Recently, I came across some stills from the ABC show, The Astronaut Wives Club, which I am looking up on Hulu as we speak. The costuming in this period piece that takes place right as the Space Race of the 1960s was ramping up in the USA. The housewives of astronauts were utilized as representatives of the NASA Astronaut Lifestyle, and were groomed to be the most wholesome Americans they could possibly be. This meant conservative clothing, family values, apple pie, and unbreakable loyalty to your husband, of course.
The photos I saw grabbed me right out of my Tumblr stupor, thanks to their gorgeous tailoring and perfect representation of middle-class fashion in the 1960s. The first episode had a very special shout-out to shirtwaist dresses, which have been iconic since WWII, as casual dresses perfect for… well, doing everything, as housewives of that time typically did.
When a button placket only goes halfway down the front of a dress, it is a shirtwaist dress – not a shirt dress.
There are so many different styles of this dress, but nearly each and every one reminds me of the heat of summer. They’re so perfect for hot days, and I have yet to see one become unflattering. They have all sorts of different neck shapes, sleeve styles, fabrics, and waist-nipping belts and ties… I became very excited when I saw this perfect shirtwaist dress at H&M for only $10.
This shirtwaist dress obviously includes some more modern touches, like a tiny hi-low hemline and rolled cap sleeves. I also like that the button packet is covered, it makes everything look more streamlined. I think the 2015 way to wear this would probably be with booties and a graphic, neon accessory. Right? ____ + neon = modern? I don’t really understand how fashion works sometimes, let’s be real.
I like the idea of pairing down, letting the modern touches of the dress be the accessories accompanying this gorgeous and historic shape. If it wasn’t great, designers wouldn’t still be making it.