Tag Archives: 1940s styles

Mother and Daughter Fashions from the Forties and Fifties

Mother-Daughter robes from McCall, patterns 1289 and 1290. Store catalog, Dec. 1946.

Mother-Daughter robes from McCall, patterns 1290 and 1289. Store catalog, Dec. 1946.

Nos. 1289 (adult) & 1290 (child). McCall pattern catalog, Dec. 1946.

Nos. 1289 (adult) & 1290 (child). McCall pattern catalog, Dec. 1946.

These robes are from a 1940s Christmas catalog, but Mother-Daughter outfits were popular well into the fifties. I found examples from Butterick, Simplicity, and McCall.

These Butterick patterns show girls’ styles as identical to the women’s clothing as possible, as if girls really were “little women.”

Butterick Fashion News, Sept. 1943, pattern numbers 2626, 2663, 2570, 2664.

Butterick Fashion News, Sept. 1943, pattern numbers 2626, 2663, 2570, 2664.

BFN sept 1943 text  2626 2663 2570 2664

“Daughter chooses an identical coat frock to help Mummy on her busy days.” In reality, Mummy chose both their clothes.

More Mother & Daughter patterns from Butterick Fashion News, Sept. 1943. Pattern Nos. 2691, 2676, 2693, 2420.

More Mother & Daughter patterns from Butterick Fashion News, Sept. 1943. Pattern Nos. 2691, 2676, 2693, 2420.

BFN sept 1943 text 2691 2676 2693 2420

Simplicity Sundresses, 1948

Mother and Daughter patterns might be featured together, as in the listings above, but they sometimes appeared on different pages, like these charming Simplicity sundresses with bolero jackets. In this case, the child’s pattern has been modified to allow for its shorter skirt without noticeably scaling down the appliqued flowers:

Simplicity adult pattern #2397, page 3, and Simplicity girls' pattern #2415, page 8. Simplicity Fashion Preview, April 1948.

Simplicity adult pattern #2397, page 3, and Simplicity girls’ pattern #2415, page 8. Simplicity Fashion Preview (flyer), April 1948.

Sun or Swim Suits, 1950

McCall offered these Mother and Daughter playsuits on facing pages of the catalog:

"No. 1552, the Glamour Mermaid swim- or sun- suit." McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

“No. 1522, the Glamour Mermaid swim- or sun- suit.” McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

"No. 1523, the mermaid swim- or sun-suit." McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

“No. 1523, the mermaid swim- or sun-suit.” McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

The bloomers seem to work a lot better on the daughter! [Full pattern descriptions are at bottom of post.]

Mother and Daughter Matching Aprons, 1950

Mother and Daughter matching pinafores or smocked aprons, McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

Mother and Daughter matching pinafores or smocked aprons, McCall Needlework Catalogue, May 1950.

The daughter’s aprons had their own listing in the Children’s section; I have put both illustrations side by side to show how very similar the adult and child versions were:

McCall patterns #1532 (Mom) and #1533 (Daughter). May, 1950.

McCall patterns #1532 (Mom) and #1533 (Daughter).  Smocked  or embroidered pinafore aprons. May, 1950.

My mother had more enthusiasm for Mother-Daughter looks than I had. In the 1950s, it was assumed that little girls would want to be “just like Mommy.” I had suit with a dark red jacket and a plaid, pleated skirt — just like my Mother’s. I was given a little toy iron that really plugged in and got warm (not hot,) and a little toy stove (ditto.) I didn’t need a little apron “just like Mommy’s” to see where this was leading. . . .  And, even at age five, I had other plans.

More Pattern Information:

Mermaid Swim- or Sun- Suits

Pattern description for Adult playsuit #1522. May, 1950.

Pattern description for Adult playsuit #1522. May, 1950.

Pattern description for McCall girls' "mermaid" swim- or sun- suit #1523.

Pattern description for McCall girls’ “mermaid” swim- or sun- suit #1523.

Robes 1290 and 1289

mccall dec 1946 text robes 1290 1289

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Filed under 1940s-1950s, Accessory Patterns, Bathing Suits, Children's Vintage styles, Nightclothes and Robes, Sportswear, Swimsuits, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Vintage patterns

Finding an Old Friend: McCall Sunsuit #1030

What are the chances of seeing a child’s sunsuit pattern from the 1940s and finding a photo of myself wearing that exact outfit? It happened.

McCall Sunsuit pattern 1030, catalog, December 1946. Girl wearing sunsuit, circa 1949.

McCall Sunsuit pattern #1030, pattern catalog, December 1946. Witness2fashion wearing sunsuit, circa 1949.

I remembered that picture of myself wearing a sunsuit because the pose — so coy! — is so cringe-worthy. But it was quite a surprise to find that it not only resembles the sunsuit pattern, it is identical except for the choice of fabric.

McCall Sunsuit pattern 1030, McCall store catalogs, late 1940s.

McCall Sunsuit pattern 1030, McCall store catalogs, late 1940s.

I have seen this pattern, #1030, in three McCall Needlework Catalogues (December 1946, May 1950, and November 1950.)  Like most clothing for children, styles remained constant over several years. It qualified for the Needlework catalogues because of its applique trim.McCall pattern 1030 text960

At first I thought I was wearing a different sunbonnet than the one shown, but another photo, although overexposed, shows the same squarish shape:

A squarish bonnet is included in pattern 1030.

A squarish bonnet is included in pattern 1030.

You can see the bonnet's dark band on this photo.

You can see the bonnet’s dark band on this photo.

I have no memory of this playsuit. I don’t think many of my clothes were home-made, although my mother was a good seamstress. I would guess that it was a gift from my grandmother or my aunt; both of them had friends who sewed very professionally. Posing in a new outfit was a family tradition. My mother — whose friends called her ‘glamourpuss,’ loved the camera. I usually hated being photographed (note the resentful scowl in one photo) and still do.

"Glamourpuss" posing in a new dress, 1932. There sems to be a Marlene Dietrich influence....

“Glamourpuss” posing in a new dress, 1932. There sems to be a Marlene Dietrich influence….

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Filed under 1930s-1940s, 1940s-1950s, Children's Vintage styles, Hats, Sportswear, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns, vintage photographs