Tag Archives: shoe prices 1930s

A Pattern for Mother, Daughter, and Grandmother, 1937

Companion-Butterick Triad Pattern #7553, for Three Generations. From Woman's Home Companion, September 1937.

Companion-Butterick Triad Pattern #7553, for three generations. From Woman’s Home Companion, September 1937. Illustration by ERNST

Companion-Butterick “Triad” patterns usually were marked by their versatility: patterns with day and evening versions, or patterns that could be made in several ways to create a larger wardrobe. This is the first I’ve noticed that was versatile because it was equally suited to young, middle-aged, and older women. (There would be no savings in buying this unless all three wore the same size… and were still the same shape….)

“Pattern 7553 is designed for the family — a find for teas, luncheons, and bridge. To see it at its best you will want to make it up in an exciting new fall fabric and color.  For you mothers, we suggest a wool-like silk, bound in green grosgrain. It is a perfect foil for kid-trimmed brown suede shoes and a felt toque.” 1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern 7553 3 ages illus“For you daughters, very sheer wool is new in cranberry, a vibrant fall shade. Add high-cut black suede pumps, a felt calot, and you are dressed for any special occasion. You grandmother will like the heavy drape of satin-back silk  in soft blue tinged with lavender — a color flattering to gray hair. With this dull and shiny combination, no shoe could be nicer than one in black suede trimmed with patent leather.  And to complete your costume we suggest a felt hat in matching blue.”

1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern 7553 tops bodices 3 ages 500
The daughter’s calot is a close-fitting cap without a brim.  The styling of the bodices is varied, but, except for having shorter sleeves, the daughter’s version is not noticeably youthful. Grandmother’s heavy satin-backed silk is made with the matte side out and the shiny side used only as trim.  It also has ruching on the shoulders, perhaps to provide a little more bust fullness, and less puffy sleeve caps. Mother’s wool-like brown silk bound in green grosgrain strikes me as a bit too “Robin Hood.” (To be fair, the Errol Flynn Adventures of Robin Hood wasn’t released until May of 1938.) I’m hoping that’s a gorgeous Art Deco emerald clip on her neckline.

To my eyes, the most youthful-looking shoes are worn by the grandmother, not the granddaughter. 1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern shoes 500 7553 3 ages

From an Air Step Shoe Ad, September 1937. Woman's Home Companion.

From an Air Step Shoe Ad, September 1937. Woman’s Home Companion. “Most styles $6.00. Slightly higher in Far West.”

Notice how high and relatively narrow the heels on the “Fay” model are. Mother might also wear the “Stroller” heels, which are equally high, but not as thin. “Fernwood,” with a lower heel, looks more grandmotherly to me, and as recommended, they are suede or gabardine with patent leather trim. Perhaps the daughter is wearing “high-cut black suede pumps” with a zipper front, but these Air Step “Dianne” shoes would also do.

Air Step shoes, "Dianne" model, Sept. 1937. Woman's Home Companion.

Air Step shoes, “Dianne” model, Sept. 1937. Woman’s Home Companion.

The pattern information and back views of Companion-Butterick #7553: 1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern 7553 3 ages text back view



Filed under 1930s, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Hats, Shoes, Vintage patterns

Companion-Butterick Triad Dress Pattern for Women after Fifty, May 1937

Companion-Butterick pattern # 7353, May 1937

Companion-Butterick pattern # 7363, Woman’s Home Companion, May 1937. Illustrated by ERNST

7363 Triad Dress. Sizes, 34 to 52 inch bust measure. Size 40 requires 4 1/4 yards 35-inch material for house dress; 4 ½ yards 35-inch material for sports dress; 4 1/4 yards 39-inch material for afternoon dress. Price of pattern, 45 cents.

“You cannot be too particular about lines, colors and fabrics – when you are on the after side of fifty. Everything you wear must look as if made to your special order.  That is why this Triad pattern is a perfect solution for the three new dresses you will undoubtedly need this summer.

“The lines of 7363 are all part of a plot to make you look younger, slimmer. The darts which let in fullness at the top, the three different blouse fronts, each long-lined, the straight pleats in the skirt, stitched down above the knee and extending above the waist in two versions, the perfectly smooth shoulders – all these are flattering and new.” — Woman’s Home Companion

Afternoon Dress

Afternoon Dress

Afternoon Dress

“So are the fabrics and colors illustrated here.  Try a soft gray and white silk print as a change from navy and touch it up with a luscious medium blue.”

Sports Dress

Spectator Sport Dress

Spectator Sport Dress

“Keep to pink or any other becoming pastel for your spectator sports linen, set off with this season’s saddle stitching.”

House Dress


Green Housedress in a Modernistic Print

“And then let yourself go, practically to modernism, in a gay cotton for the house.”

Women over Forty in Advertisements from the Woman’s Home Companion

In addition to the Triad Pattern for women “after fifty,” the  May, 1937 issue had the usual ads and articles; Mother’s Day was probably the inspiration for the article about Mother/Daughter Hair styling. Women’s magazines had a wealth of shoe advertisements, many stressing comfort and good arch support, and aimed at the older woman.

White Shoes for Summer, 1937

Florsheim Shoes for Summer, May 1937 ad

Florsheim Shoes for Summer, May 1937 ad Click to enlarge

The model for Pattern #7363 is wearing shoes very similar to these in white kid, “Juliette, W-364” shown in a Florsheim ad in the same issue of the Woman’s Home Companion. These shoes cost $9.50 to $10.50 – definitely middle-class. [Summer shoes from Sears cost about $2.00 in 1936. A nurse earned $20 to $35 per week.]

Foot Saver Shoes, ad from May 1937

Foot Saver Shoes, ad from May 1937  Click to enlarge

These Foot Saver shoes were even more expensive, costing up to $14.75. The model looks young, but young women were more likely to choose strappy, white sandal-type shoes than lace-ups.

Hair Styles for Older Women

This one was done at the Marshall Field store’s salon: “How a daughter would like her mother to dress her hair — and vice versa.”

Hairstyles for Mother and Daughter, Chicago, 1937

Hairstyles for Mother and Daughter, Chicago, 1937

I can’t resist ending with a less glamorous picture of  middle-aged women, as well. A more natural hairdo — and a less rosy view of life after forty — is presented in this ad for Scot Bathroom Tissue:

Ad for ScotTissue: "Are You Past Forty?"

Ad for ScotTissue: “Are You Past Forty?”

“Are you past forty? It is estimated that 65% at middle age suffer from rectal ailments. Then the comfort of Luxury Texture is doubly appreciated.” Oh, dear.  Time to count my blessings…. I do like the casual hair style in this ad; you can believe the model did it herself. Her crisp collar and print dress are quite chic for a housedress.


Filed under 1930s, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Hairstyles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes