Tag Archives: beach pajamas 1930s thirties

Hostess Pajamas & College Pajamas, 1930

These pajamas, Butterick 3554 and 3551, can be “beach pajamas,” too. I’ve probably written about them before, but I just found the pattern for No. 3554 at the Commercial Pattern Archive. Besides, I do love pajamas!

Hostess pajamas (left) and “college pajamas,”(right) 1930. Both Butterick patterns appeared on page 82 of Delineator magazine, December 1930.

The hostess pajamas are made with a yoke and have very full legs.

Hostess pajamas 3554 are a three piece set.

The pattern envelope (at CoPA) shows options for sleeves on the bolero and a sleeveless blouse.

Information from the pattern envelope. CoPA.

That’s quite a lengthy list of possible fabrics, including linen, pique, and [silk] shantung for beach wear, and light weight velvets or metallic fabrics for “lounging.” I do wish yardage estimates were included, because these trousers need a lot of fabric:

The trousers for Butterick 3554 have very full legs, attached to a close-fitting yoke. Pattern pieces for “inside bands” explain how the waist was finished.

The yoke on 3554 is close-fitting and buttons at the side.

Here, the luxurious hostess pajamas have decorative tassels on the V-neck. The pattrn illustration shows a bow of bias matching the sleeve and neck binding.

Delineator magazine description of Butterick 3554. A 44″ bust meant 47.5″ hips, as a rule….

“College pajamas” as the magazine referred to Butterick 3551, did not have such voluminous trousers.

“College pajamas” 3551 have a longer robe/jacket and less extravagant (more practical) wide-legged trousers.

For beach wear or late-night philosophical discussions, 3551 would be just the thing. For decorating your dorm room, Butterick provided this 30 inch “sailor trou” doll pattern (on the same page as the other pajamas.)

Delineator, December 1930, page 82.

It’s not too early to start planning Christmas gifts — or too late for “back to college” pajamas. More inspiration: Molyneux offered these velvet hostess pajamas with sheer jacket in 1927. Why don’t I dress like this while binge-watching? (Well, mine would have to be washable, but this sleeveless PJ with sheer above-the-knee top isn’t a bad idea!)

A sketch of Molyneux’ luxurious velvet and chiffon pajamas for entertaining at home. Delineator, November 1927. In black chiffon and vermillion [red-orange] velvet, with [vermillion?] poppies and green leaf embroidery. The tight ankles are unusual.

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Filed under 1920s-1930s, Musings, Nightclothes and Robes, Sportswear, Vintage Couture Designs, Women in Trousers

Costume in Context: Women in Trousers

Women in trousers -- beach pajama outfits -- in Woman's Home Companion, Nov. 1937.

Women in trousers — beach pajama outfits — in Woman’s Home Companion, Nov. 1937.

Costume in Context:  Just because a fashion existed, we should never assume it was worn everywhere and by everyone who could afford it.

Women wearing beach pajamas and playsuits in a an illustration by Weldon Tranch, Woman's Home Companion, Nov. 1937.

Women wearing beach pajamas and playsuits in an illustration by Weldon Trench, Woman’s Home Companion, Nov. 1937.

These women in trousers are engaged in idealized farming, milking and harvesting. They are not in a public or urban setting. If you remember your grandmother shopping, dining out or selling real estate in trousers, you may find it hard to believe that most women did not wear trousers to work until the late 1960’s, although some wore them for casual events, like picnics in public places. The kind of restaurants that have a “dress code” today did not admit women in slacks.

A playsuit with shorts and a long skirt to wear as a cover-up. WHC, 1937.

A playsuit with shorts and a long skirt to wear as a cover-up. WHC, 1937.

The woman on the far right is wearing a popular option, a separate skirt that buttons over her shorts, creating a dress look that she can wear in public, perhaps on her way to the farm, or for a trip to the village.

I finally stopped reading a popular mystery series set in the 1920’s because of the very proper female detective’s jarring clothing choices. The author kept putting her in trousers (not breeches) during an era, and in settings, where they would have made her very conspicuous — not to say scandalous. [E.g., alone in London or a rural French village.] Although fashion magazines like Delineator showed patterns for evening pajamas in the late twenties and early thirties, the text always suggested that they be worn at private parties, at members-only country clubs, on cruises, or at resorts. I was reminded of their unsuitability for wear in public places by this story illustration — “a raffish crowd of Bohemians” — from 1935.

“A Raffish crowd of Bohemians;” story illustration from Delineator, Feb. 1935.

The young woman in trousers is surrounded by men and women in a state of undress — not “respectable” people. Is her outfit historically accurate? Yes. However, context matters. One of the men in trenchcoats [detectives?] has just told her, “Come with me.”

“What a thrill!” said the girl.

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Sportswear, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Women in Trousers

Smart on the Sand, 1937

"Smart on the Sand at Any Age," Woman's Home Companion, May 1937.

“Smart on the Sand at Any Age,” Woman’s Home Companion, May 1937.

In a two-page spread, the Woman’s Home Companion suggested these Companion-Butterick patterns for the summer of 1937. The second page showed the back view of #7356 and three versions of this little girl’s dress, # 7358.

"Smart on the Sand at Any Age," WHC, may 1937. Companion-Butterick pattern for girls No. 7358.

“Smart on the Sand at Any Age,” WHC, may 1937. Companion-Butterick pattern for girls, No. 7358.

“The clothes you wear on the sand or by the pool this summer depend largely on whether you are six, sixteen, or sixty. Anything goes so far as fashion is concerned.  Shorts, slacks, dresses, long coats, short coats — the choice is endless. But when it comes to what is most becoming — that is a different story.”

Dress and Long Coat #7357

1937 may p 80 smart on sand any age 7357  text asian text

Companion-Butterick pattern #7357:  Dress or coat. May 1937.

Companion-Butterick pattern #7357: Dress or coat. May 1937.

“Suppose you are at the head of the family on the distaff side and you have decided not to lounge about in trousers. Then for you we suggest the brief dress which buttons over your bathing suit. Or, if you prefer, the long fitted coat. Both are 1937 imports from the Riviera and both come from pattern 7357. Try a printed pique or chintz for the long coat with huge (they can’t be too huge) figures. For the dress, be sure to pick out one of the most original of the colorful cotton prints. “

“Huge” prints on fabrics show the influence of Schiaparelli. The side-wrap dress — which seems awfully ‘nice’ to wear over a wet swimsuit — has a cheongsam-inspired closing and a sleeve detail reminiscent of some Chinese decorations. The long double-breasted coat is also shown printed with medallions.

Jacket, Trousers, Shorts, and Halter Top #7356

1937 may p 80 smart on sand any age 7356 text

Companion-Butterick pattern #7356;  Halter top, shorts, trousers and jacket. May 1937.

Companion-Butterick pattern #7356; Halter top, shorts, trousers and jacket. May 1937.

“You couldn’t be sixteen (or even a slim forty-six) without wanting to wear either shorts or slacks. Here they are topped by a halter that buttons on and one of those new jacket coats that hang like a man’s shirt — all, we might add, from one pattern — No. 7356. The neat-fitting slacks are practical in a plain  heavy sailcloth or cotton sheeting, the shorts in either plain or printed cotton or rayon.”

I like the loose jacket with a deep pleat in back; this back view shows how the halter top buttons on to the shorts or slacks:

Companion-Butterick pattern 7356, back view.

Companion-Butterick pattern 7356, back view.

 Girls’ Dress #7358

“And if you are six, what then? Well, why not a sundress with straps that cross in the back and a conical cap to match?  This is one part of a Triad pattern which also includes the pieces for a dress of dotted swiss with loops of white binding and a raspberry linen with rickrack braid.”

Companion-Butterick pattern 7358; a Triad pattern (three dresses from one pattern.) WHC, May 1937.

Companion-Butterick pattern 7358; a Triad pattern (three dresses from one pattern.) WHC, May 1937.

The text writer may have confused the trims; the rickrack is shown on the dotted dress. Here are the back views, in the background.

Back views of girls dresses #7358.

Back views of girls dresses #7358.

The lively illustrations are by Ernst.

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Filed under 1930s, Children's Vintage styles, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Sportswear, Vintage patterns, Women in Trousers