Given the flood of clothing recommendations for aging Baby Boomers today, one might get the impression that this was a new industry. However, this is hardly the case. Magazines geared to middle class American women were already targeting the older set at the turn of the twentieth century.
Since the 1920s were a period that favored the youthful (if not to say adolescent) female figure, more mature women were in need of help. In this article in Good Housekeeping, “The Older Woman: The Smart Combined with the Practical,” author Edith May Gardner finds polite ways to warn the no longer young and slim against some of the most extreme forms of flapper fashion. “The gown that is entirely beltless is worn best by the young, slim, graceful figure… There may be a few women who want and can wear the very straight type of dress, with a boat neckline and short sleeves, but they are so exceptional that we have selected styles suitable for the majority.”
The outfits featured in the article came in sizes from 34 to 46, measured by bust size. They were very expensive, with the coat at the right coming in at $75.00 in 1925 prices. All of them use time honored methods to distract from a larger silhouette, including horizontal and diagonal lines. Note that big fox fur on the left, a very popular accessory at the time.