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!” Vogue # 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. . . .”
“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!