Capris, Feminism, and the Dick Van Dyke Show

If I could dress like anyone (and not look like I stepped out of the 1912), I would love to dress like Mary Tyler Moore from The Dick Van Dyke Show. I love her classic pairing of capris and flats. There’s something about the look that is so feminine and yet so feminist.

In fact, at the time Mary Tyler Moore’s look was almost scandalous. So scandalous that she was only allowed to wear pants once per episode.

I’ve watched the entire series one and a half times (and will probably watch it again), and was surprised and fascinated by the treatment of women. What’s most surprising is that the show was one of the more progressive in the early 1960s. After all, there’s an episode dedicated entirely to Laura (Mary’s character) dancing for Rob’s show for a week. The Petrie household goes to ruin and all because the mother is not in the home. Remembering this episode, you’ll understand why it was hard for me to believe that this show was considered “feminist.”

Rose Marie

Then again, the other lead female character, Sally, is a strong working woman who can hold her own with her male counterparts. Of course, Sally must be single and always failing in relationships, but she was a working woman, which was a rare sight in television during the early sixties.

The 1960s was an interesting time period, made more interesting by Madmen, but that’s a topic for another blogpost. Suffice it to say, I want to dress like the glamorous Mary Tyler Moore. If you know of any vintage capris I can get my hands on, send them my way.



2 thoughts on “Capris, Feminism, and the Dick Van Dyke Show”

  1. I found this post on Pinterest, so I know you asked for vintage capris three years ago, but Old Navy’s Pixi pants are the closest I’ve found to becoming Mary Tyler Moore.

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