A May Gathering, 1953

Found photo

The stamp on the back of this photo says May 1953, although sometimes people get their pictures developed long after the fact.  However, the trees indicate that it could be May.  The clothing also points to a transitional season.  The two women in the center are dressed in suits while the one on the right wears a short sleeved dress. 

The suits are in the early fifties style—somewhat nipped at the waist with longer skirts.  The older woman in the middle wears her skirts much longer than the other two, though.  Looking through clothing ads from the era, I think the younger women were more up to date—as usually is the case.  While all of them wear comfortable looking shoes, none of them has chosen the lace up oxford—the sensible shoe of the first half of the twentieth century.  I particularly like the strappy pair worn by the woman on the left.

What do you think the woman on the right is doing?  Had she brought a very large napkin for a picnic, or was she showing off the over skirt from her dress?  The latter is more likely the case, but the pattern doesn’t exactly match the trim at the collar and sleeve. 

Let’s make up a story, shall we?  The couple on the left had come to visit the woman’s mother and sister.  The sister on the right had just taken over her mother’s couture sewing salon and was showing off her skills.  “But the patterns don’t quite match,” the photographer said.  And the visiting sister, who had always been a bit competitive, gave a sardonic laugh.

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5 Responses to A May Gathering, 1953

  1. Amy says:

    Actually the patterns do match. The sleeve cuff and collar are cut on the bias. The overskirt may also but because of the way she’s holding it up it looks like it’s on the straight grain.

  2. ceci says:

    Do the two ladies in dark clothes also have on hats? Hard to tell. I too think the patterns match except for being set on the bias, but my picture is awfully small. Maybe the thing in her hand is a bolero rather than an overskirt? Except her sleeves are pretty full to fit under a bolero. The man’s bowtie is pretty snappy.


  3. Bob Moeller says:

    I think it’d be a rare photographer who would notice the non matching (or matching?) pattern. Think of it as a Venn diagram. In one circle, the hobby photographers, in another people who know if the pattern matches. My guess: not a huge intersection.

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