Monday, September 19, 2011

Fashion in Film: Laura Petrie - The Dresses!

The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)
Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore
Costume Design: Harald Johnson, Marge Makau

Not to be forgotten, but when you talk about the influence of Laura Petrie's wardrobe on me, you also have to consider the dresses that she wore. Her suits on the other hand were very traditional and somewhat reminiscent of the Queen of England's choices. Seriously. Boxy and not cute.

Except for this one:



Let's start with her day dresses, which she wore to school functions, lunch with Millie, or whenever she ventured out in her neighborhood of New Rochelle

Notice how they both have the same silhouette, jewel neck, sleeveless, an almost bell-shaped skirt and a defined waistline. No embellishments. The second dress is a little more dressy and has a clever overlay skirt lined in a contrasting color and is worn with a three-string pearl necklace.

Cocktail and Evening Wear.

I couldn't find a full-length picture of this dress. I love the mixture of different fabrics, which look to me like a matte satin and brocade for the lower bodice section. I believe you would call that a portrait neckline, although a bit more angular? To me, the dress resembles my mother's wedding dress but I know it's not the dress Laura wore to wed because these were taken in their home, see the paneled door?

Another lovely white (or pale colored) dress. This one seems to be made of a brocade satin that is lightly beaded and has a few hanging strands of beads. The skirt is made of chiffon and again the dress has a very defined waistband.

Now this one, believe it or not, is for cocktail parties though it definitely has a boudoir feeling to it, some of which can be attributed to her pose. The satin hostess gown worn over the metallic brocade pants and shining evening shoes is amazing and automatically makes me think of Auntie Mame. This is not a sweet Laura Petrie, this is Naughty Laura!

This one is definitely for a black/white-tie event. From the intensity of the black, I believe the skirt is velvet and the bodice with three-quarter length sleeves is made of a drapey embossed fabric. There also seems to be some sort of reinforced cummerbund constructed under the bust.


Another out-on-the-town gown, this time in a patterned silk. This style is very reminiscent of an Alfred Shaheen gown. It is shocking how exposed it is for her character, it is not typical.

Yeah, this is more like it!

Laura in a sweet filmy see-through peignoir for looking adorable when Rob comes to bed.

Yes, except for the last piece, I would love to have every item of clothing in this post!

Wouldn't you?

Images: LauraPetrie675 photobucket jpegs. Thanks!


  1. Me too! Yes, I would love to have each piece except for the peignoir. Never been "fond-of-frill"

  2. Classy, stylish and feminine at the same time unlike half the fashion out there these days. I really loved the white flowing dress! So pretty!

  3. Anonymous8:46 PM

    Your blog lives on! My husband was just trying to describe Laura Petrie dresses to me and I found your blog! Perfect to help us with our discussion.

  4. When Laura Petrie is Dressed to Kill look out. I love the classy yet very sexy wardrobe she wore. I also love the pearls. Those were the days when the men were men and the women were women