Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dresses for the Heat of Summer - 1956

Air conditioning was not mainstream in 1956.  Some public buildings offered it, but at home window units were expensive and uncommon.  Women tried to stay cool by wearing lightweight fabrics, although slips, bras and girdles were still de rigueur.  Today, summer dresses from 1956 that were made to beat the heat.

Pink and white checked cotton lawn is criss-crossed with insertion lace for a light airy effect.  Larry Aldrich.  Sold for $110 in 1956 (about $914 in today's dollar.)

Cotton voile in black with copper colored dots.  Oleg Cassini.  Sold for $70 in 1956 (about $582 in today's dollar.)

A sweet cotton poplin playsuit gets dressed up for town by wearing a co-ordinating floral skirt over it.  Both pieces by Pat Premo.  Sold for $40 in 1956 (about $332 in today's dollar.)

Semi-sheer cotton voile in a cool champagne color fashions a simple shirtwaist dress.  Vera Stewart.  Sold for $95 in 1956 (about $789 in today's dollar.)  Mr. John lace hat.

White pintucked cotton batiste with rows of insertion lace layered over pale yellow lining.  Harvey Berin.  Sold for $175 in 1956 (about $1454 in today's dollar.)

How do you dress to stay cool in summer?

19 comments:

Jen A. Miller said...

I always wear dresses in the summer to stay cool. People tell me that I'm dressed up. I'm not! They're so much easier.

Anonymous said...

life was so much prettier then.

Erin said...

Dresses, often made of cotton. I do not like shorts.

une femme said...

Oh, I love that Oleg Cassini with the copper dots.

Sheila said...

I love dresses and full skirts to keep cool. I agree, that Cassini is fabulous.

Miss Rayne said...

You just can't beat cotton for coolness

Susan said...

I'll take one of each, please. These are gorgeous!

verobirdie said...

I too love the Cassini, or the Harvey Berin...
In summer, I avoid human-made fabrics and prefer cotton and linen.

CarmenDahling said...

Dittos Susan, Sleeveless cotton dresses with big brim straw hats keep me cool and today it going to hit triple digits in Texas. Also love my sheer lace gloves that are so pretty, protect the hands and aren't too hot even in this heat wave.

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

I like dresses too, but I also wear wide legged linen pants and capris with simple tops. Rayon is another natural fiber that will keep you cool in the summertime.

YYZ said...

Dresses, dresses, dresses. Actually, I wear dresses all the time, to the point where, when I do wear trousers, someone invariably says, "Wow! I never see you in trousers!" Which is odd, as I do wear jeans a lot in cooler weather, too. I guess my "out in public" clothes are dresses. They are easy, cool and always look polished, so why not?

Also, that dotty Oleg Cassini number is DI.VINE. Happy long weekend-- Canada Day for us, July 4th for the U.S.!

those tricks said...

I'll take the Cassini, please!! :)

Jenifir said...

Beautiful post that makes you feel crisp and cool just reading it! I love to wear dresses and full skirts with sleeveles blouses to keep cool. Linen and cotton are my favourite fabrics in the summer. A wide brimmed straw hat and/or a parasol help if you need to be in the sun and I always carry a small folding fan in my purse for concerts and church services in buildings without air-conditioning.

lauren said...

i really love how you do the currency conversions, it's so educational and fascinating!

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

The Cassini seems to be a universal favorite! I love polka dots!

thatdamngreendress said...

fifties and sixties cotton sundresses- full skirted! you feel fresh and cool and beautiful (um, and I make sure to wear a slip so in the sudden breezes it doesn't become toooooo fresh!)

I'm dying for that Oleg Cassini!

bonita said...

~ * ♥ * ~

Those dresses with the lace are just so gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. : )

xox,
bonita of Depict This!
~ * ♥ * ~

Shelly said...

Simply gorgeous dresses! I love them. I tend to wear below knee length shorts and sleeveless tops to keep cool. I haven't worn dresses for many years but I am beginning to rekindle my relationship with them.

Gladys said...

I love the playsuite with the skirt over it. I wear dresses they are cooler than anything else.

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