(click for larger view!) 01. Jessica of The Cat’s Pajamas, 02. late 1930s sewing pattern (ebay), 03. 1950s fashion photo (myvintagevogue), 04. Anja of Clever Nettle, 05. early 1940s shirtwaist pattern (Ebay), 06. 1950s and 1940s shirtwaist patterns (Ebay).
The classic shirtwaist dress is one of those styles that never really leaves the fashion consciousness. It may change silhouette, color, or fabrication, but the iconic dress that draws it’s style from men’s tailored shirts is not ever quite out of style–no matter what twists and turns of fancy trends take! (This website has a comprehensive article on the history of the shirtwaist dress.) Years ago, I had a few shirtwaist dresses that I loved… and wore to death. I sorely miss the practical style in my wardrobe! Lately, shirtwaists have been popping up on my radar more and more, which is probably a sign that I need to make one soon!
(click for larger view!) 01. Pink shirtwaist by Andi B. Goode, 02. 1949 pattern illustration (personal collection), 03. late 1950s vintage sewing pattern (Ebay), 04. mid 1940s shirtwaist pattern (Ebay), 05. Aya of Strawberry Koi.
I’ve often wondered why I find the shirtwaist so appealing. Besides it’s practical lines, it tends to be a dress that suits my “classic-feminine” style quite well. I love really girly clothes, but more often I find that things with loads of embellishments, accessories, or layers just conspire to get in the way and end up making me look even more awkward and klutzy than elegant! lol. So I think the idea of something that is softly girlish with a few well-placed dressmaker details, yet is simple and devoid of too much frou-frou (a.k.a. things that Casey will surely spill on, catch on sharp objects, or tear), appeals to my need for daily wear that fits my lifestyle and sartorial point of view.
Do you find the appeal of the classic, vintage shirtwaist irresistible? Why or why not? Got a picture of you sporting your favorite shirtwaist? Do share!