White Stag – Serving the Nation for the Duration

I recently found this great 1940s wartime catalog on eBay.  Even though the catalog does not tell how White Stag was serving the nation, like most American manufacturers, White Stag found their business greatly affected by the war.  For one thing, two of their main product categories – ski suits and hunting attire – were made from wool.  With so much of the country’s wool going to the military, White Stag was forced to use a combination of cotton and wool, and to use reprocessed wool.

They also began making what was a new category of clothing, women’s outdoor work attire.  They made jumpsuits for factory and shipyard workers, denim overalls and jeans for farm workers and practical jackets and slacks called Defense Togs. (So many women in slacks led to the popularization of them, but that is another story.)

White Stag continued to make active sportswear through the war.  They used the slogan, “A healthy nation needs sport and recreation.”  But there were also changes in the sportswear they made for sale.  Before WWII, ski suits were generally two matching pieces, designed to be worn together.  The wartime shortages made necessary the use of separates, where mix and match (or in many cases, just mix) greatly increased a person’s wardrobe options.  A woman would need to wear her new “Quilt Tunic” with more than just her old ski pants.  It had to be multi-functioning.

Side note:  The costumes in the movie Sun Valley Serenade, 1941, were designed by Travis Banton, but the ski clothes were by F.A. Picard.


Filed under Advertisements, Vintage Clothing, World War II

8 responses to “White Stag – Serving the Nation for the Duration

  1. Shanyn

    What a great catalog find! I’ve been trying to do research on a recent purchase of a Women’s White Stag Function-Alls Sanforized Denim Jacket (tagged with same logo above). It is in beautiful condition, & I assume has great history.
    I know this is a reach, but I don’t suppose you are looking to sell your catalog? If not, I appreciate you posting this great information that I may put with my jacket. 🙂

    On another note, I noticed you have posted bits & pieces regarding Hattie Carnegie. I have this neat hooded (don’t see those too often) knit cardigan with an old Hattie Carnegie label, I believe this may be 1940’s or earlier, but really can’t be sure. Think I will post this in VFG label Discussion Board, as I would love to find out more info & get a better idea of which era this is. Thanks for the great info & stories!


    • Shanyn,
      I’m afraid the catalog is not for sale, but fell free to copy the pages you need. Is your jacket just like the one in the catalog? What a find!

      Please do post the Hattie Carnegie photos at VFG. And if you’d like, you can email them to me and I’ll see what I think. That sound so interesting!


  2. Pingback: Ad Campaign – White Stag Gloves, 1940s and 1950s | The Vintage Traveler

  3. So great, there’s my jacket right there! May I quote your blog, with proper attributes of course. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: White Stag Function-Alls for Women Workers | The Vintage Traveler

  5. Pingback: White Stag | psicaptain

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