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