Tag Archives: pants

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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Older Women in Pants—Photos from the Teens and Twenties

My favorite topic of all time is tracing the history of older American women in pants.  It was only in the 1970s that older women adopted pants in great numbers, but that does not mean that some didn’t try the … Continue reading

Posted in 1910s, 1920s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Pajama Party

Two of my favorite blogs, The Vintage Traveler and Witness2fashion, have been investigating the pajama craze in the 1920s recently. I thought it would be interesting to examine the record in the world of down market catalogs The fashion forward woman … Continue reading

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Pants for Women in Montgomery Ward Catalogs, 1907-1924

When did Montgomery Ward begin offering pants designed for women?  The first mention I found (and I could have easily missed some) had to do with horseback riding.  In 1907, you could buy a custom made divided skirt “for cross … Continue reading

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A Visit to Times Square, 1970s

Today Times Square in New York City looks very different than it did before its big clean up in the 1990s.  It used to be a hub of prostitution, adult bookstores, and sex shows.  You can see evidence if you … Continue reading

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Independence Day of the Future, 1894

If you are ever tempted to think that women’s voting rights, or women wearing pants, weren’t controversial, I urge you to look through the covers of the satirical magazine Puck at the Library of Congress. In this late nineteenth century … Continue reading

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Panta-loons by Jessie Gillespie, 1914

Pants for women were an extremely controversial issue in 1914, as shown in this drawing illustrator Jessie Gillespie made for the Evening Star Sunday magazine in October, 1914. Looking through the Library of Congress’s archive of American newspapers, Chronicling America, … Continue reading

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At the Craft Fair, mid 1970s

These brightly colored pictures might document a women’s club charity sale. Although they have no date, I think they come from the mid 1970s. My first clue was the lime green check pantsuit worn by the woman on the right.  … Continue reading

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