Wednesday, January 30, 2013

National Bellas Hess Amazing Midsummer Sale catalog, 1946

Pretty summer dresses in cotton and rayon from National Bellas Hess.  Not much has changed, fashion-wise, since World War II ended a year earlier.  And as you flick through the catalog you can see evidence of an economy still hiccuping as it struggles to get on a peacetime footing.  A couple of pages have been overprinted with notices saying that the goods offered thereon were not available.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Flair, September 1972

Still on the theme of summer...

Look what a difference less than a century makes!  Ninety-eight years after Peterson's published their picture of neck-to-ankle bathing gear, Flair featured this lightly clad beauty on its cover.  Inside she is described as wearing "an ankle length two-piece of floaty Marchioness voile" priced at $30.  Since $30 was a fairly expensive item in 1971, it's safe to say she was more likely to wear it to a party than lying around on the beach.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Peterson's Magazine, August 1874

Here we have swimming costumes for a woman and child - who, to modern eyes, look somewhat overdressed for a day at the mall!  However, in comparison to their everyday costumes they appear positively liberated, with bare arms, free legs and, quite obviously, no corsets!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

International Vogue Pattern Book, Summer 1966

In keeping with the "summer" theme of my recent posts, here is a very 1960s casual pantsuit for lounging by the pool.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

McCall's Magazine, August 1908

Browsing my magazine collection tonight I came across this little beach beauty from 1908.  Her knee-length bathing costume is made of mohair (of all things!) trimmed with braid, and comes accessorised with cap, stockings and shoes.   Clearly she's not going to be engaged in any strenuous swimming - if she enters the water at all she'll probably stick to bobbing around in the shallows.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lana Lobell catalog, Summer 1962

While people in the northern hemisphere battle ice and snow, here in Australia I'm sweltering through a heatwave.  It seems to be the right time to start looking at swimsuits:

... And here comes "Lana Lobell" to the rescue, with a selection of natty looking swimwear from 1962.  These (mostly) one-piece costumes seem fairly conservative by later standards - though even in 1962 bikinis were already being worn on beaches in some parts of the world!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Chicago Mail Order sale catalog, Summer 1933

My first post for 2013!  To kick the year off, I've chosen a couple of pages from a small mail order catalogue almost exactly 80 years old:

In America, home of the Chicago Mail Order Company, the New Deal was coming into effect and the worst of the Depression was over - though by no means ALL over!  Chicago Mail Order Co. was clearly hoping its customers were feeling more prosperous and more inclined to spend when it issued this catalogue, though you'll notice items on these pages were being sold at some very low prices indeed.

(Since printing in colour was expensive, the firm printed most of its catalogue in black and white - and tried to cram pictures of as many garments as possible on its colour pages.  From my perspective that means we have a lot of delightful examples of summer wear depicted on these two pages!)