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Shirtwaist Dresses, 1939

It was featured on the back cover, too, and several other “shirtwaist” dresses appeared in this flyer. The 1939 shirtwaist could be casual or dressy. Companion-Butterick 8459 does not button down the front, and the bodice is not a separate … Continue reading

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Filed under 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Hats, Hosiery, Hosiery, Sportswear, Vintage Accessories, Zippers

The Corseted Silhouette: 1937

These patterns from December of 1937 are a far cry from the corseted waist of the early 1900s. In fact, the “corset” refers to a tightly fitted waist section that is part of the dress itself –no boning, no constriction. … Continue reading

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Filed under 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Vintage patterns

Replacing Your Sleeves to Update Your Dress (and Sometimes Widen Your Shoulders)

This post started with sleeve patterns as its subject, but it grew into one about the widening of shoulders in the 1930’s…. If that’s your interest, just scroll down to 1930’s Sleeve Patterns. Butterick periodically offered sleeve patterns as a … Continue reading

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Filed under 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Accessory Patterns, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Tricks of the Costumer's Trade, Vintage patterns

French Designer Gowns from May 1927

A little guessing game: Can you guess the designers of these three evening gowns illustrated in May, 1927? Hint: Here are some names in alphabetical order; Chanel, Doeuillet, Lanvin, Patou, Vionnet. Answer: It shouldn’t be a surprise that the simple … Continue reading

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Filed under 1920s, evening and afternoon clothes, Hairstyles, Hats, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Couture Designs

Rapid Change in Twenties’ Fashions: 1924 to 1927

When we speak of “the Twenties,” most of us are picturing the short skirts and dropped waists of the later 1920s: But during the immediate post-war Twenties, women’s clothing actually became longer, although less bulky and more revealing of the … Continue reading

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Filed under 1920s, evening and afternoon clothes, Hats, Musings, Sportswear, Vintage Accessories, World War I

Trying to Put a Name to Forgotten Faces

Once a year (usually in December) I try to remind readers to use family get-togethers as an opportunity to bring out that box or scrapbook full of old family photos and go through them with the eldest members of the … Continue reading

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Filed under 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, Bathing Suits, Boys' Clothing, Children's Vintage styles, Costumes for the 19th century, Hats for Men, Late Victorian fashions, Men's Sportswear, Menswear, Musings, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Resources for Costumers, Sportswear, Suits for Men, Swimsuits, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Vintage Accessories, vintage photographs, Women in Trousers, World War I

Great Twenties’ Styles for Girls 8 to 15: April 1929

The daytime styles we think of as quintessentially “nineteen twenties” have kneecap length skirts, dropped waists, a sporty air, and proportions that look pleasant on an actual female body. The elongated fashion illustrations of the Twenties are hard to imagine … Continue reading

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Children's Vintage styles, Cosmetics, Beauty Products, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Sportswear

White Dresses for Summer, July 1931

White dresses — and white with color accents — were the topic of a two page article in Delineator magazine in July 1931. It even included a white coat for summer: It was described as a polo coat, and camel’s … Continue reading

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Filed under 1920s-1930s, 1930s, Sportswear, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Whoopee Booties, 1929

Last week The Vintage Traveler reminded me that shoe illustrations, being fashion illustrations, are not always truthful. As a vintage buyer and dealer, she observed that real 1920’s shoes generally do not have super-high heels. That sent me to the … Continue reading

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Resources for Costumers, Shoes, Vintage Accessories

Work Clothes: Bib Overalls and Coveralls

When I began writing witness2fashion, I wanted to focus on everyday clothes, clothing for working class people. All the men in my family did manual labor — skilled labor, but impossible to do without getting dirty. I grew up seeing … Continue reading

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Boys' Clothing, Children's Vintage styles, Menswear, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Sportswear, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, vintage photographs, Women in Trousers, World War I