Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Farm Dress, Then or Now?

"Plain and simple. 
Neutral colors with a basic design. . .
wooden buttons on the bodice, 
a matching belt, 
tie-circle pockets in front. . ."

Is this a description of a farm dress from the 1930s?
It could have been--

I was very excited one day when I stumbled across a blog called Vixen Vintage. There was a wealth of information about 1930s-40s fashion. Since I love and collect vintage clothing--and often wear it-- I was intrigued from the start.

At Vixen Vintage, I found posts full of information and ideas that we can incorporate here at the historic district. Posts such as:  "1930s Farm Dress"--"How To Do A 1940s Hairstyle"--"How To Tie A 1940s Headscarf"--"Hat Etiquette For Women"--and so many more! 

Solanah is a delightful young woman, who lives vintage everyday. She works at a vintage clothing store, models vintage clothing for Fab Gabs, and has a personal retro style of dressing. She tells a little of her story in her blog: "My family is full of vintage lovers.  I've been around it my whole life, from going to estate sales., to getting my aunt and sister-in-law vintage hand me downs. I started wearing it regularly in high school, mixed with modern, and after that, it was vintage 24/7."

Believe it or not, the latest fashion trend sweeping the country is vintage clothing. All those dresses your Mom wore-and you Grandmother wore-"way back when" has become a hot item from thrift stores to trendy boutiques, as well as online stores such as Etsy and Ebay. Young people in their 20s, 30s--and 40s--are embracing a vintage style that is very tasteful. The look is clean and well done.

I could say that about Solanah--"well done." 
Her vintage style is romantic and timeless. 
The information she shares at Vixen Vintage is invaluable.

So, back to the 1930s farm dress. 
Old or new? 
Well, it's new. Solanah  fashioned it from a vintage pattern, 
but it would have been totally at home on the farm in the1930s-1950s.  

I call these dresses the "everyday cotton wash dress," an item that was a staple in farm women's lives. Church clothes may have been ordered from a Sears catalog or bought at the downtown department store, but for most farm women, the everyday cotton wash dress was home sewn, acquired as a hand-me-down, or bought at a tag sale.

Work was hard and relentless. 
Clothing had to be durable and washable.
Just as we all have photographs of our fathers and grandfathers in overalls, we also have snapshots of our mothers and grandmothers, in their work uniform--the everyday cotton wash dress.

While these cotton dresses may not fully catch on in the new Retro Style movement, they are very much a part of farm history.

Maybe I should call them, 
"Retro--Delta Style."


Rosie said...

I remember my Mom wearing these in the 60s. LOL.

Anonymous said...

You're right. . .I like the vixen vintage blog a lot. I bookmarked it. Thanks

Mary said...

Weren't cotton dresses made from feed sacks?

The Farmers Daughter said...

Many were made from feed sacks but not all. I have a few patterns books that tell you how many feed sacks it takes for their dress pattern and where to order the pattern. I'll be sharing those on a later post.
Thanks for the question.

Little Susie Home Maker said...

I just love these dresses! I am going to check out the Vixen Vintage.
I am your newest follower!

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