Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Dressing - 1954

There's a mini heat wave that has been rolling across the US, and we're expecting it here in Boston today, before it makes it's way out to sea. It is certainly a day to consider hints for dressing in hot weather while enjoying summer fashions from 1954.

- Wear something simple, with a minimum of fuss, and a maximum of skin exposure within the bounds of professionalism. Dark buttons give this white dress enough decoration without adding weight or layers. Dress by Jerry Gilden.
- Use an umbrella as a parasol to block the sun. Shade is always cooler than direct sun. And don't forget the sunscreen!

- Opt for a dress or skirt instead of pants, and go with bare legs if you can.
- Bring along a natural fiber shrug sweater, a large silk scarf, or a shawl to cover your shoulders in cold air-conditioned buildings. Dress by Kane Weill.

- Always choose natural fibers for hot days, as they keep you cooler by wicking moisture away from the body. Lightweight cotton, silk, or linen is best, but rayon will also do.
- Choose light colors that will reflect the sun's rays instead of absorbing them. This classic shirtdress by Clare Potter is a perfect choice in off-white silk.

- Opt for looser fitting garments for added breathability and air flow. Simple blousy blue cotton shirt worn with an easy green cotton skirt. Both pieces by Claire McCardell.

- Keep your hair style simple for hot days.
- Wear open-toed shoes or sandals if you can.
Cheongsam styled dress in embroidered cotton by Carolyn Schnurer.

- Wear a wide brimmed hat to shade your face and shoulders. This is another reason to keep your hairstyle simple in the heat! Cotton eyelet dress by Carven.

All photos by Lillian Bassman for Harper's Bazaar except the last, which is by Arsac.