Tag Archives: 1936 dresses

Vogue Pattern 7250: The Personality Dress, 1936

"The Personality Dress." Vogue pattern # 7250, featured on Ladies' Home Journal, Feb 1936.

“The Personality Dress.” Vogue pattern # 7250, featured in Ladies’ Home Journal, Feb. 1936.

The Woman’s Home Companion joined with Butterick in 1936 to publicize Companion-Butterick patterns, which often were selected for their versatility with accessories. But, in the grim financial situation of the 1930s, The Ladies’ Home Journal also recognized that many women had to make do with just one or two ‘good’ dresses, adding inexpensive accessories like detachable collars, “Vestees” (also known as “dickies”  — basically just the collar and front part of a blouse, which takes the place of a complete blouse peeking out from your jacket or sweater,) plus an assortment of scarves, belts, and costume jewelry.

Vogue Patterns in Ladies Home Journal

The Ladies’ Home Journal had produced and sold its own patterns earlier in the century, but it featured a few Vogue patterns, instead, in every issue by 1936 — possibly earlier. This particular Vogue dress pattern, # 7250, is described as “a frock that’s hard to find, and we thought it up especially for you!” lhj 1936 feb p 24  a b c d tops vogue 7250Vogue # 7250 has a top-stitched button front from high collar to the waist, with an apparently false placket that continues down to the hem for a very long, slender look. (See top photo) For maximum versatility, preferred colors are black, brown, gray, and navy, but royal blue, dark red, green or yellow, and white “of course” are also suggested. Available in sizes 14 to 42.

“Then you add or subtract, as your mood, the weather, or the occasion dictates. Demure for shopping, you may wear a cleric’s vestee of white sik or linen [A], with handbag, belt, and gloves possibly of red suede. Or, if there’s a dash of derring-do in you, wouldn’t you like brown with black — brown alligator belt and bag, and brown suede gloves faced with kid? On other days, let a pair of rhinestone clips [B] carry the burden of dresing up your frock. A monogram clip fastened to one side of an open white vestee [C] is an individual touch.  A sports handkerchief, [D] knotted or pinned with a wooden or copper scarfpin, will lend dash when you’re running into town some morning on the 10:10. . . .”

lhj 1936 feb p 24 bottom EFG vogue 7250It’s hard to tell whether the one I’ve labeled E is a very large pin or a bunch of flowers.

“For a special luncheon date, baste in a lingerie frill of white [G] and put on a velvet belt with a handsome buckle.  For another day, in the spirit of Salzburg, you may devise an amusing bolero of Tirolese ancestry [F]. Play at being your own designer and you’ll find it’s fascinating to experiment with one dress. . . . It’s a dress that even your best friend won’t tire of!”

Making the Best of Things

Although suede and alligator accessories sound extravagant (and probably most women only dreamed of such luxuries,) this article has a sort of sad gallantry about it. Even as a woman struggles to maintain the image of a person with adequate income, she should think of it as “fascinating” “play.” Her best friend, of course, will notice that she has to wear the same dress every day — but she “won’t tire of” it!


Filed under 1930s, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns

Butterick Evening Gowns for 1936

Since my first post showed men’s evening clothes for 1936, it seems only fair to show some women’s evening gowns to go with them. Here are seven gowns to choose from — all illustrating Butterick patterns.

Butterick evening cape and gown, September 1936

Butterick evening cape and gown, September 1936

These Butterick patterns for an evening gown and cape were featured in Delineator magazine in September, 1936, with these descriptions: #7010 Date your evening wrap as brand new with this cape, square-shouldered, collarless, knee-length. Choose black velvet for it and it will be equally effective over white or bright dresses…. For sizes 12 to 20; bust 30 to 42″.  #7015 White crepe shot with gold is a happy choice for a dress so Empire in feeling. There is simple elegance in the lifted waistline, molded skirt. …Designed for sizes 12 to 20; [ bust measurement] 30 to 44.

[Dress patterns in Misses sizes 15 to 20 years usually said “or small women.” “Petiteable” patterns or patterns for women shorter than 5′ 4″  began to appear in the 30s.]

Two Versions of One Pattern, and a Gown ‘After’ Vionnet

Butterick #6665, Feb 1936

Butterick #6665, Feb 1936

At first I thought #6665 also had a cape, but in fact it is a long draped fabric that twists into the neckline of the dress. Here is another view of the same dress:

Butterick #6665 & #6666

Butterick #6665 & #6666

The caption describes #6665 as “A gown for dramatic entrances — with long draperies caught at the neck and flowing almost to the hemline. Notice the new up-in-front line of the skirt. The gown is perfect of heavy sheer, in one of the new spring tangerine shades. Sizes 12 to 20; 30 to 40.”

Take a closer look at the light-colored gown, #6659: “A button-down-the-front dress after Vionnet — ingeniously cut, beautifully molded to the figure. Made in one of the new fresh pastels, this gown will keep heads turning at spring dinners and concerts, as well as more formal affairs. Sizes 12 to 20; 30 to 44.”

Other Long Evening Gowns for 1936

Two evening gowns from March 1936

Two evening gowns from March 1936

Silk or rayon evening gowns in bold prints were also popular in the 30s, although the one on the left might be mistaken for a nightgown in style.

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Filed under 1930s, Vintage patterns