I was first made aware of the 4 o’clock dress in an article published on a Nota Bene link on http://www.aldaily.com (a great website I’l blab about later). My obsession au moment is the television series Mad Men and I’ve been reading everything I can get my grubby little paws on regarding the time period, the lifestyle, the politics, the FASHION.
The 4 o’clock dress was held together by a clasp at the shoulder that was literally a compact of makeup…rouge and lipstick that was a darker and more seductive pigment than worn during the earlier part of the day. The dress was most often sewn with a fabric that was bright and exotic in nature. But most intriguing of all is that it possessed deep pockets where housewives of the late 50’s would stash contraband of the day. Marijuanna, miniture vodka bottles, an erotic paperback novel … anything to help while away the time (yes “while away” not “wile away”) before the husband came home to a perfectly poured Old Fashioned or, as I like to call it, the “Don Draper”.
This got me thinking. If I were a housewife during the 1950’s, of an upper income neighborhood with nothing of substance to fill my days, what would I keep in my pockets to help me get through the day before my raison d’etre returned from work? To find an answer to this question I’ve consulted the bottom of my handbag to see what sort of information I could glean about myself and what items I rely on to get me through the day. Here’s what I’ve found: Gum. Dental floss. Golf Tee. Miniature measuring tape. A Mickey Mouse Wine stopper. More dental floss. Not sure what this says about me except that I’m a happy camper if I have clean teeth, can hit a golf ball without ruining sod, am equipped for a measuring emergency and never an open bottle of wine will ever go to waste.
But as interesting than this little psychoanalysis of myself using random objects from my purse is, if the 4 o’clock dress existed today, what would women keep in their pockets? A Blackberry? A credit card? Ativan? An IPod?
What would you keep in your pockets?
If you’re interested in reading more about the 4 o’clock dress check out the following article posted on http://www.deepglamour.net which reviews Kate Hahn’s book “Forgotten Fashion: An Illustrated Faux History of Outrageous Trends and Their Untimely Demise” (is that a GREAT title for a book or what?).