Tag Archives: thirties accessories

Vogue Pattern 7250: The Personality Dress, 1936

"The Personality Dress." Vogue pattern # 7250, featured on Ladies' Home Journal, Feb 1936.

“The Personality Dress.” Vogue pattern # 7250, featured in Ladies’ Home Journal, Feb. 1936.

The Woman’s Home Companion joined with Butterick in 1936 to publicize Companion-Butterick patterns, which often were selected for their versatility with accessories. But, in the grim financial situation of the 1930s, The Ladies’ Home Journal also recognized that many women had to make do with just one or two ‘good’ dresses, adding inexpensive accessories like detachable collars, “Vestees” (also known as “dickies”  — basically just the collar and front part of a blouse, which takes the place of a complete blouse peeking out from your jacket or sweater,) plus an assortment of scarves, belts, and costume jewelry.

Vogue Patterns in Ladies Home Journal

The Ladies’ Home Journal had produced and sold its own patterns earlier in the century, but it featured a few Vogue patterns, instead, in every issue by 1936 — possibly earlier. This particular Vogue dress pattern, # 7250, is described as “a frock that’s hard to find, and we thought it up especially for you!” lhj 1936 feb p 24  a b c d tops vogue 7250Vogue # 7250 has a top-stitched button front from high collar to the waist, with an apparently false placket that continues down to the hem for a very long, slender look. (See top photo) For maximum versatility, preferred colors are black, brown, gray, and navy, but royal blue, dark red, green or yellow, and white “of course” are also suggested. Available in sizes 14 to 42.

“Then you add or subtract, as your mood, the weather, or the occasion dictates. Demure for shopping, you may wear a cleric’s vestee of white sik or linen [A], with handbag, belt, and gloves possibly of red suede. Or, if there’s a dash of derring-do in you, wouldn’t you like brown with black — brown alligator belt and bag, and brown suede gloves faced with kid? On other days, let a pair of rhinestone clips [B] carry the burden of dresing up your frock. A monogram clip fastened to one side of an open white vestee [C] is an individual touch.  A sports handkerchief, [D] knotted or pinned with a wooden or copper scarfpin, will lend dash when you’re running into town some morning on the 10:10. . . .”

lhj 1936 feb p 24 bottom EFG vogue 7250It’s hard to tell whether the one I’ve labeled E is a very large pin or a bunch of flowers.

“For a special luncheon date, baste in a lingerie frill of white [G] and put on a velvet belt with a handsome buckle.  For another day, in the spirit of Salzburg, you may devise an amusing bolero of Tirolese ancestry [F]. Play at being your own designer and you’ll find it’s fascinating to experiment with one dress. . . . It’s a dress that even your best friend won’t tire of!”

Making the Best of Things

Although suede and alligator accessories sound extravagant (and probably most women only dreamed of such luxuries,) this article has a sort of sad gallantry about it. Even as a woman struggles to maintain the image of a person with adequate income, she should think of it as “fascinating” “play.” Her best friend, of course, will notice that she has to wear the same dress every day — but she “won’t tire of” it!


Filed under 1930s, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns

Flattering Styles for Large Women, February 1937

Woman's Home Companion, February 1937, p. 70.

Woman’s Home Companion, February 1937, p. 70.

The Woman’s Home Companion offered four dress patterns for hard-to-fit women in its February 1937 issue. The first two were “designed especially to flatter the large woman,” and the second pair of patterns were a pre-cursor of “half-sizes,” being designed for women under 5′ 4 1/2″ tall and with “hips a little larger than average.” All four Companion-Butterick patterns were available up to size 52″ bust measurement. The articles include period advice on flattering styles, accessories, and color choices for large women; some of it is standard [wear vertical lines, avoid over-large prints] , and some of it – tiny collars? – is a surprise.

Youthful Details for You Who Are Not So Slim [page 70]

Companion-Butterick patterns 7215 &7213, 1937.

Companion-Butterick patterns 7215 &7213, 1937.

“We are sure you feel as we do about the question of youthful clothes for the large but not old figure. You are tired of the staid styles you usually find in the big sizes. You have had an overdose of surplice lines.  You want fresh-looking new-looking dresses – and there is no reason why you shouldn’t have them.

“These two patterns have been planned to solve your problem. Each is cut in sizes up to 52-inch bust measure, each has a way of concealing pounds, yet each has a smart touch that is worthy of size 16. [I.e, a teen dress size.]

Companion Butterick patterns 7215 & 7217, 1937.

Companion Butterick patterns 7215 & 7217, 1937.

“In Pattern 7215 it is the tiny contrasting collar and vest section – such a pleasant change from the usual V. Look at the belt, too. This flatters your figure because it is hidden in front. And note the smooth shoulders – a good idea if you happen to be large through the top of the body. You can make [it] in youthful colors – this flax-blue linen perhaps, with contrasting pink. It is just the type for one of the new medium-high felts [see hat] with a medium-high crown.”

“In pattern 7213 you will like the soft drapery of the jabot – as kind to the face as to the figure. You will fiind too that the sleeves have been cut to give the new broad look to sloping shoulders. Wine is a good color for the long-sleeved version – smart with black suède oxfords delicately trimmed with fine scalloped stitching. In both dresses, as you see, there is a convenient choice of necklines and sleeve lengths.” WHC feb 1937 p 70  stout patterns top left

Add to Your Height and Subtract from Your Hips [page 71]

Woman's Hone Companion, Feb. 1937, p. 71

Woman’s Home Companion, Feb. 1937, p. 71

“You may be short and your hips may be a little larger than average but you can still wear the new clothes to good advantage. One way is to choose patterns cut to fit your figure. Another is to be sure that every detail of your costume is in proportion to your height.

“Not for you the too-heavy hat, but the small saucy brim and the medium-high crown of this beige felt. Not for you the rough leathers and bulky lines of a peasant’s shoe, but the slender silhouette of these soft blue step-ins. Not for you the overlarge too-vibrant print, but the fine traceries of this monotone floral. Not for you any fluffy trimmings, but this crisp touch of white organdie or the new saddle stitching, used here to emphasize long up-and-down lines.”

Companion-Butterick patterns 7217 & 7219, Feb. 1937.

Companion-Butterick patterns 7217 & 7219, Feb. 1937.

“About the patterns: No.7217 has this season’s raised waistline – and excellent idea because it adds inches to your skirt. You will notice too that there is no belt to break your height and that there is enough fullness above the skirt to conceal any extra pounds about the diaphragm.

“No. 7219 has the flattery of a small collar, a tiny belt, and definitely vertical lines. It is perfect for beige and for piqué, the ribs of the material running up and down except in the blouse section and the sleeves. There the fabric is used cross-ways to add interest from a fashion angle.”

Other views of patterns 7217 & 7219

Other views of patterns 7217 & 7219

 A Pre-Flattened Hat WHC feb 1937 p 70 squashed hat

I’ve seen a lot of 1930s hats in costume storage that look like they got squashed; I never realized that they might have started life that way!


Truth in Illustrating?

As usual, Woman’s Home Companion has written about patterns styled for large women, but illustrated the article on standard 1930s fashion figures. [Illustrations by Ernst.] True, these four patterns were available from size 34″ bust all the way up to size 52″, but the illustrations don’t give any idea of how the dresses would look on, say, a size 42. To be fair, however, the illustrations on page 71 did show slightly larger-than-usual hips. WHC feb 1937 p 71 hip comparison



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

Koret Purses, Aris Gloves, 1934

The Clutch Bag, 1930s

A zippered clutch bag with a Schiaparelli-inspired coat, 1934

A zippered clutch bag with a Schiaparelli-inspired coat, 1934

In his book Zipper,  Robert Friedel explained that in 1923, handbag framers went on strike. With normal handbag production stopped, the manufacturers realized that a purse that closed with a zipper could be made by a seamstress, and would not need a frame.  Men’s tobacco pouches already used zippers; a flat or fold-over purse was a logical development.  Indirectly, the 1923 framers’ strike led to the fashion for clutch purses in the 1930s.

'Envelop' purses, Butterick transfer pattern # 16147, 1931

‘Envelop’ purses, Butterick transfer pattern # 16147, 1931

You could make your own quilted “Envelop” purses from a Butterick craft /embroidery transfer pattern, dated 1931. The fabrics recommended for these Art Deco bags are satin, flat crêpe, taffeta, or, for evening use, velvet. The pattern description doesn’t call for a zipper, but by 1931, according to Friedel, manufactured purses were using 35% of the nation’s zipper supply (p. 174).

Koret Bags for Spring, 1934

The Vintage Traveler has written on the Koret Company’s history  and one of its later designers, Magda Makkay[Koret of California, a sportswear manufacturer, was not connected to the Koret purse company.]  In a 1934 Delineator  article about accessories for Spring, several Koret purses were featured. 1934 march p 17 top rt koret bags - Copy

Above:  “Accessories to wear to a chic luncheon include a string-leather belt with a metal buckle, Stern; a monogrammed [zippered] bag, Koret; and beige suede stitched gloves, Aris.” 1934 march top left delman shoes koret bags p 17Above:  “Town accessories for a tailored suit: a sharply striped silk scarf, Stern Brothers  ; very flat envelop bag of fabric, Koret; perforated suede oxfords, Delman; clip watch.”1934 march p 17 btm rt koret bags btm rt - Copy

Above:  “Vary a tailored suit with this fabric bag, Koret; suede gloves, Aris; and a spotted linen handkerchief and a black enameled cigaret case, both from Stern.”1934 march p 17 btm leftdelman shoes koret bags btm left - Copy

Above:  “For a legal cocktail before dinner wear, with a black town suit, patent pumps with a strip trimming, Delman; and a bag to match, Koret; black suede gloves, Aris; and enameled cigaret case, Stern.” Prohibition had recently ended, in December, 1933, so it was possible to have a ‘legal cocktail’ for the first time in 13 years. The Delman shoe company and Aris gloves are still in business. 1934 april p 70 easterwomen with clutch pursesBoth women are carrying clutch, or ‘envelop’ purses with their Easter outfits, April 1934.  [Butterick pattern illustration from Delineator magazine.]

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Filed under 1930s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Shoes, Vintage Accessories