Friday, May 13, 2016

Cover Up Styles in Vintage Fashions


At one time a cover up was essential to wear over strapless and sleeveless dresses. This design from 1960 by the California designer Pat Primo is an example of how cocktail dresses might have been worn, with a little matching cover up to wear over a bare neckline.



bolero jacket, Butterick 7243
Home sewing pattern from the 1950's, Butterick 7243, shows a contrast short cover up: a cropped bolero that shows off the waistline shaping of the dress pattern.

Simplicity 2501
Simplicity 2501 from the late 1940's has a simple semi-circle caplet to cover up the shoulders only.

McCall's 9330
Another simple semi-circle caplet is shown in McCall's 9330 over a simple sun dress.  This addition formalizes the casual dress look, and as shown with hat and gloves, makes it suitable for luncheon and downtown shopping.

Little cover ups for spring and summer dresses at one time were shown in many styles that included bolero and small capelets.   There is an amazing variety of styles that were worn over dresses before bare shoulders were socially acceptable away from sporty locations and sunny beaches. From simple shapes to trims with buttons, collars and turned back cuffs.

Today we tend to wear cardigans over spring and summer dresses, but why not look for a vintage cover up or plan to sew one when you make your next vintage styled sun dress? It's such a cute look!

Here are a few sets from the archives:


This nylon jersey set from the 1950's has a matching cover up jacket. Because of the polka dots, the outfit still looks sporty when the cover up is worn.


During the 1970's when there was a revival of 1950's styling, cover ups came back into fashion, as seen here in this solid colored bolero with matching lapels worn over a printed sundress.



This set, also from the 70s of printed jersey creates a coordinated look, more like a dress than cover up and sundress.


From the early 1950's, this little bolero from black faille features turned back cuffs on the short sleeves and a winged collar. Mock buttons on the front are a cute accent. For most outfits, this shape really is figure flattering, creating a nice hour glass silhouette.  A contrast blouse would have been part of the outfit.


This final look is a mock cover up, being actually a sewn in place poncho shape from the mid-1970's.

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