Category Archives: Hosiery

Ski Clothes for Women, January 1927

Eighty years ago, Delineator magazine showed the latest styles seen at Lake Placid, NY, and offered Butterick patterns for skiers and skaters. (Lake Placid hosted the winter Olympics in 1932.)

Skiers at Lake Placid, January 1927. Leslie Saalburg illustration for Delineator, p. 15.

Skiers at Lake Placid, January 1927. Leslie Saalburg illustration for Delineator, p. 15.

The woman at left wears a beret, long trousers, and a heavy jacket with big pockets:

Woman skier in heavy jacket, January 1927, Delineator.

Woman skier in belted jacket, January 1927, Delineator.

In spite of twenties fashions, the belt must have “ridden up” to her natural waistline with movement.

Behind her, a woman wears a matching checked top and knickers:

Detail, Ski Resort, January 1927. Delneator, p. 15.

Detail, Ski Resort, January 1927. Delineator, p. 15. I’m curious; was that outfit true-to-life or artistic license?

A few pages later, Butterick patterns for winter sports were featured.

Costumes for Winter Sports: Butterick patterns for skiing and skating, January 1927.

Costumes for Winter Sports: Butterick patterns for skiing and skating, January 1927.

“7062 — 4147 — Back of the north wind is the windbreaker with knitted or fabric collar and cuffs and a hip band that buttons snugly. For skis with their horrid trick of doing a treacherous double cross reinforced knickers fitted at the knee are worn with wool hose and socks.” The knickers button tightly at the knee and were available up to waist size 38 inches. It looks like she is wearing two pairs of socks, one rolled at the ankle.

Butterick ski jacket pattern 7062 with heavy wool knickers, pattern 4147. Delineator, Jan. 1927, p. 22.

Butterick windbreaker ski jacket pattern 7062 with heavy wool knickers, pattern 4147. Delineator, Jan. 1927, p. 22.

Butterick windbreaker pattern 6991 and pleated skirt 1175 from Delineator, January 1927, p. 22.

Butterick windbreaker pattern 6991 and pleated skirt 1175 from Delineator, January 1927, p. 22.

Duvetyn was a brushed fabric, usually wool; suede was also suggested for the jacket. The skirt, with its top-stitched pleats, would have been too tight for some skaters’ moves, but “contrives to be both slim and roomy.” This being the twenties, when some skirts hung from the shoulders on an underbodice,  the skirt was sold by hip size. Does “waistcoat style” mean the belt was adjustable, like the back of a vest? Her striped stockings are probably wool. Textured and patterned stockings were popular for casual winter wear.

Textured stockings in an editorial article about rainwear. Delineator, April 1929, p. 85.

Textured stockings in an editorial article about rainwear. Delineator, April 1929, p. 85.

For more illustrations of colorful stockings in the 1920’s, click here.

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Fringe Fashions, December 1918

Old copies of Delineator magazine always have surprises that catch my eye.

December fashions, Delineator, 1918, top of p. 64

December fashions, Delineator magazine, 1918, top of p. 64. Butterick patterns 1276, 1260, 1255, and 1243.

Parts of the December 1918 issue were probably ready to print before the Armistice was announced on November 11, and the magazine contains many references to World War I.

Butterick doll clothing for a soldier, 402, and a sailor, 403. Delineator, December 1918.

Butterick doll clothing: “boy doll’s military suit,” pattern 402, and “boy doll’s sailor suit,” 403. Delineator, December 1918. This woman’s “one-piece dress” pattern was available up to size 44.

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But the “theme” of the month seems to be fringe. Here is the bottom of the same page:

Butterick patterns for women, December 1918. Two are fringed, and the gold dress is trimmed with black monkey fur. Delineator, p. 64.

Butterick patterns for women, 1283, 1294, and 1305. December 1918. Two are fringed, and the gold dress is trimmed with black monkey fur. Delineator, p. 64.

Pattern descriptions for Butterick 1283, 1294 and 1305, December 1918. Delineator.

Pattern descriptions for Butterick 1283, 1294 and 1305, December 1918. Delineator.

Fringe could be light-weight, like chenille, or made from heavier silk or cotton. I have encountered monkey fur coats in costume storage. [Eeeeeek. Just as unpleasant as having the paw fall off a vintage fox fur stole.]

More fashions with fringe appeared on page 63:

The blue dress is fringed; the other is trimmed with fur. Delineator, Dec. 1918,. p 63

The blue dress (1278) is trimmed with fringe; the other outfit (blouse 1259 and skirt 1105) is trimmed with fur and decorative buttons. Delineator, Dec. 1918, p 63. Two different muff patterns were illustrated, 1190 and 9517.

In addition to keeping your hands warm, a muff often had an interior pocket that functioned as a purse.

Two more fringed day dresses, Dec. 1918. Delineator, p 63.

Two more fringed day dresses, Dec. 1918. Delineator, p 63. Butterick 1253 and waist/blouse 1263 with skirt 9865. No. 1253 is illustrated in satin; waist 1263 is in velvet, worn over a satin skirt.

More fringe from December 1918:

Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator. Dec. 1918, page 65.

Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator. Dec. 1918, page 65. Fringe trims the center two.

Butterick patterns in Delineator, page 71, December 1918.

Fur or fringe trims these Butterick patterns in Delineator, page 71, December 1918.  Women’s dresses No. 1294, 1309, and 1285.

Butterick patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68.

Butterick patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68. The shape of the skirt is determined by the high-waisted, curve-flattening corset of the era.

Fringe hangs from the pockets of a skirt, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68.

Fringe hangs from the pockets of a skirt, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68. Butterick blouse 1306 with skirt 1226. Shirt-waist pattern 1279 with skirt of suit 1101.

In October, Butterick suggested a fringed wedding gown, pattern 1169, shown again in November in a dark, velvet version:

Left, wedding gown 1169, Butterick pattern from October 1918; right, the same pattern in velvet, worn for a formal occasion. (November, 1918.)

Left, wedding gown 1169, Butterick pattern from October 1918; right, the same pattern in velvet, worn for a formal daytime occasion. (November, 1918.)

If you weren’t ready to go wild with fringe, you could carry a subtle fringed handbag instead of a muff.

Winter coats from Butterick December 1918. The woman in the center carries a matching striped muff; the woman on the right carries a fringed handbag. Delineator, December 1918, p. 66.

Winter coats from Butterick December 1918. The woman in the center carries a striped muff (Butterick 1266) to match her coat; the woman on the right carries a fringed handbag (Butterick pattern 10720.) Delineator, December 1918, p. 66.

The coat on the right is a reminder that the “Barrel skirt” or “tonneau” was [to me, inexplicably] in fashion for a while.

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Accessory Patterns, bags, Hairstyles, handbags, Hats, Hosiery, Purses, Vintage patterns, Wedding Clothes, World War I

Sock Suspenders: Garters for Men

Ad for men's stocking garters made by Hickok, Esquire, August 1934.

Ad for men’s stocking garters made by Hickok, Esquire, August 1934.

This garter ad is from 1917:

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/1917-jan-p-30-boston-garter-for-men-ad.jpg?w=500

Knitted stockings have been around for centuries. (Queen Elizabeth I liked the silk stockings she was given as a Christmas gift in 1561.) The Bata Shoe museum has a lovely pair of embroidered stockings for a lady which date to the early 1700s. But until the invention of Lastex elastic thread, around 1931, stockings tended to fall down without a garter or suspender to hold them up. (Men’s socks with “elastic ribbed tops” were available before that, although it’s not always easy to tell if the word “elastic” means “stretchy” or “made with latex/rubber.”)

Ad for Esquire silk stockings for men, Esquire magazine, June 1934.

Ad for Esquire Hose silk stockings for men, Esquire magazine, June 1934. These pure-silk-top hose would stay up better with a garter.

Before Lastex, exasperated mothers would yell, “Pull up your socks!” — sometimes, just to get their offspring to stop whatever else they were doing.Boy's patterns, Delineator, July 1917. Two of these children have sagging socks.
When an impeccably dressed gentleman undressed, however elegant his clothing, he eventually revealed his stocking garters. I’ve rarely seen a full illustration of a man wearing underwear, socks, and garters — perhaps because the result is faintly comical.

Men's underwear in an ad for Celanese, a plant-based synthetic fiber. 1934.

Men’s underwear in an ad for Celanese, a plant-based synthetic fiber. 1934.

I was surprised that men’s garters came in a riot of colors.

Men's stocking garters. Detail of Esquire illustration, March 1934.

Men’s stocking garters. Detail of Esquire illustration, March 1934.

Stocking garters for the college man. Esquire, March 1934.

Stocking garters for the college man. Esquire, March 1934. Illustration by Hurd.

Esquire, March 1934.

Esquire, March 1934. [Ripley’s Believe It or Not was a popular newspaper feature.]

A glimpse of stocking was a good thing, but a glimpse of hairy shins was not.

Socks were always on display when a man crossed his legs. Esquire, July 1934. Illustration by L. Fellows.

Socks were always on display when a man crossed his legs. Esquire, July 1934. Illustration by L. Fellows.

The well-dressed businessman wore sock garters to keep his socks from falling down around his ankles, or revealing skin when he sat with his legs crossed.

Distinguished suits for men, February 1934. Accessories include stocking garters, a pocket square, and men's jewelry. Esquire magazine illustration by Oxner.

Distinguished suits for men, February 1934. Accessories include stocking garters, a pocket square, a cuff link,  and a gold collar pin. Esquire magazine illustration by Oxner.

Some stocking garters had one fastener, in center front, but others had a garter on either side of the shin.

Men's sock garters from Sears catalog, circa 1930.

Men’s sock garters from Sears catalog, circa 1930. “Come in the color combinations men prefer.” “Neatly boxed,” because garters were a useful gift.

Ad for Paris Men's Garters. This ad appeared in the January issue, which was on news stands in time for Christmas shopping. Esquire, Jan. 1934

Ad for Paris Men’s Garters. This ad appeared in the January issue, which was on news stands in time for Christmas shopping. Esquire, Jan. 1934.

Judging from the men’s magazines and pin-up illustrations of my teen years, many men enjoy looking at a woman who is wearing a garter belt and stockings. I personally can’t imagine getting a similar erotic charge from the sight of a man wearing stocking garters — even in brilliant blue:

Hickok garters, 1934 ad. Esquire.

Hickok garters, 1934 ad. Esquire.

Fortunately for costumers, you can still buy sock garters — there are plenty listed on Amazon.

 

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Hosiery, Men's Haberdashery & Accessories, Menswear, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Underthings

Composé Dresses with Color Gradation, circa 1927

Graded colors in an ad for McCallum service hosiery, April 1927, Delineator. Notice the graded colors in the leaves (green), the flower (violet) and the dress (rusty-reds.)

Graded colors in a stylized ad for McCallum service hosiery, April 1927, Delineator. Notice the graded colors in the leaves (from dark olive to light olive to pale gray-green or white), the flower (from white to lavender to violet) and the dress (three degrees of rusty-reds.) [Yes, this is an ad for stockings to wear while gardening!]

I love the geometric flavor of 1920’s dresses, and this group of Butterick pattern illustrations is a sampling of late nineteen-twenties’ styles that combine geometry with graded colors. Dresses of two or more colors were called “composé” with an accent mark on the “e” [kom-poh-zay.]

Butterick patterns from Delineator, March 1927.

Butterick patterns from Delineator, March 1927.

Although most of the illustrations are in black, gray, and white, try to imagine these dresses in colors:   a dark, a middle, and a light version of the same hue, e.g,  espresso brown + coffee with cream + cafe au lait; or deep blue-green + teal, + pale aqua,  etc.

Women were encouraged to think of “blue, from baby to navy, with the many off shades which steal a tinge from the Mediterranean sky, the changing ocean or the twilight tints. These easily merge into orchid, with its overtones of lavender, mauve, and purple.  Sports clothes are often flushed with rose, including every possible variation from flesh to wine, rosy beige to rust, pale cyclamen to dahlia red. Another important color range is based on yellow and brown. And white, always, only more so, alone, with black, or linked to some more lively shade.” — “The French Riviera Mode,” in Delineator, Feb. 1927, pg. 14.

Butterick pattern 6612, Feb. 1926, Delineator.

Butterick pattern 6612, Feb. 1926, Delineator. A range of blues in one dress, from midnight blue to twilight.

Many of these composé dress patterns were in the March 1927 issue of Delineator. They show a nice range of skirt designs, with single or double pleats for movement placed differently in each pattern. The device we call a “kick pleat” in back was not used.

Butterick patterns 1282 and 1298, Delineator, Feb. 1927. Pg. 23.

Butterick patterns 1282, a three-toned dress,  and 1298, Delineator, Feb. 1927. Pg. 23. The two-color suit dress would count as compose.

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Butterick 1238 and 1280. February 1927, Delineator pg. 25.

Butterick 1238 and 1280. February 1927, Delineator, pg. 25. The graded sleeves match the skirt flounces.

1280-text-1927-feb-p-24-1278-1253-and-text-1238-1280-1268-1276

Butterick 1309 and 1325, March 1927, Delineator.

Butterick patterns 1309 and 1325, March 1927, Delineator. Try to imagine colors, rather than grays. This compose dress combines traditional feminine touches like ruching and a sheer jabot with a square neckline and horizontal color blocks.

1325-text1927-mar-p-24-graded-1309-1325-top

Butterick 1329 and 1317, March 1927, pg. 25. Delineator.

Butterick 1329 and 1317, March 1927, pg. 25. Delineator. No. 1329 has repetitive, geometric art deco or style moderne shapes,echoed  in the cuffs.

1329-text-1927-mar-p-25-straight-fashions-1329-1317-btm

I don’t know who the “famous Paris couturier was,” but the Delineator showed that several designers got on the graded color bandwagon:

A dress by Jane Regny, illustrated in Delineator, April 1928. pg. 37.

A Paris design by Jane Regny, illustrated in Delineator, April 1928, pg. 37.

This Paris dress by Premet used a range or related shades of coral -- and the fur was dyed coral, too. Delineator, November 1927, pg. 21.

This designer dress by Premet used a range of related shades of reds from “deep strawberry, rose, coral, and pale pink” on pink crepe — and the fox fur was dyed pink, too. Delineator, November 1927, pg. 21.

Sometimes the graded colors were used more subtly, or as accents, as in this elegant two-piece sports dress by Lucien Lelong:

The dress is trimmed with graded bands of blue -- and there may be flashes of color in the pleats of the skirt, too. Restort wear by designer Lucien Lelong, illustrated in Delineator, January 1928, pg. 32.

The dress is trimmed with graded bands of blue — and there may be flashes of color inside the pleats of the skirt, too. Resort wear by designer Lucien Lelong, illustrated in Delineator, January 1928, pg. 32. It’s hard to tell whether the dress itself was white or very pale blue.

This dress is not, strictly, composé, since the colors are only trim.

This Butterick dress uses three colors, but they may not be three values of the same hue. Pattern 1761, December 1927, Delineator.

This Butterick dress uses three colors, but they may not be three values of the same hue. Pattern 1761, December 1927, Delineator. It could be white with two shades of green, or with jade green and black, or two shades of blue, or red, white and blue…. Quite a jaunty design — just right for Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby.

test-1761-1927-dec-p-28-town-country-ensemble-1761-1757-coat-1771-r-top-1802-btm-r-1753-page

Although not really color blocked, this dress uses three shades, with red-brown as the darkest, fading through rosewood to a muted coral.

color-img_2040-from-2016-03-29-lexar

However, it doesn’t have the dynamic repetition of shapes seen in these two composé dresses from Butterick:

Butterick patterns from March 1927; both dresses are suitable for tens, but the dress on the right is also offered in women's sizes.

Butterick patterns from March 1927; both dresses are recommended for teens, but the dress on the right is also offered in women’s sizes 38 to 44 inches. I found them on the same page. (Is No. 1308 really in bleu, blanc et rouge, like the French flag? It looks more subtle.)

text-1927-mar-p-27-girls-teens-graded-1321-scallopedtext-500-1927-mar-p-27-girls-teens-graded-1308

They may have graded colors in common, but what a difference in styles!

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Filed under 1920s, Hosiery, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Sportswear, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns

Caught in the Twenties

Cover of Delineator magazine, September 1928. Illustration by Helen Dryden.

Cover of Delineator magazine, September 1928. Illustration by Helen Dryden.

Caught isn’t the right word; “enraptured” might be more accurate. I finally have a chance to visit bound volumes from the mid-nineteen twenties and photograph them, and I wish I could post everything I find. By 1928, Delineator magazine is filled with the styles we think of as “the twenties.”

Butterick patterns for January 1928. Delineator, p. 33.

Butterick patterns for January 1928. Delineator, p. 33. Composite from original illustration. I’ll return to these patterns in a later post. Love that coat!

There’s a strong Art Deco influence in the geometry of day dresses, and there’s drama, beading, and a flutter of chiffon in the evening.

A beaded gown from Paquin, Frbruary 1928, and a jewel studded gown from Lanvin, March 1928. Delineator magazine.

A gown from Paquin, February 1928, and a jewel-studded evening gown from Lanvin, March 1928. Delineator magazine.

For a knock-out evening coat by Lanvin, circa 1927, click here.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a sixties’ girl that the proportions of 1928 look “right” to me.  Not that I would ever want to wear a straight-torso-with-hip-belt dress, but the knee-length skirt balances them better than the skirt lengths of 1925 or 1926.

Print fabrics, Butterick patterns; Delineator, August 1928.

Print fabrics, Butterick patterns; Delineator, August 1928.

With my library time machine, I’m currently “visiting” 1926, 1927 and 1928.  I try to bounce around from decade to decade in this blog, but getting out of the late Twenties is going to be hard.

Joyful geometry: Butterick patterns in Delineator, February 1928.

Joyful geometry: Butterick patterns in Delineator, February 1928. I love the way the angle of the trim on the bodice is echoed by the angle of the pleated skirt panel. Interesting that the button is located at the natural waist….

I’ve already written about the fashion shift of the mid-twenties (click here.) Just to review, fashions for young women (15 to 20) were slightly shorter than those for mature women in 1925 and 1926.

Patterns for adult women, Delineator, December 1925.

Patterns for adult women, Delineator, December 1925.

Patterns for girls 15 to 20, and small women. Delineator, December 1925.

Patterns for girls 15 to 20, and small women. Delineator, December 1925.

Left, teens 15 to 20; right, adult women. composite based on Delineator, December 1925.

Left, teens 15 to 20; right, adult women. Composite based on Delineator ilustrations, December 1925.

Because teens and adults were drawn differently, it’s hard to get an exact comparison, but the hems on the adult women seem to be a couple of inches farther below the knee. When I compare the two dresses in the center, the orange one on the right looks dowdy to my modern eyes. All four figures are drawn with impossibly long torsos.

Here are some Butterick fashions from 1926:

Pictured are two little girls, and four girls aged "8 to 15 years." Their dresses are quite short, but look like young adult fashions of a couple years later. Delineator, February 1926.

Pictured are two little girls, and four girls aged “8 to 15 years.” Their dresses are quite short, but look like young adult fashions of a year later. Delineator, February 1926.

The proportions on these knee length skirts look “right” to me, but they are not dresses for young women; they are for girls under 15. I especially like that plum colored outfit on the far left.

Two adult women and two girls 8 to 16 years. Delineator, February 1926.

Two adult women flanked by two girls aged 8 to 16 years. Delineator, February 1926.

These are Butterick patterns from 1927:

Women's fashions with straight silhouettes. Butterick 1329 and 1317, Delineator, March 1927.

Women’s fashions with straight silhouettes. Butterick Nos. 1329 and 1317, Delineator, March 1927. I love the use of graded values of the same color, and those repeated geometric, Art Deco jogs on the dress at left — with matching cuffs. Skirts end just below the kneecap.

These couture designs for evening, 1927, use metallic fabrics and beading, and look quintessentially “Twenties.” It would be hard to mistake the dress on the left for any other era.

Left, a fringed and beaded evening gown by Paquin; right a straight metallic dress with ruffles, by Jeanne Carette. Delineator, January 1927, p. 16.

Left, a salmon pink-and-silver fringed and beaded evening gown by Paquin; right, a straight gold metallic cloth dress with finely pleated ruffles, by Yvonne Carette. Delineator, January 1927, p. 16.

Two evening dresses by Chanel. Left, a metallic brocade; right, a dress completely covered with black beads. Delineator, January 1927.

Two evening dresses by Chanel. Left, “deep orange” lace; right, a dress completely covered with black beads. Delineator, January 1927.

1927 jan p 16 designer Chane ltext black beaded J Desvignes illus

Detail of paillette beading on black Chanel dress; Delineator, January 1927.

Detail of paillette beading on black Chanel dress; Delineator, January 1927.  Apparently the beads change direction, giving a checkerboard effect.

If you love the Twenties, it’s hard not to think, “Now, we’re getting somewhere!”

The Metropolitan Museum has a beaded dress from 1926 attributed to Chanel; click here — and don’t forget to click on “Additional Images” for a a close-up of the beading and spangles.

A few images from 1928:

Two women's dresses from October 1928. Butterick 2243 and 2267.

Two women’s dresses from October 1928. Butterick patterns 2243 and 2267. Note the zigzag formed by the skirt panels at right. It’s hard to see, but the band on the left dress is two colors, or two shades of the same color.

This young lady appeared in an ad for Fleischmann’s yeast, which, she said, restored her health. The fabric of her glittering dress is quite striking:

Fleischmann's Yeast ad, Delineator, May 1928.

Fleischmann’s Yeast ad, Delineator, May 1928.

Butterick patterns for women from teens to bust 44". The coat came in sizes 46 and 48, too. Delineator, November 1928. Hems area already on their way down.

Butterick patterns for misses and women (from teens to bust 44″.) The coat came in sizes 46 and 48, too. Delineator, November 1928. Hems are already on their way down.

For more about 1928 “Hems Going Down,” click here. This cartoon dates from 1929.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Hosiery, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns, vintage photographs, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Girls as Little Women (1950’s) and Women as Little Girls (1960’s)

I swore off buying vintage patterns, but a trip to the recycling center — which has drawers full — proved too tempting. I bought four. There were two McCall’s patterns for girls from the early 1960’s which caught my eye because of the charming illustration style. . .

McCall's patterns 5365 (1960) and 6384 (1962). Dresses for girls.

Early sixties’ dresses for girls. McCall’s patterns #5365 (1960) and #6384 (1962) These are dress-up dresses, perhaps for Easter or a wedding.

. . . and the way these girls’ dresses echoed the adult fashions of the late fifties and early sixties.

Cover, Butterick Fashion News, June 1956. Pattern #7745.

Cover, Butterick Fashion News, June 1956. Pattern #7745.

Buittreick Fashion News June 1956. Dress #7786.

Butterick Fashion News June 1956. Dress #7786. The cummerbund waist was very popular into the early 1960s.

Butterick Misses pattern #9260, McCall's girls' pattern 5365. Both from 1960.

Butterick Misses pattern #9260, McCall’s girls’ pattern 5365. Both from 1960.

They all have tightly fitted bodices, and the sash on the girl’s polka-dotted dress mimics the high, fitted waist on the women’s styles above and at far left.

Butterick Dress pattern 9366 (1960) and McCall's girls' pattern 6384 (1962)

Butterick Dress pattern 9366 (1960) and McCall’s girls’ pattern 6384 (1962)

Like many store-bought adult dresses with full skirts,  the girls’ dresses had stiff, built-in petticoats attached at the waist.

When I was a little girl in the 1950’s,  I wanted to be a grown-up. I didn’t enjoy being a child in a world of adults; like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, I was “too big” for some things and “too little” for others.

alice too big in hall107I was “too big” to cry, but “too little” to stay up when my parents had a party. I could hear the grown-ups laughing and talking in the next room, and, since I hardly knew any other children, those adults were my friends. I wanted to be with them. Being told to go to sleep while it was still light out seemed especially unfair. In the 1970s, I was shocked when one of my students — a boy of 14 — said he didn’t want to be an adult. He wanted the irresponsibility of childhood to last forever, like Peter Pan.
Different generations! (Or, perhaps, different childhoods….)

I bought four vintage patterns for girls, because the change in attitude between the early sixties  and the late sixties was striking to me.

Early sixties' dresses for girls. McCall's patterns 5365 (1960) and 6384 (1962).

Early sixties’ dresses for girls. McCall’s patterns 5365 (1960) and 6384 (1962).

Late sixties patterns for girls: Butterick 3908 (1966) and Simplicity 7616 (1968)

Late sixties dresses for girls sizes 7 to 14: Butterick 3908 (1966) and Simplicity 7616 (1968)

In the fifties and early sixties, it was assumed that teenaged girls aspired to become sophisticated women.

Teen dresses, Butterick Fashion News, Oct. 1954.

Teen dresses, Butterick Fashion News, Oct. 1954.

But, in the mid to late sixties, women in their twenties dressed like little girls.

Butterick 4873 and Simplicity girls' pattern 7616. Both are from 1968.

Butterick 4873 and Simplicity girls’ pattern 7616. Both are from 1968.

Simplicity for girls, pattern 7616 (1968.) Butterick women's pattern 4520 (1967.)

Simplicity for girls, pattern 7616 (1968.) Butterick women’s pattern 4520 (1967.)

Short, body-skimming dresses, exposed legs (often covered in white tights), and low-heeled shoes were all traditionally associated with childhood. So were big eyes, so we wore tons of eye makeup, false eyelashes, and very pale lipstick “to make our eyes look bigger,” moving focus away from the red lips of the fifties sophisticates. [The models in those photos are Jean Shrimpton (an iconic mid-to-late 1960’s model) and Suzy Parker (an iconic 1950’s – early 60’s model.)]

I’m especially struck by how similar these styles, for girls’ sizes 7 to 14, are to the dresses my teenaged friends and I were wearing in the mid sixties.

BUtterick patterns Quant 3288 1964 and girls 3908 1966

Butterick patterns: Mary Quant #3288 (1964) for Misses and Juniors,  and girls’ #3908 (1966)

Although illustrated here on pre-teens, Butterick #3908 was made in girls’ sizes 7 to 14.

Butterick patterns: #3908 (1966) for girls; #3526 for teens (1965.)

Butterick patterns: #3908 (1966) for girls; #3526 for teens (1965.) The caption applies to #3526.

Mixing dots and stripes, solids and patterns, and even large and small-scale plaids on clothing was inspired by the Op Art movement.

This Butterick dress (No. 3398) (click to see it) from 1965 has the high waist and color blocking of the yellow and white girl’s dress above.

This dress for teens (Butterick 3695 from 1965) shows a high waist and the playful combination of solids and stripes associated with the “Mod look” of the dress on the right, above. Click here for a Mary Quant example from www.n2journal.com. (Read more about Mary Quant by clicking here.)

I wore dresses like these to work as a teacher and in a bank in the late sixties — sometimes with opaque tights — and I was a very conservative dresser in my early twenties.

Butterick 4519, Vogue 7095 (both 1967)and Simplicity 8365, 1969.

Butterick 4519, Vogue 7095 (both 1967) and Simplicity 8365, 1969. Note the Mary Jane shoes and low heels.

The shoes that went with these sixties dresses and mini-skirts were low heeled. The “spike” heeled “stiletto shoes” of the late fifties and early sixties went with longer skirts, and were still worn by older women. I wore a pair of 3 inch spike heels heels to a dance in 1962, but not later in the decade. As I remember the late sixties,  very high heels were never worn with a very short skirt by “respectable” young women. (As if their lives were not already painful enough, the women who stood on street corners for a living usually did it in miniskirts and excruciatingly uncomfortable shoes.)

 

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Filed under 1950s-1960s, Children's Vintage styles, Cosmetics, Beauty Products, Hosiery, Hosiery & Stockings, Shoes, Vintage patterns

Nell Brinkley’s Women, 1913 to 1940

Nell Brinkley's view of a young woman getting a permanent wave, September, 1929.

Nell Brinkley’s view of a young woman getting a permanent wave, September, 1929. From The Brinkley Girls, ed. by Trina Robbins.

I had never heard of illustrator and cartoonist Nell Brinkley until a few weeks ago. However, she was the highly successful creator of many illustrated stories featuring a series of vintage beauties, from the World War I girl she called “Golden Eyes” . . .

"Golden Eyes and Her Hero BIll," No. 1, American Weekly, March 31. 1918. Illus. Nell Brinkley.

“Golden Eyes and Her Hero, Bill,” No. 1, March 31, 1918. Illustrated for American Weekly by Nell Brinkley.

. . . to a series of flappers in the 1920’s . . .

Customers waiting ina hair salon, Sept. 1929. Nell Brinkley illustration from The Brinkley Girls.

Customers waiting in a hair salon, Sept. 1929. Nell Brinkley illustration from The Brinkley Girls. “If permanents were permanent, this picture couldn’t be!”

. . . and illustrations of “real-life” heroines for newspapers in the 1930’s.

Detective Mary A. Shanley captures two armed robbers in NYC, 1937. Drawn by Nell Brinkley. From The Brinkley Girls.

Detective Mary A. Shanley captures two armed robbers in NYC, 1937. Drawn by Nell Brinkley. From The Brinkley Girls.

Brinkley’s illustrations were humorous, romantic, full of flowing lines and brilliant color. And she could draw dogs, too.

Golden Eyes, volunteering as a Red Cross Nurse, finds her wounded lover on the battlefield. January 26. 1919.

Golden Eyes, volunteering as a Red Cross Nurse, finds her wounded lover on the battlefield. January 26, 1919.

Nell Brinkley was so good at drawing flowing, wavy hair styles that she had her own line of hair curlers and wave clips.

Ad for Nell Brinkley Hair Curlers and Bob Wavers. From Nell Brinkley's Girls.

Ad for Nell Brinkley Hair Wavers and Bob Curlers. From the book The Brinkley Girls.

One of her flapper heroines, Prudence Prim, was sent to live with her aunts, who unwisely allowed her to buy a new wardrobe and charge it to them.

"Our Prudence chose a French Maison, the best and most select...." Nell Brinkley for American Weekly, Nov. 15, 1925.

“Our Prudence chose a French Maison, the best and most select….” Nell Brinkley for American Weekly, Nov. 15, 1925.

The verses accompanying the illustrations (one page told a whole story) were by Carolyn Wells.

“Our Prudence chose a French Maison, the best and most select. / Her eyes were dazzled by smart hats with plumes and flowers bedecked; / And when she saw the Paris gowns, on models fair and slim, / She forgot her name was Prudence — and she never thought of Prim!”

The story ends with Prudence modeling her new outfits for her aunties . . .

Prudence Prim shows off her new clothes, by Nell Brinkley, Nov. 1925.

Prudence Prim shows off her revealing new clothes, by Nell Brinkley, Nov. 1925. Note the change in skirt length from image 2, top right, to image 5, directly below it.

“One flew into hysterics, and one fainted dead away!”

Prudence Prim shows her aunties her new clothes; they respond ". . . with shrieks of wild dismay." Nov. 1925.

Prudence Prim’s aunties react to her new clothes; “. . . with shrieks of wild dismay.” Nov. 1925.

These illustrations are wildly stylized and not necessarily literal records of real clothes, but there is a great flavor of the period. Prudence and her successors have fabulously long legs, and Miss Prim is anything but prim in her clothing choices.

Prudence Prim at her dressing table, Dec. 6, 1925. Nell Brinkley Illustration.

Prudence Prim at her dressing table, Dec. 6, 1925. Nell Brinkley Illustration. The Brinkley Girls.

Here, wearing a dress sweetly trimmed with roses, she adds embroidered stockings.

"A rose upon her shoulder, and a corresponding rose / Embroidered on the --  well, the shin -- of both her silken hose!" Dec. 1925. Nell Brinkley and Carolyn Wells.

“A rose upon her shoulder, and a corresponding rose / Embroidered on the — well, the shin — of both her silken hose!”  Nell Brinkley and Carolyn Wells. Dec. 1925.

And who wouldn’t want to go hiking in this charming gray and black and white pleated skirt with deco knee socks?

Prudence Prim, "arrayed for mountain climbing" in a kilt, is rescued  from a fall while hiking. Nell Brinkley illustration from Nell Brinkley's Girls.

Prudence Prim, “arrayed for mountain climbing” in a “kilt” is rescued from a fall. Nell Brinkley illustration from The Brinkley Girls.

Later in the 1920’s, Prudence was replaced by Sunny Sue, whose experience at the hair salon had special meaning for me.  (To read more about this kind of permanent wave, click here.)

Sunny Sue gets a permanent wavy, Sept. 14, 1925. Nell Brinkley drawing from Nell Brinkley's Girls.

Sunny Sue gets a permanent wave, Sept. 14, 1929. Nell Brinkley drawing from The Brinkley Girls. “Sue’s fit to be tied — in fact, she’s tied for hours, and her scalp is frilled and fried.”

This is what a hair dryer looked like according to Brinkley:

Under the hair dryer, Sept. 1925. Illust. by Nell Brinkley.

Under the hair dryer, Sept. 1929. Illust. by Nell Brinkley.

“I hope the permanent will live as long, at any rate, / As it took to make it.” There! That’s all — and say it does look great!”

There are at least two books on Nell Brinkley’s work available now.

The Brinkley Girls:  Nell Brinkley’s Cartoons from 1913 to 1940, edited by Trina Robbins, which was my source for all these photos, measures 13 1/4″ by 9 3/4″ and is packed with full color reproductions of Brinkley’s work. Her heroines were not just flappers — some of them travel to exotic times and places. This book ought to be on many people’s wish lists — it’s not cheap, but well-produced. (One caution: because all these illustrations were originally done for newspapers, when they are reduced to fit on the pages of a book, even a big book like this, the print is very tiny. If you give it as a gift, a “magnifying glass” bookmark would be a nice addition.) To read an informative review, click here.  For price information, click here or here.

The other book about Nell Brinkley, also by cartoon historian Trina Robbins,  is called Nell Brinkley and the New Woman in the Early Twentieth Century.  You can see more of Brinkley’s work online at Nell Brinkley Digital Album (click here.) Don’t forget to visit the “Gallery.” Or just search for “Nell Brinkley images.”

You can read more about Nell Brinkley’s life and achievements at the Women in Comics site: click here.

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Hairstyles, Hosiery, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture