Posts tagged ‘maxi dress’

Swingin’ Simplicity [1973]

Simplicity 5628

While I was familiar with this style from my youth, I never knew the name.

After the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad found this vintage 1973 pattern at a thrift store, I discovered it’s called a caftan.  In the past it was considered an garment to be worn over other garments.  By the 1970s, a caftan had come into its own as a single dress – worn in a multitude of styles, and undergarments optional.  Popular with musicians, hippies – and Elizabeth Taylor – the fashion trend symbolized freedom and a free spirited life. presumably shapeless,  the dress design manages to hang in a very distinctive way – flowing and soft.

The style endures to this day in both its original overgarment form, or as a stylish dress or throw made in silk or soft materials.

Caftan Dresses

Homedale School Grade 8 home economics class fashion show, 1977

Home Ec Fashion Show, 1977 – Courtesy Elgin County Archives

M0006955

Elizabeth Taylor, 1972 – Scan from Patrick Peccatte

Caftans

My sisters in their caftans – Summer 1973

Quilting Overload Caftan 1973

Quilting Overload Caftan 2 1973


Also See: Maxi Dresses
Maxi-Knit

Knit Maxi Dress [1973]

Maxi-Knit

Long dresses have come back into style recently.  A quick search of the term “maxi dress” comes up with near-countless stores offering the long lengths in many styles and colors.  Thankfully, the cut and fabric is now much better than it was the last time such dresses were popular.

And thankfully, knitting your maxi dress is no longer necessary.

This gem was found in the Fall/Winter 1973-74 issue of McCall’s Needlework & Crafts. With her slippers and really old book, the model is settling in for a night of badly-lit reading.  Or entertaining Aunt Flo.  The plunging knit neckline dares to call out that she is kind of young, kind of now – “Charlie!” The iron cauldron above the hearth is locked down once more, cleaned and dried after the last initiation.  The hard-wood rocking chair is sure to create unparalleled back spasms after 45 minutes – time enough to get through the first chapter and grab a hot toddy.

Knit in a base of green, her wearable couch throw is adorned in the whimsical colors of a candy box.

This mating can only come from a decade which already represents so many of our styling debacles.  The gold about her neck shines against the spotlights above her kitchen counter, and snags the yarn with ease.  Lapels a-plenty are a classy accessory, certainly shiny and stretchy in a way only polyester can move.  Her makeup and hair are done to the final detail, telling her man that this book can be laid down and her matching coat is waiting in the hall closet.  Are the colors of this maxi dress Christmas-like?  Maybe.  Is the maxi dress warm?  Probably, to the point that the fire at her back is probably making her itch.  Will her husband take her to the steak house in her new threads?

Not on your life.

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