Is it a political statement? A farm visit? A portrait with a favorite pet? There are no clues on the back of this photo, given to me by Lizzie Bramlett of The Vintage Traveler. On the front is the printed date April 57.
These smiling women wear dresses very typical of the era, with closely fitted bodices and wider skirts. The dress on the left looks to be cotton. Fullness at the top is created with gathering around the neck. The gathers are echoed below. The woman on the right has on a dress with a similar neckline, but with a slight sheen and a slinky drape. Perhaps it is made of rayon or one of the newer synthetic fibers like nylon. These dresses are not classic shirtwaists, since there are no buttons up the front, but they follow the same basic lines.
Today this silhouette, called “fit and flare,” is back in style. I’m amazed at all the dress patterns available these days that evoke this fifties look.
I think my biggest take away here is that pretty much everyone looks better in sunglasses.