Professor Linda Przybyszewski teaches a class called "A Nation of Slobs" at the University of Notre Dame.
She says her students are amazed at the way Americans dressed in the 30's, 40's and 50's. "My students very often are floored by the beauty of some of the vintage pictures that I show them," she says.
We dressed up for more than just the theater back then - we put on gloves and hose and heels for going out to dinner and church. Men wore hats and suit coats to go to the ball game. And remember (well, we saw it in movies) when people dressed nicely to travel on a airplane?
What caused the "descent" into ultra-casual, some say sloppy, attire? The professor cites the social changes of the 60's and migration to the suburbs, where more casual wear was the norm. Then came a growing desire for simpler, less expensive clothing and a sportier lifestyle.
Dr. Przybyszewski makes all her own clothing, because she can't find pieces with the details she wants. She's wearing a lovely retro style print dress in the video, with lots of buttons at the sleeve. Many of my blogger friends also enjoy a return to dressing up for everyday and I love their styles.
|Beautiful Gabriala of Style Higher dresses to perfection|
|Susan of Fifty, Not Frumpy is impeccable|
I'd like to take Dr. Przybyszewski's class and learn more about the economic/social/racial issues that influenced how Americans dressed. In the movies we usually see upper-class white women with gloves and hats; did the blue collar women also dress up?
I am an in-betweener in modern style as I like to look put together, but rarely could I be called "dressed-up." But I am enchanted by vintage clothing, used to dress in it more often, and have a small collection of dresses from the 40's.
Have we progressed, to more casual, easy-to-move-in, easy-care clothing? Or regressed to a nation of . . . slobs? Love to hear your thoughts, as always.