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September 8, 2009

Tuesday’s Retro Guest – Let’s Talk Fashion 1959

Here is another post in the Tuesday’s Retro Guest series.  Jan, or Sablemable as she is known around here, is a frequent contributor and even more frequent commentor on the blog, and I always love to get emails from her.  It is my pleasure to share some of her great contributions with you!

In the late summer of 1959,  I was preparing to enter kindergarten.


In the meantime, many young American women were getting ready to set sail for college. So what did the mid-century student wear to class?  Here are some suggestions from Mademoiselle Magazine of August 1959.


Plaids were very much in style.



And stripes.


Sweaters were a co-eds best friend and yes, she IS wearing shorts!



Shoes, LOTS of shoes!



Undergarments? Not so comfortable back then no matter how hard the manufacturers tried to spin it.


Red lipstick was the trend.  Our college model is wearing Tangee Red ‘n Rich.


Yikes! The DREADED Clearasil Ad!


And finally, short skirts.  Short skirts? In 1959?  From what I’ve been able to gather, the co-eds wore these to athletic events complete with coordinating tops and tights.  I’m sure the boys loved it, but not the parents and faculty!                                                                            


 Thanks, Jan!

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9 Responses to Tuesday’s Retro Guest – Let’s Talk Fashion 1959

  1. RetroRuth Reply

    September 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks for the post, Jan! I adore your kindergarten picture. The ric-rac on your dress is just too cute!

    I just have a question, though. What the heck is going on in that shoe ad? Is that some sort of gnome giving that girl shoes? Weird.

  2. sablemable Reply

    September 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    LOL, it does look like a gnome!!!! No telling what was going through the marketing department’s head when they did this ad!

    Thank YOU, Ruth, for allowing me to be a guest blogger! It was so much fun putting together a “story.”

    My dress was red background with black dots/ric-rac and white accents. I don’t remember what kind of fabric that dress was made from, but I do remember wearing stuff that made rustling sounds whenever I moved! Also, you can’t see it in the photo, but the dress had a black patent leather belt around the waist. Guess I was wearing white anklets and my black patent leather Buster Brown Mary Janes. Mom tried to trim my bangs even and didn’t quite make it, LOL!

    Again, thanks for all the help (you really helped!), Ruth!

  3. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm


    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your kindergarten pic, and your pixie cut is adorable! I think we all had those Mom cut bangs! he he! Whatever happened to that cute little dress?

    All your magazine scans are so cool to look at. I love those old 50s fashion mags, they are the best. Yes, what is up with that gnome??? Is he like a gnome shoe bandit, or something, with that bandana tied around his face? Did he steal the guys shoes and is giving them to the girl? Hmmmmmm? It is funny, also, to see the length of the “mini” type of skirt then compared to now – it is just a little shorter now!

    Great job Jan! I look forward to your next posting. Hooray!!!

    PS – Do you have bloggers anxiety yet???

  4. sablemable Reply

    September 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    LOL, no the anxiety is gone, finally!!!!!!!

    I’m looking forward to your next post, too, Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

    LOL, the guy in the shoe ad probably had such awful looking shoes that the gnome made them disappear, replacing them with the striped socks!!!!!

    Have no idea what happened to that dress, but, rest assured I couldn’t git my big toe into now!

    I was really surprised to see those pre-miniskirts! Even the cheerleaders back then didn’t wear that short of skirt!

    I’m now assembling my next post and will have to go to the local library for some materials. Ruth, what have you started, LOL?

  5. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Those striped socks are pretty spectacular!!! he he!!! 😉 Maybe I should find some for Mike to wear! It would be like wearing Candy Canes for socks!!! Yippee for Candy Cane footwear!!! Too funny!

    I know, I have to get on the ball and get my next post in!

  6. priscilla Reply

    September 8, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    How did my mom get to your house to cut your bangs?

  7. Karen Reply

    September 9, 2009 at 12:54 am

    I want that red plaid coat!

  8. 50s Pam Reply

    September 9, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I’m totally diggin’ those kilts. I bought one new recently – I’m getting it out for sure as soon as the weather cools down a bit. Thanks for the great post!

  9. Roxanne Reply

    September 9, 2009 at 9:55 am

    How things have degenerated.

    Back then–beautiful clothes, so well-dressed you could have gone to a nice restaurant, etc. straight from a class.

    Now–pajamas, mismatched, no less. I live in a college town and it is so sad. The girls seem to be in competition about the number of minutes its been since they rolled out of bed.

    Sigh. At least we get to look at the old magazines and movies!

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