While leafing through the 16 page brochure, Butterick Fashion News from April 1938, I knew right away that this page was dedicated to patterns for older women. What were the clues?
First of all, the drawings were different. While other sketches showed women with page boys, these women wore their hair very close to their heads. One even has telltale lines under her eyes.
And finally there were the sizes. The first two went from sizes 34 to 50 inches at the bust; the jacket and frock for busy matrons was offered in sizes 34 to 52.
Were these offerings for older women different than those made in smaller sizes? Many variations of the two dresses on the left, with puffed sleeves and a shirred bodice, were available in sizes from size 12 up. However, the dresses in larger sizes were less elaborate.
In addition, older and wider women were not offered the most avant-garde styles. According to the brochure copy, the innovation of the season was the Schiaperilli inspired bolero. It was not available in the largest sizes, though. The cute model above, Butterick 7788, was only offered in junior miss sizes 12 to 20 (bust sizes 30 to 38.) And the note the bolero clad junior miss also gets the most fabulous hat.