Lombard Middy Blouses for the College Girl

The middy blouse is one of those garments that today we have sort of pushed to the side and forgotten.  Ever since it went out of favor in the late 1920s, the middy has made a reappearance from time to time.  It was big during the patriotic times of the 1940s, had a brief moment in the 1960s, was revived by Laura Ashley in the 1980s, and was sported by the Duchess of Cambridge last year.

Still, it is hard for us today to realize how ubiquitous the middy actually was with girls and young women in the 1910s and 1920s.  If you look at as many vintage photos as I, then you begin to see just how commonly this garment was worn by schoolgirls.  It’s sort of like the jeans of the era.

I tend to think of it as a white cotton twill garment, and to be truthful, that is usually what is seen both in vintage photos and in vintage clothing shops.  But the middy was made in a wide range of colors and fabrics.

I recently acquired the two little brochure catalogs above.  On the left is the catalog from 1920 and on the right is the one from 1922.  They are from Henry S. Lombard, a Boston company, and were sold only through the catalog.  I’ve reproduced most of the pages for you, and you can click to enlarge each double page.


1922.  Notice how much skirts have shortened in just two years.


Filed under Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing

8 responses to “Lombard Middy Blouses for the College Girl

  1. So fun to see such an old catalog filled with photographs instead of illustrations . Great stuff, thanks for scanning all those pages.


  2. Teresa

    I agree with Lisa. It’s so fabulous to see the catalogue full of photos instead of illustrations, though I do love the illustrations. Middy blouses are so lovely. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t caught on properly again, especially with the duchess sporting it last year. Maybe next season?


  3. What my grandmothers must have worn in college. Thank you for posting-


  4. What a treasure! These are fabulous…well those Khaki Breeches are a little scary…but the rest are a treat.


  5. Pingback: Lombard Blouses for the College Girl, 1918 | The Vintage Traveler

  6. Pingback: Envelope Chemises, Step-ins, and Other Lingerie, 1924-25 | witness2fashion

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