Wednesday 26 November 2014

60's Pleated Tartan Skirt...

A few days ago, I featured two pleated, tartan skirts and it took me down memory lane, to a skirt I remember wearing as a child, many moons ago - a tartan, pleated skirt, no doubt made from wool.

It got me thinking. Inspiration for today's fashion, is very often drawn from the fashion of years gone by.

Both skirts featured were sewn using the Betty Skirt pattern, by the Shaffer Sisters. I can't comment on the pattern itself, as I haven't sewn it up, but I do want to talk about the design. From the pattern listing:
The Betty Skirt is a classic styled skirt inspired after the deep yokes and pleated skirts of the 1920’s.
My Aunty, (Mum's sister) made this outfit for me, I'm guessing in the early 60s. Possibly she was inspired by the fashion of the 20s. My skirt has the pleats, but without the yoke.

Hemlines had risen significantly from the 20s to the 60s and our dresses and skirts were worn just above the knees. Ha, ha... by the end of the 60s,  hemlines had risen to a point where skirts didn't cover much at all, but that's a post for another day.

Fast forward to the present and the yoke has returned to the same style of pleated skirt, but with a slightly longer length, but not as long as the 20s.

Amy has put a modern spin on her Betty Skirt, with the pink tartan teamed with a bright top, leggings and joggers.

Donna and Rachel have gone for more of a traditional look with their Betty Skirt, both with the fabric and the clothes the skirt is worn with - tights and a bone cardigan. With the exception of the yoke and the ever so slightly longer length, this could totally pass for a 60's skirt.

Obviously, pleated skirts were the in thing to wear to Sunday School. Our three neighbours are on the right, with both girls wearing pleated skirts. I'm guessing the older girl is wearing a twin set and the younger has a waist length coat like mine.

My adorable little sister is most probably wearing one of my hand me downs. Most of her clothes were originally mine. Every birthday and Christmas, our Aunty, the dressmaker, would make a beautiful outfit for us. We both loved the clothes she made for us, but I'm guessing they were extra special to my sister, as no one else had worn them before. They truly belonged to her.

I'm fairly certain I've showed you my sister's pinafore in a previous post, except that it was me wearing it. The colours look slightly different, but I think that's just the photograph.

These photos say a lot about 60's Winter fashion for children:
  • just above knee length hemlines
  • the ever popular black, buckled up, patent leather shoes, worn with rolled over ankle socks
  • little white vinyl handbags (no shoulder bags back then)
  • waist length coats
  • short hairstyles
  • gloves for the older girl, although I do remember wearing them at this age, when we went to the city. It was a big deal to get dressed up and go into the city for a day.

The older I become, the more I see garments from the past becoming fashionable again. There definitely seems to be a cycle to clothing styles...

Garments are often inspired by fashions from the past. Take a look at pleated skirts for children from different eras ~ Threading My Way

I'm sure pleated skirts will become old fashioned again in several years, but I'm equally sure they'll re-surface in another few decades, albeit with a few style variations:
  • fabric 
  • colour
  • length
  • waist style

Some fashions need to remain in the past, but pleated skirts for young girls, I think they're a winner. 

... Pam

Edited to add: Mirjam sent me these photos of her dressed in an outfit her mother made for her in 1950 - a woollen pleated skirt and jacket.

If anyone else has photos dressed of themselves dressed in a pleated skirt, I'd love to add them to the post.


  1. Cute skirt!
    I'm running a giveaway, if you are interested... see you soon!

  2. omg! How well I remember those styles. I'm looking forward to seeing more pleats in stores especially plaid ones.

  3. What a great post! I love the photos! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  4. I remember wearing skirts like that in the early 90s!

  5. PAM what an inspirational post!!! over the years i have had my share of those skirts ,,, and one time i somehow received 2 identical skirts , and in a whim ripped the seams and turned them into an Ensamble of Pants +Poncho [alas no photos left] THANK YOU for this post .

    1. Ill bet you regretted dooing that to them too.

  6. Pam, I remember wearing those pleated skirts while in high school in the 60's. We wore knee hi socks then and solid color blazers to match the color in the plaid. I love the classic look and many of the clothing we now make reflects that. I also remember the 90's with plaid skirts that were longer. I wore them with a large decorative safety pin like ornament on the side front and boots. A great post! Donna

  7. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww those pictures are so darn CUTE - especially the Sunday School picture where all the girls are carrying their adorable little handbags :D No cellphones back then ... LOL!!!

  8. Lovely photos, Pam! Your aunt is super talented, and so sweet of her to sew for you and our sister. I would want that jumper for my daughter right now! :D Pleated skirts remind me of school uniforms, and mine was so plain. But those plaids skirts are cute!

  9. I love vintage fashions! Lately, I especially love working with vintage trims and buttons- there is just something charming about (most of) them... :) The pleated skirts would be cute on my girls!

  10. Pam, thank you for adding my pictures,,, i really felt that they are just part of this wonderful post. And only when you posted them here i see that the new outfit with Lilac plaid wool, resembles this one ..... maybe this are Classics that can be worn at all times ...

  11. This post reminds me that there really isn't anything new in fashion. I love pleated plaid skirts! Back when K was a baby I found a wool pleated skirt with an attached vest that was from Ireland in a thrift shop. K, M, and B all wore the skirt with a white peter pan collared blouse when they were about 2 years old. I'll have to see if I have any pictures. I think pleated (especially plaid) skirts are a classic look. I have some plaid fabric in my stash that would make a great pleated skirt...perhaps it's time I made one for my younger girls!

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  13. Channel the 60s vibe with a pleated tartan skirt, adding a playful twist with a mickey mouse varsity jacket. Embrace retro charm and pop culture for a whimsical and stylish ensemble.


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