1950s Clothing

Harvey Berin blue floral silk 1950s dress & jacket | XS

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Bust: measures 36” flat to fit approx. 34 to 35”
Waist: measures 26” flat, to fit approx. 25”
Hip: measures 38.5” flat, to fit approx. 35”
Length: 42” from shoulder to hem
Underarm to waist length: 8.5” (a bit of extra length for slightly draped, “blouson” fit)
Waist to hem length: 24.5” long, currently, with 8” hem turned under
Shoulder to shoulder: 14”
Length: 21” from back of neck to hem
Sleeve: 13.5” long
LABEL: Harvey Berin (stamped on back of belt, only)

This midnight floral 2-piece set in dark blue and fuchsia print silk twill is a lovely dress and jacket by Harvey Berin (designer Karen Stark) from the late 1950s. The gorgeous, lightweight fabric is the same finely-textured silk that is used for the best vintage silk scarves. The sleeveless cocktail dress has an unusual wrap design for the back of the bodice, with a waist, flat waist panel in front. Based on how it fits our fairly tall mannequin, it appears that the bodice is intended to have a slightly blouson fit, draping gently below the deep V at the back. The bust section also has a bit of fullness to it, above the flat waist panel. The wrapped back bodice panel covers most of the dress’s metal zipper, when hooked closed as shown. The straight skirt has kick pleats at each side seam, 2 front slit pockets (!) and is cinched with a self-fabric belt, which is rigid in back and has soft sash ties in front. The portion of the silk fabric that is lined with the rigid vinyl material to form the back of the belt shows some wear (see photo), but could easily be replaced with some extra fabric from the dress hem—which is over 8 inches deep! You could also wear the dress without the belt—it looks just fine without it. The matching jacket is hip-length, with elbow-length sleeves. It has a notched collar and fastens in front with tow large covered buttons. It has seaming/darts to create its gently figure-hugging shape. Both pieces of this lovely 1950s dress set are lined with silk. The other issues to note, beyond than the belt fabric damage, is a minor amount of discoloration to the lining fabric at the underarms (not seen from outside), and a few areas on the back of the skirt where the lighter-blue flowers, only, appear a bit discolored or faded: two near the center back hem, and one near the end of the back zipper. This is pretty hard to notice when the dress is worn, but we did our best to photograph it clearly. In very good condition, freshly cleaned and ready to wear, this circa 1950s silk floral dress and jacket can also be worn separately, but look great together!

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