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Monday, March 12, 2012

1940s Playsuits, Skimps and Topalls from Joset Walker & Carolyn Schnurer

It's June 17,1946. LIFE magazine reports the following:

New Brief Skirted Sports Outfits Threaten Popularity of Shorts.

For sunbathing and playing near but not in water, these new short play dresses are as cool and comfortable as shorts but more flattering.
The shortest skirts every seen anywhere except on  little girls and ballerinas, threaten this summer to become more popular than short for active sportswear. For young girls and women who like to play tennis, badminton, ride a bicycle or loll in the sun, two New  York designers, Carolyn Schnurer and Joset Walker, have made new playsuits which they calls "skimps", "topalls" or play dresses. Whatever their names, they are really variations of the classic two piece. The old playsuit usually consisted of a top and shorts in one piece, which could be worn either alone or with a separate skirt. In the 1946 Playsuits, the one piece part of the outfit is a top-and-skirt, which can not be worn alone but must be worn with a pair of pants or shorts, preferable matching. Mostly made of cotton with pleated or circular skirts, they are good for sports, but too heavy for swimming.

 Black "SKIMP" by Joset Walker, 1946, is exactly like a street dress except that skirt is 8 inches above the knee. It has sleeves, a small collar, with button and pleats down the front.

Wrap Around "TOPALL" from Joset Walker, 1946, is like a brief sleeveless kimono. Only the belt keep it in place. Outfit with matching shorts cost $25.00

 Checked cotton, green on black, is used for this play dress with white per pan collar, short pleated skirt and matching pants.$15.00 in 1946. (no designer attribution given)

Plaid cotton in red, black and white is used for this little dress that buttons down the back. Carolyn Schnurer calls these outfits "skimps".

I share these with you today as I thinks there some great info here and the fact that Joset Walker is featured is always a plus in my book.

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