In looking back at fashion from the past, it's not all about the designer duds shown in high fashion magazines. We must remember the young housewife and mother who needed to look good on a budget. Today's images come from a 1954 magazine called Better Living, a small monthly that focused on the home, cooking, and decorating with just a touch of fashion. These images give us a perfect look into what a young woman would wear during the day when going shopping in the city, to a doctor's appointment, or a meeting at the children's school. Notice the focus on the wasp waist that is achieved with the fuller hips or the short bolero jackets in these designs. Also notice the accessories. A hat and gloves were always worn. A scarf tucked into a V neckline was a fashion trend. We also get a look at some cute purses and even a fur muff!
McKettrick grey dress with bolero jacket, trimmed with velvet piping. Sold in 1954 for $18 (about $143 in today's dollar).
A solid maroon cotton dress is set off with a coordinating plaid bolero jacket. Dress by Sue Brett. Sold in 1954 for $18 (about $143 in today's dollar).
A wide waistband shapes this dress by Maxine Bentley for Youthguild. Sold in 1954 for $20 (about $159 in today's dollar).
This coat dress by Queen Make buttons all the way down the front. Sold in 1954 for $23 (about $182 in today's dollar).
The wide skirt of this dress by Sue Brett has graceful unpressed pleats for added volume. A leopard print scarf is tucked into the neckline. Sold in 1954 for $23 (about $182 in today's dollar).
A sweet calico print fashions a demure dress by Juniorite. Sold in 1954 for $14 (about $111 in today's dollar).
Also in this magazine, there are several recipes for "Lazy Cooks" who want to cook dinner in one dish. The recipes feature canned and frozen food. Looks appetizing? No way, no how. This is UGLY FOOD!
For the one dish dinner at the bottom, open two cans of spaghetti with tomato sauce into a baking dish. Arrange frozen fish sticks on top in a pretty pattern. Spoon canned corn around the edges. Season with salt and pepper, dot with butter and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 425° oven. Ewwwwwwwww.
The other dishes shown? At the top left, fried Spam with canned green beans and onions cooked with brown sugar. At the top right, canned breakfast sausage with fried zucchini and canned peaches. More ewwwwwwwww. Thank you, mom, for not reading Better Living magazine!