The Butterick company’s target market in the 1920’s was upscale; there were regular reports on French fashions, and even a new column giving women financial advice during the stock market boom of the late twenties. But in this Depression Era article from May, 1933, the emphasis is on economy.
The accessories suggested include some rather elegant shoes, a sweater, and, as explained in the text, only one hat that you couldn’t make for yourself.
I’m not surprised that those shoes were expensive.
Other gloves and hats could be made from Butterick patterns:
Notice the extended shoulders on most of these clothes.
In addition, a print suit (a dress plus jacket) and a “Letty Lynton” – influenced evening gown were part of the twenty-five dollar wardrobe.
The stiff, sheer layered sleeves show the influence of Adrian’s design for Joan Crawford in the film Letty Lynton.
The $25 budget didn’t include accessories, not even the ones made from Butterick patterns. However, there is an emphasis on the need for wardrobe planning: coordinating your pieces so that they can all be worn with either black or white accessories. (And, if you could afford a vacation in 1933, setting some limits would definitely make packing easier.)
The cost of the Butterick patterns themselves ranged from fifty cents (the jacket dress or the evening gown) to thirty-five or forty-five cents for the other dresses, and twenty-five cents for the hat pattern, which included three styles. I wonder if the big, stylish buttons were included in the price estimates.
In 1936, a woman fresh out of college could expect to earn about $80 per month. According to one article, on this salary, she could even afford to take a vacation….
She can “join a savings club and see the world. Happy landing, we say.” — Woman’s Home Companion, October 1936.