Stockings for the Beach, June 1917

Luxite Hosiery Advertisement, June 1917

Luxite Hosiery Advertisement, June 1917. Illustration by Coles Phillips.

Stockings Worn with a Swimsuit, 1917

This charming illustration by Coles Phillips might have been titled “Sand in His Shoes.”  You could make up a story about why the girl is wearing a knit swim suit — possibly wet, since it’s shiny — but the man is still wearing a necktie. Fine print at the bottom of the ad says that a “beautiful color print of this illustration” measuring 12 by 11 inches, “will be sent upon receipt  of 15 cents in stamps.”

Luxite Stockings

Ad for Luxite Hosiery, June 1917

Ad for Luxite Hosiery, Delineator magazine, June 1917

1917 june p 50 Luxite hose ad text

“Hosiery, today, is regarded more important to the charm of personal appearance than ever before. Look your best — not on state occasions only — but always; that is the modern idea. Hose of Luxite have the spirit of luxury — yet they are not extravagant. Shapely, shimmering, and closely woven — the product of beautiful materials, pure dyes and specialized methods. Long wear and elegance are combined in inseparable union. ”

Luxite Hose were available in “Japanese Pure Silk” or “Gold-Ray (scientific silk) [i.e., rayon], lisle, and cotton. “Prices as low as 25 cents per pair, for Men, Women and Children.”

Truth in Advertising

What interested me in this ad, aside from the lovely, Maxfield Parrish style golden light on the figures, is the imperfection of the woman’s stockings. The artist has drawn all the irregularities of the woven fabric. 1917 june p 50 Luxite hose ad woman bathing suitI’m sure that’s what the product really did look like. Many women wore their stockings rolled over a garter when wearing a bathing suit, but special corsets — sometimes rather like a boned garter belt — were available for wear under swimsuits. Lastex wasn’t available until 1931; the wool knit swim suit itself did not support the figure at all, and was very revealing on a cold, wet body.

Love That Green Striped Shirt

1917 june p 50 Luxite hose ad man shirt

Yet another reminder of the colorful past — black and white photos just don’t convey these bold, exuberant textiles.


Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Bathing Suits, Hosiery & Stockings, Menswear, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Swimsuits

4 responses to “Stockings for the Beach, June 1917

  1. A corset under a swim suit–that hadn’t occurred to me! I second you on the colors–I was amazed when I saw samples of twenties fabric in a catalog collection.

  2. Today a man wearing a necktie on a beach would look completely out of place, but in photos from the early part of the 20th century you often seen men and women in more formal attire at the beach. Interesting that the woman is not wearing beach shoes.

    • Good point; I’ve been seeing very substantial beach shoes — over the calf — on Butterick’s bathing suit illustrations from the same year. I guess the advertiser wanted to show as much of the stocking as possible, irregular texture and all. I do think this is like a story ilustration. There’s something about the girl’s pose that suggests the man is at a disadvantage; she’s so much more ready for swimming than he is. “Last one in the water’s a ….”

  3. Pingback: A Look Back at Stockings, Mostly 1920’s | witness2fashion

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