Monday, August 19, 2013

DO YOU REMEMBER KNIFE-PLEATED SKIRTS?

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Do you remember knife-pleated skirts? I had one in about 1979. It was a dress with a knife-pleated skirt, but you can also buy a pleated skirt and wear it with some other top.

I've noticed knife pleats in some catalogs lately, so I guess they're in again. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then here's a photo to help you out:


Does this give you some idea of what I mean? The skirt has very small pleats.

My knife-pleated skirt was a much fuller skirt than the one in the photo. It was also the skirt of an entire dress. It was very pretty. It was white because once upon a time I could wear white without getting a stain on my clothes within 30 seconds. It had a pattern of little blue flowers. I bought it in Gimbel's in Washington, D.C. I'm pretty sure Gimbel's went out of business about five minutes after I bought my adorable dress.

I returned to good old Topeka with my pretty dress from Gimbel's and wore it to work at Macy's. Macy's was downtown when cities still had department stores downtown. I was the switchboard operator in the Macy's office. This occurred during olden times when you could call a business and ACTUALLY SPEAK TO A PERSON AND GET SOME HELP. I know it's shocking. All of this stuff happened so long ago that I don't think you can even find it in a history book.

Lunch time rolled around and my pretty new dress and I strolled down the street toward a little sandwich shop with my friend and co-worker, Deeanna, who counted Mr. Macy's money in the vault. All of a sudden, a gust of wind blew up my skirt so my panties showed. People in cars gawked.

For a second, I felt embarrassed. But then I got over it because I realized I was no longer little Janie Junebug, switchboard operator at Macy's. I had been transformed into Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.


I wish people had had cell phones with cameras then because my white dress with the knife-pleated skirt and my cute little undies would have been all over the place on Facebook. Some people might have made videos for YouTube, but all that technology was so far off in the future that we didn't even consider the possibility that it would ever happen.

So, I'm sorry I don't have a photo of my Monroe moment. You'll just have to take my word for it that it happened.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, who is back among the living

38 comments:

  1. So glad you are back among the living! And yes, I do remember those skirts. You are in good company with Marilyn.

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  2. I'm sure a knife-pleated skirt would have made my butt look too big back then. Now it would make my waist look too big. I currently don't wear skirts.

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    1. I wear skirts a lot because it's so hot and I refuse to wear shorts. I look even worse in shorts.

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  3. Gimble's clothing at Macey's? Sounds like conflict of interest to me. But, hey, politicians seem to do that all the time and get away with it.

    And, as with a kilt, I suspect it would have taken forever to press those pleats. Some might have considered that a waste of good time.

    Sorry about the "no-photo Marilyn moment." At least you can remember it!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    desert.epiphanies@sasktel.net
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

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    1. I don't think anyone at Macy's cared what I wore. We didn't have a Gimbel's in Topeka, and I wanted something special to wear when I first visited Washington, D.C.

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  4. I definitely remember those skirts!

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  5. At lest you were wearing panties. From what I read, that is not the case much of the time now days... which is okay with me.

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    1. I'm amused by the celebrities who are photographed getting out of cars, and *gasp* they're not wearing panties. Agony and threats ensue over the photos. A few weeks later they are photographed again, sans panties.

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  6. I bet you looked even better than Marilyn!!

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    1. I wish! I never looked half as good as Marilyn.

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  7. I believe it happened. I just don't think you'd pull my leg, would you?

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  8. I didn't know those things were called knife-pleated skirts. Does that mean I'm just a baby?

    Glad you back among the living!

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    1. You're a baby, or you don't read Vogue.

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  9. I love knife pleated skirts! They're so elegant, and breezy - even when you've been "exposed."

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    1. That dress was one of my favorites. It might be in my cedar chest, but I doubt it. Later I had a red knife-pleated skirt from Paris. Those were the days, my friend.

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  10. I actually went to a fabric mill that had a pleat-ing machine that permanently pressed the fabric of your choice into knife pleats when I was in college. It was really pretty cool.

    Not as cool as the breeze up your skirt, but cool none the less. :)

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    1. My dress must have visited that fabric mill because the pleats did not need to be ironed. I have always made an effort to avoid ironing, which I don't really know how to do anyway.

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  11. "I wish people had had cell phones with cameras then because my white dress with the knife-pleated skirt and my cute little undies would have been all over the place on Facebook. Some people might have made videos for YouTube, but all that technology was so far off in the future that we didn't even consider the possibility that it would ever happen."

    So sorry we cannot see the physical copy of that moment, but the image is very vivid in the mind's eye.

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  12. That would have been a picture :)

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  13. Hi Janie Ok I am back from 5 weeks of not blogging. I left a message while ago asking for your address to send a small souvenir as I visited the US. You never did send it. May be you are not comfortable giving your address. Or may be you never saw the comment. Not sure which. If you are comfortable giving me your address to mail the small souvenir pls.send your mailing address to thoughtsofpaps@gmail.com and will send it to you. Thanks
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. I'm sorry, PAPS. That's so sweet of you. I'll email you now. I remember the email, and remember that I forgot to email you.

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  14. White pleated skirts were very popular in the early '60s. The wider pleats were more popular than the ultra narrow ones, which of course, meant I had a narrow-pleated one. It was a royal pain in the posterior to iron. I had to pin the pleats in place, iron a few, pin some more, etc, etc. Hated to iron that thing. I don't remember them being called knife pleats, though, and don't remember them being popular in the '70s.

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    1. I was probably the only person who had one during 1979. It's only recently that I've seen them called knife pleats. We used to just say "a pleated skirt".

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  15. great post! following you now! I hope to see you in my blog sometimes. thanks!
    Kisses from VV!!
    www.voguelyvan.com

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    1. Welcome! I have joined your throngs of followers.

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  16. YAY! You're back! I'd love to have a knife-pleated skirt, but I know I'd end up stabbing myself with it.

    -andi

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    1. I'm surprised I didn't fall on a pleat and impale myself.

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  17. hehehe.

    i love those pleats. i had a lovely light green skirt which i wore all the time when i was a kid.
    and then there was a white dress with tiny blue polka dots with the pleats. good ol times.

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    1. Interesting that we remember some favorite clothes from days gone by. Some of my "vintage" stuff still hangs in my closet.

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  18. Oh yes! I remember those knife pleated skirts and dresses. I never owned one, though. And the minute you said the wind blew your skirt up--I thought of Marilyn!! ;)

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    1. I'm so glad that my experience brings MM to mind. *sigh* She was so beautiful.

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  19. I have always loved these pleated skirts I think they look awesome, and they can feel just as great on.

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.