Swing Coat, 1950s

swingcoatEverything coordinates here, from the hat to the shoes. This stylish older woman wears a swing coat (sometimes called a pyramid coat), which extends down from the shoulder out to a wide hem. It was a very popular style in the 1950s, although I have seen them most often in hip length versions.

The wonderful website vintagepatterns.wikia.com shows swing coats offered by a wide range of pattern companies, from low end Anne Adams to high end Vogue. This long coat would have required a lot of fabric—up to five yards of wide yardage depending on the size.

Butterick 6583, 1952. From Vintagepatternwikia.com

Butterick 6583, 1952. From vintagepatterns.wikia.com

All the elements in this outfit—the swing coat, the small boxy hand bag, the flying saucer hat, were popular in the early to mid 1950s. I’m guessing that she found her coat in the early part of the decade, since lengths got shorter as the years progressed.

I love the look of three quarter length sleeves, but how useful are they in a coat? Doesn’t that swath of skin between her gloves and her sleeve get cold? But this looks like a woman who put style before comfort.

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4 Responses to Swing Coat, 1950s

  1. Jen O says:

    Those 3/4 sleeves usually show long gloves to ‘bridge the gap’ between hand and cuff (as shown in the pattern illustration). I love her saucer hat–it’s so early 50’s New Look / Dior looking, along with the rest of her ensemble. I am also wanting to see more of that modern home she stands in front of.

  2. Rhoda K says:

    Love this gal’s outfit. I’ve always liked swing coats and still hope to make a short one. Maybe this coming winter.

  3. It’s possible that her coat has push-up sleeves — I see some folds. She looks very style conscious and self-confident. I remember those almost-to-the elbow length gloves with 3/4 sleeves in the 60s — but you couldn’t wear a long-sleeved blouse under 3/4 sleeves. Not too practical for those of us who only owned one coat at a time.

  4. Carol in Denver says:

    A problem with swing coats is that they allow cold air to rush up from the bottom. If you want to be warm you have to unbutton the coat and wrap it snugly around you.

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