Category Archives: Sustainable Sunday

The Iconic Shirtwaist Dress

1950s Jonathan Logan Summer Plaid Day Dress

This summer, the dress is the way to go for comfort and style. Be it long or short, the simplicity of a one piece dress allows you to spend more time thinking of your accessories. And isn’t that easier then figuring out what top or bottom to wear together. The right shoe, jewelry or belt will add just the right finishing touch. So stay cool this summer by perhaps choosing the iconic shirt waist dress which has come a real long way just like women have.

Vintage Colorful Plaid Shirtwaist Dress

The concept of the shirt waist dress originated from a man’s shirt and was seen as early as the 1900s. Although it has a menswear influence, it’s anything but masculine. The 1950s iconic shirtwaist dress, as seen in movies like Pleasantville, emphasized the female waist and the bust and was very feminine. Casual and dressy versions of the shirtwaist dress were staples in a woman’s closet from the time Dior introduced the “New Look” silhouette in 1947. These dresses were worn with petticoats underneath to increase the skirt’s volume and create a more festive look, and girdles to make the waist smaller, creating a very flattering silhouette. They could also be worn casually without a petticoat and were then referred to as house dresses.

So cheers to the shirtwaist dress, you’ve come a long way baby! Try one on!

1950s Cotton Shirt Waist Dress in Olive Green with Orange Floral Print

Emma Sosa teaches SXF 300: Secrets from a Professional Shopper, SXS 100: Introduction to Fashion Styling, SXT 500: Star-Quality Vintage Shopping.

Volunteering and Internships Can Pay Off

Though you might think of it as someone is getting free labor, doing an internship and/or volunteering at a company you would eventually like to work for can be an investment in your future. You will be learning on the job, making valuable contacts and letting people you would like to work for someday know who you are, how organized you are and how talented you are. What you might even discover is that the company or the field is not what you thought it would be, and that maybe another area seems more exciting.

All your work experience looks good on your resume, and internships and volunteering often lead to a job offers. It’s a win, win situation.

Joan Chiverton teaches SXD 635: Quick Sketching for the Pet-Product Business and SXG 140: Storyboard Techniques Studio for Costume Design.

Green has to be beautiful, not just sustainable — a bit poetic doesn’t hurt.




In every area of modern life and in every market, GREEN DESIGN needs to be a fundamental part of the design process. A line plan must include specific, measurable actions to be taken and goals to be reached. For instance, what can you do to reduce or redesign packaging to be more sustainable? As you add more sustainable fabrics into your mix, how can you help educate your customers on the benefits? Ethical marketing approaches, including Social Networking, engage your customers — building trust and community.

A collaborative, incremental approach to Sustainability is key. The enormity of the task ahead tends to paralyze our initiative to do our part. Each individual action does have a cumulative impact. Companies and individuals may not be able to shift to a totally green position overnight, but each action leads us towards the goal of a sustainable future.

When we think GREEN, we need to expand our thinking beyond “natural” and include Technology in our sustainability solutions. There are innovators leading the way with inspiring ideas, creative initiatives and common sense approaches. We can re-energize our Yankee Ingenuity and step-by-step design the future together.

The Climate Dress — Danish Design firm Diffus created a dress that measures the levels of carbon dioxide through 100 LED lights. Lights pulsate slowly in areas with acute amounts of CO2 and pulsate rapidly in highly dense CO2 areas…and it’s gorgeous!

Elle/Portable Light Project — Elle Magazine teamed up with architect Sheila Kennedy, director of the Portable Light Project and eight notable designers. The overall goal is to provide solar textile kits to help the world’s poorest nations have access to electricity.

Levi’s: Care To Air Design Challenge — looking for the most innovative and sustainable air-drying solution for clothing, winner receives $10,000. The overall goal is to reduce carbon footprint and educate consumers. “The most effective way to reduce the climate impact of a pair of jeans is to air dry, yet the average US household chooses a dryer.”

Neville Bean teaches SXC 100 Color Theory and Culture, SXC 110 Color Discovery Interactive Workshop, and SXF 700 Demystifying Fashion Forecasting.