Catalog Inspiration: Fall and Winter Coats- 1939-1940

My thoughts have been turning to cold weather 1940’s clothing as of late.  Tops of my list is a great casual overcoat that is stylish and warm.  Now, if only I could send away for it from the images below. “Hollywood” is tops on my list! These are all from the Fall and Winter 1939-1940 National Bellas Hess catalog. Click on any image for a larger version.  Enjoy!



8 Comments on Catalog Inspiration: Fall and Winter Coats- 1939-1940

  1. Lenora Jane
    January 25, 2012 at 10:44 am (4 years ago)

    I am just immature enough to love that the middle coat in the top illustration is called “reefer”…it’s also my favorite one in the post though. I love that heavily nipped-in, cleanly buttoned-up silhouette–the only times I’ve had tie-belt coats I’ve replaced the ties with regular buckle belts. I just can’t get over the “bathrobe feel” of it, I guess.

    …No, I think I actually love the rust-colored one on the latter page best. The model’s hat is certainly better :)

    • Lauren
      January 25, 2012 at 10:55 am (4 years ago)

      Ooh! Good thought on replacing the tie belt with a buckle. My tie belts always seem to end up untying themselves and looking quite sloppy, though I do love the look of them, I admit.
      That rust colored outfit is divine. Hats for the win.

  2. littleblackcar
    January 25, 2012 at 10:48 am (4 years ago)

    Oh, my–that was my first thought, too: “The Reefer?? Clearly it meant something else in 1939!”

    It’s a lovely coat, though. I’ve always liked double-breasted coats.

    • Lauren
      January 25, 2012 at 10:50 am (4 years ago)

      Lol! Yes, I believe it originally was a type of Victorian men’s overcoat.

  3. GlassCannon
    January 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Such great looking coats, but I can’t look at them without wondering how those ladies kept the lower halves of their bodies warm. Bare (or more likely stocking-clad) legs with those little shoes? They must have been freezing! Or maybe that’s just the magic of advertising, even back then. Did women actually run around in big coats, sheer socks, and tiny shoes?

    • Lauren
      January 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm (4 years ago)

      Good thought! I think you’re right, and some of this is the magic of advertising. For colder weather women would often wear thicker cotton or wool stockings, and also layer some flannel undies or knitted underwear underneath to keep warm.
      But for me, in chilly weather, I’d rather take trousers!

  4. Desiree
    January 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm (4 years ago)

    I absolutely love the fur collars. I bought a coat from the 60s recently that has a mink collar and its feels so great against my face. Is it weird that I said that?

    -Desiree
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