Tag Archives: Evelyn Dodge fashion writer delineator 1925

Underneath Those Twenties’ Fashions

Fashions for May, 1924. Undergarments flattened the bust and hips and eliminated the waist. Delineator, May 1924, p. 27.

[This is another post in a series offering links to posts some followers may have missed, while I take time to visit the library and collect more photos.]

Some of the most exciting discoveries I made when I started reading old magazines from the 1920’s had to do with underwear. In addition to fashion advice about what to wear to achieve that “boyish” figure, I found dozens of advertisements — a veritable window into the past. In one article I read,

“To be smart this season one must be more than slim. The figure must defy nature and be as flat as the proverbial flounder, as straight as a lead pencil, and boneless and spineless as a string-bean. One must be straight like a boy and narrow like a lady in a Japanese print.” – Delineator magazine, February 1924.

I happened to read a 1925 article by Evelyn Dodge about the new, boneless corselets: “Not all women need corsets. Women with young, slender figures find that the corselet, which is a combination brassière and hip-confiner, is sufficient. It is unboned and is therefore as soft and flexible as the natural figure.”  I was delighted to find this one illustrated in an ad:

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/1925-may-treo-corset-corselet-p-82-ad-girdle.jpg

Treo “Brassiere Girdle — a combination garment” ad from Delineator, May 1925. The Treo brand was sold through Sears catalogs, as well as in stores.

You can read more about it in “Underpinning the Twenties: Corsets and Corselets.”  Click here.

These corselets reshape a woman to look like a tube (or maybe a sausage?) https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/1925-corselette-pattern-1925-bien-jolie-corsette.jpg

Another thing that struck me while reading so many 1920’s ads was that the boyish silhouette meant that women aspired to be flat in back and flat in front. This was actually a feature of the “tubular Twenties,” not the late nineteen twenties.

Women shaped like test tubes, probably thanks to their corselets. A blouse (left) and a tunic blouse, right, from the “tubular twenties.” Delineator, 1924. I used to wonder how a thin young woman (right) could possibly have a bust that low! [It was mashed by her undergarment.]

If you didn’t want to wear a corselet, you could opt for a separate girdle, worn with or without a bandeau to flatten your breasts. Corsets and girdles of the 1920s were designed to flatten your posterior: “Underpinning  Twenties Fashions: Girdles and Corsets.” Click here to read.

If you are curious about “bust flatteners” or “bound breasts” in the nineteen twenties,  click here for “Underpinning the Twenties: Brassieres, Bandeaux, and Bust Flatteners.”  It has lots of illustrations.

If  you are curious about what 20th century women wore before the modern brassiere, these two posts give  a quick review of brassieres, and their transition from the 1910’s to the 1920’s.

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/sears-1917-spring-catalog-brassieres-with-boning500.jpg

The fact that women have two, separate breasts was hidden by these “monobosom” brassieres. WW I Era. Older women probably continued to wear these in the 1920s.

To read Part 1, “Uplift Changes Brassieres: 1917 to 1929, Part 1” click here.

For Part 2, “Uplift Changes Brassieres: Late 1920s Brassieres,” click here.

The monobosom of the early 1900s slowly gave way to the more natural look — with support — of the 1930s:

From a Maiden Form brassiere ad, Womans’ Home Companion, 1936. “For that all-important line of separation.”

The Book, “Uplift: The Bra in America,” by Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau covers other decades in addition to the Twenties.  Learn more about this fascinating book here.

Of course, not all women were “bound” to be boyish. Click here to read “Not All Flappers Wanted to Be Flat in the 1920s.”

Between the dress and the flattening girdle, corset, bandeau, or corselet, — or between one’s skin and the dress — were sometimes very delectable silk or rayon undergarments.

Trousseau lingerie from Paris, the house of Doeuillet- Doucet. Illustrated for Delineator, June 1929.

There were also some very awkward looking combination garments. See: Envelope Chemises, Step-ins and Other Lingerie. That post elicited wonderful comments about vocabulary and links for further research.

My mother models her one piece camiknickers and her rolled stockings. About 1918.

Butterick “cami-knickers” 5124 with “envelope chemise” 5059. Delineator, April 1924.

Women also wore some not very sexy drawers or knickers….

Right, knickers for 1924. You can often get a glimpse of these in silent movies — especially in comedies, when a woman does a pratfall or climbs into a vehicle. These knickers have elastic at the waist and above the knees — for undergarments, the words “knickers,””bloomers,” and “drawers” were sometimes used interchangeably.

See “Theda Bara’s Bloomers” for a distinctly un-sexy pair — on Cleopatra!

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Bras, Combinations step-ins chemises teddies, Corselettes, Corsets, Corsets, Corsets & Corselettes, Foundation Garments, Girdles, lingerie, lingerie and underwear, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Panties knickers bloomers drawers step-ins, Underthings, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, Underwear and lingerie, vintage photographs

Wedding and Evening Gowns, April 1925

This is another set of dress patterns which were also sold as bridal patterns, this time from April of 1925.

Illustration for the article "The New in New York: The Bride Takes the White Veil and Gown of Tradition, or Turns to Silver or Palest Pink" by Evelyn Dodge. Delineator, April 1925, p. 24.

Illustration for the article “The New in New York: The Bride Takes the White Veil and Gown of Tradition, or Turns to Silver or Palest Pink” by Evelyn Dodge. Delineator, April 1925, p. 24.

It’s striking to me how this illustration for the article on weddings shows up-to-date short skirts in comparison to the pattern illustrations for the same Butterick dresses. (Perhaps patterns had a longer lead time, so the article’s illustrator adjusted hemlines to the newest fashions.)

Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids, Delineator, April 1925, page 24.

Maid (or Matron) of Honor and Bridesmaids, Delineator, April 1925, page 24. They are wearing Butterick patterns.

The dress worn by the Maid (or Matron) of Honor, Butterick pattern 5933, was illustrated as an evening dress — in print fabrics — in both April and May:

On left, and in detail, Butterick 5933, April 1925, Delineator.

On left, and in detail, Butterick 5933, April 1925, Delineator.

Butterick 5933 illustrated in May 1925, Delineator, page 26.

Butterick 5933 illustrated in May 1925, Delineator, page 26.

Two versions of the bridesmaids’ dress appeared, one for Ladies and one — with a different pattern number — for Misses 16 to 20.

Left, Butterick pattern 5906, available in Ladies' sizes, and right, Butterick 5919, for Misses 16 to 20.

Left, Butterick pattern 5906, available in Ladies’ sizes, and right, Butterick 5919, for Misses 16 to 20 or small women. March and April, 1925, Delineator.

There is a difference in hem length and torso length, and both differ slightly from the center illustration.

Description of Butterick 5906, March 1925.

Description of Butterick 5906, a lace dinner dress; March 1925.

The dress on the right, for Misses and small women, had different proportions. [Much more attractive to my eye….]

Butterick 5919:  “A hand made ribbon or metal gauze flower trims this one-piece slip-over frock with handkerchief draperies. Use Georgette, chiffon or chiffon voile over a separate one-piece slip of satin, silk crepe or heavy crepe de Chine in flesh color or to match dress. For day wear the slip may have sleeves…. Dress is for Misses 16 to 20 years.”

In addition to the article on page 24, there was an entire page of ideas for Butterick bridal patterns — most of which were also illustrated as day or evening dresses elsewhere in the magazine … sometimes months previously.

"The Easter Bride Takes the White Veil and Gown of Tradition or Turns to Silver or Faint Pink." BUtterick Bridal Patterns, April 1925; Delineator, p. 33.

“The Easter Bride Takes the White Veil and Gown of Tradition or Turns to Silver or Faint Pink.” Butterick bridal patterns, April 1925; Delineator, p. 33.

The caption says,

The "new in New York" idea was wedding dresses that were not necessarily white. Delineator, April 1925, p. 33.

The “new in New York” idea was wedding dresses that were not necessarily white. Delineator, April 1925, p. 33. “Many brides choose white and silver and more occasionally gold, or pale pink….”

I love finding more than one illustration of the same pattern — and Butterick often featured its patterns in Delineator magazine in two successive months — or in two places in the same issue.

Butterick 5935, April 1925, left, page 33 and right page 29. Delineator.

Butterick 5935, April 1925, left, page 33 and right, page 29. Delineator.

5786 in April 1925, p. 33, and in February 1925, p. 23. Delineator.

5786 in April 1925, p. 33, and in February 1925, p. 23. Delineator. Note the bust darts….

Butterick 5941, April, 1925; as a wedding dress and in a dark satin version. Delineator.

Butterick 5941, April, 1925; as a wedding dress and in a dark satin version. Delineator. Below the waist, a very asymmetrical design.

Butterick 5963, April 1925, as a wedding dress, page 33, and in black satin with coral beading, page 31. Delineator.

Butterick 5963, April 1925, as a wedding dress, page 33, and in black satin with coral beading, page 31.

It makes sense that wedding gown patterns would be bought by young women; one of these Misses’ dresses was also shown as a bridal gown:

Butterick 5755, 5714, 5713, Delineator, January 1925, page 29.

Butterick 5755, 5714, 5713, Delineator, January 1925, page 29.

Butterick 5755, in April and in January, 1925. Delineator.

Butterick 5755, in April and in January, 1925. Delineator. Note the ribbon at the natural waist.

One of these was shown as a bridesmaid’s dress, and another as a wedding gown.

Butterick patterns for Misses and small women, April 1925, pg. 36.

Butterick patterns for Misses and small women, April 1925, pg. 36. Numbers 5919, 5960, and 5897.

No. 5919, far right, was the bridesmaid, as discussed above; No. 5960 (center) has sleeves and beading in its bridal version.

Butterick 5960 for a wedding, page 33, and for a party, page 36. April 1925, Delineator.

Butterick 5960 for a wedding, page 33, and for a party, page 36. April 1925, Delineator.

These wedding gowns went back a little further:

Butterick 5719 and 5447. Originally issued a few months earlier than April 1925, as can be seen from the number sequence.

Butterick 5719 and 5447. Originally issued a few months earlier than April 1925, as can be seen from the number sequence.  Is that a Spanish comb on the right?

No. 5447 was the featured bridal gown in this wedding party for October, 1924:

Butterick 5447 was the bridal gown for October 1924, p. 27. Delneator.

Butterick 5447 was the bridal gown for October 1924, p. 27. Delineator.

5447-bride1924-oct-p-94-pattern-info-p-26-27-btm

The tabard of No. 5719 would lend itself to a silvery, medieval look, especially with a long-sleeved underdress.

Butterick 5719 in April 1925 and in Dec 1924. Delineator.

Butterick 5719 in April 1925 and in Dec 1924. Delineator.

 

Many years ago I saw this English wedding dress, dated 1924, in the Bethnal Green Museum, now a part of the V & A.  I couldn’t find the image online, so here it is scanned from the postcard I bought:

Wedding dress, English, 1924. The tabard is worn over a pleated dress.

Wedding dress, English, 1924. The tabard is worn over a pleated dress.

A silver wedding dress, with heavy lace trim, was also in the Bethnal Green Exhibit.

Silver wedding dress, English (Ada Wolf); 1924. Bethnal Green Museum postcard.

Silver wedding dress, English (Ada Wolf); 1924. Bethnal Green Museum postcard.

Here is a small part of the advice Evelyn Dodge gave to brides in 1924:

parag-first-1925-april-p-24-wedding-article-top-left

Advice fro brides, April 1924, by Evelyn Dodge writing in Delineator.

Advice for brides, April 1924, by Evelyn Dodge writing in Delineator.

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Wedding Clothes