Monthly Archives: May 2014

Are You Ready for Summer, 1917?

 

Ad for Lazell Talcum Powder, August 1917

Ad for Lazell Talcum Powder, August 1917

1917 aug p 35 Lazell talcum whole ad 500

Lazell talcum ad text. Delineator, August 1917

Lazell talcum ad text. Delineator, August 1917

The idea that talcum powder would protect your skin from sunburn is new to me — and not very credible. But that beauty in the red swim suit does seem to be having a good time. Is she surfing? She’s certainly riding a wave. She’s also wearing a more revealing bathing suit than most of the swimsuits featured in Delineator magazine in 1917:

Bathing Costumes, July 1917; Butterick patterns featured in Delineator.

Bathing Costumes, July 1917; Butterick patterns featured in Delineator.

Here’s a look at the packages from the bottom of the advertisement:

Lazell scented talcum powders, soaps and toilet water packages, 1917

Lazell scented talcum powders, soaps and toilet water packages, 1917

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Bathing Suits, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Sportswear, Swimsuits

Dresses for Flappers, July, 1926

Butterick Patterns for Misses Age 15 to 20. Delineator, p. 27, July 1926.

Butterick Patterns for Misses Age 15 to 20. Delineator, p. 27, July 1926.

By the summer of 1926 the “look” we associate with the 1920s – short skirts, no waists, and a horizontal line across the hips – was truly the dominant fashion. These dresses for Misses – i.e., women aged 15 to 20 – look fresh and youthful, especially in contrast to the long, tubular fashions of 1924.  Seeing these designs in color is a treat, and a reminder that the clothes worn in silent movies were not actually black and white.

Top of Page

Top of Page 27, Delineator, July 1926

Misses’ Pattern Sizes in the 1920s: “What Does Size 16 Years Mean?”

In Butterick patterns, a Misses’ size was shorter than a Ladies’ size. Misses patterns were sold by age [!]; Ladies’ patterns were sold by bust measurement. For most of the 1920s, “Size 15 years” equated to “petite with a 32″ bust.” “Size 17 years” meant a petite with 34″ bust, “19 years” fit a 36″ bust, and “20 years” was a petite 37.” Often a style is described as “For Misses and small women;” several of these styles say they also come in Ladies’ sizes 38 and 40.

The usual run of Butterick Ladies’ sizes in 1925 was 33″ through 44.” Articles in Butterick’s Delineator magazine sometimes gave fitting advice for short women, but special patterns for adult women who were 5″ 4″ or shorter had not yet appeared.

Bottom of Page 27, Delineator, July, 1926.

Bottom of Page 27, Delineator, July, 1926.

Flapper Dresses

The dresses on page 27 were for young women – for flappers. Styles for mature women were subtly different, as were the proportions of the fashion figures that illustrated them. These two dresses appeared on pages 27 and 28 of the same issue.

 A pattern for Misses (# 6924) and a similar pattern for Ladies (# 6914.)

A pattern for Misses (# 6924) and a similar pattern for Ladies (# 6914.)

Obviously, the Misses’ illustrations are much less distorted.

The Individual Dresses with Their Descriptions

1926 july p 27 color top 6913 white w red6913 — Embroidery splashes the white frock with color. Work in Satin-stitch. For this slip-over one-piece princess dress with inverted tucks or shirrings use Georgette, silk or cotton voile, batiste, radium, taffeta, satin crêpe, etc. of one material, etc…. Lower edge 58 inches…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women. [I confess that I love this dress – and the appliqued hat. You wouldn’t need to embroider the sleeves to reproduce it; # 6921 shows that making lower sleeves from a different fabric was in style.]1926 july p 27 color topmiddle yellow 6935

6935 — A transparent hem, rising in front, is the latest Parisian offering in evening frocks This slip-over orange dress closes under the left arm, has a basque and a lower edge scalloped or straight. Lower edge 2 7/8 yards…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women. [This dress is interesting for many details. It is an early example of the short-in-front-long-in-back evening dresses of the late 1920s. It is clearly inspired by Jeanne Lanvin’s robes de style. And it has a side seam fastening – presumably snaps – under the left arm, which should be of interest to vintage dealers trying to date dresses with side openings.] Dress 6935 may be described as “orange” in the text, but it really did look yellow-gold in the magazine.

1926 july p 27 color top rt 6921

 

6921 — The Gipsy girdle encircles this attractive slip-over frock with touches of jade-green. It has a straight gathered skirt and is delightful for radium or satin crêpe with contrasting organdy, batiste, or Georgette, etc. Lower edge 60 inches…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women.

1926 july p 27 color btm left coat dress 6904

6904 coat dress — Cool and very smart in town is the coat frock with its saddle shoulders and straight gathered skirt attached at a low waistline. The separate one-piece slip has a camisole top. The color is fuchsia…. Lower edge of slip 44 inches…. The coat dress is for Misses 15 to 20 years, ladies 38, 40 bust.

 

1926 july p 27 color misses smocked dress

6927  — Green-striped, smartly bosomed, this one-piece slip-over frock gives the effect of a two-piece style. A cluster of box plaits is inserted at the front. Use flat crêpe, Canton crêpe, satin crêpe, heavy crêpe de Chine, silk broadcloth, shantung, washable silk crêpe, etc. Lower edge, plaits drawn out, 57 inches. The dress is attractive for misses 15 to 20 years, also small women.

6903 — Tiered circular ruffles are attached across the sides of this slip-over one-piece tan dress. Plain or printed silk voile, crêpe Roma, etc., with taffeta tie collar, etc., or satin crêpe with reverse side, are smart for it. Lower edge 44 inches….Chic for misses 15 to 20 years, also small women.

6924 — Crêpe de Chine, heavy Georgette, silk or cotton voile, silk-and-cotton crêpe, pongee, etc., with smocking or shirring and contrasting collar and cuffs are smart for this type of one-piece slip-over frock with straight lower edge. The colors are pervenche blue and tan. Lower edge 51 ½ inches. …For misses 15 to 20 years, ladies 38, 40 bust.

1926 july p 27 color btm rt 6902

6902 — A new silhouette, hip-flared, is illustrated in the slip-over blouse of this two-piece bois de rose frock. The straight skirt with a box pleat at front is attached to an underbody. It is smart for flat crêpe, Canton crêpe, heavy crêpe de Chine, satin, etc. Lower edge, plait drawn out, 51 inches…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women. [An underbody means the skirt hung from the shoulders, not the waist. The back view — at the bottom of this post — shows a flared peplum. The color “bois de rose” was very chic,  a grayed red, less coral than it appears here. ]

Design Tricks to Make Twenties’ Dresses More Flattering

Designers are aware that a horizontal line across the widest part of a woman’s body – the hip – will add pounds, visually. That’s why late twenties styles can be so cruel to a less-than-boyish figure.  Pattern manufacturers were aware of this problem; Butterick patterns in average sizes assumed that the hip was two inches larger than the bust, as they do today.

So it’s useful to pay attention to the many ways these authentic 1920s designs drew attention away from the horizontal hip line that defined the era. Notice all the optical tricks that direct the eye toward the face, or create a slenderizing vertical line to add height and draw the eye toward the center of the torso.

Long bows and ties lead the eye up and down.

Long bows and ties lead the eye up and down.

A row of vertical buttons; a vertical center front closing emphasized by a white frill.

A row of vertical buttons; a vertical center front closing emphasized by a white frill.

A strong color – or white – near the face; a V neck; a contrasting collar.

A strong color – or white – near the face; a V neck; a contrasting collar. The green ‘buckle’ at the center of the dress on the left is also a clever way to draw our eyes to the center of the body.

A center front opening that runs from the neck to the hem, creating a strong vertical line.

A center front opening that runs from the neck to the hem, creating a strong vertical line.

Back Views and Alternate Views

Back and alternate views of page 27 patterns, July 1926.

Back and alternate views of page 27 patterns, July 1926.

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Hats, Vintage patterns

College Girls Become Farmers During World War I

Volunteers for Food: Vassar Girls Prove Themselves at Agriculture. Delineator, October 1918

Volunteers for Food: Vassar Girls Prove Themselves Adepts at Agriculture. Delineator, October 1918

This full page photo essay shows one way that young women contributed to the war effort in America. With young men going off to war, young women stepped in to tackle some previously male jobs. (AmericanAgeFashion has also written about “Farmerettes.”)

Lower half of the page. Vassar Girls Doing Farm Work, 1918

Lower half of the page. Vassar Girls Doing Farm Work, 1918

Here are some of the photographs at an easier-to-see size:1918 oct college girls vassar crosscut saw

1918 oct college girls vassar haying1918 oct college girls vassar milk platoonThe captions may seem patronizing, even though the Delineator was a woman’s magazine. However, I think they are intended to be light-hearted and morale-boosting. These patriotic college women are cheerfully sawing logs and harvesting crops as their contribution to the war effort. They are not wearing uniforms, as the following pictures show; these dark wool middy tops and bloomers are their normal gym suits or hiking clothes.

A gym suit (left) and a hiking outfit (right), 1925. These sport outfits remained constant for schoolgirls and teens for many years.

A gym suit (left) and a hiking outfit (right), 1925. These athletic outfits remained constant for schoolgirls and young women for many years.

1918 oct college girls planting timeThese gardeners show a variety of clothing. The standing woman in a skirt and jacket is presumably a teacher.1918 oct college girls higher mathDo you suppose the black arm band means the girl on the right is in mourning? The girl on the left (like the one below) is wearing a gardening smock.

College girl wearing a garden smock, 1918.

College girl wearing a garden smock, 1918.

It looks like a more substantial — and practical — version of the one illustrated here:

Garden smock, Delineator, July 1917.

Garden smock, Delineator, July 1917.

I used this illustration in my post about fabric shortages during World War I; the editorial that accompanied this drawing in 1917 emphasized how different America’s experience was from that of our European allies.

Some Grim Statistics

Girls and women in England did hard labor on farms and in factories for years.  For them, the war began in August of 1914. In the United States, President Woodrow Wilson was elected to a second term in 1916 on the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” The U.S. did not officially enter the war until April of 1917.  By the end of the war, on November 11, 1918, nine million soldiers and an estimated five million civilians were dead.  116, 516 American soldiers died, out of more than four million American mobilized forces. But the United Kingdom lost between 702,917 and 888,246 men in the prime of life, and another two million were injured. France, Russia, and Romania suffered military casualties of more than 70%.  When the war ended, many women realized that they would never marry, and would have to be self-supporting for the rest of their lives. One such family of women founded the Avoca Handweavers in County Wicklow, Ireland. You can read about them in a lovely post by The Vintage Traveler.

The Study of Fashion Can’t be Separated from the Study of More Important Things

This is just one example of the way the thread of fashion runs through the fabric of history — and a pastime that seems trivial connects us with larger issues. I began by thinking about gym suits and garden smocks, and wound up learning more about the First World War. How appropriate that Memorial Day is being observed this weekend — a time for reflection on all the costs of war.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Sportswear, Uniforms and Work Clothes, vintage photographs, Women in Trousers, World War I

World War I Creates Fabric Shortages, Remade Dresses; 1918

“It is part of the spirit of the times that we see, not that we are deprived of linen, but that we have gained something gay and charming in the revival of cotton.”

The Green Peace of Summer:  “It is part of the spirit of the times that we see, not that we are deprived of linen, but that we have gained something gay and charming in the revival of cotton.” Garden Smock, 1918

Many people are aware that, during World War II, such products as silk, leather, rubber, and nylon were needed for the war effort. In the 1940s, the silk was needed for parachutes. 1943 wartime ad for synthetic fabrics

Wool and Linen Needed for the War Effort, 1918

World War I apparently caused different shortages – of linen and wool. Vast numbers of silk parachutes were not yet needed; war planes were still a new idea. During the First World War, the wool was needed for uniforms, and the linen was needed for airplanes.

Two Soldiers, World War I. Wool was needed for their uniforms.

Two American Soldiers, World War I. Wool was needed for millions of uniforms.

An editorial article, “The Green Peace of Summer,” which appeared in Delineator magazine in July of 1918, contrasted the way the war was experienced in the United States with its much greater impact in Europe. It also refers to the substitution of silk dresses for wool and linen, which may explain why silk dresses for daytime were so popular in the late teens and early twenties.

M. La Rue in a beaded satin day dress, circa 1921.

M. La Rue in a beaded satin day dress, circa 1921.

Young Woman, circa 1918

Young Woman, in silk taffeta (?) dress circa 1917

The War in Europe, Seen from America

“To-day [July, 1918] the green peace of our summer… fills us with… amazement, viewing it, as we all must do, against the somber background of the war. Over there gardens and fields and meadows are torn and gutted by giant shells…. Our world still goes about its business little changed outwardly for all the tragedy of the battle-fields abroad.

“There are many reasons why the war has not made as great and immediate a change in our lives as it has done abroad. So many of our men are left, so many even of draft age have been excused because of dependents and because of war industries, that no revolution of work and life has taken place here comparable to what has happened in England and France. Of course, we have our women street-car conductors. In every country this has been the profession that women have turned to first.

Women Tram Conductors in Scotland, 1915, from E. Ewing’s History of Twentieth Century Fashion

Women Tram Conductors in Scotland, 1915, from E. Ewing’s History of Twentieth Century Fashion

“… In these serious times, clothes have become a serious subject…. We study clothes as we have never studied them before…. We jump at the chance to save a bit of material by following the vogue of the sleeveless blouse and the sleeveless coat…. We [gladly] wear gingham and calico. We wear them in place of linen, knowing that there is little linen left in the world and that it is being used for new wings for our avions.” — Delineator editorial, July 1918

Biplanes at Varney Field, California, about 1919

Biplanes at Varney Field, California, about 1919

Before aluminum was widely used, airplane wings were a framework covered with stiffened cloth canvas. You can see a bit of cloth-covered wing in the upper right of this photograph, taken in the early 1920s:

Young Woman at Flying School, about 1921

Young Woman at Flying School, about 1921. Used with permission of RememberedSummers.

“But it is part of the spirit of the times that we see, not that we are deprived of linen, but that we have gained something gay and charming in the revival of gingham, that the difference in price between cotton and linen means many thrift stamps and comforts for the Red Cross.

“Salvation Army Lassies Start to Carry Doughnuts and Coffee to Soldiers at the Front,” Delineator, 1918

Dresses Made of Silk Instead of Wool Serge

Silk Dresses from an Article About Remaking Clothes, Nov. 1918.

Silk Dresses from an Article About Remaking Clothes, Nov. 1918.

“We are enchanted with the substitution of silk and satin for our old friend serge, and the disappearance of fine woolens from the shops becomes not a hardship but an endowment policy, for whereas old clothes used to give us rather an abused feeling, we now find ourselves quite rich with an out-of-date French serge or fine gabardine that can be remodeled.”

Silk Soutache Braid and Glass Beading on a Brown Wool Dress, 1910s to early 1920s

Silk Soutache Braid and Glass Beading on a Brown Wool Dress, 1910s to early 1920s

A Remade Dress, First World War Era

Three views of a brown wool dress, remade. 1910s to 1920s

Three views of a brown wool dress, remade. Note the depth of the hem, which showed signs of soil at a previous hemline.  1910s to 1920s

This beaded dress in cinnamon brown wool is hard to date precisely, because it shows signs of having been remodeled as well as shortened. The hem was turned up several inches, which suggests that it was originally from the early 1910s.

Front Detail. One tassel is missing.

Front Detail. One tassel is missing. Note the way the extended lapels are looped under, and the odd, wrinkled strip that fills in the top of the neckline. Of course, this mannequin does not have a period bustline to fill it out.

Some of the fabric (perhaps formerly a belt?) was used — rather crudely — to fill in the neckline, but it was hand-stitched in place with rotting thread and had to be removed.

A bulky piece of wool, folded to fit in the neckline, and closed with snaps, was hand-stitched to the top of the neckline.

A bulky piece of wool, folded to fit in the neckline, and closed with snaps, was hand-stitched to the top of the neckline. Here it is partly removed.

The quality of the wool, the overall condition, and the lovely soutache and beading trim made it a prime candidate for remaking during the war years. If anyone can supply more detective work, please share! [I no longer know the whereabouts of the dress.]

Fringe at the bottom of the long panel which ends the peplum.

Fringe at the bottom of the long panel which ends the peplum. See side view.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Dresses, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, vintage photographs, World War I

Who Should Wear a Necktie in a Yearbook Photograph?

Girl Graduate, June 1925, Delineator.

Girl Graduate, June 1925, Delineator.

The power of clothes to disturb people seems to have diminished since the shock of hippie clothing in the 60s and punk clothing in the 70s and 80s outraged so many people — but even today, when it almost appears that “anything goes” in fashion, a news item appears to remind me that it’s not true:  A young woman in San Francisco wore a tuxedo & black tie for her yearbook picture, which was against the school rules.

Clothes for Misses Age 15 to 20; Butterick patterns, Delineator magazine 1925.

Clothes for Misses Age 15 to 20; Butterick patterns, Delineator magazine 1925. In the 1920s, wearing an article of male clothing, such as a necktie, hinted at feelings of equality.

People are often outraged by clothing that doesn’t meet their gender expectations, even in San Francisco, a city famous for its “live and let live” attitudes. (I saw a dozen nudists bicycling past the zoo last year. No one bothered them.)

Young Woman in Necktie, Delineator, 1925

Young Woman in Necktie, Delineator, 1925

The local news stations and the San Francisco Chronicle are running stories about high school senior Jessica Urbina, whose photograph was removed from her high school yearbook because she chose to pose in a tuxedo instead of a photographer’s “drape.” Her private school, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, has a rule that all girls must have their senior picture taken wearing a “drape” and all boys must be photographed wearing a tuxedo shirt, jacket, and tie. As reported in the Chronicle, the Archdiocese of San Francisco has a policy “requiring female students to wear dresses in yearbook photos.” (Technically, a ‘drape’ is not a dress — it’s a photographer’s prop that just suggests a dress from the waist up.  And I doubt that many young men have a tuxedo in the closet, or wear one often. Both of those options are quite arbitrary — they are merely an attempt to get a uniform, non-individualistic image of each student by banning their own clothing. So yes, Jessica did make an attempt to subvert the rules, by showing a little of her real self, and appearing as she would want to be remembered.)

Young Woman in Necktie and Man-tailored Suit, 1925, Delineator.

Young Woman in Necktie and Man-tailored Suit, 1925, Delineator.

The inspiring part of this story is that, when they heard the news that Jessica’s picture would not appear in their yearbook, the students at Sacred Heart came to school wearing neckties, regardless of gender. They wore neckties with their tee shirts. They wore neckties with their blouses. They wore bowties and long ties. Jessica said, “I’ve never felt more love than I do right now. I’ve seen people with all the ties. Honestly, I’ve cried multiple times, overwhelmed with all this support, so I just want to thank everybody who’s supporting me now.”

“Late in the day, school officials said the events had ‘sparked a campus-wide dialogue which will result in a revision of policy.’ ” although it may not take effect immediately. — News Article: Students Rally Around Tux-Wearing Teen Left Out of Yearbook by Jill Tucker and Henry K. Lee

I’ve posted these illustrations from 1925 — when women were casting off old, gender-defined roles and taking on traditionally male occupations — as a reminder of how long it can take to break down cultural expectations about clothing and gender. The language of clothes is so powerful that people can still feel threatened by a woman wearing a tuxedo, or a man wearing a skirt. Yes, clothes do make a statement about the wearer. It sounds like Jessica knows who she is, and wants to ‘speak’ the truth. How encouraging that her classmates respect her for it.

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Filed under 1920s, Musings, Uncategorized, Vintage Accessories

Shoes and Age

I wrote such a long post about shoes from the Spring of 1936 that today I’m just going to share a great quotation from Leah Garchik and some color pictures from an Art Deco shoe ad dated 1929.

From an advertisement for Arch Preserver Shoes:

Arch Preserver Shoe Ad, 1929.

Arch Preserver Shoe Ad, 1929. Note the stockings colored to match the dress.

The caption: 1929 june arch preserver shoe  leave foot aches at home

The quotation:

“According to the Table of Shoe Hotness, any brand that promises comfort will add 10 years to one’s WEA (Wearer’s Estimated Age.)” – Columnist Leah Garchik, writing in the Style section of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Some Arch Preserver Shoes from 1929

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929: ROMANY -- Sunburned beige with decorative strap underlay of brown pearlized kid.

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929: ROMANY — Sunburned beige with decorative strap underlay of brown perlustre kid.

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929:  JANZIA -- An afternoon model in Lido Sand kid, accented with perlustre kid strap in stone color and brown piping.

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929: JANZIA — An afternoon model in Lido sand kid, accented with perlustre kid strap in stone color and brown piping.

I wouldn’t mind wearing either of them – except that I had to move on to prescription, flat shoes with rigid orthotics in them years ago. My WEA – and my actual age — are now both too high to lie about! The travel-themed designs (a navy blue print fabric?) behind the shoes is very jazz-age.1929 june arch preserver shoe ad logo 10 to 15 prices small

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Uncategorized, Vintage Accessories

Women’s Shoes: Sturdy, Comfortable and Tailored for Spring, 1936

 

Shoe Styles for Spring. Woman's Home Companion, April 1936

Shoe Styles for Spring. Woman’s Home Companion, April 1936

This article from Woman’s Home Companion, April, 1936, showed me that I have a lot to learn about the way shoes were perceived in the 1930s. Were white lace-up heels always for women over fifty? Did young women really wear them, too?

Shoes illustrated with ‘Fashions After Fifty,’ in 1937.

Shoes illustrated with ‘Fashions After Fifty,’ in 1937. Did younger women also wear them?

“Old Lady Shoes”

Woman in her seventies wearing white lace-up heels. Circa 1948.

Woman in her seventies wearing white lace-up heels. Circa 1948.

 

I find many thirties’ shoes stodgy looking because I associate them with “old lady shoes.” My grandmother and her friends were still wearing white, lace-up, perforated shoes in the 1950s.

Florsheim Shoe Ad, May, 1937.

Florsheim Shoe Ad, May, 1937.

Those white shoes looked exactly like some of these fashion shoes from 1936, and the question raised in some online discussions has been, “Were the old ladies we remember wearing shoes they had saved for 15 years, or did they just buy new ones that looked old-fashioned?”

Black Florsheim lace-ups from 1937.

Black Florsheim lace-ups from 1937.

You could still buy similar shoes in the 1960s. (When lace-up oxfords with moderate heels were black instead of white, we called them “nun shoes.” I went shopping with a high school friend who had to buy a pair when she entered the convent in the 1960s. We laughed a lot.)

Shoe Vocabulary, 1936

As often happens with fashion writing, vocabulary doesn’t always mean the same thing now as it did in the past. It would never have occurred to me that oxfords were more “tailored” and more appropriate for wear with a city suit than pumps with straps! It’s also hard to remember that a “sandal” was any shoe that did not completely enclose the foot, no matter how structured and pump-like it was. And how can a high heel be “Monkish?”

Here is the article, with its line illustrations, plus related ads from 1936. [Fashion reports in the Woman’s Home Companion rarely named the sellers of featured items. If you wanted more information, you had to write to the magazine and ask for it.]

Sturdy, Comfortable, and Tailored for Spring

“What type of shoe, Madam?” and if your answer to the sales clerk is “Something to wear with my spring suit – something sturdy and comfortable and tailored looking,” he may bring out some or all of these eight most popular styles.”

Oxford Style Shoes for Spring, 1936.

Oxford Style Shoes for Spring, 1936.

“Oxfords still come first. We used to wear them for comfort and now we choose them for style. The newest are trimmed with stitching and perforations ranging from tiny pinpoints to larger triangular shapes, for decoration as well as ventilation. Some show tiny touches of light contrast under the perforations or, even newer, thongs of bright colored kid laced through the holes.”

Illustration:  Oxford Shoe, April 1936.

Illustration: Oxford Shoe, April 1936.

This perforated oxford was actually black, like some of the shoes in these advertisements.

Ad for Selby Shoes, March 1936; Black Oxford.

Ad for Selby Shoes, March 1936; Perforated Black Oxford.

Ad for Selby Arch Preserver Shoes, May 1936. Prices $9 to $12.50.

Ad for Selby Arch Preserver Shoes, May 1936. Prices $9 to $12.50.

Wide Strap Pumps

“Sharing the popularity of oxfords are wide strap pumps. They have the comfort of oxfords and are more open, a trifle less tailored.” [Surprise. I would have said these are more dressy.]

Illlustration:  Wide Strap Pumps, 1936. The one on the left is made of blue gabardine.

Illlustration: Wide Strap Pumps, 1936. The one on the left is made of blue gabardine.

It’s a little surprising that gabardine fabric shoes were popular in the Depression, since they would not wear as well as leather. But fabric is also featured in this Matrix Shoe Ad, March 1936.

Ad for Matrix Shoe, March 1936. Available in black fabric with patent leather or in blue fabric with kid trim.

Ad for a Matrix Sandal, March 1936. Available in black fabric with patent leather or in blue fabric with kid trim. $9.00 and up.

Blue was definitely a fashionable color:

Queen Quality Shoe Ad, March 1936.

Queen Quality Shoe Ad, March 1936.

In this Queen Quality ad, the question of the wearers’ age is settled by the appeal to “Spring Brides.” And, although not extremely narrow, those are pretty high heels. Here are more wide-strap styles:

Another Wide Strap Shoe; Selby Ad, March 1936.

Another Wide Strap Shoe; Selby Ad, March 1936.

Wide Strap Spectator Pumps; Red Cross Shoe Ad, May, 1936/

Wide Strap Spectator Pumps and an Oxford, right. Red Cross Shoe Ad, May, 1936.

Monk Type Shoes

Illustration: "Monkish Styles Seem to Be Coming Favorites for Town," 1936.

Illustration: “Monkish Styles Seem to Be Coming Favorites for Town,” 1936.

“If you prefer a heavier-looking shoe to go with a mannishly tailored costume then a monk type with side strap and leather heel is your goal. This style originated in smart country shoes and is now coming into new fame for town wear.”

Probably the stacked leather heel gave it a “country shoe” feeling. These “Cabana” two-tones with a (monkish?) tongue and buckle are perforated, but don’t have that ‘old lady oxford’ look to me:

Ad for "Cabana" shoes from Walk-Over, March, 1936.

Ad for “Cabana” shoes from Walk-Over, March, 1936.

Square Toes and Square Heels for Young Women, 1936

Illustration: Square Toes and Square Heels in Dubonnet Red Bucko. 1936.

Illustration: “Square toes and square heels in Dubonnet red bucko for smart young feet.” 1936.

“Young girls, with that smartly casual look, may choose a different type of tailored shoe altogether. With their youthful suits, stubby little square-toed square-heeled sandals are charming. [Bucko was a scraped leather with a slightly sueded or matte finish.]

Low heeled, square-toed shoes were also available in the 1960s, but the one in this ad dates from 1936.

Ad for Square-toed Collegebred Shoes, 1936. Available in Gray, Blue, Brown, Black, or White.

Ad for Square-toed Collegebred Shoes, 1936. Available in Gray, Blue, Brown, Black, or White.

Like the shoes in the illustration, they are made of bucko; the brand ‘Collegebred” confirms that these are for teens and young women. They have casual, stacked leather heels.

Sandals, 1936

Illustration: Formal Tailored Kid Sandals, 1936.

Illustration: Formal Tailored Kid Sandals, 1936.

“The last of these eight popular types is a sandal with high support and an open effect, the perfect complement to your silk suits and dresses.”

These may not be what we usually think of as sandals, but they look light and appropriate for a silk, rather than a wool, suit or dress.

Like the article on shoe styles I have been quoting, these Walk-Over brand sandals are from Woman’s Home Companion, April, 1936:

“Nothing smarter for town, sport or afternoon. New ‘dark accent’ colors of suede. Patent. And British Tan calf, the exciting ‘high’ shade.  Walk-Over Ad, April 1936.

“Nothing smarter for town, sport or afternoon. New ‘dark accent’ colors of suede. Patent. And British Tan calf, the exciting ‘high’ shade.” Walk-Over Ad, April 1936.

They are much more open, but not open-toed.  All four styles were available in patent leather, and some came in a range of colors (Dubonnet, blue, black, white, brown, British tan, white kangaroo suede, etc.) Style A has square toes and heels and is pictured in bucko. Perhaps I like these sandals because – except for the one with the wide strap – they remind me of the elegant shoes of the twenties. The ad says they are “young” and colorful. I wonder:  Would they have looked old-fashioned to women who had worn similar styles – which were then described as new and “unusual” —  in 1928?

"Unusual" Evening Sandals from Netch & Bernard, Delineator,  October, 1928.

“Unusual” Evening Sandals from Netch & Bernard, Delineator, October, 1928.

 

 

 

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Filed under 1930s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Vintage Accessories