1960s Clothing

Turquoise silk satin 1960s cheongsam cocktail dress | S

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Size: S
Bust: measures 36” flat, to fit best for 35” or smaller—maybe 36” with small cup size
Waist: measures 27.5” flat, to fit best for 26.5” or smaller
Hip: measures 38” flat, to fit best for 36” or smaller
Length: 39” long from shoulder to hem in front
Underarm to waist length: 7” (slightly high-waisted)
Sleeve length: 5”
Sleeve opening: 13” flat, around hem
Shoulder to shoulder: 13.5”
Neck: 13” around, flat
Label: Wah-Lai Silk Co. Hong Kong

This aqua blue or turquoise silk satin early 1960s cheongsam dress from Hong Kong combines the hourglass shape of a classic 1960s cocktail dress with Asian style details like a mandarin collar and frog closures. The silk satin fabric has a white seaweed (maybe kelp?) design woven into it, along with tiny polka dots that look like bubbles in water. Plain aqua piping trims edges of the collar, bodice opening, and short sleeves. The mandarin collar fastens with a hook and eye and the dress neckline opens with snaps diagonally down from this collar to the arm opening on the right side. The metal side seam zipper is also on the right side--the opposite of western-made 1960s Asian-style dresses, which usually fasten on the left side. The zipper is hand-sewn into the side seam, rather than machine sewn. Darts shape the bust, waist, and hips of the dress for a pin-up ready, mid-century “wiggle” dress silhouette--with side slits at the hem to make walking easier. The dress is unlined. In excellent condition, the only small issue to note is some yellowing to the maker’s tag at the back of the neck—not visible on the surrounding fabric. The silk satin fabric is gorgeous, and its vibrant color makes this 1960s cheongsam dress a real showstopper!

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