Tag Archives: 1957

1957 Jantzen Junior Dealer’s Catalog

A lot can be learned from old catalogs.  This one from Jantzen was not made for the consumer, but for the merchants that would be buying Jantzen products for their stores.  This particular catalog is for junior clothes, and I’m sure there were others for clothing for men, misses, and children.

Of course there were plenty of swimsuits.  After all, Jantzen was primarily a swimsuit company.  But what is interesting is how much of the catalog is devoted to other sportswear.

But before I get to the sportswear, I want to focus in one the swimsuit on the left.  This model was the “Holland Check” Sheath, with retailed for $10.95.  (Add in inflation, and this suit would be $93.50.  Jantzen was not cheap.)  In the late 1950s, and into the early 60s, plaids and checks were very popular.  This catalog features several plaid designs.

You can’t really tell what the plaid looks like here, but I do admire the way the designer used the print as part of the design.

Here you see the Holland check as trim on shorts and in a sleeveless top.

Even more Holland check in Bermudas, and as the trim on a blouse…

and on pedal pushers.

And best of all, here is the same check in a fabulous reversible cap.  The check was available in white with red, blue, brown, or black.  I’d never heard of “Holland Check” but it looks an awful lot like Prince of Wales plaid.

A store would pick which pieces to sell and it’s very unlikely that any one store opted to sell the entire line.  I can remember shopping in department stores in the late 1960s and early 70s, and it was common for stores to be selling the same brands, but to be offering entirely different pieces.

As a collector, it is nice seeing all the options available in the same print.  It’s hard enough finding great old sportswear garments, but how challenging it would be to try and assemble all the pieces of a particular line.  Unless one gets lucky, that is, the way I did with a matching line from Tabak of California.  

There was a real “Italian Look” evident in many of the garments.  The influence of Emilio Pucci, perhaps?

There were also references to the nautical influence, as in “Tars ‘n’ Stripes”.

And here’s even a nod to the ever popular middy blouse, though for some reason they chose to spell it “midi”.

Because these were junior swimsuits, targeted toward a teen consumer, Jantzen offered “Accents”, a bra pad.  The description of most of the swimsuits in this catalog mention that there is “space for ‘Accents” bust pads” in the suit.  I’ve got to wonder if there was an actual place in which to insert these pads.  Anybody know?

 

 

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Charm, January 1957

I can imagine that to the average Charm reader, a trip to somewhere in which a swimsuit would be needed in January was just a dream.  It was, after all, The Magazine for Women Who Work, and not for the women who had large sums of money with which to take winter vacations. Or maybe this was meant to be for the “later” mentioned in the caption.

I’m really interested in the idea of swimsuits with sleeves.  Ever since the sleeves were banished from bathing suits in the early 1920s, makers have tried on numerous occasions to bring them back, and in fact, many of Claire McCardell’s designs for swimsuits had sleeves.  Nevertheless, it is very rare for one to come onto the vintage market, so I’m betting they just didn’t go over, especially in the days when much of the object of wearing one was to get a tan.

Today  everything from two pieces of string tied strategically to a long sleeved leotard paired with leggings can pass for a bathing suit.  I rather like the idea of a short sleeved bathing suit, but then I’m pretty much in favor of all sleeves these days.

Bathing suit was part of the International Set line from Jantzen; hat by John Fredericks; copyright Conde Nast.

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Ad Campaign – Bobbie Brooks, 1957

Luscious lambswool intarsia sweaters by Bobbie Brooks and a dyed-to-match skirt

A magnificent look… yours in either beige heather or grey heather.

What I found interesting about this ad from 1957 was the use of the word “intarsia.”  I strongly suspect that if I were to stand on the corner of a busy street and ask random strangers what an intarsia sweater is that very few of them would know, the exceptions being knitters and textile fanatics.  But there it was in 1957 being used as a selling point in an ad as if anyone reading it would know the term.

I was too young in 1957 to have any idea about this, but what about my older readers?  Did intarsia sweaters mean anything to you?

For the non-knitters reading, intarsia is a technique of using different blocks of color like you see in all three sweaters above. For each block the other color is not carried across the back of the knitting like is commonly seen in patterned sweaters.

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Ad Campaign – Ship ‘n Shore, 1957

Ship ‘n Shore fashion talks embroidery behind your back

Since we all loved the Ship ‘n Shore blouses from 1953, I thought I might share some from a few years later – 1957.   Like the earlier blouses, these all have a small detail that makes each special, whether it is a line of embroidery down the back or a pocket stitched up like a maze, or a notch cut out of a sleeve.  I can see why the products from this company were so popular.  They were nicely designed and sold for a reasonable price ($3.98 equals $32.49 today).

I’ve now got plans to make that blue blouse.  That is my favorite collar, and I just can’t resist those sleeves.

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Mademoiselle, September, 1957

Navy takes a turn at fall, thanks to the addition of a fur collar.  I love navy all year long, even though it is not exactly a “fall” color.  It looks especially great with the red stairs.

The blue suit is by designer Anne Klein.  In 1957 she was a young designer and was working at Junior Sophisticates.  In this issue other young American designers were featured, some of which are familiar names to fashion history lovers:  Donald Brooks, Rudi Gernreich, and Anne Fogarty.  The photographer took all the shots of the young designer feature in his studio, where the spiral stairs were located.

The “Paris Extra” was interesting, because fall 1957 saw the spread of the infamous “Sack Dress”  which had seen its debut in the spring of that year.  You can see the influence in a lot of the clothes in this issue, with a less fitted silhouette and that awkward just-above-the-calf length.

Really shocking are the prices of the suit and the accessories.  The suit was $125 and both the handbag and  the hat were $15 each.  That sounds pretty good until the prices are adjusted for inflation.  In the 2013 dollar, the suit would be $1005, and the accessories would be $121 each.

Photographer:  George Barkentin
Model:  Not credited
Copyright:  Condé Nast

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Ad Campaign – Loomtogs, 1957, 1958, 1960

After buying that lovely Loomtogs set of separates, I decided to look for some vintage ads to give a better idea of the types of things the company made.  The ad above is from 1957,  and shows pants, shorts and slacks in madras plaid.  Note that the blouses have matching madras collars.

This ad is from 1958 and the clothing featured is made from Everglaze Minicare.  I’ve had Everglaze fabrics, and they have a shiny coating, like chintz.  And regardless of the name, I’ve found that the glaze often washes off.

And finally, this ad is from 1960.  Note that the jacket is lined with the same red and white gingham that was used for the blouse.  My guess is that there were also shorts and slacks to match.

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Ad Campaign – Levi’s for Women, 1957 and 1958

Inspired by the cowboy… the modish young miss is flattering her figure in the trim tapered lines of LEVI’S California ranch pants… the beguiling styling from the wide open spaces.

I’d been wanting to see an example of Levi’s for women western shirts after learning that the Vanderbilt Shirt Company made them in the 1950s and 1960s.  And while I still haven’t located an actual shirt, I did round up these ads that clearly show the types of shirts by Levi’s.

I love how the ads “feminize” the jeans by having them worn with ballerina flats and sandals.  No boots for those cowgirls.

Color-coordinated cotton shirts… about $4.96 to $6.95.

And just because the ad is cute:

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