Page Turners: Define By Design

All images via My Vintage Vogue

I’m going to start this post out with a Captain Obvious statement: Fashion is a way to express yourself. Or, as Susan put it in her closet tour video, it’s a way to decide who you want to be on any given day. This sentiment seems the driving force behind this 1953 Seventeen editorial, which I was immediately drawn to for both its sleek, svelte clothing and its status as a visual first-cousin to our In with the You stylebook.

After I got over the outfit envy induced by this editorial’s trim blouses, to-a-T pencil skirts, and tailored dresses, I set my attention upon the words that stampeded across the background of this editorial. The roles that these outfits presumably embodied — “dreamer,” “gamin,” “realist,” and “pace-setter” — were what society encouraged young women to aspire to back in 1953. Can you imagine a life where this was all you were encouraged to be?

I’m not trying to say that these aspirations are bad. They’re not. But, it’s interesting to see which traits were most valued then, and which have taken center stage today; the “admirable,” “vivacious,” “brilliant,” “creative,” and “daring” that are set out as shoes to fill in our In with the You stylebook are only the beginning of what a girl can aspire to be nowadays. So I say: World, thanks for giving me a chance to be more than what I could have been in the ’50s…but if you still wanted to wear those clothes, I wouldn’t argue.

How do you use fashion to express yourself?

3 Responses to Page Turners: Define By Design

  1. Amanda 01/26/2012 at 2:59 pm #

    I was actually just talking about fashion and how I express myself on a phone call last night to a family member of mine.
    I express myself by loud, vibrant, eclectic, vintage finds. I mix match patterns, fabrics, you name it. I feel in a way I am a blank canvas in the morning and when I get dressed it’s up to me what I want to illustrate (in a sense).
    I adore people that wear what’s comfortable (to them) despite what society may classify you as.

  2. Sunita 01/26/2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Totally love this!

  3. Jjanga 01/30/2012 at 7:13 am #

    Oh I wish we still all dressed like this! It must’ve been so fun getting dressed everyday!

    xoxo, Jjanga

Leave a Reply