I usually don’t buy items that are concerned strictly with men’s clothing, but I’m sure you’ve guessed that I was seduced by the cover image of this little catalog from men’s suit and coat maker, Hart Schaffner & Marx. They call it a style book, as it was not strictly a catalog. I’m guessing that men’s stores mailed these to customers, as this came with the original envelope.
There are several things that I found interesting about this little booklet. First, the cover image is more of a life style statement than an indication of what HS&M has to offer. There is no sportswear at all in the style book.
The second interesting thing was the use of women in the booklet. I’ve looked at hundreds of catalogs that are selling only women’s things, and I can’t remember there ever being men just hanging out in the illustrations. Sometimes there are children, and an occasional pet, but not men. But in this little style book for men, women are used, mainly as background props.
Here we have not only the dear old mother cooking a turkey for her sons, we also have a kitty prop.
Here’s one that was a bit unexpected: a woman rabbit salesperson.
I can’t figure out if the woman in this photo is the man’s wife, or merely an admirer. Perhaps she’s eavesdropping, trying to find out if the man is buying a toy for his son, but hopefully, a nephew.
There’s no doubt about this one. He’s the man of the house, and there’s the nanny holding the heir.
Even nuns were utilized as background props.
Care about dress and appearance is not a small matter; the clothes illustrated here are made for the man who cares to be correct.
Mother has strayed and is busy looking out to see while father minds the heir.
Not all of the illustrations used women as props. Here we see the faithful, but sleepy canine companion.
And I saved the best for the last: a bell-ringing Santa Claus.