The Atlantic has a gorgeous collection of images from the 1939 New York World’s Fair, including the photo above, which is brand new to this retro-future bloggist. It all looks pretty standard — except for the outfits.
The photo is cropped to show the Railroads on Parade stage show, which featured trains of the past, as well as one from our streamlined future. But it wasn’t just the trains that were streamlined — so were the clothes.
The fashion of that woman in the middle can’t truly be appreciated without seeing her outfit from the side view. The future sure looks so… awkward.
You can watch rare (colour!) home movies of the 1939 Railroads on Parade show below, courtesy of YouTube user Robert Martens, whose grandfather shot the footage. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t appear to have the “futuristic” streamlined trains of the show’s finale.
I suppose we can forgive the people who designed the futuristic fashions of 1939 for making clothes that look so incredibly uncomfortable. They certainly weren’t the first generation to look silly in their quest to embrace tomorrow.