Category Archives: 1940s

Anne Spencer in her Garden

When I began this project about ten years ago, I knew that it was a huge task to attempt to portray the dress of older American women in all their diversity. Although I’ve tried to include older women of color, … Continue reading

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Book Review–The 1950s in Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years by Rebecca C. Tuite

This is what the cover of my copy of The 1950s in Vogue looks like—no book title, no author, and no indication of the fact that the book is actually about Vogue editor, Jessica Daves.  Perhaps this is a new … Continue reading

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Pola Stout in Pola Stout

Since Lizzie Bramlett of the blog The Vintage Traveler has been covering the fascinating work of Hollywood designer Adrian, I remembered an old post I wrote about one of his main textile designers, Pola Stout. I accidentally eliminated it some … Continue reading

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For the Love of Buttons, World War Two Era

I was drawn to this photo because of the wonderful button design on the younger woman’s hat.  What a creative way to use little pearl buttons!  Her older companion’s outfit sports many buttons too, not only running up the shirtwaist … Continue reading

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Color Advice for the Gray Haired Woman, 1945

What determines the colors that look good on you? There is an entire industry built up to help you answer that question today.  In this 1945 advertisement from Helena Rubenstein, however, you need look only to your hair color for … Continue reading

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Medicalizing Menopause in the 1930s and 1940s

Is menopause a medical condition that needs to be cured? That was certainly the message conveyed in a series of ads from Parke, Davis & Co. published in mainstream publications from the late 1930s through the 1940s. Just a bit … Continue reading

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Lilly Daché in Pants, 1945

By the end of World War Two, French Born Lilly Daché had cemented her reputation as one of the premier milliners in the United States.  As she prepared to visit France just after peace had been declared, Life magazine published … Continue reading

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Turban Style, early 1940s

Turbans became stylish in the mid 1930s, but they really came into their own during World War Two.  I puzzled for a while about when to date this photo, but the wide, structured shoulders made me decide for the forties. … Continue reading

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Fashion Clash, 1948

The only information on this grainy photo is the date, 1948, but my guess is that it shows a visit by two granddaughters to see their grandmother.  What a clash of styles!  The grandmother wears two items of clothing that … Continue reading

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Wrapped in Fur

These fur scarves, wraps, or boas (I’ve seen many different names) were a terror to me as a child.  My grandmother had one and I was convinced that she was wearing an entire dead animal around her neck.  Since then … Continue reading

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