Tag Archives: pants

Slacks and Callouses, a Memoir from World War Two

The subtitle of this wartime memoir, “An account of the experiences of two teachers in an aircraft factory,” tells the story.  Written by San Diego High School English teacher Constance Bowman and illustrated by her Art teacher friend, Clara Marie … Continue reading

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Home on the Range, 1948

What to wear on vacation?  The high summer issue of Vogue Pattern Book in 1948 tackled this very question.  It presented four different holiday scenarios—a weekend at the shore, a week on a ranch, a two weeks’ cruise, and a … Continue reading

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Older Women and Defense Work during World War Two

For the month of October, I had access to an online version of Women’s Wear Daily—what a treasure trove!  My first priority was to trace the history of half sizes, but my passion for discovering the history of older women … Continue reading

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Pants (and Other Bifurcations) Go Mainstream, 1971

When did pants become acceptable garb for almost any occasion?  Of course that answer depends on where you look.  However, judging by the International edition of Vogue Pattern Book for August/September 1971, pants had really taken off. I counted nineteen … Continue reading

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Book Review—Dress Like a Woman: Working Women and What They Wore

I was attracted to this book by the two big names on the cover, feminist scholar Roxane Gay and the New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman. Gay wrote the foreword, a brief examination of the many laws and customs … Continue reading

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Older Women in Shorts–Helen Hokinson’s View

After my last post on the proper etiquette of shorts, I thought I would reprise this satirical drawing by cartoonist Helen Hokinson.   She had a keen eye for the missteps of women of a certain class (and post-menopausal heft).  One … Continue reading

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Georgia O’Keeffe in Pants

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was not only a famous artist, she was also a famous artist’s model.  Her career as a serious subject of photographs began when she took up with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who later became her husband.  It … Continue reading

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Grandmother and Granddaughter in Pants, 1950

This photo from Southern California in 1950 is a reminder that different ethnic groups in the United States had very different ideas about the appropriateness of women in pants. Here a Chinese American grandmother and her granddaughter pose proudly in their … Continue reading

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On the Go, 1976

During the 1970s, it became more frequent for older American women to wear pants. Obviously that was not the case for the white haired woman on the left, who kept on her dress for a spin on an adult tricycle. … Continue reading

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Older Women in Pants, Mid-Century Edition

It isn’t easy to find photos of older women in pants before World War Two, although I am doing my best to uncover them.  After the Second World War, the numbers climb.  We can credit the same explanation often given … Continue reading

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