Tuesday, 31 January 2012
A late 1940's suit
When I was 19 my grandmother Greta gave me a suit she wore in the late 1940’s. I remember her telling me that it was made up for her by a seamstress and that it was in “the new style”- the jacket has no shoulder pads and the skirt was a long, pencil skirt, not an A-line. It was made in heavy hound tooth’s wool in red and navy blue. In my early twenties the suit fitted me perfectly and I wore it a lot. Sadly I cut off the skirt to make it a lot shorter, but to my defense my grandmother heartily endorsed that. All her life she re-made her clothes to prolong their lives and she thought it only natural that I would do the same. Well, I sure wouldn’t have done that today, but it’s a bit too late to regret it now. On a side note; I have a whole box of my grandmother’s 1960’s dresses that has one or two seams opened awaiting a change that my grandmother never got too. Basically they just need to be sewn together again to be serviceable. One of them is in red gold lamé…
But back to the suit. I think it’s a nice example on how The New Look could be interpreted by an ordinary woman. The silhouette is narrower than the earlier 40’s, but my grandmother was around 36 at the time and no longer the petite woman she had been in her twenties, so the jacket hasn’t the exaggerated waist and hip that you can see on the fashion models. The pencil skirt was also a much more fabric saving option than the very full Dior-skirts.
Considering how much I have used it, it's in pretty good condition. One of the buttonholes need to be repaired and one of the side seams have opened slightly. I still have the skirt, but it's packed away somewhere and I haven't been able to locate it.
It's lined with navy blue rayon (the skirt was unlined though). The lable says that it was made at Fernqvist's at the street Kungsgatan in Stockholm.
When I went through all the boxes with sewing stuff my grandmother left me I found that there had also been a matching cap. It’s clearly homemade, my grandmother was very god at making hats and I guess she asked the seamstress for some extra fabric to make the hat.
The lipstick is Certainly Red from Revlon.