Tag Archives: advertising

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

Posted in 1930s | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

“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

Can We Talk About Bodies?

Since several fashion lines have chosen older women as their public face, the most recent being Joan Didion for Céline, some fashion writers have decided that it’s finally hip to be old. That’s why I appreciated yesterday’s New York Times … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

The Gracious Lady from Sears

A key item on my research wish list was to find a searchable version of the entire Sears catalog on line. And now I have, for a price. The extensive website Ancestry.com, used by genealogists everywhere, has just acquired a … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Stylish Stout in the 1920s

In the era of the pencil slim, boyish flapper, plus size clothing gained a real foothold in the American clothing market. Perhaps this isn’t as much of a paradox as it seems at first glance; larger women who wanted to … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Mr. Thompson…Please!

“Tell me! What this coast-to-coast excitement about your new SPANDEX stretch pants?” reads this ad for Mr. Thompson pants. Instead of chiding the man for his inappropriate advances, this woman (probably on the young side, given her tiny waist) is … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s | Tagged , | 7 Comments

The Cheerful Granny at Christmas, 1957

Pictured with family members and used to promote  household products, the Cheerful Granny was a staple of the American advertising industry in the early to mid twentieth century. I was drawn to this advertisement for the chain store Penney’s because … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Half Sizes, Part 3–The Martha Manning Brand

Although I don’t yet know when or how half sizes were invented, by the 1940s there were a number of clothing lines devoted to the older, shorter, wider woman. One of the best known was Martha Manning, a clothing company … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, 1950s, 1960s | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Rise and Fall of Mirabella Magazine

To hear Grace Mirabella tell the story, the magazine that bore her name was done in by the fashion establishment. In her memoir In and Out of Vogue (1995), she includes a final chapter about her magazine, which had just … Continue reading

Posted in 1990 | Tagged , | 5 Comments