Remembering Prairie Dresses
“We are celebrating a very spartan (Little House On The Prairie-style) Christmas this year (everyone gets an orange, maybe a button). I am hoping that on the bright side it will make me remember, as Charlie Brown says, what Christmas is really all about.” (December 9, 2011)
— From Heather Browne and her amazing blog, I Am Fuel, You Are Friends.
Back in the Days of Running Water
Certainly, you remember the prairie dresses from the 1980s. They were one of many popular fashion trends of that era. Boy, did I get my fill of them along with everyone who knew me.
I actually had dozens of prairie dresses in the 80s. Prairie skirts, too! My mom made most of them for me. I’d wear them over ruffled, eyelet slips that peeked out at the bottom. Sometimes, I was really hip and wore them with granny boots.
It was all the rage, my friends. The whole look was very Little House on the Prairie. Although prairie dress style evolved throughout the decade, the pastels and peekaboos remained a feature.
About a year ago, I came across the above vintage 80s picture on a friend’s Facebook page. It was taken in 1987 at my Alma Mater’s junior-senior banquet. At first I laughed at all the big hair and white pantyhose, but when I saw the photo again today, I couldn’t help but see the resemblance to style of dress worn by the FLDS (Fundamental Latter Day Saints) women.
Prairie dress fashion began in 1978, just as the first Gen Xers were entering college. That was the autumn Ralph Lauren introduced the prairie skirt in his Western-themed collection. Thanks, Ralph!
I thought for kicks I’d share a picture of me in a prairie dress taken in 1984. I was never much one for pastels, but hey, I made up for it with the tiny calico prints.
It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that the 80s began 30 years ago! Man, life is short.
Did you wear prairie dresses in the late 70s or 80s? What did it look like?