Costume Ideas From Days Of Yore, Part I

The posture and expression of this 1949 flapper throwback suggest she knows more secrets of the night than her cowboy companion. Sassy with those plumes in her hair!

Below could be an actual 1941 Halloween function. I spy Indians Native Americans, a swami, baby dolls…


Send in the clowns in 1960.


That’s a lot of polka dots!

Sadie Hawkins Dance


It’s a pretty common occurrence to find pictures like this of Sadie Hawkins Dances in my 1940s-1950s yearbooks. Tattered clothing, corn cob pipes, and overalls with only one arm on the shoulder were de rigueur. Guests often posed on haystacks such as those above.


The Sadie Hawkins dance is named after the Li’l Abner homely comic strip character Sadie Hawkins, created by cartoonist Al Capp. In the strip, the unmarried women of Dogpatch, a hillbilly mountain village, got to chase the bachelors and “marry up” with the ones they caught. The event was introduced in the daily strip, which ran on November 15, 1937.

Consequently, Sadie Hawkins dances are traditionally held in November, with the first official one being held on November 9, 1938. Within a year, hundreds of schools followed suit. By 1952, the event was reportedly celebrated at 40,000 known venues. If nothing else, it empowered women to do the asking–and perhaps face rejection.

In the comic, the voluptuous Daisy Mae has the hots for the dense and simple-minded 6’3″ Abner, hardly “l’il” at all.

Participants at the dances often wore tattered clothing or plaid shirts.

KU-Spring47019In the next photo, you can see that not much had changed as far as attire in the 25 years since its original inception and this 1964 Sadie Hawkins Dance.

What about you? Did you ever attend a Sadie Hawkins Dance? Did people dress up like the L’il Abner characters, or was it purely a girls-ask-boys affair?

Football Stadium Barely Large Enough To Contain This Level Of Fabulous


The fabulous Martha Cartwright, 1949’s Sweetheart of the University of Texas, chats with poor-man’s Gregory Peck, clearly not ready for this jelly. Woman at right seems to concur. So not ready for that jelly.

Any beauty queen worth her mettle knows you have to bring in spring with some drama. Martha liked to walk the rock wall in her kelly green frock. Supermodel, work.

UT Austin, 1949

UT Austin, 1949

Thankfully, she still had time to clown around at the SMU game with Ace, Phyllis, and John. What a ham!



We’ve Got Spirit, Yes, We Do


Y’all know I love old pep rally pics. The joy on the students’ faces, the smiles, the excitement. Not as jaded as these days.


The whole first row is clapping. No one is too cool for school. I just like to zoom in on these people and wonder what they were thinking. Were they whooping, hollering, or doing an Indian war cry? I love the shirt print, the jackets, the glasses, the cowboy hat, the hair.


Your guess is good as mine on this last one. Methinks it might be a Senior Skit, with some gender reversal all in good fun.



Ladies Of Horn Hall 1952


Texas Tech Univ

Are two of these grown women holding a fake poodle and a fake dachshund in their laps? Note their reactions to having “a record” explained to them by Bossypants McGee.


“Don’t nobody touch my Coke.”


Okay. I’m concerned now. I don’t think those dogs are legit. Is she petting the poodle?