Granny dresses found a prim and proper place on young women of the late 60’s and early 70’s. With long sleeves, high necks and floor-length hems, these dresses made grandmother proud. Unless grandma was a flapper, spreading rouge on her girlhood kneecaps to the shameless delight of all the boys, she was properly gussied up like a good girl. And thanks to Laura Ashley, you could too.
Mini-skirts and hot pants guaranteed an eyeful, but the granny dress buttoned up and covered everything but the head and hands. The granny dress was a style first embraced by the flower-child hippie for its romantic illusions and simple form. It alluded to a distant past, before the machine age—a look worn by the pioneers of the land.
Laura Ashley, a British clothing line, offered the feel of a rural utopia in the urban sprawl. They made fluid and romantic country-style dresses in innocent white cottons with crocheted lace inserts or flowery calicos reminiscent of Victorian times. Ruffled skirts, patchwork prints, crocheted shawls… they were all safe, nostalgic and hopeful. High-necked Edwardian or sweet Peter Pan collars took you back to a day chivalry wasn’t yet dead.