Brucewood Sportswear for Women

I always consider it to be a lucky day when I spot a vintage sportswear catalog for sale. There are quite a few places to look for such catalogs, especially on ebay, but rarely do items of this sort come up for sale. The only bad thing about this one is that there is no date.  Using style clues, I’m placing this one at 1936, give or take a year.

This catalog only has ten pages, so I’ll be sharing the entire thing.

Best of all, there are swatches! Swatches make any catalog better.  Actually, I would not order the Skipper Slacks, due to the thinness of the fabric. I always think of Indian Head as a thicker duck cotton, but this is a thin poplin. I bet a lot of people were disappointed with this item.

But is Plaiddies not the best name ever?

The very wide legged slacks actually look a bit earlier than 1936.

But I’m placing my date partly based on the bathing suits. These are very similar to a Jantzen suit that I know was made in 1937.

The Brucewood bathing suits were also very stylish, and they were a dollar or more cheaper than the Jantzens.

Look at the waists of two of these suits and you can see the two-piece bathing suit starting to develop.

There are a few more dating hints in this grouping. The skirts are very long. By 1937 or so skirts started inching up toward the knee. Also, there’s no hint of the gathered shoulder that had become so popular by 1938.

And how can one not love a good bikette?

Terry and wool jersey.

Riding clothes are not always including in sportswear catalogs, so having a spread of them is a real treat.

What looks to be shorts is described as a pantie. It looks like they could have been buttoned to the shirt, and if so, would have been for wearing under the breeches.

Several of these jackets have asymmetrical openings, a common feature in the mid-1930s.

The sweater twin set is most associated with the 1950s, but they were actually popular starting in the 1920s.

Maurice L. Rothschild was born in Germany in 1964. As a teenager he came to America, and he eventually settled in Minneapolis. He started a store, the Palace Clothing House in 1887. The first store was small, and he quickly outgrew it, and after moving several times he constructed what became known as the Palace Building in 1907.  The store remained in that location at the corner of  Nicolett and Fourth Streets. A branch store was opened in Saint Paul in 1893, and one in Chicago in 1904.

Maurice died in 1941, and the business continued under the direction of his widow, Hulda, until 1949.   At that time the business merged with the  Young-Quinlan Company.

Company information is from the Hennepin County Library.

6 Comments

Filed under Sportswear

6 responses to “Brucewood Sportswear for Women

  1. jacq staubs

    Too bad this stuff is not hanging on the racks now!? The junk i see is deplorable both in design and in fabric/tailoring. The riding togs are wonderful.

    Like

  2. I just love, love, love those clothes!!!!

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  3. Liana

    I love the bikettes! I am trying to find the right pattern for casual yet classy, stylish bike around town wear. Ideally I’d love to find a split skirt or skort design – likely vintage. Or some comfortable pants made in a more rugged fabric with a crotch gussets for the comfort factor. I’d be really interested in seeing more about how fashion for ladies on bikes has evolved over the years!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ceci

    Swatches are the best – haven’t seen them in a catalog in years, probably because so many current things are made out of dreadful plastic fabric – I hemmed a mother of the bride dress for a friend recently and even having the outer skirt across my lap was like being steamed, I can’t imagine how she will wear it on the day! I think a swatch would have avoided that problem, although it sounds cumbersome for on line shopping doesn’t it?

    ceci

    Like

  5. What a treasure! And with swatches too. I wish there were swatches for all the designs.

    Like

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