Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On This Day In History....Paper Dresses?

I don't know where I got my odd fascination with women's fashion, but it probably harkens back to all the fashion shows that my mother dragged me to when I was a kid in the '60's. I don't remember these events at all, but she claims we went so I kind of have to take her word for it.

So with that bit of background, I give you today's post. The Scott Paper Dress.

Yup, exactly 42 years ago today Scott Paper launched a program to sell dresses like the one pictured here. All the lady of the house had to do was send in $1 ($6.51 in 2007 dollars according to the inflation calculator) and Scott would send back a dress and 52 cents worth of coupons for other Scott products. Incredibly, the company sold 500,000 of these babies!

Now my first thought was with all the smoking that went on in the '60's it is a minor miracle that afternoon bridge parties at the club didn't end up in tragic conflagrations ("Oh the humanity")! Of course I should know better than to doubt good ole American enginuity; The things were made with fire resistant paper, natch.
In fact it was a "flexible, triple ply paper reinforced with rayon scrim" that could be worn for up to 5 wearings (enough for a season dontcha think?) depending on the "clemency of the weather, and the intensity of the wearer's frug" according to this piece in Time.

Frug? Don't ask.

So it is with great pleasure and not a little melancoly that I salute a wonderful advancement in disposable wear from a time gone by. Sure it was goofy and impractical, but don't you just wish a little bit for a time when we can afford to let loose a like this? It's the little things, hula hoops, big gas guzzling cars with enormous fins on the trunk, beehive hair do's and three martini lunches, that make me wonder sometimes if our parents didn't have the right idea.

What? You were expecting an Obama post?

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