This Sydney mail order catalogue was aimed at budget conscious women who wanted "Style without extravagance!"
Apart from the usual layouts of 1930s fashion, this catalogue held one delightful little surprise for me. McDowells also sold materials for home dressmakers, and had attached little sample pieces for their customers' inspection. Tucked away safely in the middle of the book, these samples were almost as fresh and unfaded as the day they had been pasted into the catalogue. It gave me a chance to see some original 1930s fabrics in detail. I've scanned a couple of cotton pieces below - as you can see, small floral prints were popular! These types of prints would remain in fashion through the Second World War, only to be replaced with larger scaled and more abstract blooms in the 1950s.