Sunkist Group Photo in Orange, 1961

Orange Public Library via Calisphere

The city of Orange–located in Orange County, California–is named after citrus. When I grew up in the fifties, there were still orange groves everywhere. No surprise that the major citrus company, Sunkist, had a big packing plant there. Today the orange groves are gone and the packing plant has been converted into an upscale food hub–a sign of the times.

As befits a big workplace, there are many different styles of clothing on display here.  Casual clothes predominate among the men, including many overalls. There is only one man in a suit—the big boss one suspects.

Many of the women, including older women, are in pants, which makes sense if they worked packing oranges.  Age isn’t the determining factor. Note several older women in the front row in pants and one on the far right even in capris. Others wear dresses or skirt and blouse combinations, more suitable for the office staff. Or do you think some wore dresses in the packing plant? Maybe the shoes are a better indication of their jobs. Several wear dresses and what look like tennis shoes, not something I often see on the older crowd in the early sixties.

Those in dresses mainly wear the full-skirted look of the 1950s, but a few (like the one on the far right in the front) have slimmed down the width of their skirts, anticipating on the sleeker styles that will become so popular later in the decade. But I imagine it would be pretty hard to pack oranges in a sheath dress.

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2 Responses to Sunkist Group Photo in Orange, 1961

  1. Susan says:

    Great Photo! Since there is at least one male “executive” in a business suit, I imagine that several of the women in dresses (but not tennis shoes) are office staff. The capri paants really surprised me!

  2. Anne Sexton says:

    I grew up here, in north Orange/east Anaheim, in the 1960s. My mother wore house dresses in the 1950s but had switched to the pants and casual blouse by the 1960s for everyday wear (she was a housewife). I remember the orange groves from early childhood! The mix of dresses and pants seems about right for the occasion.

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