Many of you will recognize the name Rose Marie Reid, as her company produced women’s swimsuits for many years. The Rose Marie Reid label began in 1946 when she moved her business from Canada to Los Angeles, a center of the swimwear industry. But before that, she actually had a swimwear and sportswear company in Vancouver, Reid’s Holiday Togs. The label dates roughly from 1936 to 1946 and is rarely seen today.
I felt pretty lucky when I spotted this sweet example in an etsy shop, Mystic Clutter Vintage. According to the biography of Reid, the company produced only swimsuits, so finding a garment other than a bathing suit was pretty exciting. When I received the playsuit, my enthusiasm for it was even greater. There are so many great little details that add up to a perfect little garment.
One of my favorite features is how the pockets are built into the princess line. Then note how just below the pocket, a pleat opens in the side seam.
The presence of pleats in a playsuit really adds to the functionality of the garment. The legs are full without looking full, leading to greater range of movement by the wearer without sacrificing the fitted look of the suit.
The front is closed with a long metal zipper, which helps to date this to the very early years of the label. After Canada entered WWII, the Reid biography specifically pointed out that zippers were unavailable to the company. I love the curved raglan shoulder, which gives the appearance of a bigger shoulder in accordance with the style of the time. The little round collar is also a nice touch.
The back of the bodice has an inverted pleat which adds to the wearer’s mobility.
The fabric is a nice cotton twill. The color is very reminiscent of that used in gymsuits during this time, but there is no evidence that I found that Reid made garments for gym classes. It is my thinking that this a just a more stylish form of the gymsuit that was recognized as functional attire for girls participating in sports. It is even possible that a matching skirt was made, as that is how playsuits were generally marketed and sold.