20th Century, Textiles & Costume

Let’s go to Mexico

Though it seems hard to comprehend as I sit barefoot in my garden and eat another slice of watermelon, I understand some of you are having some dreadful, cold, stormy weather.

To warm you up, for this Textiles on Thursday* let’s go to exotic locales south of the border and examine some vintage Mexican themed fashions and fabrics.

To start, I’ll throw you off this deep end with this jacket, which is pretty…umm…awesome.

A 1940s souvenir jacket

Just in case you couldn’t tell where it is from, her skirt says ‘Mexico’

For something a little more restrained, and more suitable for actually wearing in Mexico, what about these?

1940s Mexican novelty print beach pyjamas

Or you could go for something a little dressier:

1950s Mexican print sundress

And, of course, no survey of vintage Mexican themed garments would be complete without a scenic circle skirt.  I love the teals and purples in this one.

1950s novelty print skirt

I have some charming unmade-up vintage Mexican themed fabrics in my stash, courtesy of my Grandmother, who lived in California.

I love the aqua and fuschia colors in this fabric.  Very art-deco carry over:

1940s rayon novelty print

Let’s have a close up look at the horses and cacti:

I love the sense of movement

This 50s kitchen print on cotton has a much more  stereotypically Mexican colour scheme.

Snoozing senores and saucy senoritas, along with squash, circles, and stars

I love how much imagery they achieved with very simple shapes and motifs.

Mushroom skirt!

Cool shirt

I’m not sure if my final fabric is supposed to be specifically Mexican, or just generally Latin American.  The tamborines and drums feel a little Cuban or Argentinean.  The gold colour is actually metallic gilding, very typical in the 50s and early 60s.

Tamborines and tiered skirts

Drummer boy

And to finish up, this one isn’t a textile, but how could I pass on showing it to you?

Du Barry 'The Beauty Preparations of the Success School' 1945

That’s right ladies.  Sign up for your Du Barry beauty course this year to ensure a besotted swain and that all important honeymoon in Mexico, the pinnacle of life’s accomplishment.

* Notice how I am being a good little blogger and actually following a schedule.


  1. Aah! I LOVE this stuff. I have mexican inspired fabrics in the stash just waiting. But YOURS is to die for!! *swoon*
    Can I just add all these pieces to my closet right now? hehe.

  2. jackiead says

    Love the themed fabrics and the applique and embroidered jacket is to die for. The details and colors are amazing. Can you find these jackets today? I grew up during the fifties and sixties and I remember seeing many people wearing this style of jacket. My friend’s mother had one she had bought while visiting Mexico during the early 1960’s and I coveted her jacket.

  3. * Notice how I am being a good little blogger and actually following a schedule.

    You’re a better woman than I am. 😉

    (Love these!)

  4. I love fuschia and aqua – seriously those horses are fabulous!

  5. I can hear Herb Alpert’s band in the background playing Tijuana Taxi as I read!

  6. All these themed fabrics are a bit too wild for my tastes to make something from… but very interesting to look at!
    Although I really like the Latin American one. I guess it’s the wild colour schemes of the others.

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