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Lessons in Class: The 1961 Spiegel Catalog

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Spiegel Catalog 1961 (7)

Seventies fashions were funky, eighties fashions were rad, but fashions from the early sixties were straight-up class.  John F. Kennedy was the US President, and the First Lady was the fashion plate by which all Western women were measured. The 1961 Fall & Winter Spiegel Catalog contains page after page of fashions that Jackie would have almost certainly approved of.  For me, looking through these dusty pages is bittersweet – it’s a treat to look into styles of the past, yet it’s also a little sad to note that this level of elegance, class and indefinable mid-century optimism has somehow been lost along the way.

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (4)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (5)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (6)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (8)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (19)

“You are now Chic”

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (23)

“Delightfully Debteen”

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (33)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (31)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (35)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (25)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (37)

“You… a shapely SWEATER GIRL”

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (39)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (49)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (56)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (58)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (61)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (65)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (62)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (63)

Spiegel Catalog 1961 (60)

  • njguy54

    On one level, Kennedy era fashions are as archaic as bustles and petticoats. Yet in an age when people go out to dinner wearing dirty t-shirts, ripped jeans, ultra-short shorts and pajama bottoms, a woman wearing these outfits today would surely get noticed –and probably applauded — as even the casual styles look formal to our eyes.

    • TN Traveler

      That is something that always bothered me about going to a casual restaurant (anything not fast food) is seeing guys and gals wearing what I would work in the yard in. At least put on jeans and a decent shirt/blouse!

  • Steve Mills

    Where are the underwear pages!? Disappointed.

    While I totally dig the fashions of that era, one thing I don’t like is that pose that was so popular where one leg is bent in such a way that its knee hides the other knee, yet the feet kept on their respective sides, and the torso is slightly tilted back. Two pants models on the “All on a Match” page are doing it.

  • StandingTallAsAnAmerican

    Nice to see you back in business again …

    • Yeoman Lowbrow

      Thanks! After a brief hiatus, it’s great to be back in the retro-saddle!