Companion-Butterick Triad Dress Pattern for Women after Fifty, May 1937

Companion-Butterick pattern # 7353, May 1937

Companion-Butterick pattern # 7363, Woman’s Home Companion, May 1937. Illustrated by ERNST

7363 Triad Dress. Sizes, 34 to 52 inch bust measure. Size 40 requires 4 1/4 yards 35-inch material for house dress; 4 ½ yards 35-inch material for sports dress; 4 1/4 yards 39-inch material for afternoon dress. Price of pattern, 45 cents.

“You cannot be too particular about lines, colors and fabrics – when you are on the after side of fifty. Everything you wear must look as if made to your special order.  That is why this Triad pattern is a perfect solution for the three new dresses you will undoubtedly need this summer.

“The lines of 7363 are all part of a plot to make you look younger, slimmer. The darts which let in fullness at the top, the three different blouse fronts, each long-lined, the straight pleats in the skirt, stitched down above the knee and extending above the waist in two versions, the perfectly smooth shoulders – all these are flattering and new.” — Woman’s Home Companion

Afternoon Dress

Afternoon Dress

Afternoon Dress

“So are the fabrics and colors illustrated here.  Try a soft gray and white silk print as a change from navy and touch it up with a luscious medium blue.”

Sports Dress

Spectator Sport Dress

Spectator Sport Dress

“Keep to pink or any other becoming pastel for your spectator sports linen, set off with this season’s saddle stitching.”

House Dress

Housedress

Green Housedress in a Modernistic Print

“And then let yourself go, practically to modernism, in a gay cotton for the house.”

Women over Forty in Advertisements from the Woman’s Home Companion

In addition to the Triad Pattern for women “after fifty,” the  May, 1937 issue had the usual ads and articles; Mother’s Day was probably the inspiration for the article about Mother/Daughter Hair styling. Women’s magazines had a wealth of shoe advertisements, many stressing comfort and good arch support, and aimed at the older woman.

White Shoes for Summer, 1937

Florsheim Shoes for Summer, May 1937 ad

Florsheim Shoes for Summer, May 1937 ad Click to enlarge

The model for Pattern #7363 is wearing shoes very similar to these in white kid, “Juliette, W-364” shown in a Florsheim ad in the same issue of the Woman’s Home Companion. These shoes cost $9.50 to $10.50 – definitely middle-class. [Summer shoes from Sears cost about $2.00 in 1936. A nurse earned $20 to $35 per week.]

Foot Saver Shoes, ad from May 1937

Foot Saver Shoes, ad from May 1937  Click to enlarge

These Foot Saver shoes were even more expensive, costing up to $14.75. The model looks young, but young women were more likely to choose strappy, white sandal-type shoes than lace-ups.

Hair Styles for Older Women

This one was done at the Marshall Field store’s salon: “How a daughter would like her mother to dress her hair — and vice versa.”

Hairstyles for Mother and Daughter, Chicago, 1937

Hairstyles for Mother and Daughter, Chicago, 1937

I can’t resist ending with a less glamorous picture of  middle-aged women, as well. A more natural hairdo — and a less rosy view of life after forty — is presented in this ad for Scot Bathroom Tissue:

Ad for ScotTissue: "Are You Past Forty?"

Ad for ScotTissue: “Are You Past Forty?”

“Are you past forty? It is estimated that 65% at middle age suffer from rectal ailments. Then the comfort of Luxury Texture is doubly appreciated.” Oh, dear.  Time to count my blessings…. I do like the casual hair style in this ad; you can believe the model did it herself. Her crisp collar and print dress are quite chic for a housedress.

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8 Comments

Filed under 1930s, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Hairstyles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

8 responses to “Companion-Butterick Triad Dress Pattern for Women after Fifty, May 1937

  1. I love how the illustrated models are distinguished as being 50+ by their white hair, *and nothing else*. Lol!

  2. Wow, I’m glad I’m 50 now instead of then. That said, I really like that pattern triad

  3. Wonderful all around–not only clothing patterns but shoes and hair styles! Isn’t it interesting that the pattern people decided to make the drawings according to the rail thin thirties ideal body type, even though the pattern example was for a forty inch bust. The more things change…

    • Thanks! That very elongated thirties fashion figure began to be a problem in the mid-thirties, when magazines started using photographs as well. The ideal (drawing) and the reality (photograph) side-by-side are sometimes disconcerting. I’m collecting examples as I go. Even stranger are illustrations for maternity dresses — I’ll show some later this week.
      The Vintage Traveler had an interesting discussion a while ago about those perforated white 1930s shoes: since only old ladies still wore them in the 1950s, were they “old lady shoes” to begin with?

  4. Bob

    Yes, my mother did wear dresses like that and yes, she didn’t have a 22 inch waist !! LOL – maybe when she was 24!
    Bob

  5. Those naughty illustrators! Seriously, I’ve never made a pattern from the 1930s purely because I don’t see myself as that body type. But I’m tempted to try that pink version just to see if it does indeed make me look “younger, slimmer.”

  6. Pingback: Women’s Shoes: Sturdy, Comfortable and Tailored for Spring, 1936 | witness2fashion

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