Fashion Forward for the New Frontier

vintage womens fashion photo 1960 Capital Washington DC

Dressing up For DC

Fall fashion was all the news in 1960 DC, despite taking a back seat to the story of  the presidential election.

In her dashing tweed cape coat swinging cloak and dagger style, our Beltway “Gal Friday” Francie was fabulously fashion forward for the New Frontier.

Volunteering her time for that dreamy Democrat presidential hopeful, this “Kennedy Girl” was always smartly turned out in a perky pillbox hat or silhouette making dress.

Joining her on the Capital steps in her filibuster-stopping figurine suit with the feminine lines, was Missy who dutifully rang doorbells for Vice President No-Nonsense Nixon wearing her respectable Republican cloth coat.

vintage womens fashion photo 1960 Capital Washington DC

Women Wowing Washington

The Kennedy-Nixon race wasn’t the only one that election year.

There was one race that caught the public attention as much as the presidential run

The press corp was going gaga over the high-profile senatorial race in Maine. What set tongues a wagging was that quite improbably both parties had nominated women, marking the first time 2 women had ever vied for the same Senate seat.

Americans would elect  27 governors, 34 senators and 437 Congressman Americans nearly all of them men. Compared with other democracies the US has in fact been slow to use the abilities of the majority of its citizens- female.

Making headlines, Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith, the tart tongues Republican incumbent was challenged by Lucia Cormier, a congenial Democrat state Legislator.

vintage womens fashion photo 1960 Capital Washington DC

Photographs by Henry Clarke for Ladies Home Journal

Cat Fight

In the old boys club atmosphere that was Washington, the press at times appeared to be covering a cat fight between these 2 “Brains from Main”

The venerable NY Times was typical in its condescending slant. “So far,” it reported,” there has been no political hair pulling.”

Reporters regularly focused on clothing , hair dos and even choice of hats.

When it came right down to it, like our two young career girls, both gals  knew keeping fashion forward was important in any race up the  Capital Steps.

Copyright (©) 2012 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved


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