Awesome Fashion Advice From 1960

1960s Home Ec Textbook
A few years ago I acquired a 1961 copy of The Teen Guide to Homemaking at our local, annual library sale. It is a total gem in near-mint condition, scored for less than two bucks.

Anyway, I was leafing through it yesterday in hopes of stumbling across some information and inspiration for a big project in one of my classes. While doing so, I found some fashion advice sprinkled throughout the sidebars of a chapter called Getting Ready to Sew. I was impressed with how relevant* and classy the advice still is, so if you’re going for a retro look in your wardrobe, get ready to be schooled by the former Florida Supervisors of Homemaking Education.

IF RED IS YOUR BASIC COLOR…

• Avoid too many all-red garments and accessories—for example, avoid wearing a red dress, a red hat, red gloves, a red bag, and red shoes.
• Wear black accessories—hat, bag, and belt—and wear white or black shortie gloves.
• Wear gray or white blouses and sweaters.

IF GREEN IS YOUR BASIC COLOR…

• Wear brown accessories—hat, bag, gloves, and belt.
• Wear black accessories, but choose white shortie gloves.
• Wear sweaters and blouses of golden yellow, or red-and-green plaid.

1960s Green Jumper Dress

IF BROWN IS YOUR BASIC COLOR…

• Wear darker or lighter brown accessories—hat, bag, shoes, and gloves.
• Wear a bright, clear green, a soft moss green, or an aqua blouse, hat, or belt.
• Wear a print with rose pink, aqua, and gray designs for a dress or blouse.
• Wear a clear, warm red sweater or blouse with a brown plaid skirt.

IF BLUE IS YOUR BASIC COLOR…

• Wear blue accessories—hat, bag, shoes, and belt—darker than the blue of your costume, and wear white gloves.
• Wear a pink or red hat and gloves.
• Wear a print blouse with a blue suit or a print dress with a blue coat. The print fabric may contain blue, green, gray, and yellow in its design.
• Wear a white hat, or a blue-and-white one, and white gloves.
• Wear some tones of brown in hat, shoes, gloves, and bag.
• With a dark-blue skirt wear a red-and blue plaid jacket, and add blouses and sweaters in red, white, light blue or green. Wear dark-blue shoes and a blue leather bag.

1960s Blue Dress

IF BEIGE IS YOUR BASIC COLOR…

• Wear darker-brown accessories.
• Wear gold belt, shoes, and small bag for dressy occasions.
• Wear black or white accessories with bright accent in an ornament or flower.

IF GRAY IS YOUR BASIC COLOR…

• With a gray dress, wear a green hat, scarf, or belt. In this case, do not pick a green bag, gloves and shoes also, but instead, choose a black bag and shoes, with shortie white or black gloves.
• Wear black accessories, but add a bit of color by wearing a red hat or belt and a red-accented ornament.
• Wear a print blouse with a combination of rose, green, and black in the design.
• Wear a print, striped, or checkered dress in those colors—that is, rose green, and black—with a gray coat.

IF BLACK OR WHITE IS YOUR BASIC COLOR…

• Wear white accessories with black or black accessories with white.
• Wear brightly contrasting accessories, usually choosing white gloves.

Vintage Black & White Fashion

*Mostly, anyway. I don’t know how many of us wear hats and shortie gloves, though I kinda wish I did.
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3 Responses to Awesome Fashion Advice From 1960

  1. Cori says:

    that’s it…i’m bringing shortie gloves back!

  2. Dianna Graff says:

    I am trying to find a copy of this very book! I used to look at my mother’s copy when i was a teenager in the eighties. I don’t know what happened to our copy, but I am seeking another. Please let me know if you ever run across another!

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