Tag Archives: terminology

Age Affirmative Advertising

How do you sell products designed for older people? The linguistic twists and turns of advertisers have always interested me, so I took a look at the collection The Aging Consumer, edited by Aimee Doret (New York, 2010.)  The most … Continue reading

Posted in 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Fashion Advice for Older Women—“Age Appropriate”

Since starting this project, I’ve read a lot of books and articles on what older women should wear.  Although the categories are fluid, I’ve broken this literature into three large schools of thought: 1) Act your Age; 2) Fool the … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Mannish Tailored Fashions for the Older Set

In a recent fishing expedition through interlibrary loan offerings I came across a fascinating title, The American Gentlewoman: Mannish Tailored Fashions. It lives up to its name. The author, (or “sponsor” as listed on the title page) was Sam Regal, … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Dowager Corset, 1900

If you had a product intended for older women, what would you call it?  These days it might include the words “ageless” or “forever young,” but in 1900 “dowager” was apparently considered a good idea.  What is a dowager anyway? … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Considering the Matron

You don’t see the word matron much anymore, but it was an important term of reference in fashion writing in the early twentieth century.  Since I’m fascinated by synonyms (and euphemisms) for “old,” I used the search engines for women’s … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Elderly, Matronly, or Mature? Montgomery Ward Experiments with Names

In 1912, the Montgomery Ward catalog went through a major revision that favored women clothing buyers.  Before that year, women’s clothing was scattered throughout the catalog; you had to look through the index to find everything offered to female consumers.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1910s | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Gracious Woman from Sears, 1971

According to the Sears catalog offerings available on Ancestry.com, the Gracious Lady line of clothing that had been sold since 1936 died a quiet death in 1967. What happened to bring about this demise? Did the youth cult of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Outfitting the Gracious Lady

When Sears introduced the “Gracious Lady,” its distinctive name for the older female market, it was not venturing into new territory. Before 1936 the company had already developed goods designed for the older set, using terms like “mature women” and … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Gracious Lady from Sears

A key item on my research wish list was to find a searchable version of the entire Sears catalog on line. And now I have, for a price. The extensive website Ancestry.com, used by genealogists everywhere, has just acquired a … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s | Tagged , | 4 Comments