Tag Archives: 1956

Bowl to Stay Slim, 1958

Growing up in the 1960s, I can remember bowling being a very big deal.  The leagues that met weekly to compete were an important social function for many people in my community.  My parents didn’t bowl, but the parents of a friend were in a league so I often went with them to the lanes.  I learned to bowl (badly) and was never any good at it, but as I said, the social part of it was really the point.

In 1958 Brunswick, a maker of bowling supplies, published this booklet that was aimed to encourage women to take up the sport.

Bowling is a graceful, rhythmical sport.  A fun sport that’s not strenuous yet so good for the figure.

Marion Ladewig really was a professional bowler.  Here she is on What’s My Line? where she actually stumped the panelists.

The booklet is full of photos of attractive – and slim – women bowling, intermingled with dieting tips and how to score the game.

Here we have Mrs. Ladewig helping a young woman pick out a ball.  One thing I did not realize is that “Shoes are made for both right and left-handed bowlers…”  I’m left-handed, and I can’t ever remember being offered left-handed shoes.  Not surprising since I always considered myself lucky if they actually had the right size for me.

Of course the booklet would not be complete without an ad for Brunswick equipment.  I was especially interested in the shoes, mainly because bowling shoes can be a bit of a problem to accurately date.  I’d sure like a pair of the Princess Brunswick, in red, please.

The back cover has one last reminder, that bowling is a fun activity for the entire family.

In my bowling file I found another booklet, which is less soft-sell, more sports-minded.  I only picked it up because it is labeled “Compliments of Misty Harbor.”  I thought that was an odd sponsor considering Misty Harbor was a maker of rain coats and jackets, not something one would wear while bowling.

And once again, here is the bowling team from 1956.  I find it interesting that all the advertising booklet women are wearing skirts and dresses, but the real bowlers are outfitted in slacks.


Filed under Proper Clothing, Shoes, Winter Sports

Ad Campaign – Dalton Cashmere, 1956

The Dalton Twins Dash from Desk to Date.

Wendy is Dalton’s captivating sweater of 100% pure imported cashmere… color matched with its own slim svelte skirt of Stroock’s pure cashmere or cashmere blends.

Dalton was founded in 1949 by Arthur Dery and Maurice Saltzman (who was also the owner of Bobbie Brooks), and was  headquartered in Cleveland and  Willoughby, Ohio.  Dalton was best known for their cashmere sweaters, but they also made woolen skirts that were dyed to match the sweaters.  I found the reference to Stroock interesting, as that company’s label is usually found in cashmere and fine wool coats.  For much of the twentieth century Sylvan Stroock’s company was the leading US maker of luxury wools.

And when was the last time you saw the words “captivating” or “svelte” in an advertisement?


Filed under Advertisements

Saturday Evening Post, March 31, 1956

I love the way the old Saturday Evening Post covers told a story in one frame.  The mother’s look of sadness at her little girl all but grown.  The girl herself, awkwardly admiring her own reflection.  The salesman counting his commission.  The discarded penny loafers.

This was a rite of passage that passed me by.  I went straight from loafers and patent leather maryjanes to practical and comfortable knock-offs of Roger Viver’s Pilgrim pump.  Even when heels went back up in the 1970s, I tended to wear lower styles.  And today I’m strictly a Converse and oxfords type of woman.  I don’t think I’ve ever even owned a pair of proper stilettos.

But for that young miss in 1956, the heeled sandals were a necessary part of her dance ensemble.  I just hope she didn’t trip.


Filed under Shoes, Viewpoint

Ad Campaign – Crescendo Gloves, 1956

Crescendoe gloves give your hands a slim and lovely look…Leather-tailored of wonder fabric that wears longer and washes better.

I’m really not very nostalgic when it comes to fashion accessories of the past.  I had enough of garter belts and stockings and little hats as a pre-teen to do me for a lifetime.  But one thing I really wish I’d gotten in on was the wearing of dress gloves.  I can remember wearing them as a very young child, but by the time I was 8 or so, the wearing of them had passed from being de rigueur to being just one more thing we didn’t want to fool with.

I look at the hands of many women in their 70s and older, and realize their hands look younger than mine.  It has to be that they got much less sun exposure as teens and as young women.   Those $4 gloves turned out to be a very good investment in skin care, and did a lot more good than do today’s $25 hand creams.

Happy first day of spring to you all!


Filed under Advertisements

Elle, March 1956

I know all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are clamoring for spring, so how about springtime in Paris?  Or at least how about a pretty springtime Parisienne? I love her powder blue suit and how the color is complemented by the out of focus background.  The white collar and cuffs are a pretty touch, and the lip is the perfect shade of red. Add a jaunty little hat and the result is très chic!

Photographer: J.F. Clair

Copyright: Lagardère Group


Filed under Fashion Magazines

Ad Campaign – Claire McCardell for Canterbury, 1956

The stroke of a genius – Claire McCardell’s brilliant ideas on the sweater.  Canterbury tends to their knitting and full-fashions them to perfection.

I had to share just one last thought about Claire McCardell before I move on to the next obsession.  Her designs are the prefect examples of how “casual” does not have to equal “sloppy.”   In today’s severely dressed-down culture, it is so nice to see clothing that is comfortable but still attractive.

In the 1950s McCardell did several licensing deals, including this one with Canterbury.  She also did a line of shoes for Capezio, and gloves, jewelry, hats and sunglasses for various companies.   She also did quite a few product endorsements, including Clairol, Fuller Brush and Chevrolet.  Much of McCardell’s media success was due to the fact that she had a very good publicist – Eleanor Lambert.


Filed under Advertisements, Designers

Ad Campaign – Elizabeth Arden, 1945

No wonder the ancients thought the sun was the giver of life… for now we know it holds precious gifts we all need… Today more than ever with the tension of wartime living, the fatigue of wartime work.  Make the most of every opportunity to back in the sun…

In 1945, back in the good old days before photoshop  and other photo chicanery made one question every ad in the big glossy fashion magazine, they had illustrators who weren’t concerned with the literal portraying of a product.    Just give us a pretty and slender young woman out there where the blue begins!

Here’s another Elizabeth Arden ad, this one from 1956:



Filed under Advertisements