Tag Archives: pants

Turkey Shopping in Boston, 1952

After World War Two, American women began to expand the places where they felt comfortable wearing pants.  For the most part, grocery shopping was not on the fashion advisors’ list of proper places for such casual attire.  However, this perhaps … Continue reading

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Blanche’s Retirement Party, 1971

Time: 1971.  Place:  Data Products.  Event: A party for Blanche.  This much is clear from the notes on the backs of eight color photos I bought on ebay.  After looking at them for awhile, I think it is a good … Continue reading

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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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The Evolution of the Slacks Suit in Montgomery Ward Catalogs

What exactly is a “slacks suit”?  It isn’t quite what we mean by a pantsuit these days, a matching pair of pants and jacket with the versatility of a man’s suit. In the 1930s, when the term emerged as a … Continue reading

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Amy Vanderbilt on (and in) Pantsuits, 1971

I have always considered Amy Vanderbilt (1908-1974), America’s mid-century manners maven, something of a fussbudget.  Consider her 1952 advice on evening meals: “Every woman should change for dinner, if only into a clean house dress…Fresh clothes and makeup, even if … Continue reading

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The Changing Seasons in Iowa, 1953

The contrast of the clothing drew me to this picture.  The family group—mother, two daughters, and son—are dressed up for chilly weather, while the two women on the left are wearing light colored summery clothing.  I’m thinking someone snapped the … Continue reading

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Looking Your Fashionable Age, ca. 1969

Many older women of fashion had a hard time in the 1960s.  Youth was in style and new ideas filtered up from the street rather than down from designers who might have had some sympathy for older shapes. Perhaps to … Continue reading

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On the Ferry, 1943

On a recent visit to relatives in the San Francisco Bay area, I went to the Oakland Museum’s exhibit, Dorothea Lange–The Politics of Seeing.  The museum is the depository of Lange’s archive, so it was a chance to see some … Continue reading

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“Is the Trousers Skirt So Foolish?”

The question above, posed by the Ladies Home Journal fashion writer Mrs. Ralston, was apparently a controversial one in 1911.  I’ll write more about Ralston later; for now it is enough to know that she was an important arbiter of … Continue reading

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Patterns of the Times

At the end of the 1940s and into the 1950s, the fashion editor of the New York Times, Virginia Pope, sponsored a series of patterns that were written up and advertised in the newspaper.  Published by the Advance Pattern Company, … Continue reading

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