Bolero Style, Late 1940s

Found photo

I know better than to comment on women’s style choices, since we are now in the era of “anything goes.”  If I’m honest, however, I think this woman is dressing a little young for her age.  Everything about her outfit and hairstyle is coded young, including her ankle bracelet.  However, judging by her face I think she might be well into her fifties.

New Style Mail Order, late 1940s or early 1950s via

The photo isn’t dated, but bolero jackets were a popular style in the forties and fifties.  Her high heeled open toe sandals look to come from the late 1940s, and I found plenty of sewing patterns from that era in that style.  I’m wondering if she didn’t make the outfit herself, inserting the cut out pattern on her bolero to match her dress.  The fabric in the fashion drawing is even similar to the gingham of the dress.  Everyone wore gingham in the forties, but older women were more likely to choose smaller patterns.

I would love to hear your comments on this photo.  Do you think the woman is as old as I think she is?  And are there any clothing styles that you think older women should avoid?

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6 Responses to Bolero Style, Late 1940s

  1. Nann says:

    I think that 60+ years ago women looked older than they do today, and that’s not just because I’m older. So perhaps this woman is in her 40’s. But she’s slim, so she can carry off the large checks and the bolero.

  2. Judith Rickard says:

    Nann has a good point. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure Gingham Lady is wearing eyeglass tethers, so I’m going with 50’s.

    And I’m glad she has the gumption to wear her 1940s bombshell outfit. You go, Mom/Grandmom!

    I am in an age group and shape which some would say is inappropriate for sleeveless garments…but I started wearing them again two years ago. I’m comfortable, and that’s what counts. This woman looks comfortable and happy, too. Good for her.

  3. Bob Moeller says:

    And who doesn’t like a dog lover.

  4. ceci says:

    Is she staring into the sun? That could make her face look more scrunched and older. Her arms and legs are slim and toned – I hope she had a great time on the outing she was dressed up for!


  5. Norah says:

    I think she’s at least as old as you think, possibly even early 60s. But I don’t see a problem with her outfit or hair at her age. Especially in the summer. The bolero would be much more practical and comfortable than a long-sleeved cardigan or jacket. And hair? No reason why older women needed to have short hair or updos in those days if they didn’t want to.

    Of course I’m loooking at it from today’s standards.

  6. Trish S says:

    I would say she’s early 50s. To me, that’s the age when you suddenly realise your youth is well and truly behind you, but you want to have a last hurrah before it’s too late. At least that’s what I felt like! As to suitable, she has a terrific figure, good legs and arms, and she’s probably a very attractive women when she’s not squinting into the sun. I’m glad she went for it, though I expect she suffered a bit of tut tutting in her day.

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