Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mid-Century Mom Makes Dinner!!!

I love my sweet 9 followers! Your great suggestions last week made my day, and I had a lot of fun this week scouring the internet for really cool vintage shots of housewives doing housework of all sorts. Expect to see (in the near future) me attempting packing, doing the dishes (in dishwater), ironing, raking leaves, etc. Next spring I will definitely attempt to do gardening, too.

My next question for you is this: What do you all think of when you think of mid-century mom and casual wear? I doubt that back when that women gardened wearing their Sunday best. What would you all suggest I wear when doing more of the menial and dirty work? I still want to be accurate in my depiction of a mid-century housewife, but I cannot imagine Susie Homemaker in 1959 would have worn a wool pencil skirt, heels, and a silk blouse to go weed. :)

I found this image at They have a plethora of images from this time period. Very cool. I chose this image because it most correctly shows what happened here at Mid-Century Mom's house last week when I wore a beautiful shirtdress, an apron, hosiery, and a pair of pointy-toed flats, plus a headband. My kids were even parading around me (although we have no shots of that happening). The only difference? Mr. Dina wasn't in a suit. :) He didn't sign up to me a mid-century man...maybe one day I can convince him to give it a shot...maybe when I serve him a (non-alcoholic) drink, HeidiG. ;)

Now, unlike most chores around the house, I LOVE to cook. So I knew straight away I would have no problem with this challenge. That said, I do normally cook in outfits that I have no need to worry about staining. I love to cook in frying pans and stew pots, and over the years I have received quite a few stains on my outfits from my cooking style (I am very free-form).

I cook well, just maybe not as organized and pretty as some might.

Well, would you look at that??? No stains, no messes, etc., and I am halfway through the meal-making process. WOW! At this point I am smelling the butternut squash soup I am making (from scratch, thank you, Miss Giada, AWESOME recipe). Look at the french bread rounds sitting to the left waiting to be oiled and placed in the oven...they are all lined up perfectly on the cutting board.

And look at my posture. Stick-straight. Lovely. If it weren't for the microwave and the stainless steel EVERYWHERE, Mr. Dina said I could actually fool people into believing I am in the 1950s. So sweet. BTW, the dress is from IDEOLOGY. It is from 2005, I believe. Sadly, Macy's doesn't carry this brand at all...and since I bought this dress at Hecht's (used to be THE department store of the Mid-Atlantic region), I probably will never be able to buy IDEOLOGY ever again. Sigh.

Here is a back view of the preparation process. Look at my very full skirt. So mid-century mom.

Final Thoughts: I found this challenge way too easy. I only took the dress off because it isn't really conducive to nursing a baby. I probably could have worn it all night...and the apron was GREAT at keeping stains away. Huh...I think my apron will get more use from now on. I plan on doing the whole dress up and cook thing more often. I don't know if it was the novelty or the dress, but I really liked cooking even more than usual. Plus the soup, YUMMY!

Ease of being a mid-century mom: 5 out of 5 (5 is the easiest to be a mid-century mom).

Next post will most likely be on me attempting to pack in full-on pencil skirt and pearls. That should be fun. (Maybe???)

(Oh, if you happen across an image of a housewife packing from the 50s or 60s, could you leave the link in the comments? I have a feeling that could be a difficult image to find.)


  1. I loved it! I would also say that the MCM (Mid-Century Mom) would do yard work in her capris, button down shirt and headband/wrap. Don't forget the cat eye glasses!

  2. I SO love the concept of this site! That dress you have on is adorable! I'm wondering now if all those women in the 50's weren't onto something - dresses look put-together with very little effort and have ease of mobility. Have we been making things harder on ourselves all these years? Crazy!

    I came across this Getty Image of a woman unpacking plates, and another of a woman sitting near a barrage of (already packed) suitcases. Isn't quite the same as packing a suitcase, but finding retro housewives doing anything is a lot more difficult than I thought! Kudos to you on finding such great imagery so far! Love the site - keep it up! :)

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  4. I think a casual mid century mom would be wearing fitted capri's (ankle length) with a camp shirt and white keds. She would probably be wearing her hair in a scarf so as not to muss up her recently set hairdo.
    I think I may have watched too many 50's tv show re-runs because I can see this woman crystal clear!

  5. Love the dress + flats.

    You definitely need a knotted scarf/wrap in your hair for mid-century cleaning of the bathroom. :)

  6. I love the dress!!! I cannot wait for the next post.

  7. Hi, guys! Thanks for your comments well over a week ago. :) You all have given me a lot of ideas, and I truly appreciate them...anticipate me DEFINITELY using them!

    Have a nice day, and so you know, I have done my latest post!!! (I set the table for Thanksgiving dinner...)

  8. Love this!! I think Pamela nailed the gardening ensemble, too.

  9. - dresses look put-together with very little effort and have ease of mobility.
    underground hypnosis