Saturday, September 18, 2010


Kathy, Joan and Maureen in the wedding party, August, 1960
How many crinolines does it take to get a skirt to fluff up like Moe's?

Barbara, Bill and Jane
These crinolines, our first, may have been gifts from Aunt Laura and Aunt Vera who were visiting at the time.

The  look was nostalgic and romantic, perfect for one's First Communion or a wedding
but it was also a fashion necessity for fifth-grade school clothes too.

Barbara, Ben, Jane and Bill, 1959

We were all trying to be Debbie Reynolds.
Or a French fashion model. The New Look with tight waist and full skirt had been created after the War by Christian Dior. Skirts were supported by petticoats of stiffened nylon tulle.

The New Look echoed fashion of the 1850s and '60s when crinoline skirts were outrageously large.

And then replaced by hoops. Above a photo from the 1860s.

We never had hoops in the 1950s, just starched nylon net.
My friends and I spent a lot of time thinking about physics---physics in relation to crinolines. We wore as many as we had and debated about whether the newest and fullest should be under the others to support the tired older examples. Or whether the fullest should be on the outside where it wouldn't be weighted down.
But then why wear the others?

By the 1960s crinolines became old-fashioned, except for bridal parties and First Communions.

Anonymous contemporary wedding party

Lora, Kathryn, Ann and Dorothy as bridesmaids at Peggy's wedding in classic Bridesmaid's fashion.
Ben is the Best Man.

 Bridesmaids and Barbie dolls continue to suffer, but the new fashion for A-Line skirts in the early 1960s saved the rest of us.
Barbara, Bill and Jane behind Cele

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