Thursday, January 29, 2009

Suits in the 1960s

We've looked at suits from the 1940's and 1950's so far this week. As I said yesterday, about 1958-59, the shape of suits changes quite a bit. This red suit is from 1959. Here you can see that the length of the skirt is still below the knee, but suddenly we have a much shorter and less fitted jacket. All those darts in the jacket that emphasized a tiny waist are gone. Slight gathers or tucks start to appear at the skirt waist.

Sleeves are always elbow or 3/4 length during this period and suits are worn with long gloves.

Another jacket style that enjoyed a brief period of popularity was the longer, looser sacque jacket worn over a slim skirt. This style is seen from about 1958 - 62, and then disappears.

Dramatic and intricate details are gone from jackets. The most we usually see is topstitching, large decorative buttons, or pocket flaps without pockets. Collars are usually open, and the stand-away collar starts to appear. About 1963, hemlines creep up to right at the knee or 1" above and continue to creep shorter as the decade progresses. Princess seamed skirts often have hidden pockets at the hips.

The shorter jackets are often paired with dresses, or with a skirt and matching or contrasting sleeveless top. Evening suits are fashioned from fancy brocades, heavy silks, or metallics.

Closures sometimes disappear completely from jackets and they are worn open.

What happens next? Pantsuits! Check back tomorrow for suits from the late 1960's and 70's.