Handbags and Gloves, October 1936

"Let's Concentrate on Your Bags and Gloves," Ladies' Home Journal, October 1936, page 32.

“Let’s Concentrate on Your Bags and Gloves,” Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1936, page 32.

Let’s Concentrate on Your Bag and Gloves

In October of 1936, the Ladies’ Home Journal devoted an issue to articles about coordinating your wardrobe, including brief articles like this one about handbags and gloves. Similar attention was paid to coordinating your stockings to your shoes, and both with your dress, and to hats. A longer article suggested a coordinated wardrobe of dresses, coats, etc. By 1936, The Ladies’ Home Journal featured Vogue patterns instead of its own brand. These accessories look upscale to me, but the magazine had a Depression-era emphasis on planning a coordinated wardrobe. These bags can go with more than one outfit.

Now You Can Swing Your Bag By Its Handle

Bags and Gloves, Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1936.

Bags and Gloves, Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1936.

These small, neat bags, many with top-stitching, also have something the editors thought worth mentioning: “Now You Can Swing Your Bag by Its Handle.” Only three, as far as I can tell, are “envelope” or clutch bags.

lhj 1936 oct p 32 500 handbags and gloves top left blk tan

“Two shades of black, calf and patent in the bag, kid and patent in the gloves, make a nice contrast to a gray tweed in the upper left corner. They would also be nice with green or any strong shade. The most exciting thing about this season is the tan shades, [right] and the way they combine with black as well as brown. The diamond-shaped bag, hand-stitched, and its matching gloves are in a pinkish-tan doeskin, for contrast with the tan-flecked black tweed. This shade is also delightful with navy, green or all-black.”

Bags and gloves, Oct. 1936, Ladies Home Journal.

Bags and gloves, Oct. 1936, Ladies’ Home Journal.

“The gray buckled envelope bag is conservative in its size, but its matching gloves have exaggerated cuffs. Worn here with a gray herringbone tweed. With the brown tweed mixture [right] is carried an oversize brown calf bag with white stitching and short brown capeskin gloves with leather knob buttons closing the slit of the wrist.”

Tucking and Stitching Make Gloves Look New

Handbags and Gloves, Ladies' Home Journal, October 1936.

Handbags and Gloves, Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1936.

“We might as well get used to it — suede is practically the only bag material for your more formal town clothes, and for afternoon. With it, suede or doeskin gloves. But handbag and gloves do not necessarily match each other.”

lhj 1936 oct p 32 500 handbags and gloves left btm

“The gold-buckled very deep bag to the left above takes red-brown gloves with an S-shaped stitching, against a black costume. White doeskin gloves [right], corded on the back, lend further formality to the black suede bag with gold bar and slide fastener.”

Bags and gloves, Oct. 1936.

Bags and gloves, Oct. 1936.

“The shell-topped bag [probably real or imitation tortoise shell] of brown suede has matching gloves, longish, the cuffs buttoned and nicely tucked. Notice how well this brown goes with a brighter brown costume. But black may also be worn with this shade, as you see in the suede bag with the ruffled edge, on the right, the gloves piped at the top with the red-brown of the dress.”

Oddly, the articles on bags, gloves, shoes, etc.,  did not name the manufacturers. Perhaps that information — for all the articles –was located on a page I didn’t photograph at the library.

These illustrations make wearing brown accessories with black clothing seem like a fresh, sophisticated idea.


Filed under 1930s, bags, Gloves, handbags, Purses, Vintage Accessories

2 responses to “Handbags and Gloves, October 1936

  1. I wonder if there was any consideration of the Depression behind these articles. Maybe the economic downturn made people a little more broadminded about what went with what.

    • The Woman’s Home Companion definitely emphasized versatility — make three dresses from one pattern, make one dress look like five with interchangeable collars, etc. The articles in this 1936 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal assume that a woman will own fewer clothes, so she should choose them with a plan: “Planning is the thing I preach every month . . . because I think it helps us all to be better dressed, on any amount of money we may have to spend.” — Julia Coburn, in an Oct. 1936 article on wardrobe planning in Ladies’ Home Journal. But magazines always sell fantasy along with fashion. Women who couldn’t afford suede bags with matching gloves still got the ideas about color combinations and what goes with what.

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