Tag Archives: old catalogs

1930′s Inspiration- Season Your Wardrobe for the Season

Hello!

Today I’ve got more fun 1930′s inspiration to share from you.  This is from Fall/Winter 1935-1936.

This catalog page includes a bevy of separates that will make your wardrobe sing for the Winter season.  I can see I need more blouses, skirts, and jackets to get me through the year.  All of these would be easily mixed and matched together, if done in a matching colorway.

My very, very favorite is the corduroy suit (at left).  The catalog claims it can even go to tea!  Wow.  My love for corduroy knows no bounds.  It’s hearty, warm, and washable.  Everything I love in daily wear.

The jacket at makes the 1890′s influence on late 1930′s style completely obvious.  Double breasted, high neck, “leg o mutton” gathered sleeves.  It’s funny how the 1930′s took influence from the 1890′s.  To think, it was only forty years before.  It would be fashion today taking influence from the 1970s.  Which does, obviously, happen…

(Gibson Image Source)

Speaking of 1890′s style, this blouse is blaring it out, calling it the “Gibson Girl” style.  I also see ads quite often for “Gay 90′s” style.  In fact, I picked up a late 30′s brooch recently that said “Gay 90′s”, and has a pennyfarthing hanging from it.  It has since met an untimely demise of the little hanging loop and must be mended before I share photos.  An image from Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the Gibson Girl, is supplied to compare.  Eh, I can see it…

If skirts are your thing, more than jackets and blouses, check out this great detailing.  The insets of the skirt are cut bias.  It would be simple enough to do with a pattern you have to add an unexpected detail.

Or, if you want to go even more crazy, why not add zig zag insets with buttons, pintucks, or crazy deco pockets?

Hope you enjoy these images!  Happy creating!

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Vintage Inspiration: 1936-1937 Winter Blouses & Skirts

I case you’re not on my Facebook page, you may not have heard that I’m in process of developing a new 1930s pattern.  Well, it’s not actually “new”, it’s one I had previously released in my beginning days as a single size reproduction.  Well, no photos of it yet (bwahaha! I like to keep you in suspense!) but I’m cutting out samples today to test it, and I was desiring a little inspiration.

Here we have some darling little blouses and skirts from Fall and Winter 1936-1937 from the National Bellas Hess catalog.  Don’t you just LOVE the details?  I want to make about a million separates for myself right now.  I hope you find these inspiring, too!

It seems like 1936 and 1937 were the years of the tunic.  They’re all over the place!  Tunic blouses, tunic dresses, two piece dresses.  And now they’re back… just over leggings or skinny jeans.

Do you have a favorite blouse of the ones above?

1930hat3

Beautiful Spring + Summer Hats from 1930

I have a very special treat for you this evening.  Here are some absolutely gorgeous images of hats from the Chicago Mail Order catalog from Spring and Summer 1930.

Aren’t these just exquisite?

Click the image above to read descriptions of the color image below.

Click the image below to read the descriptions of the image above.

Just stunning!  This has to be one of the best periods for hats EVER.  *swoon*

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway that Debbie of Vintage Dancer has generously offered to my blog readers!  The giveaway ends tomorrow night!!  Click here to be taken to the post.

Happy Almost-the-Weekend! :)

Keeping Warm in the 1930s: Rain and Snow

I’m a bit under the weather today, so I figured I should post another set of images in the “Keeping Warm” series.

Here’s two pages of catalog images from 1937-1938 showing coats to be worn in the rain, and outfits for play in the snow.

rainyweatherfriends

I find the fabric descriptions pretty fascinating. Rubberized fabrics like silk crepe de chine or cotton tweed, all rubber, or cotton gaberdine or whipcord- which were both supposed to be water repellent on their own. Also notice the sensible headwear, umbrellas, and rubber overshoes (which are made of rubber and hollow in the heel so that you can slip your regular footwear inside. I think they should make a comeback!).

snowfun

This image shows darling snow wear! I admit I have a love for the vintage ski jackets- but I’d rather wear them in regular life than in ski and snow sports. I think they’d look pretty cute even with modern jeans! I personally think ski and snow wear has come a long way since the 1930s. Although I’ve never tried it in the snow myself, it’s hard to imagine these “water repellant” styles keeping you dry, if you spend as much time as I do falling down or sitting in snow ;) These are all mentioned to be lined in cotton Kasha. I have not personally ever run across this fabric. If anyone knows what the modern equivalent is, or if it’s still available, please be sure to let us know!

Wishing you a warm weekend,
Lauren

Keeping Warm in the 1930s- Overcoats!

Now that’s we’ve taken a quick look at what goes on underneath, let’s skip to what goes on top!  Many gals have mentioned that layering is what’s needed, since it can be frigid inside and then toasty indoors.  Luckily, we can remove the overcoat.

Unlike today, when a girl can choose (or thrift, or make) several coats in one season, our counterparts in the 1930s would have to choose very wisely.  Most women had one overcoat, and that coat had to last through several winters.  Because of that, overcoats needed to be chosen with great care and thought.  It had to match your wardrobe, go with your other clothing, and fit your unique style.  This is why, often times, vintage overcoats could be a bit “bland”.  The flashy ones were fun, but were more the luxury of women who could afford to have an alternate coat- or else the purchase could be regretted the following year when the fashion forward coat was suddenly out of style!  It’s actually a great lesson to take with us into how we select our wardrobe today.  Think of it as quality over quantity- or choose a great basic to mix with more inexpensive “fun” pieces, like a quirky hat, bag, or brooch.

However, I am in LOVE with all these more fashion forward versions of coats below.  They scream the era they’re from, but aren’t they just delightful with their topstitching detail?  (Actually, they’re a glimpse of things to come for Wearing History, since I’ve been back puttering away at a pattern with similar detailing, but from a different era).

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

The one below has a definate “Gay 90′s” flair, as they called it in the mid to late 30s. What a time to harken back to the 1890s! It’s kind of funny, actually- our harkening to 40 years prior would put us in the 1970′s, and we can’t say that there aren’t fashions floating around today that were influenced by the recent past.

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

I’ve got more great coat images I can share that fall more in line with “warmth” than “chic”, but these were so fun I had to share.

For past posts of mine with images of overcoats, check out these links:

 Images posted prior to my migration to a WordPress.org blog are fuzzy, but if you click on the image it will take you to a nice clear version.
Have a great weekend!

Keeping Warm in the 1930′s- Socks and Stockings

I’m so glad that so many of you loved the theme of “keeping warm” for upcoming posts!  I admit there was a lot more response on the last post than I expected.  I guess there’s lots of us who like keeping warm and toasty!

Next up, since we’re on the subject of what goes on underneath, we’ve got stockings.

Most people think of stockings of the 1930s and 1940s in terms of the “cuban heeled” or “fully fashioned” stockings that were sheer and made of rayon, nylon, or silk.  Some even think of fishnet stockings, which were less common than we might think but certainly were still around.  And when we get to the 1940s we think of leg paint to help out with looking like there were stockings when in reality they were mostly given up for the war effort!

For everyday wear, around the house, or for cool weather there were, thankfully, more options than those sheer stockings we usually think of.  Here’s two pages of legwear options from Fall & Winter 1937-1938 with images of legwear to keep you warm.

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

The socks (or anklets) at upper left were advertised to be worn in addition to your hoisery.  Ladies wore these not only with flats and “saddle shoes”, but they were often worn with heels!  It was a cute, sporty look, and it kept your feet warm.  It wasn’t as common to wear with heels as it was to wear stockings alone, but you do see it in catalog images for footwear and in real life photos.

“Remember- Wool is Warmer”- the ad on the right reminds us.  You could select your stockings by wool content.  The ultimate luxury were 100% wool or a wool/silk blend.

Below this ad, we’ve got invisible “under hose”.  These would be an extra layer underneath your sheerer stockings, and apparently, the idea was to have these under hose look like it was actually your skin but it provided an extra layer of warmth.

And below that we’ve got stocking lined in fleece!  Don’t those sound cosy?

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

On the page above we’ve got cotton stockings in various styles.  These would keep your warmer than sheer rayon or silk and would would be more sturdy for everyday wear.

And on the left we’ve got the “outsize” stockings, which were made for “stout” women.  You can see the standard range that most stockings, in regular or outsizes, were available in.

I usually skip over the stocking pages in old catalogs, but I found these cool weather options rather enlightening!  Are they what you would expect?  What sort of legwear do you wear to keep warm in cool weather?

Keeping Warm in the 1930′s- Knit Underwear

It’s abnormally chilly here in San Diego!  This cool weather has me thinking of things to keep warm.

One of the biggest misconceptions that I’ve seen and heard about dressing the past is our perception of keeping warm.  Just like today, our 1930′s sisters layered and selected their cool weather garments with care.  Instead of freezing in rayon satin tap pants and sheer hose, with a flimsy rayon crepe dress and jacket of questionable warmth, I’ve got a few posts coming up of images of what you’d wear to keep nice and toasty in cool weather.  It’s easy to adapt these ideas to our wardrobe recreations.  Remember no one looks chic while they’re shivering!

First up, here’s some great images of knitted underwear.  If you’ve looked at vintage knitting books, you may recognize the look of these.  Many knitted books contained patterns for wool knitted underwear like these (similar to long johns today).  It seems they were especially prominent in UK publications.  So, a clever knitter could find patterns today and knit up a set to keep warm- or the seamstress might be able to make up a set inspired by these from knits, or adapt a modern set of long underwear to a similar look (remember, cotton and natural fibres dye, so you could give them a pretty peachy pink look like these below).

Some might be turned off by these- they’re not the satin and lace dainty underwear we’ve come to associate with the 1930′s.  But, remember, it’s better to be warm and outwardly stylish than shivering in cold rayon undies that will never be seen!  Sense is always chic ;)

Check it out… the original Snuggie!

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

All of these images are remastered from the National Bellas Hess Fall & Winter Catalog from 1937-1938

You can click on any of the images to take you to my Flickr and see a larger version you can read.

So what do you think?  Would you be up for these vintage warm undies, or would you rather wear something modern, or stick with the rayon ones we’ve come to associate with the 1930′s?

Cheery Summer Shoes, 1938

It’s been a while since I shared some old catalog images. Finally got my scanner hooked up again, so I have two darling pages to show from a 1938 Chicago Mail Order catalog.  This comes from a little sale catalog and it’s one I go back to over and over again for style inspiration.  In fact, it’s in this catalog that I found the image I based my Fiesta Farmerettes off of!

Paging American Duchess- I want “N” in the above photo- the floral ones with little bows on the front and open toes with matching purse, k?  I’m not picky… I’ll take them in stripes instead of florals ;)  Or green.

Fabric, 1933

One of the questions I get asked quite frequently is what fabrics, colors, and patterns would be appropriate for a period or a particular sewing pattern. Well, here’s a little peek at a few catalog images from 1933. When looking at fabrics it’s always best to go to original source material, and color catalogs are a fantastic way to get a description of fabrics available, fibre content, colorways, and prints. Click the images for a larger version.  Enjoy these images from 1933!

Catalog Inspiration: In Fashion Headlines with Hats- 1939-1940

Wow- I kind of fell off of the face of the planet this week! I didn’t realize I haven’t posted in quite a bit. Oops?  To make up for it, here’s a few pretty pictures of hats from the National Bella Hess Fall and Winter catalog of 1939-1940. I’ve been an an exceptional vintage hat kick lately, and making my mental wish list of hats I’d love to own someday. Hmm… a mustard yellow one, and a sporty little red straw breton, and  one with loud feathers and a jaunty brim… the list goes on…. and all from around the same era as these scans, preferably!  1939 and 1940 were exceptional years for hats, in my opinion.

I know I posted this recently on my Facebook page, but I wanted to give you all a heads up that I’ve got a TON (probably about 200) vintage knitting magazines that date from the late 40s until the 1970s that will be making their way up to my Etsy store. Most date from the mid 50′s through mid 60′s.  Keep an eye out if you like vintage knitting, and keep checking back ’cause it will take me a while to get through them all!

Hope you’re having a great week so far!