Casual dresses of the ’50s: January to June fashions from 1956
by Katherine Day
You’ll wear these American-made fashions from now on, wherever the sun shines.
The photographs on these two pages were taken in Victoria, British Columbia, the Canadian city of luxuriant gardens and Old World charm.
Womenswear shown above
There’s newness in the fitted and flared lines of this button-front dress; practicality, too, in the no-iron crepe fabric of dacron and nylon. Colors are blue, periwinkle, oyster, tan, coral. In sizes 1018, 9-17. Priced under $23. By Lucinda of California.
This dress and the outfit that is shown below and on the cover of this issue were photographed at the fabulous Butchart’s Gardens in Victoria [British Columbia, Canada].
These separates have decided fashion appeal because of the scarf neckline, long cuffed sleeves, panel-pleated skirt. Made of Soap ‘n’ Water Everglaze fabric in a smart polka-dot design. Shirt, under $8; skirt, under $14. Colors are cherry, gold, green. Both in sizes 10-18.
This sheath dress of linen-like rayon has standing pocket flaps. Sizes 10-18. Orange, blue, lilac fuchsia. About $18. Matching orlon cardigan is sequin-trimmed. Sizes 10-18. About $15.
About the casual dresses of the ’50s shown above
This sleeveless cotton dress is one to live in — day in, day out. Of baby-check cotton with contrasting woven stripes, it has a tucked shirt front and moderately full skirt. In pastel pink, blue, or gray. Sizes 10-18. Under $9. By Barbette. The beret is by Nell.
These vintage casual dresses of the ’50s photographed at an antique shop in the old city, beneath Quebec’s ramparts.
The wide boat neckline tapers to a V in back. Sleeves are brief, and the bodice is molded to a princess silhouette. Comes in a choice of dot colors. The sizes are 5-15. Dress is priced at about $23. By Craig Casuals.
Polka dots in many variations are now appearing in some of the smartest prints. This dress is a torso design with a V neckline, tie, and wide pocket bonds. In colors, there is a choice of blue, coral, or black dots on a white ground. Sizes 10-18. Under $13. By Borbette. The conveyance is a calosh, used mainly by tourists in Montreal.
What could be prettier for a date dress than this rose-print Everglaze cotton? Ties at the shoulder soften the sleeveless line. Unprocessed pleats give fullness to the skirt. Rose-printed on blue, beige, or gray ground. Sizes 10-18. Under $11. By Kay Windsor. The view is of one of the many beautiful rock gardens seen in Montreal.
Fashions for women: Casual dresses of the ’50s
About the vintage casual dresses featured above
This type of dress, with softly draped neckline a full skirt, has universal appeal. The color harmony photographed was provided by a corner of Butchart’s Gardens. Silk and cotton combine in the dress fabric. Colors for these casual dresses of the ’50s include aqua, green, periwinkle, coral, rouge. In sizes 10-18; 9-17. Under $23. By Lucinda.
This excellent coat dress by Alice of California is in a nubby-textured fabric by Folker. The wide rolled color and the sleeves pointing up shoulder width have a new look. In olive, beige, aqua, pink. Sizes 10-18.
MORE: Skirts, suits, dresses & coats: Tips on trends in ’50s fashion (1955)
Under colorful floral baskets, suspended from lamp-posts, and the tallyho are familiar sights in Victoria.
The print in this Alex Colman dress looks as fresh as the well-kept gardens surrounding the Parliament Buildings in Victoria. In Bates Disciplined fabric, the high neckline is collared in front, V shape in back. Soft pleats form the full skirt. Colors are gold, orange blossom, and blue. Sizes 8-16. Under $20.
The gardens at the Empress Hotel form a colorful background for these border-print separates. The gay motif is used to good effect in the tailored shirt pleats, guaranteed to last through machine-laundering, contribute fullness to the skirt. In blue cotton only. Shirt, under $5; skirt, under $11. Sizes are 8-18. By Koret.