Friday, May 28, 2010

Vintage Evening Gowns - 1955

That's me in the center, with 2 of my sisters at the black-and-white formal wedding for our other sister. I'm carrying a 1930s rhinestone evening bag.

I've been seeing a lot of photos in the last few weeks of lovely young ladies in their prom finery. It got me thinking about the excitement of shopping for just the right gown, all the trying on and the dreaming of how beautiful one will look on the special night. And then I wondered, why is it that after our prom years, we women have so few opportunities to dress up for a formal affair? In the last 30 years, I have only worn a true formal evening gown 3 times - once at each of my children's weddings where I was the mother of the bride and then the groom, and once at my sister's black-and-white black tie wedding, shown above. Each time, I felt truly beautiful, and I had so much FUN!

Why don't we have more formal occasions to dress up for? Have we just gotten too lazy? Do we just not care anymore? Why is it OK to wear jeans to the opera? Why is it OK to wear a cotton mini-dress and flip flops to a wedding? I mourn the days when certain social affairs demanded that we respect ourselves and others by dressing up to honor the occasion.

And so, dear readers, here is a call to action! Why not plan a party or get-together and make it a formal affair? Here are some ideas, presented with stunning evening gowns from 1955.

Mme. Grès
Celebrate your next big birthday with a black tie party.

Jean Patou
Plan your own grown-up prom with dinner and dancing to the old standards.

Instead of a barbeque, how about a formal garden party?

Jean Patou
Attend a local formal fund raiser for your favorite charity.

Mme. Grès
Arrange a small formal dinner party at the best restaurant in town.

Pierre Balmain
Plan a very romantic at-home evening for two with your special someone.

Christian Dior
Have your own red carpet party on Oscar night.

Got any other ideas? Please add them in the comments.

Oh, and by the way, if you need a formal evening gown, I have a fabulous collection of vintage stunners at Couture Allure!

All photos by Pottier, except the first, which was taken by my husband.