The Corliss Skirt

It’s no secret that I like vintage fashion. The elegant cut of the waistline, full skirts, and crisp blouses. There was pride in the way a person dressed, back in the days when people had self-respect. Dressing up was something you did when you went shopping or had company over. I need not say how far we have back-slidden from those days of personal consideration. Now people barely dress up for weddings. It’s a shame, but it reflects our society.

I know there are some that would agree when I say I believe we should dress a little more the way they used to. No period in history is without its faults, so I do not propose that this was a perfect era. But speaking in terms of fashion, it was superior to this era by far.

For Instance

The 1945 movie Kiss and Tell is a great comedy with Shirley Temple. Full of side-splitting laughs, Corliss (Temple) attempts to cover for her friends forbidden marriage and gets involved in rumours and gossip as only the flirty girl could. If you watch it, be sure to watch its sequel, A Kiss for Corliss (also called Almost a Bride).

Mrs. Archer enters the room with a nearly finished skirt to try on her daughter. The days of sewing your own clothes are gone. It’s sad that so many people today do not, or have never had the chance to sew. It’s really an incredibly satisfying thing to be able to make your own clothes.

She wraps it around Corliss’ waist and begins pinning it in the back while Corliss throws the straps over her shoulders and attaches a clip at the center of her waist. You can see that the dress she has on already is of a similar design.

It’s pretty basic; I would like to think I could remake it fairly well if I had a chance. Unfortunately, I’m still looking for a good sewing machine. Recommendations?

The material appears to be floral, which is a popular pattern of the time and hasn’t really gone out of style. The waistband is beautifully wide and comes up to the waist (what a novel idea!), while the length comes to her knees. The broad straps most likely button in the back. 

Despite the fact that this seemed to be a style the younger generation (at the time) would wear, I’m sure the same style instituted today could be worn by women of any age. There’s something about it that speaks of femininity and gentleness, as well as giving an air of quaint simplicity to your wardrobe. Paired with a lovely blouse, famous 40’s pumps, and a curly hairstyle, and you’ll have a great look for today inspired by yesterday.

Have I finished gushing over 40’s fashion? Momentarily. But be sure to keep on the lookout for more. Check out my A Look At Fashion page for a list of more posts on the subject. Let me know what you think!

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