Chic Wigs for September, 1927

Transformations in the mode of the present day.... All the pictures are of the same charming woman. Top of page 37, Delineator, September, 1927.

Transformations in the mode of the present day…. All the pictures are of the same charming woman. Top of page 37, Delineator, September, 1927.

Yes, fashion wigs, or “transformations,” as they were called, allowed a woman to change her hair color and hairstyle to suit her mood in the 1920’s. This full page of transformations, from Delineator, September, 1927, shows five wigs, all on the same model.

"A deep wave accents the gold in blonde hair." Delineator, Sep.t 1927, p. 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

“A deep wave accents the gold in blonde hair.” Delineator, Sept. 1927, p. 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

She doesn’t seem blonde to me, but that is a lovely hairstyle, and no one would guess it wasn’t her own hair.

500 blond hair wig 1927 sept p 37 transformations one model many wigs white silver page

“At the top of the page is a blonde bob, the only bob in the group. The other transformations all have the small knot at the neck. This transformation is parted far on the left, drawn low on one side of the forehead and low over the ears.”

text of article delineator sept 1927 p 37

“In the center, dark brown hair, parted a little on the right is brought low on the forehead in the curled fringe one sees so often on the smart Parisienne. Faintly serious, a  little demure, there is yet a piquancy about this transformation.”

A dark brown wig with "curled fringe." Delineator, Sept 1927. Photo by Johnston.

A dark brown wig with “curled fringe.” Delineator, Sept 1927. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

“The silver head is so lovely that we couldn’t resist showing you two views of it.”

A silver wig for women sixteen or sixty, Delineator, Sept. 1927, p 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston

A silver wig for women of sixteen or sixty, Delineator, Sept. 1927, p 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston

“There is an enchantment and coquetry in silver locks. Whether one is sixteen or sixty, pure white hair deepens the color and adds brilliance to eyes, and the skin becomes more delicately pink and glowing. [18th century aristocrats wore white wigs, or powdered their hair, to get this look.] Here the wave is very wide so that the shadows will not lose their subtlety.”

A white wig worn by a young woman, Delineator, Sept. 1927. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

A white wig worn by a young woman, Delineator, Sept. 1927. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

A dark wig with a tiny bun low on the neck in back. September, 1917, Delineator, page 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

Formal elegance: A dark wig with a tiny bun low on the neck in back. September, 1917, Delineator, page 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

“…A transformation is arranged with simple elegance for a formal occasion. The contour of the head is closely followed and an air of extreme dignity is attained.”

A chestnut wig, Delineator, Sept. 1927. Page 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

A chestnut wig, Delineator, Sept. 1927. Page 37. Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

“… A soft chestnut coiffure is very graceful. It has a flattering soft bang, covers the ears and has the small chignon, which is most attractive.”

Credits for the "transformations" photo shoot.

Credits for the “transformations” photo shoot in 1927.

Wig tips for costumers:  If you have ever worn a wig, you’ll know that it will look most realistic if the hair is not swept straight back from the hairline, but has at least a few hairs covering the forehead where the wig begins — something all these “transformations” have in common. They were intended to be worn in private life, and seen from inches away.  “Movie wigs” and good theatrical wigs have a delicate flesh-toned mesh at the front, with individual hairs “ventilated” into the mesh — The process is much like making a hooked rug (a very tiny one, with hairs instead of yarn.) This mesh can then be glued to the actor’s forehead, and looks very realistic — although I don’t know how HDTV is affecting that! Sean Connery’s crew-cut gray wig in the movie Red October was amazingly convincing — My husband and I came out of the movie talking about that wig!

If you can’t afford a high quality wig to wear with your off-the face-Gibson girl updo, try positioning a Gibson styled wig the same color as your hair slightly behind your hairline. Use a rat-tailed comb to pull about a quarter inch of your own hair out from under the wig cap, and carefully brush it into the hair of the wig before spraying it.

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Summer Dresses from Butterick, July 1918, Part 2

Summer fashions from Butterick, Delineator, July 1918, page 51.

Summer fashions from Butterick, Delineator, July 1918, page 51.

These summer outfits — with one exception — are really blouse and skirt combinations. The blouses deserve a close-up look:

Butterick blouse patterns 9999 and 9997, Delineator, July 1918, p 51.

Butterick blouse patterns 9999 and 9997, Delineator, July 1918, p 51.

9995 and 1011, with skirts 1028 and 1001. The bag, with tassel trim, is Transfer pattern 10370. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

Butterick blouses 9995 and 1011, with skirts 1028 and 1001. The bag, with tassel trim, is Transfer pattern 10670. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

These sheer overblouses are smocked to provide a little fullness over the bust. "Smock or Blouse 9994 and Blouse 1012. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

These sheer overblouses are smocked to provide a little fullness over the bust. “Smock or Blouse” 9994 and “Smock or Blouse” 1012. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

Dress 1007 is bluish, with a slight teal or gray tint. Its pockets and hem area are either embroidered or use soutache braid as a trim. Butterick sold the transfer pattern for such embellishments: No. 10692.

Butterick dress pattern 1007, from July 1918, Delineator.

Butterick dress pattern 1007, from July 1918, Delineator.

Page 50, which had all the pattern descriptions, also showed three additional outfits in black and white illustrations:

Butterick patterns from Delineator, July 1918, p. 50. From left, Blouse 1025 with skirt 1020; dress 9934, and dress 1019.

Butterick patterns from Delineator, July 1918, p. 50. From left, Blouse 1025 with skirt 1020; dress 9934, and dress 1019.

Here are all ten outfits, with their original descriptions and alternate views — which are often quite different from their color illustrations.

Butterick blouse 9999 and skirt 9991, July 1918.

Butterick blouse 9999 and skirt 9991, July 1918.

The alternate view shows a very different, high necked version of the blouse; the U-shaped neckline was a fairly recent fashion, so the high-necked version was aimed at older or more conservative dressers.

Butterick blouse 9997 and skirt 1013, July 1918.

Butterick blouse 9997 and skirt 1013, July 1918.

The skirt pattern was available in waist sizes 24 to 38 inches. The alternate view has a “Peter Pan collar.” The actress Maude Adams toured extensively in the play Peter Pan, setting a fashion. Click here to see her Peter Pan collar. Click here to see more about this Turn-of-the Century beauty with a brain.

Butterick Smock or Butterick dress pattern 1007. Delineator, July 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 1007, July 1918. The illustration of the alternate view shows a high collared insert — perhaps a dickey or vestee?

Dress pattern 1007 came in a larger than usual size — 46″ bust — and has a surplice closing “becoming to every woman, whatever her age,”  so it was expected to appeal to older women, too. During World War I, Delineator fashion writing often used military phrases, such as “maintains the morale,” “obeys all orders,” and “dangerous to mankind.” (See Up Like Little Soldiers for more examples of jingoistic fashion writing.)

Butterick Smock or Blouse 1012 with skirt 9723. Delineator, July 1918.

Butterick Smock or Blouse 1012 with skirt 9723. Delineator, July 1918.

Notice that the fancy, smocked pocket is shown as part of the skirt pattern, although it is on the smock in the color illustration. This skirt is gathered in back, and forms a header/ruffle above the waistband. This smock is also shown with a Peter Pan Collar (or it may be a long Buster Brown…. see below.) If not made in sheer fabric, would it be a maternity top?

Another Smock or Blouse pattern from Butterick, No. 9994. This sheer blouse is shown over a "Foundation" -- a slip like underdress, meant to show. July 1918.

Another Smock or Blouse pattern from Butterick, No. 9994.  Foundation 9842. July 1918.

This sheer blouse is shown over a “Foundation” — a slip-like underdress, meant to show; the foundation looks more like a lingerie slip in the alternate view.

Butterick blouse 9995 with skirt 1028. Delineator, July 1918.

Butterick blouse 9995 with skirt 1028. Delineator, July 1918. The skirt was available in waist measurements 24 to 38 inches.

Butterick blouse 1011 and skirt 1001, July1918.

Butterick blouse 1011 and skirt 1001, July, 1918. More smocking gathers the bodice. This alternate view shows a “Buster Brown collar.

Buster Brown shoe ad, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Buster Brown shoe ad, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick blouse 1025 with skirt 1020. July, 1918.

Butterick blouse 1025 with skirt 1020. July, 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 9934, from July 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 9934, from July 1918. The bodice can be made with either front or back closures, and “all of the most popular necklines.” The unusual sleeves were a popular style.

Her flower-covered hat has a sheer brim. (For others, click here or here or here.)

Butterick dress pattern 1019, July 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 1019, July 1918.

The hat shown in the middle of the page deserves a closer look. How did the wearer get through doorways, or into a car?

The hat is adorned with two feathers which appear to be ten or twelve inches taller than the hat.

The hat is adorned with two feathers which appear to be ten or twelve inches taller than the hat.

Perhaps the hatless lady in the foreground is making a comment?

Part 1 of Summer Dresses from Butterick, July 1918, is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

page 51

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Neanderthals, Needles, and Fur Clothing

Fur coats from Sears catalog, 1937. It took a lot of skins to make a coat like these.

Fur coats from Sears catalog, 1937. It took a lot of skins sewn together to make these coats from marmots (a large squirrel), or “caracul,” (unborn lamb) or “broadtail.” (From Karakul, a breed of sheep.)

Was Ice Age fur clothing that fit closely a factor in the triumph of our ancestors over Neanderthals? [Elsewhere, gene research shows that there was interbreeding between the two groups….]

An article in New Scientist, 13 August 2016, page 10, summarizes an ongoing debate among anthropologists about the clothing worn by Neanderthals versus clothing worn by early humans colonizing Europe:

“An analysis of animal remains at prehistoric hominin sites across Europe suggests modern humans clad themselves in snug, fur-trimmed clothing, while Neanderthals probably opted for simple capes….”
“The idea is that Neanderthals made capes of fur, or even simply wore the skin of a large animal around their shoulders. Modern humans, meanwhile, might have opted for a more practical look; what [Mark Collard at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada] calls ‘close-fitting sewn garments.’ “

A fur coat from Paris, sketched in Delneatro, 1928, and A muskrat skin fur coat from Sears, 1930.

A fur coat from Paris, sketched in Delineator, 1928, and a muskrat skin fur coat from Sears, 1930.

Scientists examining animal remains from human sites have noticed that weasel, wolverine, and dog remains are found at sites occupied by humans — but not at Neanderthal sites.  “Humans may have created complex garments, each stitched together from several animal skins, and so caught more animals. Neanderthals might have caught fewer because they wore much simpler clothes.”

Early human sites show plenty of “weasel, wolverine, and dog remains….” Well, a mink is a species of weasel, but would 20th century women have been eager to buy a “weasel coat?” “Mink” just sounds better.

Ads for Imperial Fur Coats, 1937. These are made from "Dyed Coney:" rabbit skins.

Ads for Imperial Fur Coats, 1937. These are made from “Dyed Coney:” rabbit skins.

The jury is still out on what Neanderthals wore in Ice Age Europe, but “24,000 year-old carved figurines from Siberia suggest hoodies [hooded capes] were in vogue.”

A cozy coat made of lapin -- another word for rabbit. 1937.

A cozy coat made of lapin — another word for rabbit. 1937.

I’ve often recommended the book Women’s Work, The First 20,000 Years, for its examination of the importance of textiles in ancient economies.

This brief article in New Scientist has me hoping the sewing needle will take its place alongside the ax, the spear, and the arrowhead as an important technical advance by early humans.

Note: Since I don’t have any photos of early humans or Neanderthals, I chose to show 20th century coats made by sewing together many small animals’ skins; the remains of many smallish animals at early human sites suggest that they did the same.

It takes a lot of raccoons (and a lot of sewing) to make a coonskin coat, as seen this image used by Alison Lurie in The Language of Clothes:

Racoon coats in New York City, Photo by James Van Der Zee. 1932.

Raccoon coats in New York City, Photo by James Van Der Zee. 1932. There was a mania for raccoon coats, especially among college students, in the 1920s.

In this1934 cartoon, a college boy returns to the family business -- and the realities of the Depression. Esquire, Mar. 1934, p. 90.

The raccoon coat tells the story: In this 1934 cartoon, a college boy returns to the family business — and the realities of the Depression. (There’s a National Recovery Act poster on the window.) Esquire, Mar. 1934, p. 90.

Of course, now that the Ice Age has ended, I’m more partial to fur that’s being worn by the original owner:

only sleeping with fur on tummy

 

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Jenness-Miller Rational Dress Underwear for Women

The Jenness-Miller Magazine Dress, Vol II, Jan-Feb, Probably 1888. Page 181. "Rational Dress" Underwear for Women.

The Jenness-Miller Magazine Dress, Vol II, Jan-Feb, probably 1888. Page 181. “Rational Dress” Underwear for Women.

The Jenness-Miller Magazine Dress, Vol. II, Jan-Feb, probably 1888. "Rational Dress" Underwear for Women, p. 182.

The Jenness-Miller Magazine Dress, Vol. II, Jan-Feb, probably 1888. “Rational Dress” Underwear for Women, p. 182.

Annie Jenness-Miller was a strong advocate for “Rational Dress” for women, and, with her sister, Mabel Jenness, wrote and published her own magazine, called Dress, probably beginning in 1887. [The title and dating of early issues was erratic, but I am assuming that, since Volume 4 began with January of 1890, Volume 2, January-February dates to 1888. The masthead of Volume II offered “the entire first volume of Dress, thirteen numbers” for seventy-five cents plus postage. By January 0f 1890, the dating clearly was established, and most pages were numbered.]

Several years ago, I was selling a bound volume of Jenness-Miller’s Dress for a friend. It included January-February of “Volume II,” and January through June of of Volume IV. At the time I had no idea of blogging, so I did not label my photos with year, month and page number. I just tried to photograph “selling points.”

Recently a scholar tracked me down and asked for more specific information. When I checked my photo files, I realized that, because I had photographed all the Tables of Contents, I could reconstruct Volume numbers, pages and dates for many items.

As often happens with the internet — at least to me — I find something online, and then discover, months or years later, that I can’t get the same search results a second time. I thought that this underwear article by Annie Jenness-Miller had been posted online in its entirety — but now I can’t find it, so, for the benefit of scholars, I’m reprinting it. And, since WordPress seems to lose files bigger than 500 dpi on the longest side after I post them, I have reprinted the text and pictures from those two pages shown at the top of this post, but broken them up into legible segments.

Here is the article “Underwear for Women,” from The Jenness-Miller Magazine Dress, Vol. II, Jan-Feb, (probably 1888,) pp. 181-82. [Added 8/19/16: You can also find the article, in full page photos that can be enlarged to readable scale, at witness2fashion.com. ]

500 text first para and union suit 1988 Vol II p 181

Jenness-Miller Union Suit, from Underwear for Women, Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine.

Jenness-Miller Union Suit, from Underwear for Women, Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine,, p. 181.

500 test chemilette over union suit prob 1888 Vol II p 181 underwear Img_9588

Jenness-Miller Chemilette, from Underwear for Women, Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine.

Jenness-Miller Chemilette, from “Underwear for Women,” Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine, p.181.

500 text legelettes only prob 1888 Vol II p 181 underwear Img_9588

 

Jenness-Miller Turkish Leglettes, or Divided Petticoat, from Underwear for Women, Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine.

Jenness-Miller Turkish Leglettes, or Divided Petticoat, from Underwear for Women, Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine, p. 182.

500 text bodice only prob 1888 Vol II p 181 underwear Img_9588

Jenness-Miller Model Bodice, from Underwear for Women, Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine.

Jenness-Miller Model Bodice, from “Underwear for Women,” Jan-Feb 1888 Dress Magazine, p. 182. A slightly different model bodice appears here.

500 text from 181 bottom to 182 top 1888 Vol II

500 text chemilette prob 1888 Vol II p 182 underwear Img_9589

500 text turkish leglettes 1888 Vol II p 182

500 w model bodice text prob 1888 Vol II p 182 underwear Img_9589

500 text all garments togetherprob 1888 Vol II p 182 underwear Img_9589

Last paragraphs of Underwear for Women article, Dress. p 182.

Last paragraphs of “Underwear for Women” article, Dress, page 182.

[I don’t know how a woman wearing a “Union Suit,” under a “Chemilette,” under “Turkish Leglettes,” manages to go to the bathroom. Journalistic standards of the day may have prevented discussing this. In a different article [March 1890, page 136] Jenness-Miller felt the need to remind her readers that many women “would be shocked to use the strong, refined, and proper term, leg” so explaining the convenience of drop flaps and buttoned crotches may have been impossible. The Jenness-Miller garments do not appear to be crotchless, as many ladies’ bloomers were.]

Annie-Jenness Miller wrote frequent editorials in Dress, extolling her patterns and expounding her theories. She believed that women needed to exercise to develop graceful, healthy bodies that would not need the support of corsets, and her magazine published regular articles on “Physical Culture.”

A typical illustration from Jenness-Miller's articles on Physical Culture for women. Circa 1888-1890

A typical illustration from Jenness-Miller’s articles on Physical Culture for women. Dress, circa 1888-1890.

“By freeing and bringing into action the muscles at the waist renewed life is given to all bodily functions.”

She also realized that most women would like to wear comfortable and practical clothing, but without looking noticeably out of fashion, so many of her patterns look very similar to chic clothing of the day.  This is “the Helene” (her dress patterns were often given names, rather than numbers, like couture.)

Although part of the Rational Dress movement, "The Helene" costume even had a vestigial bustle. From Jenness-Miller's Dress magazine, Jan. 1890, p. 41.

Although part of the Rational Dress movement, “The Helene” costume even had a vestigial bustle. From Jenness-Miller’s Dress magazine, Jan. 1890, p. 41.

Miller did not want her customers to be ridiculed, as women who wore 1850’s “Bloomer” clothing had been. Jenness-Miller’s followers wore her petticoat replacement, “Turkish leglettes,” under their dress — invisibly — rather than wearing a divided dress — except for really strenuous sports, like mountain climbing. Below, Jenness-Miller “Outing Costumes” from April 1890 are — from left to right — “For Geologists and Mountain Climbing,” “Riding Habit,” “Yachting,” and “Lawn Tennis.”

Jenness-Miller costumer for Mountain climbing, riding, yachting, and lawn tennis, from Dress, April 1890.

Jenness-Miller costumer for Mountain climbing, riding, yachting, and lawn tennis, from Dress, April 1890.

I’ll publish another of her complete articles later, but for now, if you want to know more about Annie Jenness-Miller and Dress, I recommend these sites:

Annie Jenness Miller: Dress Reform, from Dress, 1888

Dress Improvement, by Mrs. Jenness Miller, in A Celebration of Women Writers

Aesthetic Dress (for an overview of 19th century dress reform movements, with a useful bibliography)

and, of course, The Vintage Traveler’s post about Mrs. Jenness-Miller, where you will see bigger images and more quotations.

Incidentally, one reason it’s hard to find articles about Jenness-Miller online is that hyphen! Search both with and without it.

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Filed under 1870s to 1900s fashions, Corselettes, Corsets, Corsets, Corsets & Corselettes, Costumes for the 19th century, Late Victorian fashions, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Resources for Costumers, Slips and Petticoats, Sportswear, Underthings, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc

Writer Seeking Fashion Advice for WW II Novel

Ad for Flatterknit long-wearing stockings, Vogue Aug. 15, 1943.

Ad for Flatterknit long-wearing stockings, Vogue, Aug. 15, 1943.

A writer named Kay Harwell Fernandez contacted me about finding a costume historian to advise her on a novel set in World War II. She asked help in finding someone with whom she could discuss American and French fashions between 1939 and 1947. I’m not sure what her novel’s plot is, but if you, like me, get frustrated reading novels which get the fashion details wrong — well, here’s our chance to help someone who wants to get them right.

Butterick Fashion News, cover, September 1943.

Butterick Fashion News, cover, September 1943. Pattern 2695, two views.

Butterick Fashion News, Sept. 1943. THe dress on the right has an "Eisenhower back," a reference to the Allied commander's waist-length military jacket.

Butterick Fashion News, Sept. 1943.

Kay Harwell Fernandez wrote,

“Question, please. I am in the process of writing a novel set around WWII with locations in the U.S. and France. Could you suggest a fashion historian who I could either speak to or email questions about fashion, especially women’s fashion and designers, from 1939 to 1947?

“Thank you so much for any help you can provide.

“Kind regards, Kay”

I certainly love the title of one of her ebooks:  It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Luggage: Tips for Older Women Traveling Abroad

Older British woman blacksmith working at a forge, England, 1943. From Vogue, Aug. 15, 1943.

This older woman, a “Blacksmith WREN,” is working at a forge in England, 1943. From Vogue, Aug. 15, 1943. She is a member of the Women’s Services.

My copy of the American Vogue from August, 1943 is full of reminders that the war affected every aspect of daily life — not to mention advertising campaigns.

Pretty Patriot buyin war bonds in an ad for shoes, Vogue, Aug., 1943.

A “Pretty Patriot” buying war bonds in an ad for shoes, Vogue, August, 1943.

Ad for Hill and Dale shoes, Vogue, Aug. 1943.

Ad for Hill and Dale shoes, Vogue, Aug. 1943.

Fashion model posing at the Naval Academy. Vogue, Aug. 1943.

Fashion model posing at the Naval Academy. Vogue, Aug. 1943.

In the Butterick Fashion News flyer, robes and pajamas remind us that a nighttime curfew was imposed in coastal cities, to prevent city lights from providing bombing targets and silhouetting ships.

Robes and loungewear are called "Curfew Clothes" in the BFN flyer for Sept. 1943.

Robes and loungewear are called “Curfew Clothes” in the BFN flyer for Sept. 1943.

Here is Kay’s contact and professional information:

Kay Harwell Fernandez
Writer, Editor, Author
Member SATW, ASJA, FFWA, MWA, SiNC
Twitter @KayIsAWriter and @chocolatetravel
Professional profile on LinkedIn and Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/kayharwellfernandez
Author: It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Luggage: Tips for Older Women Traveling Abroad

Author: Have Chocolate, Will Travel – An Enticing Journey to All Things Chocolate

I answered Kay’s email like this, but left out many ideas:
“Gee, I’m out of the loop when it comes to knowing fashion historians personally. My first thought was the Costume Society of America, because their journal, Dress, has years worth of articles on very specific aspects of history — if you find a useful article, you might contact the author. There are also historical recreation groups and military museums focused on WW II in Europe and the US; some re-enactors have an amazing depth of knowledge. The trouble with fashion magazines like Vogue (and its European editions and competitors) is that they try to lead fashion, rather than reporting what normal people wear; news magazines like Life are more likely to show daily life of civilians. Finding out who were the most well-known French and American fashion designers in that period isn’t hard, and then you can locate autobiographies, like Fashion Is Spinach, by American designer Elizabeth Hawes. And, luckily, many women who lived through this period as children and teens have active memories or have written about their lives…. (e.g., Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, and her sisters Nancy and Pamela Mitford. A fourth Mitford sister was pro-Germany. Very sad story.)
The blog and Youtube site Glamourdaze is worth a visit; it often shows short film clips of fashions and makeup, made in the period (there’s a World War II page) : http://glamourdaze.com/
I’ll ask for better suggestions from readers, too. (We always cringe when an author gets something wrong, so we ought to be willing to help.)”

So, I am asking if any readers can make more suggestions of sources and contacts for Kay. If you are willing to be her advisor, contact her through her Facebook or Linked-in; if you have suggestions about sources, books, etc., please use the comments section so we can all benefit! Thanks!

What are you doing about it? Ad for Vogue magazine, Aug. 15, 1943.

What are you doing about it? Ad for Vogue magazine, Aug. 15, 1943.

 

 

 

 

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Summer Dresses from Butterick, July 1918, Part 1

Dresses, skirts and blouses, Butterick patterns in Delineator magazine, July 1918, page 52.

Dresses, skirts and blouses, Butterick patterns in Delineator magazine, July 1918, page 52.

This color page of dresses (and blouses and skirts) from Delineator magazine shows a change in silhouette, from full to narrower skirts. (Tubular Twenties ahead!) Here are designs by Gabrielle Chanel, dated 1916 [from Doris Langley Moore’s Fashion through Fashion Plates via Quentin Bell] :

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/chanel-1916-bell-plate-39-from-fashion-through-fashion-plates-doris-langley-moore.jpg?w=500

And here is a Delineator sketch of an influential Chanel suit from January 1925 — very a different silhouette.

Chanel design, January 1925, as sketched by Soulie in Delineator.

(You can read about the “Tubular Twenties” here.)

I’ll show the July 1918 images in greater detail below, but first, a few words about underwear and the “ideal” figure.

Ideal figures, July 1918, were thick in the waist, low in the bust, and slightly swaybacked

Ideal fashion figures in July 1918 were thick in the waist, droopy in the bust — even with the model’s shoulders thrust back — and slightly swaybacked.

I’m always unnerved by the emphasis on thick waists and low busts of this period. (How is is possible for a slender young woman to have such a low bust? — The explanation is two-fold: the exaggerations of fashion illustrators, and 1917-1918 corsets and brassieres.)

Corsets for Fall, 1918. Sears catalog.

Corsets for Fall, 1918. Sears catalog.

The brassiere of the World War I era was more likely to smash the breasts than to lift them. The corset of the “teens” did not reach (or support) the breasts at all. It extended down over the thighs and pushed the body very flat in front, causing a posture which made the waist higher in the back and lower in the front, as you can see from these 1917 skirt illustrations.

Women's skirts, Perry Dame catalog, 1917. The waists dip low in front and rise high in back

Women’s skirts, Perry Dame catalog, 1917. The waistlines dip low in front and rise high in back.

Skirts, blouses and dresses, from July 1918 show the oddly high waist in back.

Skirts, blouses and dresses, from July 1918 show the oddly high waist in back.

The beautiful vintage blouses of this period (sometimes called “Armistice blouses”) are often so short in back that they have to have a tail of fabric added before they can be worn without the corset. Otherwise, they won’t stay tucked in.

This vintage "Armistice blouse" is much shorter in back than in front.

This vintage “Armistice blouse” is shorter in back than in front, even allowing for its position on the hanger. It has not been altered; the ties are original.

The thick waists of the WW I era can be interpreted as a reaction to the tiny waists of the previous generation (Here’s Princess Maud in 1906.) (We tend to reject the clothes our mothers wore. Imagine wearing a 1926 dress in 1938…. or a 1906 dress in 1918.)

The page of color fashions (p. 52)  had a half-page of black and white ones, along with all their descriptions, on page 53.

Butterick patterns from page 53, July 1918.

Butterick patterns from page 53, July 1918. Nos. 9932, 1035, and 1037. The two on the right are heavily embroidered.

This month in 1918 marked the start of a new Butterick pattern numbering sequence, from 9999 to the 1000s.

I’m afraid the colors are overexposed in my photos, but still worth looking at. For those who want details, I’ll show each outfit with its original pattern description at the bottom of this post.

Butterick 9992 and 9447, July 1918. Delineator.

Butterick 9992 and 9447, July 1918. Delineator. Belts that crossed over and buttoned in front were a distinctive feature of the “teens.”

Butterick 9989 and 9990, July 1918. Delineator.

Butterick 9989 and 9990, July 1918. Delineator. The dress on the left has a “Peter Pan” collar — very different from the Peter Pan collar of the 50s.

Butterick 9986 and 9973, July 1918. Delineator.

Butterick 9986 and 9973, July 1918. Delineator. There was nothing but fashion to prevent a shapely girl from wearing her belt (or her basque bodice) tighter….

Buttrerick 1005, July 1918. Page 52. Delineator,

Butterick 1005, July 1918. Page 52. Delineator. That’s almost a 1920’s cloche hat.

Dress Details 1918

In case anyone is inspired to recreate these fashions, here are the original descriptions and alternate views.

The high collared blouse fell out of fashion around 1912, when bare necks became acceptable, (cf Lucy Barton, Historic Costume for the Stage) but the V-neck in daytime was a new idea in 1914, so most of these patterns show a high-necked alternative for conservative women.

Butterick 9992, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 9992, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. “For women 15 or 50.”

Butterick 9947, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 9947, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. Transfer 10686 is the pattern for the bag, which seams to have a figure in a kimono on it.

Bag, Butterick transfer pattern 10686 from 1918.

Bag, Butterick transfer pattern 10686 from 1918.

Butterick 9989, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 9989, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 9990, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 9990, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. A “delightful new shirt-dress.”

Left, Butterick 9986, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Left, Butterick 9986, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. It has a side seam opening.

Butterick 9973, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 9973, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 1005, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 1005, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. “It slips on over the head,” like many of the 1920’s dresses that followed.

Butterick 9932, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 9932, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. Without the optional shirring, it becomes an Empire line dress. For maternity wear, perhaps?

Butterick 1035, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 1035, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. This style was available up to bust 46 inches, and the scarf-like “bretelles” end in pockets. Transfer 10674 is the embroidery design.

Butterick 1037, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52.

Butterick 1037, July 1918. Delineator, p. 52. The front panel could be asymmetrical. I’m surprised this dress is not shown without its tabard-like top layer.

More dresses in color from 1918 to come….

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Bras, Corsets, Corsets, Dating Butterick Patterns, Foundation Garments, World War I

Print Dresses and Fabrics from August, 1928

Top of page 34, Delineator, August 1928. Print dresses.

Top of page 34, Delineator, August 1928. Several print or textured dresses.

Top of Page 35, Delineator, August, 1928. Print dresses.

Top of page 35, Delineator, August, 1928. Print and textured fabric dresses, including knits.

A two-page article from August, 1928, reminds us that we don’t have to stick to solid-colored fabrics to reproduce a great twenties’ dress. In “Figured Fabrics for Fall,” these Butterick pattern illustrations were accompanied by illustrations of fabric swatches. (If only these fabric swatches were in color!)

mallinson and stehli fabrics August 1928 Delineator

Left, Mallinson’s “brown satin crepe, printed on the crepe side, plain on the satin side;” shown in Butterick pattern 2129, below left. Right, “wine red canton crepe” made by Stehli, with the glint of gold tinsel thread all through it; used in Butterick pattern 2117, below right.

Butterick patterns 2129 and 2117, Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 34.

Butterick patterns 2129 and 2117, Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 34. The dress on the right has metallic threads forming the pattern.

2129 and 2117

Rayon velvet fabric made by Blumenthal, in a floral print.

Transparent rayon velvet fabric made by Blumenthal, in a floral print. Aug. 1928.

“Transparent rayon velvet with the colors and flowered design usually associated with chiffon,” was used for a surplice dress, Butterick 2166, below left. Crepe satin was used for Butterick 2178, below right.

Butterick patterns 2166 and 2178. Delineator, August 1928, p. 34.

Butterick patterns 2166 and 2178. Delineator, August 1928, p. 34.

2166 and 2178

Two Botany fabrics for Fall of 1928. On the right, a border print used for Butterick No. Below right.

Two Botany fabrics for Fall of 1928. Left, “checked grege and brown tweed,” used for Butterick 2154, below left. On the right, a “selvedge-bordered fabric” used for Butterick No. 2164, below right.

“Checked grege and brown tweed” (above, left) is used in the “runabout” dress below left, Butterick No. 2154; right, Pattern 2164 uses a wool fabric (kasha) with woven border pattern. (Pattern 2154 was also recommended for bordered fabrics.) “Grege” is now spelled “greige” — a pale neutral color that combines a warm note of brown or pink (as in “beige,”) with gray (which can be cool or warm, depending on the amount of blue or brown in the black pigment you add to white to make gray.)

Butterick patterns 2154 and 2164, Delineator, August 1928, p. 34.

Butterick patterns 2154 and 2164, Delineator, August 1928, p. 34.

2154 and 2164

This chevron-patterned tweed was suggested for a coat to match dress 2164:

Forstmann's tweed kasha fabric for a coat. 1928.

Forstmann’s tweed kasha fabric for a coat. 1928.

On the facing page, p. 35, more Fall fashions — and fabrics — were illustrated.

Printed wool fabric from Botany, and a phot-printed jersey fabric from Wyner. Delineator, 1928.

Printed wool fabric from Botany, left;  and a photo-printed (?) jersey fabric from Wyner. Delineator, 1928.

The fabric swatch on the left is printed kasha, used for Butterick 2162, below left. The geometric pattern on the swatch is turned ninety degrees from the way it is shown in the dress. Below right, “jersey, printed with a photographed tweed design of brown on beige,” illustrated on a simple V-necked dress, Butterick 2182.

Print dresses made with Butterick patterns 2162 and 2182. Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 35.

Print dresses made with Butterick patterns 2162 and 2182. Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 35. (Twenties’ dresses don’t get much simpler than this jersey knit one. Thank Mlle Chanel.) This pattern was available up to size 52 inches!

2162 and 2182 text

Below left, “black barre satin, a material that is cross-barred with satin lines on the dull surface, dull lines on the satin surface. (I had to enhance the photo to show that there is a subtle pattern in the dark material.) The double-faced satin was used in Butterick 2119. Below right, a rayon knit top with an ombre pattern in gray and white, over a plain gray skirt. Butterick pattern 2180.

Black barre satin made by Schwarzenback Huber, and an ombre knit rayon from America Rayon Fabrics.

Black barre satin made by Schwarzenback Huber (left), and an ombre printed knit rayon from American Rayon Products.

Butterick patterns 2119 and 2180, Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 35.

Butterick patterns 2119 and 2180, Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 35.

2119 and 2180 text

A silk crepe dress (Butterick 2170) [fabric not illustrated] called for a coordinating wool coat made from gray-beige wool threaded with dark brown (Forstmann fabric, below right.)  Left, a printed wool and rayon blend “with modernistic cross-hatch design in natural, beige and grege tones,” shown in Butterick dress 2184.

Left, a cross-hatched printed wool and rayon fabric from Bianchini Ferier, and right, coating with fine brown threads.

Left, a cross-hatched printed wool and rayon fabric from Bianchini Ferier, and right, Forstmann gray-beige coating with fine brown threads.

Butterick patterns 2170 and 2184. Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 35.

Butterick patterns 2170 and 2184. Delineator, Aug. 1928, p. 35.

2170 and 2184 text

Considering that these fall fashions used a lot of brown, gray, beige and “grege,” perhaps they don’t suffer from being shown in black and white illustrations, after all. (But it would be nice if someone was inspired to create these geometric designs in new, autumn colored versions!)

Geometric print dresses to wear to an exhibit of 1920's paintings.

Geometric print dresses to wear to an exhibit of Cubist paintings?

Click here for characteristic examples by Braque and Picasso which may have influenced these 1920’s textile designs. Even the tan/gray/beige color palette is similar.

Did Cubist art influence these textiles?

Did Cubist art influence these textiles?

Helen Dryden, who illustrated the cover of this August issue, painted stylized flowers like a dress fabric in the background.

Helen Dryden illustration for cover of Delineator, August 1928.

Helen Dryden’s illustration for cover of Delineator, August 1928.

Dryden illustrated many color advertisements for fabrics.) The Vintage Traveler wrote more about Dryden’s Art Deco ads for the Aberfoyle Textile Mill. Click here.

1920’s patterns in Large sizes: Several of these patterns included sizes for large women, with bust measurements from 46 (Nos. 2180, 2166, & 2154) to 48 (No. 2184,) and even up to 52 inches (No. 2182.)

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes