On the Boardwalk

When Mary Quant started her fashion revolution in the sixties, she claimed that her goal was to make clothes so that young women could dress differently than their mothers.  The sixties might be an extreme example of generational difference in dress, but in fact the phenomenon was not new at all. 

We can see the rift in this summer photo from the mid-1940s.  Even if the faces of these two women had been obscured, I think we could accurately guess which one was older.  The young woman wears separates. Her skirt is shorter.  She has bare legs, short socks, and loafers. The whole effect is on comfortable informality.  (And note wonderful chevron effect made by the stripes on her skirt.)

Her older companion (probably her mother) looks much more carefully put together.  She wears a dress, not separates, and her skirt reaches a few inches lower.  Her shoes look sensible, although not dowdy, and most likely she was wearing stockings with them.  Both shoes and handbag match her outfit. Although it appears to be a cellphone in her upper pocket, I’m guessing that is an eyeglass case.

They look happy, don’t they? I wonder if it was the beginning or send of summer.

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2 Responses to On the Boardwalk

  1. JS says:

    The putative daughter’s skirt is only a tad shorter than her mother’s. I think she looks just as put together and her outfit is more interesting. Her younger age is evident from her overall slimness, the Bobby socks, and loafers. But younger people of the past still look so much older than their counterparts today.

  2. eimearg says:

    its a lovely photo – i like the suble differences in the two, the girl is slightly taller than her companion/mum – which reminded me of when my niece overtook me in height and I became the little aunty (I have a shorter aunty also so it was on the cards) – cute bobby socks –

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