The Sheath and the Shirtwaist, 1965

The photographer did these two women no favors by capturing them from the bottom up.  They are obviously related, but I wonder how. Judging by the clothes, the woman on the right might be the daughter. Looking at their faces, though, they might be sisters separated by about ten years.

We can say without a doubt that the woman on the right has decided to follow fashion to some degree.  Her skirt isn’t short, but she wears a sheath dress in a fun print.  Her glasses are up to date and her accessories stylish. While her shoes aren’t go-go boots, they do not scream “old lady.”

Her companion, on the other hand, has decided against current trends. The shirtwaist dress in a reserved print might be from the fifties. Her glasses are also a fifties style.  But it is her shoes, the sensible oxford so beloved by the elderly, show that comfort and stability are more important to her than an up to date look.

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2 Responses to The Sheath and the Shirtwaist, 1965

  1. Paloverde says:

    The woman on the left could be my grandmother (1898–1974) who dressed in a very similar fashion. I remember her in those same shoes and in that same sort of dress with gravity taking its toll. Now here I am at age 62 and I don’t think I read as a “matron” in the same way that grandma did. I may not be particularly fashionable, but I think I read as “middle-aged” and not “senior citizen.” Have we really changed that much in the intervening decades?

    • JS says:

      The change in older women’s appearance over the decades is amazing.

      The good news: The pressure not to let yourself go.
      The bad news: The pressure not to let yourself go.

      Is it possible that the woman on the left is also wearing a wig? Time was, I never noticed things like that, but her hairline is very uniform.

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