Tag Archives: 1929

1929 Beach Pajamas as Seen in Needlework Magazine

I love finding old Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines from the 1920s, but of just as much importance to my research are the publications that were geared toward the average American homemaker. A lovely reader of this blog recently sent a bundle of Needlework magazines to me. I was really happy to find this article in the August, 1929 issue.

You can read the description of how the big New York department stores set up a beach mise-en-scène in store, complete with beach chairs and sales girls in beach overalls. Today we assume that overalls are a bifurcated garment, but I can’t tell if that was true from the text. An overall could simply be a dress-like cover-up. I’ve seen these in photos of the period.

I was most interested in the shape of the pants legs. In photos and in clothing catalogs dating to the second half of the 1920s, pajamas worn on the beach were pretty much the same pajamas worn in the boudoir, and they had straight legs. Here we see the legs starting to widen. And no longer is the pajama a garment that crossed over from the bedroom to the beach. This is a garment that was designed just for the beach, with all its sailor inspired references.

Also interesting is the emphasis on the waist. If I had found this drawing without the date of 1929 firmly printed on the page, I would have guessed it was from 1932. It does pay to keep an open mind!



Filed under Collecting, Fashion Magazines, Proper Clothing, Sportswear

McCall Patterns – 1929

Here’s a great flea market find I made over the weekend.  This is a cardboard stand-up poster advertising a 1929 McCall sewing pattern.  It measures over 20″ high, so it is quite large.  I assume this would have been put on the counter of the fabric department of a department store.

I know it is 1929 because it is dated.  I loved the bright and cheery colors, and the Mediterranian background.  The seller had a few more, but they were a bit pricy, and this was the best of the lot.  The others were 1930 and 31, and they were in sharp contrast to this one.  The bright colors were replaced by drab, muted tones.  There were no backgrounds – just the drawing of a woman wearing the frock.

I’m assuming it is due to the influence of the Great Depression.  Women who were doing their own sewing didn’t have time to worry if they would be going to Monte Carlo this season.  And clothes were more likely to be made from inexpensive cotton, or even feedsacks, than from filmy silk chiffons.

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Filed under Sewing, Vintage Clothing