Everyday Fashion in the Early 1960's

Updated on Jun 01, 2019. Originally added on Mar 03, 2017 by Kathy Pinna
Everyday fashion in the early 1960's sure was different from the late 60's. In the beginning of the decade, fashion was more of a continuation of the 1950's - colors didn't "clash" (remember hot pink with bright orange as the decade wore on?), hemlines for women were longer (remember the mini, and then in the 1970's the micro-mini?), the shirtwaist dress was common (and the beginning of the "sheath"), every woman wore a girdle and garters for their nylons. Cotton was generally the fabric of choice. Gingham and ruffles were popular. While the "mod look" was introduced in London in the mid-1960's, it took a while for it to reach the U.S. shores. So while Jackie Kennedy's iconic style was admired (and sometimes copied) by the fashionable, most women were more sedate in their dressing. Truly, the early 60's clothing was calmer and more "lady-like"!

This video from circa 1962 (over half a century ago!) was made by the Montgomery Ward catalogue. It shows what housewives, men, and teens looked like at that time. Most of the clothing cost well under $15.00 - oh yes, times have changed!

Janis Paige: The video is hosted by actress Janis Paige. Do you remember her? Born in 1922 in Tacoma, Washington, Warner Brothers Studio signed her to a contract in the mid 1940's. Starting in Hollywood in musicals, she later went on to Broadway, toured as a cabaret singer, and went on to perform in television. Retiring in 2001, she's still alive.

Montgomery Ward: Between 1872 and 2001, Montgomery Wards was where America shopped. Aaron Montgomery Ward, a traveling salesman, created his first catalogue in Chicago in 1872. The "catalogue" was one page with 163 items - by 1883, the catalogue had grown to 240 pages and 10,000 items and was called the "Wish Book." It allowed rural customers to order "big city" goods ranging from clothing, to hats, to luggage, to sewing machines to liquor (followed in 1891 by the Sears-Roebuck catalogue). In 1926, the company expanded to include retail stores - opening 531 stores by 1929. Unfortunately, the company declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy at the end of 2000. The end of an era. A catalogue marketer bought the name in 2004 and launched an online catalogue.

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