Tag Archives: 1960

Ad Campaign – Glen Raven Panti Hose, April 1960

Sometimes when it comes to clothing history our memories are just not the most reliable indicators of fact.  That may sound odd coming from me, seeing as how I’m always writing my memories here.  I am a big champion of oral history but you should always keep an open mind when someone older tells you about some aspect of how she or he dressed in the past.

The history of pantihose is a great example.  The ad here came out in the spring of 1960, and Glen Raven Mills’ new product had been on the market for several months.  But if you were around in the 60s, chances are you would swear that pantihose did not out until later in the decade.

I first started wearing stockings in 1967, when I was in the 6th grade.  I don’t remember pantihose even being an option.  I had my little garter belt and my stockings and I hoped the skirt was long enough to cover the hardware.  In junior high, some of the girls were coming to school with the “new” pantihose,  and did they ever catch on with the rest of us!  Skirts were getting shorter, and it was becoming harder and harder to keep from looking like a pin up girl with the tops of the stockings showing.  Stockings and garters were decidedly O-U-T!

So why did it take so long for stockings to be replaced by pantihose? It was mainly a matter of economics.  Look at the ad, and see that the price of one pair was $2.50.  According to the inflation calculator, that amounts to $18.20 today.   For years women had been buying their stockings by the box, purchasing multiple pairs that were identical.  If one leg became badly snagged, or if it developed a run, then only one leg had to be discarded.   I can remember my mother and grandmother being shocked at the prospect of throwing the entire set away when one side was still good.  Many girls I knew would cut off the offending leg and pair it with another one-legged set, wearing two of the panty portions!



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Ad Campaign – Talon Zephyr, 1960

This September 1960 ad for Talon nylon zippers is the earliest one I’ve got in my collection.  One of the long-standing debates in clothing history is when was the nylon coil zipper introduced.  There are dozens of zipper histories on the web, but most don’t even mention the nylon zipper.  I’ve read statements from people who claimed they used nylon zippers in the late 1950s, and I’ve also read claims that nylon zippers were not available until the mid 60s.

Our ad clearly shows that nylon zippers were in use by manufacturers in 1960, and the ad says they are “new,” so one can assume that they were not used much earlier than that date.  Also, this ad was to introduce clothing buyers to the new zipper, and to reassure them that the zipper was “safe” to use.

I’m not sure if the new zippers became available to home sewers at this time, but my feeling is that it was not until a bit later.  When I took my first formal sewing class in 1967, our sewing teacher advised us not to use a nylon zipper as they were not as reliable as the metal ones.  So even by that late date, the nylon zipper had not been completely accepted.

And that is what makes using the zipper type a bit tricky when it comes to dating a garment.  Throughout the 60s garments were being made using either.  Even in the 1970s many home sewers were using metal zippers.

If anyone has any concrete evidence – an ad, or an article in print – that pre-dates September 1960s, please post about it.  And I’d love to have a copy for my files.  Also, anyone with early 1960s home sewing magazines, I love to hear about what they show about the use of nylon zippers.


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Glamour, September, 1960

Too Marvelous for Words

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