And that’s when it hit me: shirtwaists! Whatever happened to–shirtwaists? Not that I miss them all that much.
They were dowdy and yet sort of flattering for some people (mostly the clean-cut all-American type), and very comfortable. There was a ’40s type, which I don’t remember. And then there was a ’50s type that I do remember, demonstrated by six out of seven of the wives in the photo above (every one but the rebel in the flowered sheath). They are wearing an especially plain version—the ones I had were always prints—but that’s what they invariably looked like.
I came in more or less on the tail end of the craze, which was fortunate because the style never looked good on me anyway. I was too exotic, or something like that. They were almost always made of cotton (although I also had a couple made of some synthetic non-wrinkling material that were supposed to be good for traveling), and were cut like a blouse with buttons, then came in at the waist, almost always had a belt, and the skirt was usually gathered although you can see that the two wives wearing blue in the photo are sporting the sheath variant.
And circle pins, anyone? Obligatory.