Notre Dame professor says 1960s led to dressing down of Americans





No one is sure when supertight clothing, visible bra straps, flip flops and cleavage on display became ubiquitous in the workplace, but Linda Przybyszewski knows one thing.

The 1960s had a lot to do with it.

"In the 1950s, the goal was to look sophisticated," said Przybyszewski, a University of Notre Dame history professor and author of the new book "The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish."

After the 1960s, the goal of looking sophisticated was abandoned and largely forgotten, she said.

"The Lost Art of Dress" chronicles the careers of a group of women in the first half of the 20th century -- Przybyszewski calls them the Dress Doctors -- who taught girls and women how to sew and dress based on principles of art, design and economy. The Dress Doctors offered advice in home economics classes, on radio shows, at women's clubs and in popular magazines.




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