Tag Archives: what are you going as article ladies home journal 1936

Home-made Halloween Costumes for Teens, 1936

Personal Note: I’m going to be spending the rest of October with my oldest friends — two women who have been putting up with me and making me laugh since 1957. New Blog posts, written ahead of time, will keep appearing at witness2fashion, but I won’t have internet access, so I may not be able to respond to comments right away.

Meanwhile, I’ll be sharing some fashions from Octobers long ago.

Costume advice for "sub-debs" by Elizabeth Woodward, Ladies' Home Journal, October 1936.

Costume advice for “sub-debs” by Elizabeth Woodward, Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1936.

“… Produce weird and wonderful outfits for this year’s masked parties.”

A masquerade party, with the guests wearing creative, home-made costumes. Ladies Home Journal, October 1936.

A masquerade party, with the teen-aged guests wearing creative, home-made costumes. Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1936.

I can’t sincerely recommend any of these costume party ideas for “sub-debs,”  even aside from the fact that costumes made of paper are not fire-safe. (Crepe paper costumes were shockingly common back in the days when a party was usually held in a room full of lighted cigarettes.)

Suggested costumes made from hatboxes and a graduation gown. 1936.

Suggested costumes made from hatboxes and a graduation gown. 1936.

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I’m not sure what the hatbox costume represents. Any guesses?

This costume is seriously cuckoo.

This costume is seriously cuckoo.

A candy cane is menaced by a spider. Suggested party costumes, 1936.

A candy cane is menaced by a spider. Suggested party costumes, 1936. (If those are slashed black tights or leggings over red ones …. I’ve seen those while riding the bus.)

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A robot dances -- rather awkwardly -- with The Empire State Building. 1936.

A robot dances — rather awkwardly — with the Empire State Building. 1936. Chaperones would not need to worry about this couple dancing too closely.

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I hope the prizes are awarded early, before the robot realizes he can’t eat or drink — or kiss a girl.

Some guests have made costumes from sewing patterns — like the clown and the colonial lady:

A clown costume and a "Colonial Lady" costume. These patterns could be purchased from Butterick or other companies. In the background a man wears a sombrero -- perhaps he is a gaucho.

A clown costume and a “Colonial Lady” (or possibly Southern belle) costume. These patterns could be purchased from Butterick or other companies. In the background a man wears a sombrero.

Butterick pattern 4006, clown costume, Delineator, October 1925.

Butterick pattern 4006, clown costume, Delineator, October 1925.

In the background here, we can see a lady in Tudor or “medieval” dress (right), another cone-shaped clown hat center), and a top hat on a curly blonde head — is it Harpo Marx? Or a lady in a riding habit?

Masquerade costumes, Ladies Home Journal, 1936.

Masquerade costumes, Ladies’ Home Journal, 1936.

The author’s suggestion that “Two of you might go as London Bridge” reminds me of a fraternity house costume party I heard about in the 1960’s. Six of the “brothers” went as a six-pack of their favorite beer. The costume was a prize winner, but it seriously undermined their ability to pick up girls. Or  dance. Or visit the buffet (only two were facing out). A visit to the men’s room was quite a challenge, too.

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Perhaps the author favored these costumes for teenagers because they definitely minimize opportunities for close contact. I bet the clown and the colonial lady had a much better time than the robot, the cuckoo clock and the skyscraper!

 

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Filed under 1930s, Children's Vintage styles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture