July 4, 2015 · 5:49 pm
There’s something sneaky about reading the journal of another, even if the journal in question is fifty-seven years old. In 1958 Judy B. went on the “Imperial Tour of Europe.” It lasted all summer and was surely the trip of a lifetime – the 1950s equivalent of the Victorian Grand Tour.
I first read parts of this journal when Donna of The Vintage Vendeuse started posting entries from the diary at the Vintage Fashion Guild. She then made a website for the entries, which are now being posted as a day by day entry of what happened fifty-seven years ago. There is a new site, which is great, with Judy’s entry followed by extra information and photos of the places she mentioned. You can subscribe to get the daily entry, and I suggest you back up through the old ones to read about the ocean voyage and Judy’s adventures thus far.
If Judy is still alive she is eighty-one years old. That’s hard to imagine when the diary is so full of the young men she met and the fashionable clothes she wore. Or maybe not. I’d like to think she is still traveling, and meeting boys and buying out the stores.
December 12, 2014 · 1:42 pm
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.
August 20, 2014 · 12:40 pm
The mood is excitement and now is the time for Lady Manhattan
Smoothest classic shirt in sight… in Reeves silky Supima cotton broadcloth. And it boasts the distinctive virtues of all Lady Manhattan shirts…precision cut, collars and extra-long stay-in shirt tails.
Last week when I was looking for a Lady Manhattan ad I couldn’t find one, but better late than never, no? The shirt in the ad is very similar to the two that I have with the open collar, French cuffs and French front. I love that the model is wearing it with slacks, even though she’s all glammed up otherwise. But how else would one present oneself when flying their jet fighter?
September 11, 2013 · 8:38 pm
Important coordinates: accent on off-beat color
Fresh fashion idea in coordinating Jantzen colors: pick a tone and add an electric accent. Start with leaf green and accent it with magnetic cobalt blue… add spice brown to cloud-seven grey.
To me, blue and green seems like such a natural combination that it interesting to note that at one time it was considered “off-beat.” Maybe that’s because recently I’ve been spending part of every afternoon in my backyard, looking up at the blue sky through a veil of green leaves.
Other things of note: The middy-inspired cardigan is dubbed an “admiral” cardigan. The chilly mornings around here make me long for a pair of “toe toasters.” And have you ever heard of “cloud-seven grey?”
July 4, 2013 · 6:46 pm
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.
June 26, 2013 · 10:27 am
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:
June 19, 2013 · 5:49 pm
“Clothes” harmony by… Paddle & Saddle
Styles reminiscent of the Gay 90’s by Paddle & Saddle… they’ll be versatile headliners in your Spring and Summer wardrobe.
I had Paddle & Saddle on my mind because I recently bought a late 1950s or early 60s short sleeve jacket with that label. And then in the post on the golf skirt, Sarah mentioned that she had a similar divided skirt by Paddle & Saddle. It was enough to send me on a search for information about the company.
Like some of the items in the ad, my jacket is made from cotton duck. It’s classic American sportswear – the type of thing I love.
There is always a problem doing online searching when you have only nouns like paddle and saddle. Luckily I noticed that little R in a circle which means the name is a registered trademark. I went to the US trademark search site and there it was. The brand was trademarked in 1936 by Rice-Stix Dry Goods of St. Louis. If you look at the ad, you can see that in 1958 Paddle and Saddle was a division of Reliance Manufacturing in St. Louis. So thanks to google I was able to fill in the gaps.
Rice-Stix started out as an importer of dry goods – things like fabrics and linens. They began business in Memphis, Tennessee during the Civil War, but moved to St. Louis in 1879. By the turn of the century Rice-Stix was the largest business in St. Louis. At some point they began the manufacture of clothing, establishing quite a few labels like Paddle and Saddle, Perfecto and Kerry Knight. In the early and mid 20th century St. Louis was an important garment making center, with Rice-Stix being an important part of that industry.
In a 1909 directory of prominent St. Louis citizens, I read that Charles Rice, son of one of the founders, was a member of the Paddle and Saddle Club. He must have loved that club a lot to name a label after it!
In 1955, one of the older owners died, and the company fell victim to a take over. The Rices and Stixes were out, and Reliance Manufacturing was in. The label continued on until at least 1977, which is where the trail runs cold.
The beautiful old Rice-Stix building became the St. Louis Merchandise Mart. It still stands today and has been converted to apartments. I was in St. Louis last year, and I was amazed at their vibrant downtown. Many people are choosing to live in the old commercial buildings, and there is a lively restaurant and bar scene.
Some more photos of that great jacket:
And here are a few more ads. These are from 1952 and 1953.