I recently got this great little promotional book from Bobbie Brooks. You younger readers probably know Bobbie Brooks only as a Walmart brand, or maybe as just one of the many cheap lines that thrift stores are so full of. But during the 1960s, Bobbie Brooks was big stuff.
The company was formed in 1957, and the owners took a scientific appproach to merchandising. They came up with an organized plan of choosing which garments to manufacture. This plan utilized a consumer board made up of 600 of junior-sized teens and young women, their targeted consumers. So in effect, the clothes were those chosen by the potential wearers. By the time this booklet was published by the company in 1964, Bobbie Brooks was one of the largest clothing makers in the US.
So I suppose they felt qualified to give out wardrobe advice. Actually, the advice in this booklet is quite good. There’s nothing earth shattering in it, but how can you argue with “Fit is everything” or “Look for the signs of quality.”
Most of all I love the diagrams I’ve included here that explain some clothing terms. I do love an Italian roll collar, but honestly the Peter Pan and the Bermuda were more in the Bobbie Brooks style. And I guess that’s why the company went into decline by the end of the 1960s. These were good girl clothes, and we all know what way she went.
The company was eventually bought by Garan, who signed a deal with Walmart to sell Bobbie Brooks. No longer was it a mid-priced junior line. And most recently, the label was spotted at the Dollar General Store. Looks like the end of the line for another great American brand.
Trivia: What 1982 rock song references Bobbie Brooks?
Posted by KeLLy Ann:
“dribble off those bobbie brooks let me do what i please….” ahhahahaa! That brings me back. Its a shame that people seem to just settle for the crap they call clothes today. sigh.
Wednesday, February 3rd 2010 @ 7:01 PM
Posted by Sherie:
“Little ditty about Jack and Diane…” It’s a crime what has happened to some of these great old brands.
Thursday, February 4th 2010 @ 4:44 PM
Posted by Lizzie:
Yep! That’s the song. I’ve always loved that line.
And yes, it is a real shame to think of what has happened to our clothing industry.
Friday, February 5th 2010 @ 8:35 AM
Posted by Becca:
“Life Goes On” which I knew before I read the comments! But–1982? Really! I love the pointers in here too–helps me describe the clothes I list. Thanks for your wonderful blog!:)
Friday, February 5th 2010 @ 7:04 PM
Posted by tom tuttle from tacoma:
i know “life goes on” but really nothing about bobbie brooks… love these but do you have them larger?
Friday, February 5th 2010 @ 8:53 PM
I love your corrolation between the demise of “good girl clothes” and the late 60’s- totally makes sense! Sad in a way though too. Thanks for sharing this!
Saturday, February 6th 2010 @ 2:53 PM
Posted by Lizzie:
ttft, I have some of them on flickr and will try to get the rest of them added tomorrrow.
Yes, Mod-B, not many of us were going for the Bobbie Brooks look in the early 70s!
Saturday, February 6th 2010 @ 4:18 PM