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Miss Ellie's Sack Dresses

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, May 20, 2020.

  1. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 12 Years

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    She was keepin it real Willie!
     
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  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Donna Reed was smart enough to bring her own hairspray. Smart cookie that Donna!
     
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  3. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 5 Years

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    We had this discussion in a different thread, I'm quoting myself:

    http://soapchat.net/threads/out-donna-reed-in-barbara-bel-geddes.1001/

     
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  4. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    I thought BBG's hair looked nice.

    In the early years if the show her clothes didn't look "dowdy or homely." They were casual clothes, but they were nice enough looking. When she started wearing he sack dresses some time around Jock's death, she clearly wasn't making any effort to look attractive anymore. I suspect the real reason for BBG starting to wear such entirely shapeless clothes was an effort to try to hide how much weight she had gained.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  5. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 12 Years

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    I don't think her weight had anything to do with it. As others have pointed out in the thread BBG had a personal style and she just incorporated that into Miss Ellie's wardrobe. The two dressed the same. Also she had had a mastectomy which influenced how she dressed. She was a grown woman with a son of JR's age. I don't see how she should have dressed differently. When you look at how Patricia Shepard dressed it's not all that different. Light dresses and jacket. Even at that Patricia is a very different woman. Rebecca Wentworth is usually a little more well dressed in fancier clothes but when we meet her she's still involved in business somewhat and is a wealthy woman with an entirely different personality to Ellie's too. She's not a ranch type woman.
    Just do a quick google search and see that Ellie was very well dressed and she's not always in a sack dress. And when she is they are still very pretty.
    I think saying she looked dowdy is a bit rough. As is saying she clearly wasn't making an effort to look attractive anymore. We are talking about a woman, a real woman who was on arguably the most watched television show of the decade. Of course she wanted to look well. Of course she made an effort to look attractive and she did look attractive. She looked great. I am really trying to figure out how people wanted her to dress? I mean nice as Donna Reed was I think everyone agreed that the way she dressed was in complete contrast to who Ellie was and that's what made the recast so unacceptable to most. Ellie wasn't that kind of woman. She wasn't first and foremost a "Rich Lady" that's not what she was about.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    I don't think that's exclusive to Dallas either. At risk of generalising, my experience has been that the more affluent people are - and the more comfortable they are with their wealth - the less concerned they are about showing it off. One of the wealthiest people I know drives a basic car that's over a decade old, lives in a modest home and spends most of their time in the same couple of t-shirts and joggers. They're happy and they've got nothing to prove.



    Yes. It's interesting to compare Jock and Ellie's styles. Ellie dresses becomingly, but I'd say knows what works on her and doesn't feel the need to impress anyone. I'd imagine Jock's more obvious - and gauche - displays of wealth would be greeted with a mixture of amusement and disdain by the old money set.
     
  7. Via The Void

    Via The Void Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 3 Years

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    One thing I will say about Donna Reed as Miss Ellie is that she at least exuded a bit of elegance with her attire.

    Barbara Bel Geddes dress sense was quite dowdy in comparison. I'll probably get hung, drawn & quartered for this opinion as well!

    Anyway between the two Miss Ellies, Barbara's infamous sack dresses didn't really do her justice I felt. Donna's attire was a different story she just exuded class. Even though Barbara will always be the true Miss Ellie her clothes were really quite mediocre. The dress she wore when she married Clayton was ruddy hideous in my opinion! And yet both Bobby & JR said she looked beautiful! That's a laugh! :)
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    He wore nice cothes because he still went to the office. That's what's done in the business world. Someone who is "old money" - someone who inherited it - wouldn't know what it is to have to build a business starting with practically nothing and build it into an empire.
     
  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    But now it kinda feels like BBG's decision is an excuse for Miss Ellie's decision. It's like saying that the reason Alexis wore fur hats when she was inside the office (because they never filmed her outside the office) is because Joan Collins loved it so much.
    I think the "show" (i.e. people running it) decides what it should look like, and every now and then DALLAS hinted at Miss Ellie's high position in society so I would expect them to dress her accordingly. Not like Angelica De Nero, but comfortably stylish.
     
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  10. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Well, yes (and indeed that's another reason why Ellie can wear comfortable clothes. She didn't work in the company)

    But there are nice clothes and then there are expensive clothes that need a volume control.


    You recently said:
    Replace "nation" with "business" and the same reasoning could apply here.
     
  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Miss Ellie's dresses are just one of those Dallas eccentricities, like them all living in the same house and Pam being impossibly pretty and Lucy being this strange child-woman dwarfed by her own hair that gave the series its unique flavour. Like when Doctor Who wore an enormously long scarf and travelled in a phone box with a near-naked savage woman and a robot dog -- it's just such a bizarre, distinct, almost cartoonlike combination. I think that's one of the main reasons I was so drawn to both series as a child. They each had a really strong visual identity.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  12. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 12 Years

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    I think when you are lucky enough to get someone like BBG on your show you let her wear what she wants.
     
  13. Laurie Marr

    Laurie Marr Soap Chat Active Member

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    Some of the menfolk made dubious wardrobe choices too.....Bobby’s polka dot shirt and JR’s - ahem - safari suit spring to mind. In fact the tailoring in the early seasons was not what one would expect from millionaires.
     
  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    And then they sacked her.
     
  15. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 5 Years

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    This was the point I was sort of trying to make. An actor's choice is one thing, attributing the same to the character is another. It feels like a stretch to say Miss Ellie was this or that when there were many other women of her age on the show that potentially came from similar backgrounds and yet dressed nothing like Miss Ellie.

    BBG clearly favoured sack dresses so that's what she wore. I can just imagine DR's face if they brought out the sack dress for her to wear the first day on set :Clol:

    I will say, the style of shift dress can look flattering, it can hide a bigger tummy or curves a woman doesn't wish everyone to see, but a little bit of shape is needed to stop it from simply being sacky.

    Miss Ellie looked better here with a mildly cinched in waist than in the following two pictures where the dress is just shapless:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    The two don't have a lot in common, but if you want to say new money people are the equivalent of a nation's forefathers in business - the ones who actually found a business (as opposed to a country) and old money descendants are the people who inherit a business (as opposed to a country) then I'd have to question the following quote:

    Later generations don't view a nation's founders with amusement or disdain.

    If the old money people thought Jock's suits were too expensive or the watch her wore was too expensive, that's their problem. He didn't think so or he wouldn't have spent the money on it. I don't understand the mentality of making hundreds of millions of dollars and then dressing like a bum and driving a beaten up old car. Money isn't an end in itself; it's what allows one to enjoy the finer things in life. If someone is going to put in the effort to amass a fortune but doesn't enjoy the money by using it to drive a great car that's very comfortable or handles extremely well, or to wear a great looking watch or great looking clothes, they aren't getting the enjoyment out of their money that it's meant for. It reminds me of the the proverbial miser who has tons of money but is to stingy to enjoy any of it and as a result is always is in a bad mood. He works hard, but never gets to enjoy what he's worked so hard for. They're clearly not enjoying the fruits of their labor to the fullest. If they don't want to, that's their business, but to look at someone with disdain for having the audacity to actually enjoy the money he's worked 80 hour weeks to earn is silly. You can't take it with you when you die so you either enjoy your money while you're here or you miss out!

    There is another group of people who work hard to become successful and then they not only flaunt their wealth but they won't associate with anyone not of their financial status. I don't like that. I like the attitude of guys like Jock Ewing and Punk Anderson who treated people well whether they had money or not. The former group of people, the snobs, would likely treat their hired help rudely and refuse to associate with a blue collar man like Ray Krebbs. I don't agree with that mentality. I like guys who will be friends with any good person, regardless of finial or social status as long as they're quality people. We saw how Punk Anderson was always very nice to Ray, for example, and wanted to help Ray learn the real estate business.

    I subscribe to Punk Anderson's outlook: "You've gotta look the part"! He made a lot of money and he enjoyed spending money on the kinds of things that showed he was a successful man who was enjoying the money he had worked so hard to make. That makes sense. Why wouldn't ya enjoy what you've earned?

    There are some people who refuse to leave most of their wealth to their children. They describe their approach as leaving their kids enough money so that they can do something but don't leave their kids so much money that they can afford to do nothing. I can understand that mentality.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    Ys, this is the difference: the dresses that actually have a waist show some type of feminine form where as the other dresses are shapeless. Clearly the one that's tailored and has a waist is more attractive, so I've gotta think that when she started opting for the entirely shapeless dresses she was trying to hide a weight gain.
     
  18. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    I didn't. For the purposes of the part of the post you quoted, I was saying that it's possible to understand and appreciate what's been inherited from earlier generations without having to experience it first hand. As opposed to:


    It affords one the choice to live as simply or extravagantly as one chooses.
     
  19. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    You said you thought old money people would look at someone who uses the money he makes to enjoy being able to have nice things with disdain or amusement. If they don't want to live well, that's their business, but what it funny or negative about using the money you've worked hard to make to derive enjoyment from the things it makes possible? What problem would anyone see with Jock enjoying his money by driving a nice car or wearing an expensive suit or an expensive watch?

    Is that what you consider a good use of his money? I'm not sure where you get the idea that people buy nice things because they have something to prove. The objective isn't to prove something. Working hard and smart to make the kind of money that makes it possible to not have to wear a basic car and t-shirts, so that you can drive a better quality car and to dress in a way you can be proud of your appearance. Money allows people to enjoy nice things. What point do you see in working 70 and 80 hour weeks to start a company and build it into a huge company and then choosing to not enjoy any of the nice things your work has made possible? You can't take it with you!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  20. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    I said they might look at crass and obvious displays of wealth with disdain or amusement.



    Who says they don't? It's possible to live well in an understated way.



    I consider the funds my friend - whose gender I hadn't specified - quietly spends on charitable causes a good use of money. As is the time they freely donate to the same causes.



    As I said, it gives one a choice. But if a wealthy person chooses to live simply - to wear t-shirts or sack dresses - there will always be those who tut tut and say they know better. Sometimes without having even met the person they're judging. It's the flip side of the old money clique's snobbery.
     
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