Tag Archives: 1920s

1920s Orange and Black: Not Just for Halloween

It isn’t news that certain colors — and color combinations — go in and out of fashion. But the combination of orange and black is now so strongly linked to Halloween that it’s a surprise to find it on dresses for spring in the mid-1920s.

Dresses for women aged 14 to 20, February 1925. Butterick pattern illustrations from Delineator.

Dresses for women aged 14 to 20, February 1925. Butterick pattern illustrations from Delineator magazine.

These young women are enjoying a box of Valentine’s Day candy. Early twentieth century color printing was not based on the CMYK [Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black] inks we use today, so illustrations from the twenties often have an autumnal quality compared to the bright colors we are used to. Nevertheless, the red valentine hearts show that the dress on the right, above, is definitely orange, with black trim. The same color combination was suggested for older women, too:

Fashions from Delineator, April, 1924. Butterick pattern illustrations.

Fashions from Delineator, April, 1924. Butterick pattern illustrations.

Orange was also worn with dark blue in 1924 and 1925, but the woman on the left is wearing [burnt?] orange and black in this April pattern illustration.

This lovely illustration for a Holeproof Hosiery advertisement, by McClelland Barclay, appeared in May, 1925:

Holeproof Hosiery ad, illustration by McClelland Barclay, May 1925 Delineator.

Holeproof Hosiery ad, illustration by McClelland Barclay, May 1925 Delineator.

The dress on the right may be trimmed with dark brown, matching the dress on the left, but this is another suggestion that orange is an appropriate color for May. Note the orange-y stockings on the right. Both women wear almost-opaque silk stockings.

Left, April 1925; right, June 1925. Butterick pattern illustrations from Delineator.

Left, April 1925; right, June 1925. Butterick pattern illustrations from Delineator.

The dress on the left looks more coral (or cadmium red) than orange, but the sporty dress on the right is unquestionably orange and black. (There’s also a glimpse of an orange, black & white plaid dress behind the woman at left.) The orange striped dress is from a June issue, and orange and white is still a summer combination. But we’re more used to seeing orange combined with other bright colors, like yellow or lime or watermelon pink — not alone with black.

This lady is decorating her kitchen (with Valspar paint) while wearing a black and orange top, with a coordinating black and orange trimmed apron:

Valspar paint ad, 1925. Delineator magazine.

Valspar paint ad, 1925. Delineator magazine.

These girls are wearing back-to-school clothes, so it is autumn; the little girl is dressed in orange and white plaid, with black trim:

Back to school clothes, 1925. Delineator.

Back to school clothes, 1925. Delineator.

[Digression: The Chanel-influenced outfit on the left is knee-length on a schoolgirl in 1925; adult women would be wearing this length within two years.]

This is another illustration by McClelland Barclay for Holeproof Hosiery.

Holeproof Hosiery Ad, October 1925 Delineator. Illustrator is McClelland Barclay.

Holeproof Hosiery Ad, October 1925 Delineator. Illustrator is McClelland Barclay.

The caption read “First — Artistry in Silk, then the vividness of Paris Colors.” Her satin bodice may be navy, rather than black, but the combination — not to mention her orange silk stockings — is not one we’re used to seeing today, except around October 31.  A little less jarring – because the orange is not combined with black — is this suggestion for an October wedding, from 1924:

Bride, Maid of Honor, and Bridesmaids. Butterick Pattern illustration from Delineator magazine, October 1924.

Bride, Maid of Honor, and Bridesmaids. Butterick Pattern illustration from Delineator magazine, October 1924.

I notice that most of the wedding party are rosy-cheeked brunettes. Presumably the bride chose colors she was used to wearing. [ P.S. This is one of those illustrations that always made me ask, “How is it possible for women that young to have busts that low?” See Underpinning the Twenties:  Brassieres, Bandeaux, and Bust Flatteners for the answer.]

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Filed under 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Hats, Hosiery & Stockings, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns

Glamorous Turbans in the 1920s

Silver lame turban, 1920s. Labeled Miss Dolores, Paris London. Made in England.

Silver lame turban. Labeled “Miss Dolores, London, Paris. Made in England.”

[8/24/14 Correction:  Thanks to Christina — see comments —  for pointing out that, based on interior construction and the label,  this is probably not an authentic 1920s turban, but a 1970s version.]

Turban worn with velvet cape, Delineator, March 1924.

Turban worn with velvet cape, Delineator, March 1924.

I associate turbans with Paul Poiret, cocoon coats, and evening wear, but they remained fashionable throughout the 1920s, and were worn with day dresses, as well as with evening clothes. This turban is being worn with a bathing costume in 1924:

Turban with bathing costume, Delineator, June 1924.

Turban with bathing costume, Delineator, June 1924.

Butterick sold the pattern for this turban, #4748, in 1924 [the number dates it to late 1923,] and illustrated it being worn with simple day dresses and more formal outfits:

Butterick #4748 with a satin dress; this may be an afternoon dress, but it is not an evening dress; satin was often worn in the daytime.

Butterick #4748 with a satin blouse; this is office or afternoon wear, but it is not an evening dress; satin was often worn in the daytime.

Butterick pattern 4748, Delineator, March 1924.

Butterick pattern 4748, Delineator, March 1924.

Turban pattern #4748, from Delineator. Left, April 1924; right, March 1924.

Turban pattern #4748, from Delineator. Left, April 1924; right, March 1924.

Turbans were worn earlier in the 1920s, too. Remembered Summers shared this photo of her mother, dated 1921. This turban is being worn with a summery white dress, by a 17 year-old girl.

Turban worn by 17 year old woman, 1921. Phot courtesy of RememberedSummers.wordpress.com

Turban worn by 17 year old woman, dated 1921. Photo courtesy of RememberedSummers.wordpress.com

(These young people eloped at about the time of the photo.) Her turban doesn’t have a feather — they are posed in front of a palm tree, and those are palm fronds.

This “turban hat of twisted ribbon” by Paris milliner Marcelle Roze was featured in Delineator magazine in May, 1924. It’s definitely more structured and hat-like than the turbans made from pattern #4748.

Turban Hat by Marcelle Roze, Delineator, May 1924.

Turban Hat by Marcelle Roze, Delineator, May 1924.

This turban was shown with a day dress in the summer of 1925:

Turban worn in pattern illustration, Delineator, June 1925.

Turban worn in pattern illustration, Delineator, June 1925.

A new turban pattern, Butterick #6634, was shown with a dress suitable for stout women; Summer, 1926.

Butterick pattern #6634 for a turban, Delineator, May 1926.

Butterick pattern #6634 for a turban, Delineator, May 1926.

That doesn’t mean the turban was going out of style. This gold lamé turban by French designer Agnès was illustrated in 1929. The jewelry is by Patou. The illustrator’s initials are D.R.

Snug-fitting gold lame turban by Agnes, January 1924. The Delineator.

Snug-fitting gold lame turban by Agnes, January 1929. The Delineator.

Which brings me back to this beautiful silver lamé turban from the collection of a friend.

Silver lame turban, jeweled, with feather. Miss Dolores label.

Silver lame turban, jeweled, with feather. Miss Dolores label.

Styr0foam wig heads are smaller than human heads, so this turban would fit a person snugly and smoothly. The jewel was enormous, sparkly, possibly paste, and hard to photograph — it was not dulled or darkened. The silver fabric was not noticeably tarnished. The feathers were soiled and worn; I think they were white, rather than gray, originally. They may have stuck up more when new.

Silver lame turban by Miss Dolores. Back view.

Silver lame turban by Miss Dolores. Top and Back view.

You can see the small piece of cloth at center back that comes from inside the hat to cover the fabric joins.

Inside of silver lame hat, showing label.

Inside of silver lame hat, showing label.

The brand name, Miss Dolores, of London and Paris, was apparently still appearing in felt hats in the 1980s, judging by the few photos I have found online, but this turban seems to be a 1920s style. I couldn’t find out much about the Miss Dolores label, but everything about this hat — with the exception of the “Miss Dolores” script — suggested the twenties to me. I could be wrong. Comments? [Corrected 8/24/14: I was wrong. Thanks for your expertise, Christina! See Comments.]

P.S. In the theatre, we usually build turbans on a close-fitting felt base. That makes them easy to put on, and the folds can be stabilized with stitching inside the creases  — I mention this just in case you’re inspired to make a turban to go with your 1920s outfits.

 

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Filed under 1920s, Accessory Patterns, Bathing Suits, Hats, Hats, Sportswear, Swimsuits, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Underpinning the Twenties: Corsets and Corselets

“To be smart this season one must be more than slim. The figure must defy nature and be as flat as the proverbial flounder, as straight as a lead pencil, and boneless and spineless as a string-bean. One must be straight like a boy and narrow like a lady in a Japanese print.” – Delineator magazine, February 1924.

Two corselets from 1925. Left, Butterick pattern 5691; right, ad for Bien Jolie corsette # 6099. Delineator Magazine.

Two corselets from 1925. Left, Butterick corselette pattern 5691; right, ad for Bien Jolie corsette # 6099. Delineator magazine.

Corselets, Corselettes, Corsolettes, & Corsettes, 1924 to 1929

Delineator writer Evelyn Dodge explained the difference between a corset and a corselet in her “The New in New York” column dated July 1925:

“Not all women need corsets. Women with young, slender figures find that the corselet, which is a combination brassière and hip-confiner, is sufficient. It is unboned and is therefore as soft and flexible as the natural figure. It keeps the figure straight without making it rigid. It is made of soft light fabrics such as brassière material, broché coutil and fine washable satin and has elastic gores to fit in at the hip. “

“Corsets” were heavily boned and rigid. (“For the figure that is heavier… the corset becomes heavier with heavier material, more bones… and with lacings.” — Dodge) “Corselets” (or corselettes, corsolettes, corsettes, etc. — you could find many spelling variations even in the Delineator‘s articles and advertisements) were unboned, or very lightly boned, and flexible.

Bien Jolie Corsette ad, Delineator, March 1924.

Bien Jolie Corsette ad, Delineator, March 1924.

The woman in this 1924 Bien Jolie Corsette is doing something you couldn’t possibly do in a heavily boned corset: she is bending at the waist. (If you do bend too far in a metal-boned corset, the bones develop a permanent crimp, a dent or a bulge.) The ad says, “The freedom of the uncorseted figure and the long, slim lines demanded by the modes of today are both attained by the Bien Jolie Corsette. . . .”

A Delineator article called this boneless garment a “brassiere corset” early in 1924:

A Brassiere Corset for slender women, Feb. 1924. Delineator.

A Brassiere Corset for slight figures, Feb. 1924. Delineator.

Butterick Corselette Pattern No. 5691, 1924-1925

Butterick corselette pattern # 5961, Delineator, Dec. 1924.

Butterick corselette pattern # 5961, Delineator, Dec. 1924. The corselet is shown worn over bloomers.

In her July 1925 article, Evelyn Dodge went on to say:

“You can either buy or make your corselet. It is very easily made, and if the figure is large or small at one point or another the corselet can easily be fitted when it is being made.”

You can see that there are no boning channels in the corselette, but coutil is a non-stretch corset fabric vith very little ‘give.’ Elastic in yardage wide enough for mass-produced girdles was not available before 1930, according to Ewing (Fashion in Underwear, pp. 102-107), so some corselets of the 1920s show wide bands of overlapped elastic. You can see this in the illustration on the right, below.

Butterick pattern 5961 was featured again in January and March issues of Delineator. 1925.

Butterick pattern 5961 was featured again in January and March issues of Delineator, 1925.

1924 p 36 corselette 5691 descriptionThe pattern description doesn’t say whether this corselette opens with hooks and eyes under the left arm . . .

Does it open along a side seam?

Does it open along a side seam?

. . . or along the side front seam, like this commercially made corselet.

Bien Jolie Step-in Corsette ad, Delineator, April 1925.

Bien Jolie Step-in Corsette ad, Delineator, April 1925.

Dodge continues, “These corselets have been enormously successful for several reasons — their excellent lines, their inexpensiveness, and the fact that they can be washed as easily and as often as any other piece of lingerie. They are supple enough for sports and dancing and their unbroken lines are perfect under the light fabrics of evening gowns.”

Commercially Manufactured Corselets, 1924 to 1929

Although the spellings differed, the popularity of the corselet is apparent by the number that were advertised.

The Treo company, a line available through Sears, Roebuck’s catalog, as well as in stores, called this model a “Brassiere Girdle” combination garment:

Treo "Brassiere Girdle combination garment" ad from Delineator, May 1925.

Treo “Brassiere Girdle combination garment” ad from Delineator, May 1925.

The DeBevoise company suggested that this Step-in Corsette belonged in a bride’s trousseau:

DeBevoise Ad, June 1925. Delineator.

DeBevoise Ad, June 1925. Delineator.

This Warner’s corselette for large figures is “boned in the modern manner,” although the “silk jersey top” can’t have had much impact on a large bust.

Warner's Corselette Ad, April 1925. Delineator.

Warner’s Corselette Ad, April 1925. Delineator.

This Bien Jolie satin brocade corselette dates from 1924:

Bien Jolie Ad for Corsette # 6076, April 1924. Delineator.

Bien Jolie Ad for Corsette # 6078, April 1924. Delineator.

By 1926, flattened busts were going out of fashion and a more natural silhouette was beginning to replace the “unbroken straight line” of Butterick #5691.

Bien Jolie Corsette Ad, July 1926. Delineator.

Bien Jolie Corsette Ad, July 1926. Delineator. Note the elastic curving in toward the waist and the model’s curved silhouette.

By March, 1929, Delineator showed these “foundation” garments [note the name change; they are no longer ‘corselettes’] in an article about the latest underwear styles:

Foundation garment with darted and separated bust. Delineator, March 1929.

Foundation garment with darted and separated bust. Delineator, March 1929.

By 1931, you could buy this Smart Model “co-ed” foundation with “new bustline, no boning” from a Sears catalog for $1.98.

From Stella Blum's Everyday Fashions of the 1930s. Please do not copy this image.

From Stella Blum’s Everyday Fashions of the 1930s. Please do not copy this image.

This is part 4 of a series about undergarments in the 1920s: to read “Brassieres, Bandeaux and Bust Flatteners” (click here), “Underpinning Twenties Fashion: Girdles and Corsets” (click here), “Garters, Flappers & Rolled Stockings” (click here.)

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Accessory Patterns, Bras, Corselettes, Corsets, Corsets & Corselettes, Girdles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Embroidered Peasant Styles from the Nineteen Twenties

White linen vintage dress with blue embroidery and cutwork, mid-nineteen twenties.

White linen vintage dress with blue embroidery and cutwork, mid-nineteen twenties.

Dresses from the 1910s and 1920s were often ornamented with embroidery and beading, even for daytime wear. Just as there was a strong interest in ethnic clothing and crafts in the nineteen sixties and seventies, some women appreciated folk embroidery and embellishment ninety years ago. The style was not limited to “artistic” or eccentric dressers; “peasant” blouse and dress patterns were offered by mainstream companies. I was lucky enough to photograph the 1920s peasant dresses that follow while making an inventory of a friend’s collection. [I wish now that I had had time to take better pictures!]

Peasant Blouse and Dress Patterns, 1925

Here are some Butterick “peasant” patterns from 1925:

May 1925: blouse trimmed with smocking and embroidery, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

May 1925: blouse trimmed with smocking and embroidery, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

Embroidery transfer #10341 for the blouse shown above.

Embroidery transfer #10341 for the blouse shown above.

Butterick sold sewing patterns and also sold embroidery and beading transfers.

“#10341: You get several trimming combinations in this embroidery, for after you have finished trimming your peasant blouse with the cross-stitched bandings and motifs, you can use the one-stitch banding in bright wools down the front of your wool jersey sports frock…. The one-stitch banding may combine different bright colors in wools…. It can be adapted to 1 5/8 yard each of bandings 4 ½ inches wide, 2 ½ inches wide, 1 5/8 inch wide and 1 3/4 inch wide and 32 assorted motifs.”

Butterick blouse pattern #5903. Here it is shown embroidered in red and worn under a black "suspender skirt." May, 1925.

Butterick blouse pattern #5903. On the right, it is shown embroidered in red — or red and black — and worn under a black “suspender skirt.” May, 1925.

These smocked peasant dresses from the same issue (May, 1925) have a strong relationship to the embroidered vintage dress pictured below. Smocking is a peasant embellishment technique originally used on shepherd’s smocks.

Peasant dress patterns # 6006, for ladies 32"- 40" bust, and #6012, for Misses 16 to 20 years. 1925.

Peasant dress patterns # 6006, for ladies 32″- 40″ bust, and #6012, for Misses 16 to 20 years. 1925.

“#6006: One-piece dresses in peasant style are very cool and dainty for Summer and one of the smartest new fashions…. Many attractive color combinations are possible, for instance, on a white frock the smocking may be done in red, lavender, yellow and black.”

Embroidery on Two Vintage Twenties Dresses

The subtler color palette of this vintage peasant dress, in sheer cotton, is very attractive:

1920s smocked dress in sheer cotton, with embroidered front.

1920s smocked dress in sheer cotton, with embroidered front.

Detail of front and back

Detail of front and back

V098 smocking detail

This white linen dress with marine blue embroidery and cutwork is more clearly inspired by ethnic embroidery. [I imagine it being worn by a 1920s tourist visiting the Greek islands with parasol in one hand and sketchbook in the other. I dimly remember a similar dress being used in the movie Carrington (1995), based on the life of painter Dora Carrington.]

Front and side views of a vintage white linen embroidered dress, 1920s.

Front and side views of a vintage white linen embroidered dress, 1920s.

PHOTO  This dress, which was in the collection of a friend, had blue crocheted loops and blue crocheted buttons along the collar and neck opening. I photographed it first over a pale peach slip, to show the beautiful openwork patterns:V093 front embroidery detail 500

And again over a navy blue slip, which gives it more dimension. V093 embroiderd cutwork on navy slip 500

Considering the amazing things that can be done with computerized sewing machines and soluble stabilizers, I suppose it would be possible to duplicate these dresses today without the many, many hours of handwork that made the originals so wonderful. But it would still be quite a project!

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, Dresses, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns

Dresses for Flappers, July, 1926

Butterick Patterns for Misses Age 15 to 20. Delineator, p. 27, July 1926.

Butterick Patterns for Misses Age 15 to 20. Delineator, p. 27, July 1926.

By the summer of 1926 the “look” we associate with the 1920s – short skirts, no waists, and a horizontal line across the hips – was truly the dominant fashion. These dresses for Misses – i.e., women aged 15 to 20 – look fresh and youthful, especially in contrast to the long, tubular fashions of 1924.  Seeing these designs in color is a treat, and a reminder that the clothes worn in silent movies were not actually black and white.

Top of Page

Top of Page 27, Delineator, July 1926

Misses’ Pattern Sizes in the 1920s: “What Does Size 16 Years Mean?”

In Butterick patterns, a Misses’ size was shorter than a Ladies’ size. Misses patterns were sold by age [!]; Ladies’ patterns were sold by bust measurement. For most of the 1920s, “Size 15 years” equated to “petite with a 32″ bust.” “Size 17 years” meant a petite with 34″ bust, “19 years” fit a 36″ bust, and “20 years” was a petite 37.” Often a style is described as “For Misses and small women;” several of these styles say they also come in Ladies’ sizes 38 and 40.

The usual run of Butterick Ladies’ sizes in 1925 was 33″ through 44.” Articles in Butterick’s Delineator magazine sometimes gave fitting advice for short women, but special patterns for adult women who were 5″ 4″ or shorter had not yet appeared.

Bottom of Page 27, Delineator, July, 1926.

Bottom of Page 27, Delineator, July, 1926.

Flapper Dresses

The dresses on page 27 were for young women – for flappers. Styles for mature women were subtly different, as were the proportions of the fashion figures that illustrated them. These two dresses appeared on pages 27 and 28 of the same issue.

 A pattern for Misses (# 6924) and a similar pattern for Ladies (# 6914.)

A pattern for Misses (# 6924) and a similar pattern for Ladies (# 6914.)

Obviously, the Misses’ illustrations are much less distorted.

The Individual Dresses with Their Descriptions

1926 july p 27 color top 6913 white w red6913 — Embroidery splashes the white frock with color. Work in Satin-stitch. For this slip-over one-piece princess dress with inverted tucks or shirrings use Georgette, silk or cotton voile, batiste, radium, taffeta, satin crêpe, etc. of one material, etc…. Lower edge 58 inches…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women. [I confess that I love this dress – and the appliqued hat. You wouldn’t need to embroider the sleeves to reproduce it; # 6921 shows that making lower sleeves from a different fabric was in style.]1926 july p 27 color topmiddle yellow 6935

6935 — A transparent hem, rising in front, is the latest Parisian offering in evening frocks This slip-over orange dress closes under the left arm, has a basque and a lower edge scalloped or straight. Lower edge 2 7/8 yards…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women. [This dress is interesting for many details. It is an early example of the short-in-front-long-in-back evening dresses of the late 1920s. It is clearly inspired by Jeanne Lanvin’s robes de style. And it has a side seam fastening – presumably snaps – under the left arm, which should be of interest to vintage dealers trying to date dresses with side openings.] Dress 6935 may be described as “orange” in the text, but it really did look yellow-gold in the magazine.

1926 july p 27 color top rt 6921

 

6921 — The Gipsy girdle encircles this attractive slip-over frock with touches of jade-green. It has a straight gathered skirt and is delightful for radium or satin crêpe with contrasting organdy, batiste, or Georgette, etc. Lower edge 60 inches…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women.

1926 july p 27 color btm left coat dress 6904

6904 coat dress — Cool and very smart in town is the coat frock with its saddle shoulders and straight gathered skirt attached at a low waistline. The separate one-piece slip has a camisole top. The color is fuchsia…. Lower edge of slip 44 inches…. The coat dress is for Misses 15 to 20 years, ladies 38, 40 bust.

 

1926 july p 27 color misses smocked dress

6927  — Green-striped, smartly bosomed, this one-piece slip-over frock gives the effect of a two-piece style. A cluster of box plaits is inserted at the front. Use flat crêpe, Canton crêpe, satin crêpe, heavy crêpe de Chine, silk broadcloth, shantung, washable silk crêpe, etc. Lower edge, plaits drawn out, 57 inches. The dress is attractive for misses 15 to 20 years, also small women.

6903 — Tiered circular ruffles are attached across the sides of this slip-over one-piece tan dress. Plain or printed silk voile, crêpe Roma, etc., with taffeta tie collar, etc., or satin crêpe with reverse side, are smart for it. Lower edge 44 inches….Chic for misses 15 to 20 years, also small women.

6924 — Crêpe de Chine, heavy Georgette, silk or cotton voile, silk-and-cotton crêpe, pongee, etc., with smocking or shirring and contrasting collar and cuffs are smart for this type of one-piece slip-over frock with straight lower edge. The colors are pervenche blue and tan. Lower edge 51 ½ inches. …For misses 15 to 20 years, ladies 38, 40 bust.

1926 july p 27 color btm rt 6902

6902 — A new silhouette, hip-flared, is illustrated in the slip-over blouse of this two-piece bois de rose frock. The straight skirt with a box pleat at front is attached to an underbody. It is smart for flat crêpe, Canton crêpe, heavy crêpe de Chine, satin, etc. Lower edge, plait drawn out, 51 inches…. For misses 15 to 20 years, also small women. [An underbody means the skirt hung from the shoulders, not the waist. The back view — at the bottom of this post — shows a flared peplum. The color “bois de rose” was very chic,  a grayed red, less coral than it appears here. ]

Design Tricks to Make Twenties’ Dresses More Flattering

Designers are aware that a horizontal line across the widest part of a woman’s body – the hip – will add pounds, visually. That’s why late twenties styles can be so cruel to a less-than-boyish figure.  Pattern manufacturers were aware of this problem; Butterick patterns in average sizes assumed that the hip was two inches larger than the bust, as they do today.

So it’s useful to pay attention to the many ways these authentic 1920s designs drew attention away from the horizontal hip line that defined the era. Notice all the optical tricks that direct the eye toward the face, or create a slenderizing vertical line to add height and draw the eye toward the center of the torso.

Long bows and ties lead the eye up and down.

Long bows and ties lead the eye up and down.

A row of vertical buttons; a vertical center front closing emphasized by a white frill.

A row of vertical buttons; a vertical center front closing emphasized by a white frill.

A strong color – or white – near the face; a V neck; a contrasting collar.

A strong color – or white – near the face; a V neck; a contrasting collar. The green ‘buckle’ at the center of the dress on the left is also a clever way to draw our eyes to the center of the body.

A center front opening that runs from the neck to the hem, creating a strong vertical line.

A center front opening that runs from the neck to the hem, creating a strong vertical line.

Back Views and Alternate Views

Back and alternate views of page 27 patterns, July 1926.

Back and alternate views of page 27 patterns, July 1926.

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Hats, Vintage patterns

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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Filed under 1920s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Uncategorized, Vintage Accessories

Interesting Dress Trim from the Early 1920s

I can’t look at a photo like this without wondering, “How is that made?” In this case, the question is,

“What is the trim on that dress?”

Photo dated 1922

Photo dated 1922.

At first I thought those square protuberances along the sides  (I don’t know what else to call them) were buttons, as seen on these dresses from 1925:

Button-trimmed dresses, Butterick patterns from March 1925, Delineator.

Button-trimmed dresses, Butterick patterns from March 1925, Delineator.

But a closer look (the original photo is less than three inches wide) shows that the ridges are actually bands of thicker trim:Riesse Constance 1922 bigger 500

I’m pretty sure they have a velvety texture. I thought about fur, but they are not rounded at all. My current best guess is that they are strips of velvet ribbon with a loop stitched in every inch or so (maybe closer):velvet trim possibility850I tried lightening the photo in hopes that more detail would show:

Photo lightened to show detail

Photo lightened to show detail

The dress seems to be a semi-sheer tunic dress with a longer “costume slip” under it. I think I can see straps faintly through the top. It has a velvet belt tied tightly over the hips and decorated with sparkly beads and tassels at the ends. The sleeves also have two bands of the velvet trim — if that’s what it is. It’s certainly an intriguing look.  Has anyone ever seen such a trim on a vintage twenties dress?

[Incidentally, I don’t completely trust the date on the photo; I think the name and date were added from memory when the picture was put into an album, because I recognize the handwriting.]

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Filed under 1920s, Musings, vintage photographs