Now that the weather hotter and sunnier we’re all thinking (or dreaming), of outdoor activities. The idea of giving or going to casual parties (and what to wear) is all part of it.
In the early 1960’s patios and “patio parties” became the big rage. People built patios onto their houses like crazy and all kinds of decorative lighting, furniture and dinnerware were sold especially for hosting these gatherings of neighbors and friends.
Hostess gowns in very casual styles and materials were all part of this wave, and they persisted into the mid-1970s. Of course, long casual dresses have been around for a long time and still are, but the “hostess gown” is kind of a separate breed.
This one is typical. Most of the earlier ones had a defined waist and, often, a belt. They are a floor-length style that would also look good as a knee-length dress (hint-hint: if you find one you like but don’t want a gown, think about shortening it to a day dress).
I just love finding these dresses. They really say summer fun in a very true vintage way. Get out the Tiki lanterns and the barbecue grill and have a blast! If your patio is big enough, don’t forget the cha-cha and bossa nova records. The girl from Ipanema might show up – you just never know . . . . . . . . . . .
MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY
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