What famous TV character wore the Swirl Dress?

I bet you said “Ethel Mertz,” right?  Well, that is correct. About a month ago I was watching I Love Lucy on TVLand, when I though Ethel’s dress looked familiar.  When she turned around and I saw the Swirl button and the way it wrapped on the diagonal, I knew.  It was this dress from 1951:

Or actually the striped one.  Since I spotted it, I’ve noticed Ethel wearing other Swirls, including the solid colored one on the left.  Considering how cheap she always claimed Fred was, Ethel sure had a lot of $9 housedresses!

Wouldn’t  it be great to have a list of all the clothing lines that were worn in these vintage TV shows?  Sometimes I’ll see a dress line mentioned in the credits at the end of a show, but usually there is only a reference to the costumer.  And I HATE how TVLand scrunches up the credits so they can sneek in a commercial while they are running.


Posted by Bonnie Nyquist:

I was doing a search for the Swirl dresses, my Mom used to wear one every day! ethel wore one in nearly every episode. Cannot find anything on them except your site! Would love to find a pic of mom’s favorite one. What memories! Thank you for loving them too! 

Wednesday, December 26th 2007 @ 7:41 PM

Posted by janavi:

What about Pat Perkins? Was that a line or designer? I think it might have been a line. 

Wednesday, February 11th 2009 @ 10:27 AM


Filed under Vintage Clothing

2 responses to “What famous TV character wore the Swirl Dress?

  1. Also in the movie, Goodfellas, Henry Hill’s mother wore one in one of the home scenes early in the movie.


  2. Beth Pfaff

    I never knew Ethel wore the line. My Mom wore them at home. She would come home from work or church and change her clothing to a” house dress” . She sometimes called them a “brunch coat” too. I remember seeing the Swirl button on the pieces.


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