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 asking him to elaborate on the success of his brand.

This ad appeared in the March 1964 issue of California Stylist, a special issue on pants. My first thought, after “You’ve got to be kidding,” was to wonder in what situation a man in a suit with French cuffs would be embracing a subordinate woman wearing magenta stretch pants. You might guess in an office mail room, but pants didn’t really make it into the white collar workplace until the next decade. And although California was known for its casual lifestyle, the editors of the magazine assert that pants were best suited “for active sports, leisure, or even entertaining.”

So tell me, where did Mr. Thompson meet his companion for their discussion about stretch pants? At a cocktail party where she is underdressed and he is overdressed? On the street as she left from lunch with friends and he was on the way to the bank? Inquiring minds want to know.

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7 Responses to Mr. Thompson…Please!

  1. Good question! Unless Mr. Thompson’s wife calls him Mister — like a Victorian lady. (And those stretchpants are not for Victorian ladies.) I remember when stretch pants were just for skiing.

  2. Jen O says:

    I always imagined this to be that she’s his wife in the kitchen, a good-bye embrace before he goes to work (yes?). I remember these ads, and didn’t think twice about it at the time.
    (p.s. for an amazing look at at c. 1963 spandex pants in action, there’s some great dance scenes in “Bye Bye Birdie” featuring Ann Margaret)

  3. Carolyn Boyd says:

    I’m still thinking about that tiny waist. The pants look like they are way too tight to be comfortable. Of course she was probably wearing a girdle too.

  4. bellneice says:

    The face and hands of the model in pink are not included in the photo. This could be a teenage boy for all we know. No need to photoshop.

  5. donna says:

    This is Mr. Thompson’s wife. My mother who stayed at home raising children, dressed like this. Also wives used to use “Mr.” as way to flirt or flatter (perhaps when they were just about to request the “charge plate”).

  6. donna says:

    I told my friend about this picture and she replied “It’s totally Dick and Laura Petrie!”. Obviously referring to the Dick Van Dyke Show, 1962.

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