I’m going to come clean at the start of this post: I’m not 100% sure what the heck is going on in this Glamour cover from 1944. My best guess is based on the knowledge that both women are wearing the same coat. Yes, different colors, but it is the same coat from Swansdown.
The coat sensation of the year is short, boxy, versatile. It goes anywhere, any time. Wear it in the city, the country, the evening.
So, is this a case of “seeing oneself on the street” embarrassment? My guess is that explains the shocked and slightly belligerent looks the women are exchanging.
You younger readers may not remember a time when wearing the same outfit as another woman was a cause for extreme embarrassment. I remember hearing tales of women who arrived at a party to find another woman wearing her dress, and then sneaking out to race home and change. It even happened to Mamie Eisenhower in 1955, and the event was such a big deal that it was reported in Time magazine.
Today, it seems that problem has been solved. I give partial credit to the IT bag. You know, the bag of the moment that everyone who is anyone is carrying this season. This summer the IT bag was from Celine, and so many people have been carrying it that Bill Cunningham gave it a mention in his weekly video.
And then there is the casual “uniform” that so many people have adopted. Who cares if you pass someone on the street who is also wearing jeans, a black tee and a grey hoodie?
Or maybe it is still a cause for embarrassment in some circles. In this case, three women wore the same gown, one changed, one threw on a bright wrap, and the other simply seemed not to care. Not that this is ever going to happen to me because I always wear vintage to any balls I attend at the Vanderbilt mansion.