In 1957, the fashion houses of Givenchy and Balenciaga introduced the “Sack Dress” in their spring collections, a formless, waistless dress that narrowed down severely at the hem. Givenchy declared that the Sack dress was, “More than a fashion, it’s actually a way of dressing.” It was probably freeing from having to cinch in the waist with major industrial-strength high-waist girdles that were necessary to achieve Dior’s wasp-waisted “New Look” (introduced after WWII).

Sack dresssack dress 2

Like many haute couture styles, you needed to be very tall, slim hipped, skinny and have a permanent slouch to pull this look off.sack dress 3Vogue magazine praised it for its sense of mystery. “No gentleman is ever going to puzzle his brain over the form of a girl in a Bikini bathing suit.” -Anita Loos for Vogue. I’ll say! I’m sure this man is really thinking, “Why on earth is this attractive woman wearing a wool potato sack?”

yale-joel-1957Even Lucy and Ethel poked fun at this new style with their own haute couture versions:

130-318~Ethel-Lucy-PostersSo of course the pattern companies at the time quickly came up with versions that the average woman could sew up for herself so that she too could look like a swollen tick.

Sack patterns 1Sack patterns 2In 1958, the sack back detail was moved up to the high hip and then further up to above the waist instead of the whole back side.

Sack patterns 3Sack patterns 4This is a vintage trend I’ll skip. This style is not for the short and curvy gal and I’m not wild about looking like I have a load in my dress.