Friday, May 25, 2012

Get the Look: Coronation Year

Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in February 1952 upon the death of her father King George VI. She wasn't actually officially crowned until June the following year, so this summer's Jubilee celebrations combine the year of her accession with the date of her coronation. So if you're looking to put together your jubilee outfit, here's some inspiration from 1952-53 (with a bonus pic of the Queen from '54).

The early 50s look - especially in Britain - is not, as most people suppose, one of circle skirts and layers of froufrou tulle petticoats (Vivien of Holloway is not an early 50s style). Though Dior's New Look had by then caught on, ongoing fabric rationing meant that vast skirts were impractical for many; skirts on early 50s day dresses mainly took on a full A-line or straight, slender shape, hanging somewhere around mid-calf.


1953

The classic shirtwaist was big news - single breasted, double breasted, small buttons, big buttons or zip-front - and available in just about any fabric you can think of. Oversize collars were quite the thing.


1953


1953

Period-correct sleeve styles include cap, sleeveless, short sleeve and halterneck (though less common in daywear; the halterneck is usually reserved for beachwear).


1953

Sheer fabrics were popular, from the cotton voiles below to diaphonous printed nylons.


1953

Novelty detailing was a la mode, like the two-tone polka dot dress below. Accessories are also key: It was also common for a dress to come with a matching jacket or bolero. Hats tend to be close-fitting to the head, either brimless Juliet caps or wide-brimmed sunhats. And naturally, don't forget your dainty day gloves.


1952

Sheer yokes were popular at the time (often with a prim Peter Pan collar), but this crochet net style is interesting. Also love the dress with matching mini cape.


1952

There was a lot of variety in novelty fabrics in the early 50s. Textured cottons and whimsical prints were popular, and early synthetics (polyester was just starting to become available, but wouldn't have been common in 1952) were gaining ground, popular with a postwar generation eager to embrace the new, the modern, the scientific.


1952

Lastly, here's dear old Queenie herself, photographed in Australia in 1954 wearing this delightfully chic pastel (or white - can't tell in b/w!) ensemble - a simple short sleeved, square necked pencil dress with lace overlay and skinny belt. Loving the long gloves and neatly furled parasol.


1954

8 comments:

  1. What an inspirational post! You are so naughty- I look at your blog and I very often find something I really like and *want* straight away, and I end up spending a fortune on eBay! First was the Boden "Bon Voyage" skirt and last week it was the red Topshop sailor sweater. Funnily enough, one of the dresses I am watching on Ebay looks a lot like one on the second picture (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BLUE-SAILOR-STYLE-VINTAGE-50s-PENCIL-WIGGLE-DRESS-SIZE-8-10-12-14-16-18-/120868195760?pt=UK_Women_s_Dresses&var=&hash=item61cde9a888)

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  2. Lovely post! The late 1940s to early 1950s is my favourite period to dress as. My mum has loads of vintage dress patterns from this era so I am always begging her to make me new dresses

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  3. There is so much amazing inspiration here! I think my 2 faves would have to be the butterfly dress from 1953 and the dark dress with white trim & buttons also from 1953 :o)

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  4. LOVE the dark dress with the inverted pleat at the center of the skirt and the netting at the bodice yoke. I was not familiar with dresses from the early 1950s, but I love the style of all of these. Not quite as exaggerated shape as the New Look. Much more wearable for me, personally.

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  5. I just loved this post! Very informative and fun to read. I'll take one of each dress and accessory!(-;

    Have a lovely weekend!

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  6. The fashions from the late '40s - early '50s are those that fit me best with their fitted bodices, defined waists, and not too much fabric around the hips... That 2nd gingham dress and Spotty Dress are just perfection, as is the one with the netting at the top of the bodice. Lots of lovely ideas for future dresses, thank you!

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  7. Gorgeous post and very inspirational - as always. Loved the last picture. The Queen looks stunning.

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  8. That is a gorgeous dress Queenie is wearing at the end. I'd also rather like the sheer cotton gingham dress, mmm.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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