1967 "Yellow Pages" Paper Dress
Appraised Value: $1,800 - $2,200
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (0:00)
APPRAISER: What we're looking at is an American collectable, made famous from a "Mademoiselle" article in 1967 called "The Big Paper Craze." Now this, as you know, is an advertising piece, in the form of a dress, that was actually sent to people, free of charge in the late '60s. How did you come by this?
GUEST: I've been a collector of vintage clothes, primarily from the mod and psychedelic eras since I was 12 years old. In 1966 I started. And, um... one day the lady that lived next door to me asked me if there was anything that I might be looking for that she could shed from her household, and I said that I collected vintage clothing from that period. And she says, "I think I have something that you may want, it's a paper dress." And she brought it out, and I looked at it and I said, "It's wonderful." And I've had it in my house ever since, on display on a hanger. And bless her for laying it on me.
APPRAISER: People treasure these, and they're really, hugely collectible.
APPRAISER: The thing in the '60s that was interesting, as you probably remember, convenience was everything.
APPRAISER: Everybody loved the idea of a paper dress because if it was too long, you could just whip out a pair of scissors and make it short. If you got tired of wearing it, or if you got a stain on it, you could throw it away. So they were very disposable. They were made from about 96% cellulose, and a few percentage cotton, so that they were highly flammable. So the real death of the paper dress was because they were so flammable.
GUEST: And everyone smoked back then.
APPRAISER: And everybody smoked back then. So that was really a major drawback, but I'm sure you're interested to know how much this free dress in 1967 would be today.
GUEST: Well, I've been collecting clothes for a long time and this is one item that has left me clueless. Yes, I would love to know.
APPRAISER: Well, this dress today would auction probably between about $1,800 and $2,200.
GUEST: My goodness.
APPRAISER: Not bad.
GUEST: Very nice. Well, it won't be worn while it's in my possession.
GUEST: But it will be on display.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.