Monday, September 20, 2010

If you think dresses from the 1950's were only for fun and fancy, think again. I found an example of how practical they really were in my storycatching at this schoolhouse. It's a long roundabout story, so stay with me here.

As I've mentioned in a previous blog, the bathrooms were outside, behind the school in a most inconvenient spot. After three or four years of children hurrying outside on rainy days, frigid mornings and bug infested sweltering afternoons, construction finally ended on the indoor bathrooms. The girls were delighted. Boys less so since their new indoor facility never had any heat, took away from their freedom to run up the hill, and diminished their chances of collecting wooly worms to throw at the girls.

But for the girls, this was as close to heaven as they had ever been. Well, except for one thing. In the old privy, there was privacy. One hole, one girl. In this new fangled "rest" room, the toilets were line up, side by side, no partitions, nothing private.

Enter the newest dress fad: the full skirt, how convenient. The girls soon connected the dots. They would bathroom in pairs, one girl standing in front, facing away for modesty, of course. She'd fan out her skirt, as if she were giving the onlookers a giant curtsey. Fashion design for the practical.

And the designers in New York thought they were giving the world an elegance.

Catch of the day,



  1. Oh that's hilarious I had no idea!! What a hoot :) We have an outside loo at our families batch in the bush and I used to hate going out to it. Then Dad redid it and painted it pink... Not intentionally - my very helpful mother thought it was just a bit too white and why not add a drop of red for warmth... *hee* We have the only pink loo in the whole Valley ;p

  2. I'm thinking a man must have designed that bathroom.

  3. What about privacy for the guys?

  4. Gretchen,

    I remember fanning out a dress for someone, now that you mention the practice. This site is a great trip down memory lane or a walk back in history for your younger bloggers.