Category Archives: 1940s

Harford Frocks and the Older Woman

The 1947 packet for a Harford Frocks saleswoman contained something for almost everyone in the family, from young children upwards. There were school clothes for girls and boys, outfits designed for teenagers, and even a few things for the man … Continue reading

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Harford Frocks, 1947

When I opened up the 1947 sales kit for a Harford Frocks representative, I was astonished. The cards, housed at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University, looked exactly like those for Fashion Frocks, a much better known company.  After some … Continue reading

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Tomeyo Okine—A Japanese American in California

The year is 1940, and the Okine family of Whittier California poses in front of their recently bought car.  In the amazing online collection of family photos, there are many in front of the car, obviously a prize possession.  Tameyo … Continue reading

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The World of Mrs. Exeter

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know my fascination with Mrs. Exeter, an older woman of fashion invented by Vogue magazine after World War Two.  She was featured on the magazine’s pages for … Continue reading

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Hand Sewing, 1942

In honor of Black History Month, I’m seeking out photos of older black women.  This beautiful portrait of a woman doing hand sewing has been on my radar for a long time.  It is one of a series of photos … Continue reading

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Older Women in Pants, Mid-Century Edition

It isn’t easy to find photos of older women in pants before World War Two, although I am doing my best to uncover them.  After the Second World War, the numbers climb.  We can credit the same explanation often given … Continue reading

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Tobé Coller Davis–the First Lady of Fashion Forecasting

If you read about the history of the American garment industry, it doesn’t take long to come across the name Tobé Coller Davis (1888-1962).  After a varied career in clothing companies and department stores, she opened a fashion forecasting company … Continue reading

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Our Lady of the Parrots, 1941

“Touch and feed the animals at your own risk,” it says on the plaque behind this intrepid parrot lover.  The picture was taken somewhere in Florida in 1941.  Does anyone have any idea where? I don’t think I would be … Continue reading

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Mother of the Bride, 1947

The Mother of the Bride dress above, worn by Bessie McHugh, is a good example of post war fashion on the eve of the “New Look.” The skirt it is longer than the length fixed during World War Two, which … Continue reading

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How New was the “New Look”?

In many fashion histories, the “New Look” introduced by Christian Dior in 1948 is portrayed as nothing short of a revolution.  With his famous collection featuring soft shoulders, nipped waists, full skirts, and longer lengths, he singlehandedly ended prevailing World … Continue reading

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