Tag Archives: whirl skirt 1948 forties

A Swingback Jacket from 1948

I love the back of this jacket.  It appeared on a page of coats in the Butterick Fashion News flyer from March, 1948.

Butterick coat pattern No.  4457, March, 1948.

Butterick coat pattern No. 4457, March, 1948.

Two versions of the swingback coat are flanked by a very Dior-ish New Look long coat, and a dolman-sleeved coat that fits closely at the waist, but has a bloused back above the waist.

"The Versatile Coat Styles:  Fit, Flared, and Bloused." Butterick Fashion News, March 1948.

“The Versatile Coat Styles: Fit, Flared, and Bloused.” Butterick Fashion News, March 1948.

The flared back of this coat, at mid-hip length,  would be worth copying today. Butterick coat pattern No.  4457, March, 1948.

The flared back of this coat, at mid-hip length, would be worth copying today. Butterick coat pattern No. 4457, March, 1948. 

Here’s the front view, shown in a below-hip length:

Butterick coat pattern 4457, BFN flyer, March 1948.

Butterick coat pattern 4457, BFN flyer, March 1948.

Pattern matching on a large-scale stripe like this would require patience — and extra fabric.  Personally, I prefer the solid version in wool or linen. The sleeves are cut in one with the yoke, on the cross grain:

Detail of front yoke and sleeves, Butterick 4457.

Detail of front yoke and sleeves, Butterick 4457.

The shoulder pads are substantial.

bfn mar 1948 coat styles swingback text

Flared Coat for Teens, Butterick 4453, 1948

The flare on this jacket suit, with hood, (Butterick 4453) is not as extreme as Butterick #4457, but it’s charming all the same:

Butterick 4453:  "The hooded suit for the young set, flare-back-jacket atop a whirl skirt. " For ages 10 to 16.

Butterick 4453: “The hooded suit for the young set, flare-back-jacket atop a whirl skirt. ” For ages 10 to 16.

Flared Back Coat for Girls, Butterick 4423, 1948

Butterick pattern No. 4423: (A) Flare-back topper with little girl collar and patch pockets. (B) Short flare-back topper, separate drawstring hood." SIze 4 to 12, 23 [inch chest] to 30.

Butterick pattern No. 4423: (A) Flare-back topper with little girl collar and patch pockets. (B) Short flare-back topper, separate drawstring hood.” SIze 4 to 12, 23 [inch chest] to 30.

Butterick Coat No. 4368 with Dior Influence, 1948

Butterick coat pattern # 4368, Butterick Fashion News flyer for March, 1948.

Butterick coat pattern # 4368, Butterick Fashion News flyer for March, 1948.

bfn mar 1948 coat 4368 text

The star next to the pattern number means that it was available in Butterick’s new Special Patterns for Women under 5′ 5″, as well as Standard length (for women 5’5″ and over.) It’s amazing that, until the 1940s, Butterick patterns were apparently sized for women 5’5″ and over. Small women with a bust over 38 inches were really out of luck, since patterns sized for Misses 15 to 20 “and small women” only ran to bust 37 or 38.

Coat No. 4368 has very wide shoulders, to make the waist look tiny, and enormous pockets, to exaggerate the width of the hips, for the same reason. You can see the pockets in the back view. Couture versions of these nipped-waist styles could include a boned inner structure; nevertheless, this is a coat meant to be worn by a corseted (or waist-cinched) woman. It will never look right over a natural body. (And those widely spaced buttons won’t control the center front midriff without help.)

Butterick Coat 4367

Butterick coat pattern 4367, BFN, March 1948.

Butterick coat pattern 4367, BFN, March 1948.

bfn mar 1948 coat 4367 text

It’s hard to believe that this coat was flattering to very many women; the blouson look was not popular with men, and was famously parodied in an episode of I Love Lucy. (1956.) The blouson was a look that came and went during a period of otherwise very tight dresses.

This coat has the exterior darts that appeared on some clothes in 1936; (click here.) to see more examples.

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Filed under 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, Children's Vintage styles, Vintage patterns