Yesteryear’s Memories: Poodles ‘n’ Such

February 16, 2021

The 1950s were fun times. The war was over and American towns were prospering. Teenagers were dancing at school dances and sock hops were in style. A young actress, Juli Lynne Charlot, needed a quick and simple dress for a party and she cut out a large circle of felt with a hole in the middle. Then she stuck on some cutout designs and became the talk of the party. That led to a myriad of designs that could be applied to the skirt. Poodles, flowers, umbrellas, Christmas trees, hearts — literally anything could be adapted to the fashion. Juli Lynne made the skirts available commercially but many were made at home because they were so easy to put together.

The high school dances of the area were flooded with the newest craze. There were CHS skirts at Centralia High School, and Mt. Vernon Township High School had its letters emblazoned on homemade skirts, too. It was a fad that lasted several years, even with older ladies who had perhaps more mature ideas of decoration. Overall, poodles became the traditional image that we associate with the trend.