Fun find at the flea market this morning, friends! Three mid-Sixties pattern magazines, all dating from 1964-65.
This was a fascinating time in fashion. Styles were about to change in a big way, but on the surface we were still in the late Fifties "Populuxe" era of shantung cocktail ensembles and white gloves. It was glamour's last hurrah, but who knew it at the time? Let's take a look!
There's a sense of affluence in these magazines that reflects the United States in this "Great Society" era. The middle class was doing better than it ever had before.
These magazines are full of ads, not only for sewing machines (and there are a lot of those) but for buttons, thread, interfacing, new synthetics (like Kodel Polyester), stretch fabrics, and more!
The sheath dress and shift were very popular, and everything is ladylike in the extreme, though more relaxed and suburban than a decade before.
As you'd expect, the Vogue pattern magazine has an emphasis on Paris designers, though the silhouettes are very similar to those in the McCall's magazines.
I love that the Vogue fashion shoots are not studio-bound, and there's a great spread of a romantic adventure in NYC with musician Skitch Henderson. (We must get a dashing mature man to escort Cathy in her next photo shoot.) I love the copy too!
"A tunic designed to melt over your figure and garner many an approving glance, beautifully stated in Lesur needlepoint wool."
"A float of chiffon, almost out of this world -- but completely realistic about arousing every Galahad instinct. Exotic color-over-color, new feminine triumph, in silk chiffon and surah by Liberty of London."
Who writes like that anymore?!
At this point, in 1964-65, there's just the smallest inkling of some of the psychedelia that's to come later in the decade...
The McCall's magazines include patterns for Barbie and troll dolls -- fun!
We complain about a dearth of men's patterns today? In three magazines there is only ONE.
There is, however, a fair amount of focus on mature fashions (fashions for "women"), a rarity today.
I think this is one of fashion's forgotten eras. It's too much like the late Fifties, and doesn't yet feel like what we've come to associate with the Sixties. I can't think of any vintage sewers who really seem to relish this era's fashions other than Susan of Spare Time, who can really rock a sheath dress. If you sew mid-Sixties patterns too, speak up!
You can see more photos from these mid-Sixties pattern magazines here.
Friends, what do you think? Do these styles seem too quaint for today, too prim and proper? Why do you think this period is so unloved (if you agree that it is)?
If you grew up watching Doris Day movies like "Send me No Flowers" and "Move Over Darling" or TV sitcoms like "Bewitched," you were fed a staple of these looks from an early age -- maybe that's why they still resonate with me.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!