The US boating industry was on fire the post-war years. A fast paced economy and national prosperity all contributed to what went from 450,000 registered motorboats in 1950 to that many sold a year in 1959. Boat builders and engine makers went to working triple shifts to keep up with demand. With boat sales steadily increasing, so did marinas, boat yards and yacht and boat clubs as 39 million Americans created this new family oriented sport of boating, sailing and a fascination with water skis.
Madame Alexander of course reflected this in her fashions for her dolls. Cissy and Elise above both showcasing "Nautical" and "Yachting" trends that came out in the companies dolls for 1958. Boat necklines, bikinis, prints and colors from Hawaii and the Bahamas and other island cultures are just some of the influences to find their way into 1950s fashion. The source of the horizontal stripes as a feature of the enduring look are the Brenton sailors of France. Coco Chanel would use nautical-fashion as an iconic style statement. The middy blouse was strong during the 1950s. It interpreted the sailor's tunic with its large square shawl collar and trimmed with braiding.
Yacht owners, by now making no pretense to operating their vessel, favored navy blue jackets with brass buttons like that of naval officers. White slacks or cotton flannels are worn by men to achieve this version of nautical-fashion. Women would wear a knife-pleated skirt in white or red, or white slacks. Both were heavily influenced by the British and American Navy's. Interpreted by fashion, red became the favored accent to play off the navy and white basics - with the accessories in white, brass or natural materials completing the looks.