The American Look

Claire McCardell (1905-1958), pioneered a style of modern sportswear that embodied a functional, casual elegance that endures in American design today.

Claire McCardell’s signature brass round hook-and-eye closures are evidence that utility and beauty do mix. This evening gown features a wrapped bodice and hidden, in-seam pockets—elements that McCardell used often.

What happens when you add a bit of whimsy to your business suit? The result just might look like Claire McCardell’s vivid blue wool suit with black chenille stripes. A McCardell trademark wrap-front jacket is secured with her brass hook-and-eye closures. The same hook-and-eye closures can also be found on the ribbed-knit waistband on the skirt. In-seam pockets, of course.

Claire McCardell’s Monastic dress was first presented in 1938. Princess-seamed, with ample room for movement, the wearer defines the shape with, in this specific example, a tied leather belt.