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March 15, 1956 - Image 10

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1956-03-15

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 1956

_ Swim Suits Campus Fashions Reviewed, 1920-195

6

By ARLINE LEWIS
Progressing from the ridiculous
elegance of a satin dress to the in-
formality of bobby socks, women's
classroom fashions, in retrospect,
have been numerous, conservative
and often strange.
The college coed, although sens-
itive to the dictates' of erratic
fads, has proved a firm belief in
the virtues of comfort and prac-
ticality. From 1920 to the present
there has been a definite trend
from the elaborate to the simple.
Back at the start of the twenties,

For sport wear, huge sacklike
affairs, called knicker suits were
as daring as the athletic female
might go. They demanded similar
courage of conviction and figure
of the wearer that bermuda shorts
required of college women just a
few years ago.
Knicker suits were long and
loose, with long and loose jackets.,,
Although advertisements recom-
mended them for golf, accompany-
ing hats which reached practically
to nose level, must have made any
attempts at athletics difficult.
As the twenties "roared"on, hem-
lines rose, waistlines dropped'
along with the embarrassed glan-
ces of the older male generation.
The era of the Charleston and
racoon coat-filled football stadi-
ums saw a new interpretation of

Classroom apparel still includedI
"dressy dresses" and high-heeledI
shoes, but hats had already been'
dropped for comfort's and most
likely visibility's sake.
Sweaters and skirts introduced
a little earlier, had not yet come
into prominence. Like the other
fashions of that time they were
immense, poorly fitting garments
reserved for the sportiest of occas-
ions. I
The next decade saw hemlines
drop and styles return from what
one faculty member called' the
ugliest period of women's clothing,
to a coherence with the feminine
contours. Waistlines of dresses
once again came to meet the waist-
line of the wearer.
The sweater which had been a
huge, baggy affair was transform-
ed into its- more modern version
and soon became a campus fav-
orite.
"Sensible" low - heeled shoes
made a day ; of classes a more
bearable experience, as the coed

line, during the forties it was set
off by huge padded shoulders
which would arouse the envy of
any football player.
While milady of the twenties
had wanted to look boyish and had
achieved shapelessness, the coed
two decades later strived for fem-
ininity and succeeded in looking
quite geometrical.
The "classic" saddle shoe made
its appearance about this time,
and found a permanent home on
many college campuses, resisting
the dictates of change, fashion
stylists and taste.
Colorful Bobby Socks
Bobby socks in colorful shades
were the new mates of the shoe
fad, and despite a switch to white,
they still reign as favorites. This
invincible team led one foreign
student to comment that Univer-
sity women all look alike from the
ankles down.
The end of World War II
brought hemlines cascading south-
ward /and opened a controversy
over the "new look" which w'as
decidedly old in origin.
French and American fashion
peers demanded that skirts be
brought to several inches below
the calf, but a "limb-loving" public
loudly protested.
The results of polls taken among
women and men were that legs
were not to be veiled without a
battle. A fight ensued, and the
unyielding woman instead of ach-
ieving martyrdom merely looked
as if she were wearing last year'
dress. In most cases she was.
'New Look' Arrived
Gradually the "new look" be-
came the norm and even the
staunchest of the oppositign was
moved to admit that it was "fem-
inine."
It consisted of frilly long sleeved
blouses that echoed of the Gibson
Girl era and a rather lang, softly
full skirt.
By the early fifties campus wear
had arrived at its present state.
Skirts and sweaters that fit were
staples.
During the past feW years ten-
nis shoes and white bucks, un-
polished to be sure, have contested
with saddle shoes for popularity.
The recent trend for coed's
fashions, has been to adapt a boy
look by borrowing and modifying
men's fashions without chang-
ing the appearance of the under-
lying form. Man-tailored shirts,
boy coats, bermuda shorts and
crew - necked shetland sweaters
make today's woman student a
feminine echo of her campus
brother.
The most efreshing and start-
ling deviation from tbh' conven-
tional campus uniform is provided
by Indian and Orientat women
who have continued to wear their
saris and shifts in the name of
unconformity.

,,*

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-carolyn Fitz
ROARING TWENTIES

the University's newly enfranch-
ised woman came to class in daz-
zling dress that might serve to-
day's coed for a semi-formal dance.
World War I started hemlines
on a long journey upward, and
at this time they shockingly reach-
ed mid-calf length.
High-laced Shoes
High-laced shoes were discarded
for more fashionable pumps that
bared those mysterious anatomical
regions-ankles.
Surprisingly, waistlines were vis-
ible, while huge turban hats en-
compassed both head and face,
giving the wearer a certain degree
of anonymity.
Women swaggered into class-
rooms sporting fur coats and
high-heeled shoes with stockings
sheikly "dyed-to-match." Satin
or silk dresses which wear had
robbed of their party glow were
recruited for class use, making a
day at school reminiscent of a
night at the opera.
"Nice" girls who had never re-
sorted to artificial means of beauty
permitted a touch of lipstcik to
co-exist with their reputations.

t
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LEAN THIRTIES

the female figure which denied a
good deal that was female.
The flat boyish look, achieved
with sacklike dresses belted at
the hips, became the fad. Coeds
slouched into class in true debu-
tante fashion, with toes pointed
out and chests caved in, while
the controversial issue of bobbed
hair sung loudly in every adventur-
ous heart.
Old advertisements suggest huge
ostrich feather fans as the perfect
addition to dance dresses, which
were of exotic fabric and design.
Often the gowns were trimmed
with sequins,. mock jewels or fur
and sometimes all three.
In rainy weather high boots,
stylishly left open, flapped across
University grounds where campus
liberals proclaimed their revolu-
tionary, theories to crowds of stu-
dents.

FRANTIC FORTIES
turned her attention from aching
feet to problems of the mind.
In the thirties, the full length
black and white skunk coat was
nearly as common as today's camel
hair boy coats, and wearers sacri-
ficed themselves to male derisions
for fashion's sake.
World War II
The start of the second World
War produced results similar to
the first,with"regard to the posi-
tion of the hemline. Skirts again
rose to knee-level, perhaps result-
ing from fabric shortage.
But just as the era following the
first World War had denied the
existence of the feminine waist-

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Mannequins' Easter Look-
SOFTLY TEXTURED OR SLEEKLY SHINING

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Barely there or completely closed
sleekly lustrous or traced
with texture . . . whatever
footnote your spring
costume demands,
there's a Mannequins
pump that's fashion right.
A. Graceful black patent or
navy calf pump on high
or medium heels. 10.95
B. Black patent
sqndal, strapped to
minimum. 12.95
C. Soft, natural corkette
pump, gently
textured. 12.95

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Slim Skirt

$5.95

Sleeveless Blouse $3.95
Billowy Skirt $7.95

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Bermudas
Boy Shorts

$4.95
$3.95

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