Readers, when you go to the beach -- I mean when you're literally walking on the sand -- what are you usually wearing besides a bathing suit (assuming you're not on a nude beach, of course) -- maybe a sweatshirt or windbreaker, right? Or just spray-on Banana Boat, SPF 60?
What you're probably not wearing is a matching beach jacket. I don't think you'd even see one of those on Lindsay Lohan, poolside at the Chateau Marmont. It's just not the way people dress anymore.
I was going to title this post "Whatever Happened to the Beach Jacket?" but I didn't want to come across as one of those arbiters of womens fashion again so soon. Actually, I have only positive things to say about the nearly-gone-but-not-forgotten beach jacket -- or should I say, coordinating beach ensemble.
Beach jackets could be Forties-style toppers, like Lana Turner's above, complete with shoulder pads out to there. Many were cut more like smocks, or ponchos, or muumuus, or even the spitting image of a dental hygienist's uniform.
Like fashion itself, beach outfits went from tailored to loose and flowy -- from glamour, to boho and beyond, and you'd still find patterns for them well into the Eighties.
I finally finished my Forties beach jacket, which has come out looking like a cross between "Female on the Beach" and "The Birth of A Nation."
The hood lining and facings are done in a contrasting black and white floral fabric.
I love this garment, which was a lot less complicated than the bathing suit that will accompany it, thank goodness. The unfortunate part is that the fabric I'd originally chosen for the suit really doesn't work with the black and white. I called it wrong, folks.
I'll just have to save it for a community theater production of Cobra Woman. Now I'm thinking solid eyelet or pique; we'll see.
Remember all that to-do about stripes last week? Well, we tried the horizontal striped pocket (just pinned) but decided it was too bold, too distracting, especially with the contrasting fabric, so we went with vertical pockets instead.
What is cool, however, is the design the stripes make when the hood is down.
I don't want to go into too much detail about my jacket now, but rather to ask you about beach ensembles in general. Aside from the fact that there are hardly any in-print swimsuit patterns out there, do any come with a matching jacket -- or a matching anything? I'm not asking for Annette Funicello's entire wardrobe from Muscle Beach Party; those days are over.
Are beach jackets just too much trouble: too fussy, too matchy-matchy, too much to pack in a suitcase?
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!