A Breezy Summer Dress Inspired By a Breezy Summer Film

The late 50’s and early 60’s was a great period for youth culture and film.  Though the term teenager first appeared in written form in 1930’s, hypehnated back then as teen-ager.   It did not reach wide spread use until the 1950’s, ushering in a whole new consumer class, young people with their own tastes and interests and their own budget to spend on them.  Suddenly there where magazines, music, clothes, and of course films courting the teenage audience   One such film is the 1960 Spring Break flick: Where The Boys Are


Occupying a space between the conservative 1950’s and the rebellious 60’s.  The film shows an interesting, from a history of pop culture perspective at least, group of young women. College girls who seem some what torn between the dawning feminist movement, and the house wife culture of the 50’s.  The film stars Dolores Hart as the brainiest of the girls, Merritt


Paula Prentiss as Tuggle, the funny one


Connie Francess in her first film role plays the boy crazy Angie


and  Yvette Mimeux is the innocent and overly romantic Melanie



The girls leave their snowy mid western college to go on vacation in Florida

Where-the-Boys-Are-1960 car

Though they supposedly have no money, they sure don’t dress like it.  There are beach costumes

bathing suit where th eboys are 2

where the boys are 4

Night gowns and pjs

and dresses galore!


Plus the cars!

The plot of the film focuses on the girls getting caught in the usual spring break hi-jinks, picking up hitch hikers, flirting with boys, including major kitsch alert: a young George Hamilton, and partying.

where the boys are hitch hikers

george hamilton


There is a darker side to the film too.  Melanie falls too quickly for a boy who tosses her aside leading her to go on a bender.

where the boys are drink

Later she is the victim of an implied sexual assault and wanders into traffic, before her friends rescue her.

yvette 2

This being 1960 police are never called and her friends just stand around looking sad as she is treated in hospital.  It’s difficult to watch today.

Still it isn’t a bad film overall and visually it is a definite treat.   Of all the fashions in the film my favorite by far is a simple blue and white check gingham dress worn with a simple white jacket by Melanie.

I asked my dear friend Krystle Snook of 1930’s Treadle Couture if she could make me a similar dress and she did and its just lovely!


Krystle added a sleeveless terry cloth jacket that also makes a great swim suit cover up.  I paired the dress with my Tanith Rowan 1950’s style coolie hat, red canvas sandals from Remix Vintage shoes, early 1950’s sunglasses, a 1960’s novelty seashell purse, and luxulite jewelry.


I wore the dress for the first time to one of my favorite summer events, the Alice Austen House Pug Club of Greater New York meetup.  Alice Austen was one of the first female photographers and she often photographed animals, the pug was one of her favorite breeds and her house on Staten Island is now a museum.  It is a beautiful place and such a fun event for small dogs of all breeds.


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I was so pleased to have such a beautiful casual vintage style summer dress made by a dear friend to wear to one of my favorite events of the summer and I’m sure I’ll be wearing this all summer long.  Krystle made something that captures my take on vintage style perfectly!


18 thoughts on “A Breezy Summer Dress Inspired By a Breezy Summer Film

  1. I love how your posts are always so well documented. Your dress is wonderful, and what a great event! The dogs must have had so much fun! xxx


  2. I’ve seen the film and always have liked Paula Prentiss. It is so cool that you utilize American talent to create your “dream” dresses 👗.-slow fashion at it’s best. Love ❤️ it.


  3. Great post! I love anything in gingham…wearing it right now! LOL You always look great when you wear your Coolie hat…a fun hat that seems to suit your style.

    I like how you described the main characters and added lots of pics. Oh, I forgot Dolores Hart was in this before she became a nun.

    A pug pool party…so adorable!!!


      1. There is a book and movie about her life. The nun that kissed Elvis! She made two films with him. She is still alive and I read that people are always asking her about Elvis.


  4. You always seem so comfortable and “at home” wherever you are! Love this sneak-peak into your latest outfit. Pairing it with the coolie hat was a good choice, and I love the tied-at-the-shoulders look on you. Please keep blogging!


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