In Pants and Shorts at the Pool, mid 1960s

poolposecompositeThere are many ways to date photos. In my reading about the history of the snapshots, I’ve discovered that the very shape of the photo is one of them. Although square photographs existed since the early twentieth century, this format became a favorite for amateur photographers when Kodak introduced the Instamatic camera in 1963. Even though the women’s shoes and hairdos look a little dated, I’m guessing these perfectly square photos come from around the mid 1960s. Their cat eye sunglasses have a sixties look as well.

According to the fashion trade magazine California Stylist, pants and shorts were a hot fashion item in 1964. The March issue was entirely devoted to these looks. Nautical styles, like the woman on the left has on, were also quite the thing. Take a look at this ad for the sun ‘n sand brand.

California Stylist, March 1964

California Stylist, March 1964

The same magazine issue gave a helpful explanation for the proper name to apply to different lengths of pants and shorts. Following their chart, the woman on the left wears capris, the on the right/middle wears Bermuda shorts (or perhaps rolled up pedal pushers?), and the one on the right in the second photo might have on slacks.

It looks pretty hot. Why is no one in the pool?

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3 Responses to In Pants and Shorts at the Pool, mid 1960s

  1. The tip about square photos is great! I’d vote for the dark pants being “pedal pushers” on a short woman. Capri pants were always tapered and usually so tight that part of the seam was left open in at the bottom – so you could get your foot into the pants. (We didn’t have today’s stretch fabrics.)

  2. Fabrickated says:


    My thought about the pool is that they didn’t want to get their hair wet. My Mum used to do her hair once a week, with rollers, setting lotion etc, and despite being a keen and competent swimmer seemed to hate getting her hair wet. She always wore a bathing cap and generally swam the breast stroke to avoid having to set her hair again.

    Or maybe they didn’t have their swimming costumes?

  3. Jen O says:

    Their outfits are classic for that time–regardless of age, even jr. high girls would have worn these looks. My guess for the empty pool is that the lifeguards don’t come on duty til the day warms up, maybe after lunch.

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