Sometimes Things Weren’t So Bad Back Then…..

….and then sometimes they were that bad!!!

But the good first…some of these are simply classic, and who cares other than something fun to scroll through….because if you see what classic was back then, it gives you a better idea about what’s classic today.   Also styles that were classic back then are still classic today and not a bad place to start if you need some inspiration.

I sometimes wonder if there was anything non-classic this woman ever did.  Like Audrey Hepburn, she seemed to be in something classic every time the shutter clicked.

Jean Shrimpton was always in classic clothes, even though it looks dated (the gloves and hat netting)it still drips classic with the earrings and the strapless dress.

This was at the period where my company was going strong. I loved the glitz and glamor of the 80’s and 90’s and couldn’t wait for the fashion magazines to come out with the latest looks.  There was no internet only Elsa Klench with Style on CNN which I never failed to record on Saturday mornings.  Sometimes there was a preview and I hung on every image.

This is a perfect example of classic that is still classic today….a few alterations…no breast pockets or large belt carriers, but the belt over the coat is a fabulous look and very fresh and new for today.

Of course no one was more classic than Jackie K or Jackie O.  Flats, navy color, knee length, scarf and glasses all lend toward a very classic look.  Take it apart and just one of those parts is enough to pick up as a feature in a classic outfit!

Suzy Parker was a mainstay in fashion in the 50’s and what’s so fabulous is to notice the change in shape emphasis. This is important because this is exactly the same trend change we are going through now.  From the hipster silhouette to an emphasis on the high waist…..from an profile that has no waist to a more hourglass.  Now we all don’t have a straight up and down, thin hips look, nor do all of us have an hourglass look, but there are ways to emphasize this and make you look more hourglass which is more in the trend of the future.

And the hourglass of all hourglass figures….Brigette Bardot.  Although we wouldn’t consider this an appropriate fit today (the bodice and waist are way too tight),  it’s still classic.  Gingham like this is still fabulously classic – a shirt in this fabric is really fresh and summery looking always.

Not everything was hunky dory back then and on one of my most fav fashion icons. Unfortunately models don’t get to pick what they wear, but this person who selected this should be shot!!!  It’s not the bare midriff, or the twist-o-matic thingie in front or the short sleeve on one side and the long drape?…sleeve?…what is that on Bacall’s right side – well, it’s all of it together – there are so many mistakes in this it’s amazing.

Now, larger, dramatic prints are one of the “ins” for this spring and summer….do NOT do this with that fabric!!!  When you have a dramatic, and I mean a really dramatic feature (design, balance, color, print or whatever) don’t over-shadow it or compete with it….keep the design simple, fit easy and by all means don’t do any design folderol!!

Aside from some of the errors, these fashions from the past can be a wonderful source of inspiration, particularly the classic ones.  How do you know what’s classic….if you would wear a fashion from the past today, that means it’s classic.  That’s what classic does – last a looooong time!


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