Several months ago I mentioned in a blog post how people really dressed up to travel back in the 1960s. But I think this phenomenon warrants more exploration.
Here’s my mom (above, second from left) in 1962, wearing a typical early 1960s dress in front of the outdoor Buddha in Kamakura, Japan. It’s the late summer and must be quite hot. Still, most women didn’t wear jeans back then. Even the men in this photo are decked out in business casual.
It takes a certain refinement these days to go traipsing around Thailand in the summer in a form fitting dress like my mom wore back in 1965. Thailand is wicked hot and oppressively humid in the summers. Just looking at this photo makes me want to grab a tall glass of ice water.
Also in 1965, my grandma wore this warm-looking dress on a rickshaw in Macau. It looks like a light weight wool and probably not something I’d chose to wear in subtropical summers. But that was the fashion back then.
People even dressed up when participating in recreational activities. The photo above shows a group from my mom’s school in Nagoya, Japan engaged in a game of tug-o-war. The gentleman in the middle didn’t even take off his fedora.
Speaking of fedoras, my grandpa took his off for this photo in Taiwan during the summer of 1965. He and my mom are standing in front of a funky train they were about to board. (On a side note, my grandparents bought a cool rattan stool in Taiwan, not unlike the rattan with which this train was made. I now have the stool!)
So when did people stop dressing up when they traveled? I found photos of 1971 Hong Kong and people still wore 1960s fashions. But here in 1974, when my grandparents visited Penang, the casual 70s had already set in–at least for women.