Tag Archives: advertising

The War on Pants for Women, 1972

When women began wearing pants in public, they faced ferocious criticism.  I am used to biting comments well into the 1960s. “There are fortunate girls (usually under the age of fifteen) who look well in tight trousers; but I have … Continue reading

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Half Sizes Part 5: The Record in Montgomery Ward Catalogs

I’ve long been fascinated by the category of “half-sizes,” a term now associated with clothing for shorter and wider women.  But until the US government issued standardized sizing guidelines in the 1950s, the term “half size” could mean just about … Continue reading

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Elderly, Matronly, or Mature? Montgomery Ward Experiments with Names

In 1912, the Montgomery Ward catalog went through a major revision that favored women clothing buyers.  Before that year, women’s clothing was scattered throughout the catalog; you had to look through the index to find everything offered to female consumers.  … Continue reading

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“Stout” Sizes at Montgomery Ward

In 1912, the Montgomery Ward catalog launched a new size range for larger women.  Originally called “stout” sizes, the company expanded its standard size range from a 32 inch waist and a 42 inch bust in 1900 to a 40 … Continue reading

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The Cheerful Granny Keeps Cool, 1956

Since the weather is still hot, it’s a good time to share this ad for the Frigidaire “full house” air conditioning system featuring a cheerful granny. The text sells the central forced air system as a boon for family life, … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, General | Tagged , | 3 Comments

A Cheerful Granny on the Phone, 1958

It has been a long time since I have written about the Cheerful Granny, a staple of American advertising in the mid-twentieth century. I knew it was time for an update when Jen Orsini of the blog Pintucks sent me … Continue reading

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The Gracious Woman from Sears, 1971

According to the Sears catalog offerings available on Ancestry.com, the Gracious Lady line of clothing that had been sold since 1936 died a quiet death in 1967. What happened to bring about this demise? Did the youth cult of the … Continue reading

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Your Cosmetic Portrait by Helena Rubinstein, 1935

I’ve been reading a fascinating book on beauty care expert Helena Rubinstein, Beauty is Power by Mason Klein. It is the companion volume to an exhibit of the same name that recently closed at the Jewish Museum in New York, … Continue reading

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“I’m Proud to Admit I’m a Grandmother,” 1947

Most advertisements containing grandmothers refer to their homey, family loving qualities. This is the earliest I’ve seen that praises her as a glamorous figure. It’s worth noting that this stylish grandmother appears over half a year before the birth of … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Outfitting the Gracious Lady

When Sears introduced the “Gracious Lady,” its distinctive name for the older female market, it was not venturing into new territory. Before 1936 the company had already developed goods designed for the older set, using terms like “mature women” and … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s | Tagged | 3 Comments