I am on the horns of a fashion dilemma

I just found in my foot locker a gorgeous c1960 Ann Fogarty of my Mom’s—very Jackie. I want to get some fabric and have my Little Dressmaker run me up a couple of knockoffs . . . But I am so short of cash. Still, we are talking Enterprising Frocks, made to order, which will last a good ten years . . I’ll look just like Jackie Kennedy, if Jackie Kennedy had been a fat old Jew . . .

Looks just like this, only in a cream-colored linen, with elbow-length sleeves and four inverted kick-pleats in the skirt . . . I can give tours of our office! “This is the office of the editor-in-chief . . . That filing cabinet was donated by Mrs. Burton Cohen of Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey . . .”

That’s a pretty cute dress, all right. They wore much nicer stuff back then.

Why, Eve, you’re a big wheel in the fashion industry - you mean to say you can’t run up a couple of frocks on your own?

(speaking as someone who can’t even hem a skirt to save her life)

Them’s stunnin’! What does it cost to have stuff made for you? My mom made all my clothes when I was a kid, but she didn’t charge me anything. I was the belle of the Jr. High ball. Speakin’ of high balls, I could use one right about now. :cool:

:eek: Definitely a collection of antiques!

Yeah, a nice dress, by the way. Ah, to be able to wear pleats again.

. . . and that dress is so classic it will look perfectly modern in NYC today. I can go to the Gommint District and pick up, say, three yards of fabric for about $25 (double that, for two dresses), a little extra for zippers and decorative buttons. My Little Dressmaker will charge me about $65/dress, labor.

So, we are running into some money–but still a lot less than I’d pay for something at Lord & Taylor’s I didn’t like as well . . . And these will be tailored to me, and in colors and fabrics I’ve chosen.

Eve, while you may be Jewish, you sure as hell aren’t fat! Remember, we’ve seen your pics.

Me, I find those just-below-the-waist length jackets unbecoming, but if it’s a style you can wear, go for it, dudette! Get one now, and have another one made when you can manage. As you so correctly pointed out, it’s a classic style, so it’s not like you won’t be able to wear it in six months.

If you start now, with, say, a nice wool challis or medium-weight crepe, it would be perfect for a fall suit. And I love the idea of it in ivory if, unlike me, you can avoid spilling on yourself for more than a day. (I’m simultaneously pathetic and dangerous - sigh.)

Really, Eve, in the long run you’re saving yourself money by having this done. As you said, you’ll wear them for years, and just having them in your closet will keep you from having to buy something on the instant for some dinner or affair. It’s a versatile outfit, so you can wear it to a fairly fancy gathering, or an afternoon garden party, all depending on your jewelry, shoes and wrap. Besides, it will make you happy.

If money’s the issue, have your dressmaker make one now, if a lighter fabric so you can wear it right away, and hold off on the second one for a couple of months and have it made in a heavier fabric, for the cooler seasons. You deserve it.

Oh, and choose fabric that match shoes you already have. Mustn’t be extravagant.

You can take the girl away from 1961 but you can’t take 1961 away from the girl. . .

Fancy gathering? Garden party? I’m wearin’ it to work!

I’m thinking either a nubbly raw silk, or a very loose-weave linen. One in creamy beige and one in teal. Kind of dress that looks good with either flats or heels . . .

My mother had a very similar dress in dark emerald green raw silk, with a matching pillbox hat. A ritzy friend of hers used to have parties where all the ladies would pore over fabric samples with a group of travelling tailors from Hong Kong. I loved that dress. Unfortunately I was six inches taller than my mother by the time I was 12, so it wouldn’t have done me much good to keep it.

Eve consider getting one done now in a fabric suitable for fall and winter, since before long they will be with us. Then, as a Christmas/New Year’s treat for yourself, get another one done in a Spring/Summer fabric. That way, you’ll have a yummy outfit to look forward to in October and one to look forward to in April or May. What could be better than having two yummy outfits to look forward to?

I just said yummy outfit twice. Og! I am sooooo gay.

You are! Will you marry me (I’m female)? Any man who can appreciate a yummy outfit is my kind of guy!

Well, I already had two summer dresses made up, copied from this dress: One in this floral pattern, and one in a beige and white bamboo pattern.

I’m thinking of the Jackie dress as a spring/fall dress; even winter, with a stole over it (stoles are very in next season–fashion flash!). Barring weight gain (ha!), my clothes usually last a good eight to ten years.

Eve, it doesn’t matter where actually you wear it, I, for one, will always imagine you at garden teas and the type of cocktail parties popular in 1940’s New Yorker cartoons.

You have an imaginary lifestyle to uphold, or didn’t you know that? :wink:

Definitely linen.

That raw silk stuff always looks to me like little fabric elves have been making runs in perfectly good material.

Avoid the fabric elves at all costs.

  1. To seamstress, to ask how many yards of fabric I’ll need.

  2. To Poli’s in the Gommint District–they have everything in the way of fabrics.

  3. To that wonderful little Russian button store on 6th–they have novelty and designer buttons going back to the 1920s.

  4. To the bank, to explain to them why I need a loan.

Wow, you may just the person I’m looking for Eve (sorry, I recognize you from your posts but I don’t post much myself).

I’ve been trying to find 50s cocktail dress patterns for yonks. Basically I want a dress pattern that mirrors what Grace Kelly wears when she’s feeding Jimmy Stewart the dinner from Le Cirque (or whatever restaurant it was) at the beginning of Rear Window…or maybe somthing Liz Taylorish. Basically I plan to take said pattern to India and have the dress made up using sari fabric (with the beautiful border at the bottom of the skirt and maybe around the sleeves) but I’ve been having a hard time locating the bloody patterns. I’m also wondering how to make the skirt poof out like theirs would…do you know of any costuming or pattern books of that era that give seamstress like directions or anything? Your seamstress must be very clever to draw it up from just a picture but I don’t want to take chances and if I ruin several yards of sari material my mother will throttle me.

I’ve seen some McCall’s dress patterns for sale online but I’m looking for a real professional design of the era so I’m not sure if those will do. Labour is pretty cheap in India and again, if I ruin sari silk my mother will have my head so I want it to be just right.

If you could help…I would appreciate it. Oh, and by the way, beautiful dress, I’m sure you’ll look gorge(ous).

If it’s the sort of poof I’m thinking about, I believe they wore a crinoline underneath.

Yes, several layers of petticoats - doesn’t necessarily have to be crinoline. If you want poof coming from the waist, the petticoats should be gathered at the waist. If you want a comparatively slim waist and hips, but a wider, “bell” look at the bottom, you need to make a tiered petticoat: gathered a bit at the waist, hangs for perhaps 9-14 inches, then a second tier gathered on to that one for another 9-14 inches, and possible a third tier gathered on to that. That’s your bottom layer of petticoat. You then wear a layer or two of smoother petticoat over it to smooth out the “steps” that the tiers cause.

For full length skirts, if you want the bell shape, hoops do the job very well. But I don’t believe they were being used during the fifties - that was strictly petticoats. Warning - it is not an especially comfortable look, especially since, to make it work really well, you should be well corseted at the torso.

I’m sure it would all work out fine dear until the day you catch me downtown wearing that yummy Jackie Kennedy outfit in broad daylight. :smiley:

Picture that! A man with a full beard, a buzzcut, hairy arms and hairy legs prancing around downtown dressed like Jackie Kennedy. :eek: