“There was a time when women were content to wear the trousers. But now they’re wearing another conventional part of male dress—the waistcoat.” So begins this utterly delightful report from a fashion show featuring ladies’ waistcoats.

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The 1955 British Pathé video is the sequel to an earlier, black-and-white newsreel covering the Waistcoat Club, a gathering of gentleman waistcoat enthusiasts. But this one is specifically dedicated to women, and it’s in glorious color, and every one of these looks is a winner. “If waistcoats can look like this on the fair sex, let’s forget convention and give them equality,” the voiceover pronounces. Thanks, buddy!

This purple number gives off an awfully cabaret vibe for the mid ‘50s, and that’s exactly what I like about it.

This attendee should look like she just escaped from a Fourth of July pageant, but somehow it’s so much more arch. Maybe it’s those crisp sleeves.

Very vampy.

Let’s please take a moment to appreciate these very bold pants, which very boldly match her bold red blouse and headband.

You don’t have to tell this lady she’s hot shit because she knows already.

This is an embroidered waistcoat for the beach. It’s astounding.

This is the definition of a power look.

This lineup, my God. It’s almost enough to persuade one to buy a vest. (Almost.)


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.