Tag Archives: 1920s shoes

The Power of Golf in Advertisements, 1924

“What Makes a Sportswoman?” Article Illustration, Delineator, May 1924.

“What Makes a Sportswoman?” Article Illustration, Delineator, May 1924.

Advertisers still try to link their products with a desirable life-style, preferably a few rungs higher on the economic ladder than their target audience. In 1924, golf was the sport that meant “middle to upper-middle class.” (The association of golf courses with country clubs and gated communities is still strong.) All of these illustrations appeared in Delineator magazine in 1924. In the September issue alone, golf was used to sell:

Deodorant

An ad for Ab-Scent Deodorant, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

An ad for Ab-Scent Deodorant, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

Carpet Sweepers

An Ad for Bissell Carpet Sweepers, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

An Ad for Bissell Carpet Sweepers, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

Sewing Patterns

Illustration of Butterick Patterns for Girls, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

Illustration of Butterick Patterns for Girls, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

And Shoes.

Ad for Selby Arch Preserver Shoes, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

Ad for Selby Arch Preserver Shoes, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

In August, golf was used to sell:

Lux Laundry Soap

Advertisement about washing sweaters and knits with Lux Soap, Delineator, August 1924.

Advertisement about washing sweaters and knits with Lux Soap, Delineator, August 1924.

And Gossard Corsets

Ad for Gossard Gossard Corsets, Combinations, and Brassieres , Delineator, August 1924.

Ad for Gossard Gossard Corsets, Combinations, and Brassieres , Delineator, August 1924.

In June, the Butterick Pattern Company suggested that a golfing outfit should be part of your trousseau:

From a page of suggested patterns to make for your trousseau and honeymoon, Delineator, June 1924

From a page of suggested patterns to make for your trousseau and honeymoon, Delineator, June 1924

and that girls aged 8 to 15 were also likely to be playing golf.

Butterick patterns for girls aged 8 to 15, Delineator, June 1924.

Butterick patterns for girls aged 8 to 15, Delineator, June 1924.

A Closer Look at Some of These Ads

The ad for Ab-Scent deodorant is actually aimed at men, but different “embarrassment” stories appeared in their other ads. In August, this unhappy young woman was “shunned” at the tennis club.

Ab-Scent deodorant ad, August 1924.

Ab-Scent deodorant ad, August 1924. Notice the snob appeal; “The most select men and women….”

Both ads are interesting because they give us a view of typical sports clothes, including shoes.

From an Ab-Scent deodorant ad, September 1924.

From an Ab-Scent deodorant ad, September 1924. Note his cufflinks and bow tie.

It’s a relief to see that at least one of the women golfers is wearing very flat-heeled shoes; imagine playing golf or lawn tennis with your heels sinking into the grass.

Ad for Selby Arch Preserver Shoes, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

Ad for Selby Arch Preserver Shoes, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

This illustration comes from a full-page advertisement that told a rather lengthy story about woman who had jeopardized her husband’s career by playing golf in uncomfortable shoes.

Before her marriage, she was a champion golfer (always wearing Arch Preserver shoes), but she had stopped playing while her children were young.  Her husband comes home one day and says, “What do you think, little wife, the boss came in today and asked if I played golf….  Then he asked whether you played. I told him plenty about your playing. I told him –” The result was that the boss invited the young couple to play golf with him and his wife. The young wife “started out dashingly, driving a full two hundred yards from the first tee….” But she eventually felt so much pain in her feet that she had to  “hobble over the last few holes. She paid dearly for her ‘bargain’ shoes…. ‘I can’t help but worry,’ she tells her husband. ‘That game meant so much to you in business…. I know you’ll hate me, but I did the silliest thing. I thought I’d save some money by buying shoes at a sale.’ ” A few weeks later they played another game with her husband’s employer and his wife, who says, “Why, what in the world has happened to you? I never saw such a difference in anyone’s playing!” After the ‘little wife’ gives her a whole paragraph explaining the benefits of her new Arch Preserver Shoes, the boss’s wife says, “Do you know, that’s the very kind of shoe I’m wearing”– neatly reinforcing the class aspect of the product.

To my surprise, these are the shoes illustrated in this advertisement:

Selby Arch Preserver Shoes featured with the article about wearing them for golf. Sept. 1924.

Selby Arch Preserver Shoes featured with the article about wearing them for golf. Sept. 1924.

The boss’s wife, seated in the illustration, seems to be wearing either the lace-up shoe No. 678 or the flat oxford shown at the bottom. But the ‘little wife’ is wearing very fashionable Arch Preserver shoes with a broad strap.1924 sept p 37 golf arch preserver shoe shoes only

Sweeping Your Carpet while Dressed for Golf

An Ad for Bissell Carpet Sweepers, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

An Ad for Bissell Carpet Sweepers, Delineator, Sept. 1924.

I don’t for a moment suppose that any women did their housework dressed like this, hat and all. [We had a Bissell carpet sweeper like this one when I was a child. It wasn’t electric; as you pushed it, the round bristles swept the dirt into a trap in the machine, avoiding the need for a dustpan.]

The text of the ad doesn’t mention golf at all.  The idea is that you will save so much time with the Bissell sweeper that you’ll be able to play golf all afternoon instead of cleaning. And the sweeper is good for picking up last-minute spills, so you can grab your clubs and head for the country club.

I do like her striped sweater and the checker board band on her hat. She seems to be wearing a pleated skirt like the women golfers in this Ab-Scent ad.1924 sept deodorant Ab-scent ad golf pleated skirtsOnly the sportswoman pictured in the illustration at the top of this post is wearing golf knickers.  It is an illustration for an article, not an ad. Advertisers would avoid any clothing that might be considered controversial, such as a woman wearing ‘men’s’ clothing. The woman golfer in this Gossard corset ad is also wearing a pleated, buttoned skirt with her striped sweater:

Ad for Gossard Gossard Corsets, Combinations, and Brassieres , Delineator, August 1924.

Ad for Gossard Gossard Corsets, Combinations, and Brassieres, Delineator, August 1924.

This 1924 ad is really ahead of its time. The model has a well-defined, natural waist [!] accentuated by a belt, and an equally natural bust, styles which were not widely adopted until the end of the decade. By 1926, some women were beginning to replace breast-flattening bandeaux and brassieres with bras that had a gathered center front, acknowledging, for the first time in years, that women naturally have two breasts, not a mono-bosom. The name “Maiden Form” — as opposed to Boyshform, makers of the Boyshform binder — was registered as a trademark in 1924, the date of this ad, but bras that separated and lifted the bust first appeared in advertisements a couple of years later. (See Uplift: The Bra in America, p. 41) I do wish this 1924 ad from Gossard had shown the underwear this young lady was wearing!

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Bras, Corsets & Corselettes, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Sportswear

Shoes and Age

I wrote such a long post about shoes from the Spring of 1936 that today I’m just going to share a great quotation from Leah Garchik and some color pictures from an Art Deco shoe ad dated 1929.

From an advertisement for Arch Preserver Shoes:

Arch Preserver Shoe Ad, 1929.

Arch Preserver Shoe Ad, 1929. Note the stockings colored to match the dress.

The caption: 1929 june arch preserver shoe  leave foot aches at home

The quotation:

“According to the Table of Shoe Hotness, any brand that promises comfort will add 10 years to one’s WEA (Wearer’s Estimated Age.)” – Columnist Leah Garchik, writing in the Style section of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Some Arch Preserver Shoes from 1929

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929: ROMANY -- Sunburned beige with decorative strap underlay of brown pearlized kid.

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929: ROMANY — Sunburned beige with decorative strap underlay of brown perlustre kid.

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929:  JANZIA -- An afternoon model in Lido Sand kid, accented with perlustre kid strap in stone color and brown piping.

Arch Preserver Shoe, 1929: JANZIA — An afternoon model in Lido sand kid, accented with perlustre kid strap in stone color and brown piping.

I wouldn’t mind wearing either of them – except that I had to move on to prescription, flat shoes with rigid orthotics in them years ago. My WEA – and my actual age — are now both too high to lie about! The travel-themed designs (a navy blue print fabric?) behind the shoes is very jazz-age.1929 june arch preserver shoe ad logo 10 to 15 prices small

 

 

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Flappers, Galoshes, and Zippers in the 1920s

Galoshes, 1922, from Everyday Fashions of the 1920s by Stella Blum

Galoshes, 1922, from Everyday Fashions of the 1920s by Stella Blum

There is a widespread belief that the term “flapper” was first applied to young women in the 1920s because of a fad among college girls for wearing their rubber galoshes unfastened (right).

By the late 1920s, two rubber companies were competing for the women’s waterproof boot market, with attractive, tight-fitting fashion boots and shoe covers.

Ad fo Gaytees overshoes, December 1928, Delineator

Ad for Gaytees overshoes, December 1928, Delineator

United States Rubber Company’s Gaytees Overshoes

Gaytees were made by the United States Rubber Company, and came in a range of styles including waterproofed fabric and even simulated reptile.

Gaytees Overshoes Ad, December 1928, Delineator

Gaytees Overshoes Ad, December 1928, Delineator

Gaytees advertised that their rainboots for 1929 had six new features:

New styles! Cross straps, turn-down cuffs, a new pointed back style.

New colors! The new rosy browns and tans; the tannish grays; black.

New Fabrics! Wools, Rayon-and-wool mixtures. All-rubber.

New lasts that fit the new Fall shoes! New heels – four different heights.

Lighter weight in every pair – yet full protection.

Fast color linings!

Gaytees Ad, November 1928, Delineator

Gaytees Ad, November 1928, Delineator

These are “Tailored Overshoes” because they are worn over your normal shoes. “See the style show of 1929 Gaytees at your own shoe store. Then, when you buy your Fall shoes, ask to have them fitted with the Gaytees that match your new Fall costume.”

Gaytees Ad, December 1928, Delineator

Gaytees Ad, December 1928, Delineator

The text next to Gaytees worn with a chiffon evening gown (right) says, “Fast color linings. Gaytees won’t rub off on the sheerest evening stockings or the lightest colored evening slippers. And the pointed back adds slimness as well as extra spatter protection….

“Your shoeman will be glad to show you the 1929 Gaytees. Let him fit a pair on your slim ankles. See how snugly they hug the new shoe styles; how well they harmonize with your Winter costumes.” Prices “from $2.50 to $6.” Gaytees usually fastened with snap fasteners, but even when they closed with a ‘slide fastener,’ the ads couldn’t call it a ‘zipper’ because of . . . .

B.F. Goodrich Company’s Zippers

B.F. Goodrich Zipper Ad, July 1928

B.F. Goodrich Zipper Ad, July 1928

In 1921, the B.F. Goodrich Company had quietly begun experimenting with rubber boots that closed with slide fasteners from the Hookless Fastener Company. There were problems to overcome, but by 1922 Goodrich had launched their “Mystik Boots,” which closed with Hookless slide fasteners instead of snaps or buckles. They were such an immediate success that B.F. Goodrich Company asked Hookless for exclusive rights to use their fasteners. In 1923, the Mystik Boot was renamed, to draw attention to the ease with which they were put on and taken off.

“What we need is an action word,” said company president Bertram G. Work, “something that will dramatize the way the thing zips.” He quickly added, “Why not call it the zipper?” – from The Evolution of Useful Things, by Henry Petroski, p. 111.

B.F. Goodrich Zipper Ad, July 1928

B.F. Goodrich Zipper Ad, July 1928

Goodrich trademarked the word ‘Zipper.’ At first, “Zipper” referred to a brand of overshoe, not to the gizmo that opened and closed it.

B.F. Goodrich Zipper Ad, December 1928, Delineator

B.F. Goodrich Zipper Ad, December 1928, Delineator

The text at left says, “But remember, all overshoes that close with a sliding fastener are not genuine Goodrich Zippers. Look for and find the name Goodrich on the shoe . . . only in this way can you be sure of authentic Goodrich style with the famous Hookless Fastener which cannot rust, stick, loosen or cause trouble. . . . Over fifty thousand stores are now ready to show you the correct new colors of genuine Zippers. . . in either snap or Zipper fastener.” The Goodrich ad doesn’t mention prices, and it’s not in color. Presumably, Gaytees had to try harder.

A New Word Enters the Language: Zipper

Goodrich sold half a million ‘Zippers’ in 1923 and bought a million Hookless Slide Fasteners every year after that until 1927. By the late 1920s, the novelty was wearing off (and three to four million women already had Zippers in their closets, not counting the women who bought Gaytees instead!)

The word ‘Zipper’ may have belonged to the B.F. Goodrich Company, but in common usage, Americans were calling any slide fastener a ‘zipper.’ The Hookless Fastener Company adopted an eagle’s talon as its company trademark in 1928, and changed the company’s name to Talon a decade later (Source: Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty, by Robert Freidel, page 169.)

Talon Zipper Advertisement from Delineator, March 1929

Talon Zipper Advertisement from Delineator, March 1929

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Shoes from Paris, 1928, Part 2: Netch et Bernard (and Vionnet)

Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, Delineator, Oct. 1928

Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, Delineator, Oct. 1928

Netch and Bernard (and Madeleine Vionnet) Part 2:  

In a previous post about Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, from Delineator magazine,  October, 1928, I described the shoes by Ducerf Scavini pictured on the left hand page.  This post is about the right hand page, with shoes by Netch et Bernard.  [Vionnet married Netch (Captain Dimitri Netchvolodoff) in 1923.]  Netch et Frater shoes can be seen in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, but I haven’t found any references online to Netch et Bernard.  The Delineator article was written by Marie Beynon Ray.  Her chief point was that “Many American manufacturers still continue to copy the most bizarre and striking of the French designs, and to cheapen and debase the finer ones,” resulting in a “popular misconception of French chic.”

The French Revolution in Shoes

“Ten – a dozen years ago – a shoe was merely a utility, a high boot, buttoned and laced, in brown or black leather, sturdily made to do the heaviest service of any article in the entire wardrobe…. Then came the French revolution in shoes – daytime shoes cut like evening slippers, made of the lightest and most perishable of leathers, and frankly proclaiming themelves articles of luxury…. American manufacturers, missing the spirit of French innovation, seized upon its most superficial characteristics, and produced abortions and eccentricities. The most startling and bizarre styles of the third-rate Parisian bottiers who cater to American gullibility were generally selected as models by manufacturers instead of the restrained and elegant but far less noticeable designs of the master craftsmen; and America was swept by a tidal wave of bad taste in footwear. These snub-nosed, be-ribboned, and be-jazzed atrocities were made and sold by the millions in America….”

The Truly Smart Frenchwoman’s Shoes

The truly smart Frenchwoman’s shoes are designed “to finish the foot inconspicuously and in perfect harmony with the costume…. Her preferred footgear for evening is a plain beige satin slipper or one matching the color of her gown or her other accessories….1928 oct paris shoes article p 118 rt big Netch et Bernard Netch et Bernard’s model, labeled Q on these pages, may appear a bit unusual, … as far as any really smart Frenchwoman will ever go on the road to eccentricity; and when you consider that this evening slipper can be made inconspicuously in flesh colored crêpe de Chine, piped with flesh colored kid, to be worn with matching stockings… you will admit that there is nothing bizarre about it.”

Ten Netch et Bernard Shoes, Fall of 1928

There are several pairs of shoes in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection signed Netch and Frater, and dated to the 1930s,  but I haven’t found any references to Netch et Bernard. Perhaps the company reorganized between 1928 and 1930, or perhaps Delineator Magazine was in error.  Shoes Q and S, which the article decribes as “a bit unusual,” must have been influential, since they appear to be the ancestors of many shoes familiar to vintage dealers.  The Met’s collection reminds us of the glorious colors possible.Netch et Bernard K to N

K. Saddle strap shoe. This is dark brown with darker saddle of unborn calf.

L. One-strap shoe for daytime. Beige and brown kid with woven beading.

M. High-cut pump, brilliant and dull in black patent kid and antelope.

N. Evening pump. Rose-beige satin and gold kid – cut out in ladder design.Netch et Bernard O  to P

O. High-cut slipper of two smart leathers, black patent kid and black lizard.

P. Pump with triangles of gold and silver kid on black patent leather.Netch et Bernard Q to T

Q. Sandal of vermillion crêpe de Chine with bands of silver kid for trimming.

R. Mule of gilded wood. The straps are silver kid encrusted with gold triangles.

S. Evening sandal. A simplified model in flesh crêpe and colored kid.

T. Laughing mask mule. Soft bright blue kid with gold piping and lining. [Viewed from the front, this mule would bear the mask of comedy! In profile, it shows one eye and half of the smiling mouth.]

Netch et Bernard: The Vionnet Connection

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

“One model, lettered Q and S…may appear… not ornate, but a bit unusual…. Doubtless the design was inspired by the beautiful triangular and V shaped motifs which Madame Vionnet uses so ubiquitously, for the Netch of Netch et Bernard is Madame Vionnet’s husband, and his shoes, shown in conjunction with Vionnet’s dresses, are frequently inspired by her designs…. In many of the models, a touch that is purely classical or geometrical indicates the intention of this bottier to harmonize his shoes with the costumes designed by Vionnet, a feature of which the chic woman may well take advantage.” Although Netch is not often mentioned in connection with Vionnet, Betty Kirke’s Madeleine Vionnet, an extraordinary book, confirms that Netch and Vionnet were married in 1923, and that, “after they married, he supplied the shoes for her salon.” (p. 135)  They separated in the 1930s and were divorced in 1943.  Monsieur Bernard remains a mystery to me.  Here is the relevant text, from Delineator Magazine, October, 1928, page 129:1928 oct paris shoes contd small

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An Art Deco Fringed Dress, November 1926

nov 1926 butterick  ad pattern #1090In this illustration by Jean Desvignes for The Delineator, Butterick pattern #1090 is a classic of Style Moderne, the repeated curves of the lines of fringe accented by the repeated triangles in the model’s jewelry – and in the shape of her fingers, her stockings, and the elongated triangle formed by her legs. Even her shingled hair, worn smooth over the crown, curves to expose her earlobes and dangling earrings; the curves of the stylized 1920s rose in her hand and the curves and angles of the constructivist sculpture on the table echo the fringe.

The Chrysler Building's Curves and Tringles

The Chrysler Building’s Curves and Tringles

The tout ensemble reminds me of the Chrysler Building.

Here are some closer views of her Art Deco bracelets and the necklace cascading down her back (very 1920s!) details of  jewelry, heels, fringe

Desvignes has given her a jeweled belt to echo her rhinestone-studded high heels – perhaps it was woven, like a necklace, of black and silver beads – or it may be artistic license, since it ties like a ribbon. It was possible to buy jeweled heels like this  and have them put on your shoes.  Here’s a closer view of the curves of her dress: 1926 fringed dress detail butterick #1090 ad

Another View of the Same Pattern (#1090)

1926 dec #1090 version 2 front p 46 alt croppedDevignes’ illustration was part of an advertisement for Butterick patterns, so it’s interesting to compare his version with this conventional pattern illustration, which appeared elsewhere in the same issue of this Delineator magazine.

“# 1090: Pale dawn-blue georgette spattered with crystal stars is intended for the night life that begins one day and ends the next. The uneven line of the tiers and the backward flutter from the shoulder are extremely chic. The frock is in one piece and may be trimmed with tiers of fringe and made with a higher neck and a sleeve for afternoon. [The version with sleeves was probably illustrated on the pattern envelope.] The design is beaded with sequins. [Butterick embroidery pattern #10422] Designed for women 32 to 44 bust.”

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