylish older woman might want—a scooped neckline that was not too low and let her show off a necklace; three quarter length sleeves to cover the upper arms; and a skirt that was not too short. In fact, it is so perfect for the occasion and fits her so well that I wonder if she didn’t make it herself.
Did the camera just catch her at a bad moment, or is there a story behind the woman’s somewhat pained expression? Perhaps she was the underpaid office manager accepting a gift from a newly hired, inexperienced salesman who made more money than she did. Or was she the boss, trying to be gracious to her husband’s nephew who hadn’t done that well on the job? Then again, maybe she just didn’t like office parties.