Tag Archives: embroidered stockings 1920s twenties

A Look Back at Stockings, Mostly 1920’s

[While I’m on vacation, I’m running a series of images with links to many old witness2fashion posts. Here’s a selection of articles sharing what I learned about stockings.]

Colored and textured tights were popular in the 1960’s, but brightly colored stockings and textured stockings were also worn in the 1920’s. [For further readings about stockings, rolled stockings, etc., links to earlier posts are provided throughout this one.]

Orange silk stockings match the orange skirt in this ad for Holeproof Hosiery. Delineator, October 1925.

Textured stockings were also worn  with Twenties’ sportswear:

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/textured-hose-from-an-article-about-rainwear-delineator-april-1929.jpg

Textured hose from an article about rainwear; Delineator, April, 1929.

For a longer post showing 1920’s textured stockings from Sears, colored stockings, and other stocking fashions like the ones below, click here.

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/1928-nov-p-3-stockings-gordons-ad-heels.jpg

Gordon’s stockings ad, 1928.

Many manufacturers offered styles intended to make ankles look slim, or just to attract attention to the leg.

A chartreuse dress gets stockings to match in this ad for Arch Preserver Shoes. Delineator, June 1929.

Artist McClelland Barclay did a series of color illustrations for Holeproof Hosiery. Delineator; May, 1925.  Notice how opaque these silk stockings for daytime are.

In the 1920’s, highly colored stockings could be almost opaque, as in these ads, but eventually sheer stockings became preferred for evening:

Models wear a range of sheer stocking shades in this 1929 ad for Realsilk Hosiery. Delineator, October 1929.

“They’re newer than sunburn. They’re newer than skin-tints. Yet they borrow from both. Overtones — the new hosiery shades — are a subtle blend of skin and costume colors…. Twenty-two of the most flattering hosiery colors ever launched.” — text of Realsilk ad, Oct. 1929.

Of course, the more sheer the stockings were, the less likely they were to survive several wearings, making them a luxury item.

A run in a sheer stocking ruins it; Lux soap ad, WHC, Feb. 1936. (Lux claimed to prevent stocking runs.)

For a much more complete  article about women’s stockings in the 1920’s, click here.

By 1929, suntanned skin was coming into fashion, along with the sheer look.

From an ad for Realsilk Hosiery, April 1929. Delineator.

These shades are not very different from the stocking hues illustrated in 1936, when stockings could coordinate with either the costume or the shoe:

From a fashion advice article in Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1936. [Click here for more….]

These heavy duty silk stockings were to be worn while gardening. Ad for McCallum “service hose.” Delineator, April 1927. [For more about “Hosiery Ads with a Bit of Wit,” by the same artist, click here.]

In the early Twenties, stockings were also worn while swimming:

“Mid-way of a dive . . two flawless legs, one flawless pair of hose are all that’s left to see….” From an 1927 ad for McCullum Hosiery. Delineator, August 1927.

(Swimming champion Annette Kellerman was arrested for swimming without covering her legs in 1907.)

Stockings were worn with bathing suits in the Nineteen-teens, but women started to bare their legs — or part of their legs — in the Twenties. Often, with bathing suits, they wore their stockings rolled:

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/1925-july-5204-swim-july-1925.jpg

Bathing suit, July 1925. Delineator magazine.

To read “Garters, Flappers, Rolled Stockings and Other Stocking Stories,” click here.

Lavender stockings match the lavender underwear in this 1927 ad for Ivory Flakes laundry soap. Delineator, May 1927.

Stockings in the 1920’s could also be embroidered, or otherwise decorated:

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/brinkey-500-prudence-prim-emb-stockings-dec-6-1925.jpg

“A rose upon her shoulder, and a corresponding rose / Embroidered on the — well, the shin — of both her silken hose!” Nell Brinkley and Carolyn Wells. Dec. 1925.

To see more illustrations by Nell Brinkley, a woman cartoonist of the ‘Teens and Twenties, click here.

Young woman showing her undies and rolled stockings; photo dated 1918.

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/rolled-sox-cropped-500-1921-rio-vista.jpg

Four young women showing their bare knees and rolled stockings. That’s my mother wearing dark stockings with a light garter on the far right. Photo dated 1921.

3 Comments

Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Combinations step-ins chemises teddies, Hosiery, Hosiery, Hosiery & Stockings, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Panties knickers bloomers drawers step-ins, Shoes, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc

Nell Brinkley’s Women, 1913 to 1940

Nell Brinkley's view of a young woman getting a permanent wave, September, 1929.

Nell Brinkley’s view of a young woman getting a permanent wave, September, 1929. From The Brinkley Girls, ed. by Trina Robbins.

I had never heard of illustrator and cartoonist Nell Brinkley until a few weeks ago. However, she was the highly successful creator of many illustrated stories featuring a series of vintage beauties, from the World War I girl she called “Golden Eyes” . . .

"Golden Eyes and Her Hero BIll," No. 1, American Weekly, March 31. 1918. Illus. Nell Brinkley.

“Golden Eyes and Her Hero, Bill,” No. 1, March 31, 1918. Illustrated for American Weekly by Nell Brinkley.

. . . to a series of flappers in the 1920’s . . .

Customers waiting ina hair salon, Sept. 1929. Nell Brinkley illustration from The Brinkley Girls.

Customers waiting in a hair salon, Sept. 1929. Nell Brinkley illustration from The Brinkley Girls. “If permanents were permanent, this picture couldn’t be!”

. . . and illustrations of “real-life” heroines for newspapers in the 1930’s.

Detective Mary A. Shanley captures two armed robbers in NYC, 1937. Drawn by Nell Brinkley. From The Brinkley Girls.

Detective Mary A. Shanley captures two armed robbers in NYC, 1937. Drawn by Nell Brinkley. From The Brinkley Girls.

Brinkley’s illustrations were humorous, romantic, full of flowing lines and brilliant color. And she could draw dogs, too.

Golden Eyes, volunteering as a Red Cross Nurse, finds her wounded lover on the battlefield. January 26. 1919.

Golden Eyes, volunteering as a Red Cross Nurse, finds her wounded lover on the battlefield. January 26, 1919.

Nell Brinkley was so good at drawing flowing, wavy hair styles that she had her own line of hair curlers and wave clips.

Ad for Nell Brinkley Hair Curlers and Bob Wavers. From Nell Brinkley's Girls.

Ad for Nell Brinkley Hair Wavers and Bob Curlers. From the book The Brinkley Girls.

One of her flapper heroines, Prudence Prim, was sent to live with her aunts, who unwisely allowed her to buy a new wardrobe and charge it to them.

"Our Prudence chose a French Maison, the best and most select...." Nell Brinkley for American Weekly, Nov. 15, 1925.

“Our Prudence chose a French Maison, the best and most select….” Nell Brinkley for American Weekly, Nov. 15, 1925.

The verses accompanying the illustrations (one page told a whole story) were by Carolyn Wells.

“Our Prudence chose a French Maison, the best and most select. / Her eyes were dazzled by smart hats with plumes and flowers bedecked; / And when she saw the Paris gowns, on models fair and slim, / She forgot her name was Prudence — and she never thought of Prim!”

The story ends with Prudence modeling her new outfits for her aunties . . .

Prudence Prim shows off her new clothes, by Nell Brinkley, Nov. 1925.

Prudence Prim shows off her revealing new clothes, by Nell Brinkley, Nov. 1925. Note the change in skirt length from image 2, top right, to image 5, directly below it.

“One flew into hysterics, and one fainted dead away!”

Prudence Prim shows her aunties her new clothes; they respond ". . . with shrieks of wild dismay." Nov. 1925.

Prudence Prim’s aunties react to her new clothes; “. . . with shrieks of wild dismay.” Nov. 1925.

These illustrations are wildly stylized and not necessarily literal records of real clothes, but there is a great flavor of the period. Prudence and her successors have fabulously long legs, and Miss Prim is anything but prim in her clothing choices.

Prudence Prim at her dressing table, Dec. 6, 1925. Nell Brinkley Illustration.

Prudence Prim at her dressing table, Dec. 6, 1925. Nell Brinkley Illustration. The Brinkley Girls.

Here, wearing a dress sweetly trimmed with roses, she adds embroidered stockings.

"A rose upon her shoulder, and a corresponding rose / Embroidered on the --  well, the shin -- of both her silken hose!" Dec. 1925. Nell Brinkley and Carolyn Wells.

“A rose upon her shoulder, and a corresponding rose / Embroidered on the — well, the shin — of both her silken hose!”  Nell Brinkley and Carolyn Wells. Dec. 1925.

And who wouldn’t want to go hiking in this charming gray and black and white pleated skirt with deco knee socks?

Prudence Prim, "arrayed for mountain climbing" in a kilt, is rescued  from a fall while hiking. Nell Brinkley illustration from Nell Brinkley's Girls.

Prudence Prim, “arrayed for mountain climbing” in a “kilt” is rescued from a fall. Nell Brinkley illustration from The Brinkley Girls.

Later in the 1920’s, Prudence was replaced by Sunny Sue, whose experience at the hair salon had special meaning for me.  (To read more about this kind of permanent wave, click here.)

Sunny Sue gets a permanent wavy, Sept. 14, 1925. Nell Brinkley drawing from Nell Brinkley's Girls.

Sunny Sue gets a permanent wave, Sept. 14, 1929. Nell Brinkley drawing from The Brinkley Girls. “Sue’s fit to be tied — in fact, she’s tied for hours, and her scalp is frilled and fried.”

This is what a hair dryer looked like according to Brinkley:

Under the hair dryer, Sept. 1925. Illust. by Nell Brinkley.

Under the hair dryer, Sept. 1929. Illust. by Nell Brinkley.

“I hope the permanent will live as long, at any rate, / As it took to make it.” There! That’s all — and say it does look great!”

There are at least two books on Nell Brinkley’s work available now.

The Brinkley Girls:  Nell Brinkley’s Cartoons from 1913 to 1940, edited by Trina Robbins, which was my source for all these photos, measures 13 1/4″ by 9 3/4″ and is packed with full color reproductions of Brinkley’s work. Her heroines were not just flappers — some of them travel to exotic times and places. This book ought to be on many people’s wish lists — it’s not cheap, but well-produced. (One caution: because all these illustrations were originally done for newspapers, when they are reduced to fit on the pages of a book, even a big book like this, the print is very tiny. If you give it as a gift, a “magnifying glass” bookmark would be a nice addition.) To read an informative review, click here.  For price information, click here or here.

The other book about Nell Brinkley, also by cartoon historian Trina Robbins,  is called Nell Brinkley and the New Woman in the Early Twentieth Century.  You can see more of Brinkley’s work online at Nell Brinkley Digital Album (click here.) Don’t forget to visit the “Gallery.” Or just search for “Nell Brinkley images.”

You can read more about Nell Brinkley’s life and achievements at the Women in Comics site: click here.

8 Comments

Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Hairstyles, Hosiery, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture