Bad Idea: Disposable ClothesA recollection of the terrible trend for paper dresses.

Bad Idea: Disposable ClothesA recollection of the terrible trend for paper dresses.

  • Words Stephanie d’Arc Taylor
  • Photograph Jum Nakao

GOOD IDEA

America in the 1960s was a wild place for lifestyle ideas. People demanded convenience above all else, achievable via newfangled modern technologies: Salad could be made in advance and kept fresh—sort of—by adding Jell-O. Playing fields didn’t need to be watered if they were made of plastic ChemGrass (now known as AstroTurf). Best of all, the banality of wearing the same well-made, long-lasting garments year after year could be history with the decade’s most bizarre forgotten bad idea: disposable paper clothes.

After the Second World War, it seemed like the mistakes, limitations and hassles of the past could be simply sloughed off and left behind. A 1955 Life magazine cover depicting a white, blond nuclear family delightedly flinging disposable objects into the air (something t...

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