Category Archives: 1970s

On the Road with Gloria Swanson for Forever Young

In the 1951 contract that Gloria Swanson signed with Puritan Dress was a clause promising that she would make a month long promotional trip every year to promote her line of Forever Young dresses.  Her archive is filled with documents … Continue reading

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Grace Slick’s Mother

For you youngsters who do not know her, Grace Slick was a major rock star in the 1960s and 1970s, lead singer for the Jefferson Airplane.  We can wonder what her upper middle class parents made of her career as … Continue reading

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Stella Reichman–Advocate for Bigger (and Older) Women

“Big is beautiful,” is the motto behind Stella Reichman’s 1977 book, Great Big Beautiful Doll: Everything for the Body and Soul of the Larger Woman. In her late fifties when the book was published, she also advocates for older women.  … Continue reading

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Black Legends in Blackglama

I never understood the wording of these once ubiquitous ads for mink coats.  The people pictured in the ads were contemporary celebrities—legends in their own time.  To underscore that fact, their names were never mentioned in the photo.  Surely they … Continue reading

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The Roaman’s Catalog, 1971

While working my way through references to half sizes in Women’s Wear Daily, I discovered a new-to-me source of clothing for larger women, Roaman’s. It is an old company, beginning as a store front in Manhattan.  The first ads I … Continue reading

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“Pants People—All of Us,” 1971

This 1971 booklet from Vogue Patterns was a lucky eBay find.  “The ‘70s see them [pants] as a mainstay of feminine wardrobes,” reads the peppy opening paragraph, “totally fashion-right everywhere, any time, for any occasion.” (4) This bold statement was … Continue reading

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Life Imitates Art—Molly Goldberg Fashions

Not long ago I wrote about the play Me and Molly, in which the beloved Jewish-American character Molly Goldberg, played by Gertrude Berg, invented the category of half sizes for America’s older and wider women.  Not too long after the … Continue reading

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Easter Hat Competition, 1976

With her stunning creation, including both bunnies and chickens, one wonders why this woman was only a semi-finalist in the Philadelphia Easter hat competition.  The photo of Mrs. Ann Jackson, age eighty three, appeared in the Philadelphia Evening Standard in … Continue reading

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Pants in the Seventies, Part Two

Just why did many older American women turn to pants in the 1970s?  Certainly fashion changes had a lot to do with it.  In the sixties, pantsuits became a stylish, although still bold, choice for fashion forward women.  By the … Continue reading

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The Turn to Pants in the 1970s

When did older women take to pants in significant numbers? It isn’t easy to prove.  You can find evidence in photos and in the impressions of people selling clothes.  But perhaps the best way is to ask women themselves.  It … Continue reading

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