Petrie's Capri Pants - In the spring of 1965, Time
magazine reported that "Mary Tyler Moore has helped make Capri pants
the biggest trend in US casual attire." The Capri pants were
inspired by the island of Capri off the coast of Italy.
Many Americans toured the area on vacations in the 1950s and the
islanders traditional mid-calf pant style soon made it debut in on
the American fashion landscape. The longer, ankle-length version was
dubbed the ‘cigarette pant.’
On the sitcom THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW/CBS/1961-66 Mary Tyler Moore
played Laura Petrie, the young, and luscious suburban housewife of
comedy writer Robert Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) who wore Capri pants on
a number of episodes.
Since Laura spent most of her time at home, actress Mary Tyler
Moore suggested to producer Carl Reiner, that it was only practical
for her to flaunt the casual look. Her skin-tight pants were a
definite hit with the many male viewers.
After the first season, however, we began to see less and less of
the lovely Laura parading about her house in tight pants until
finally those fabulous dancers legs were seen in only about one
scene per episode.
The CBS special "The Dick Van Dyke Show Remembered" revealed that
one of the show's sponsors at the time said "We've done some
surveys, and we find that women resent her in those tight pants."
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