Vintage mid-1950s Jean Roberts party dress features a black velvet bodice and red faille circle skirt, with each half of the dress trimmed in touches of fabric from the other.
On top, the high scoop neck of the bodice has a mock neck inset in red faille; red faille cuffs and bows accent the elbow-length kimono sleeves; and there are attached ties at the back of the neck. Below, the onseam pockets, in addition to their notched novelty shape, feature large, leaf shaped appliques of black velvet.
The bodice is shaped with vertical waist darts front and back, and has a partial metal zipper at the neck; a side metal zipper on the left side of the dress further eases entry into the dress.
Unlined but satin-faced in the bodice, the dress is labeled “Jean Roberts Inc”. “Jean Roberts” was the trade name of the Decatur Garment Company, which made print cotton house dresses and aprons from its 1908 founding well into the 1960s. The names of the garments evolved over time—first “dressing sacques” and “kimonas”, then “cobbler aprons”, “wrap dresses”, and “pinafores”, and in the 1950s, “sunsters”, “coat dresses” and “kitchen frocks”). A Jean Roberts party dress—and one requiring dry cleaning at that—is a very unusual find; this particular example is featured on page 48 of Melody Fortier’s book “The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping.”
Measurements are: Bust to 34”, waist 25.5”, shoulders approx. 14”, hips free, sleeves shoulder to waist 16.5”, shoulder to hem 41”, and circumference of the hem 156”.
This striking dress presents beautifully but does have flaws; condition is good only. Issues (shown in photos 7 and 8) are 2 faint dark spots 8” down the center of the skirt; a 1 ¼” water stain 12” down the skirt, near the right seam; and colorbleed inside the right pocket, at the back of the mock neck, and on the ties. In addition, the dress appears to have been shortened (the ribbon taped hem allowance is 3/4”). Priced accordingly.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild