Tag Archives: catalog

Winter Sports Catalog, 1935 Lillywhites, London

When searching for items to add to my collection, I focus primarily on things made and worn in the USA. But by the time this Lillywhites catalog was published in London in 1935, Western fashion was becoming less regional. Anyway, that’s how I justified adding this catalog to my print resources.

In 1935 skiing was a relatively new sport, in the States at least. This catalog from the UK references skiing in Norway, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, so it must have really caught on as a sport on the Continent. And I can see a bit of Tyrolian influence in the clothes, especially in the accessories. Could there be a connection to the fashion for Germanic styles that started to appear in Western dress around this time?

Note the strong asymmetrical jacket closures. This was a big feature of mid-1930s fashion and it extended to sportswear. Also, the knickers of 1920s women skiers are gone, replaced by warmer long trousers.

Ski trips to the Alps or to Scandinavia were so new that Lillywhites felt it necessary to give some instructions to the novice. There are also lists of clothing and gear needed for a holiday in the snow.

This novel skiing motif was available in both wool and cashmere, and in white with blue, navy with white, and white with red.

There were lots of options available for layering beneath the ski jacket.

This is probably my favorite.

Skating costumes (along with skates of all types) were included. The style on the right is actually “skorts”, and was recommended for practice wear.


Filed under Catalogs, Proper Clothing, Winter Sports

New York Styles, Spring & Summer, 1912

This 1912 catalog is a bit early to be a reference for most of the things in my clothing collection, but after spotting it at a market recently I decided to buy it anyway.  First of all, it was quite cheap.  But more importantly, it is on the cusp of where my collecting starts, around 1915.  It never hurts to know about what came before the eras that interest one most.

I’m unfamiliar with the Greenhut – Siegel Cooper Company of New York, but just from looking at the catalog it appears that they sold nice mid-range clothing, primarily for women, but with a smaller selection for children and men.  A quick internet search was very enlightening.

I learned that Siegel-Cooper was a huge New York City department store, opening in 1896 on Sixth Avenue as part of the famous Ladies Mile shopping area.  In 1904 the business was sold to Joseph Greenhut, but the shopping district was moving uptown, and  Greenhut – Siegel Cooper was never really successful.  The business folded in 1918.  The large building was then appropriated for use as a military hospital.  Over the years the building was converted to loft space, but today it still stands and is again home to retail establishments.

The fashions of 1912 are very different from the WWI era clothing of just a few years later.  It was the era of the narrow-hemmed “hobble skirts”, a fashion hoisted upon the world by Paris designer Paul Poiret.  While the skirts above are not very extreme in the style, you can see how an almost floor-length skirt might need to be a bit fuller in order to actually walk in it.

The dresses on this page are for teen girls and very young women, and so the hems are a bit shorter.

To me, the most striking aspect of these fashions are the hats worn with them.  The “Most Stylish and Becoming Dress Hat” seen above is large enough to do double duty a a bed for a small dog.  I’ve not pictured them, but there were several pages of  “hair goods” which were designed to beef up the wearer’s own hair so the hats would not flop over.  The buyer had to send in a sample of her hair to ensure a proper match.

This was also the era of the lingerie dress.  Dresses offered ranged from $1.98 ($46.94 today) to $12.98 ($307.75).  The more elaborate the dress, the greater the cost.  The third dress from the left was made of embroidered net and was the most expensive lingerie dress in this catalog.

There was a page of bathing suits, some of wool, and others of cotton.  Not seen are the bloomers that were included with each dress.

While there was no mention of sports dresses or skirts, there were illustrations that suggested that certain styles were suitable for tennis and golf.

This great weskit or vest was not offered for sale at all.

There was a page of sweaters for sale.  Note the golf clubs and the tennis racquet.  These sweaters were considered to be a very casual style, suitable for sports and outings.  Today it is nearly impossible to find knitwear from this era.


Filed under Proper Clothing

Lombard Blouses for the College Girl, 1918

Some time ago I wrote about two little catalogs that I had acquired.  They were from the Henry S. Lombard company, a maker of girls’ school and outing clothes.  I was recently pleased to add another Lombard catalog to my collection.  This one, from 1918, is the earliest that I have.

From the catalog:

“We want to again emphasize the fast that we are the original and only makers of the Genuine Lombard Middy Blouses and Suits.  We receive letters asking is our goods can be bought at other stores throughout the country.  They cannot.  We sell direct from Boston through this catalogue to the individual customer, with only one handling and one small profit.”

Lombard seems terribly eager to assure the buyer that this is the genuine article.  Surely there were not “fake” middies in 1918.

Click to enlarge

Lombard advertised as selling yachting uniforms, and even if one’s “yacht” was only a canoe, these skirts and middy blouses were just the thing.  As you can see from the photos, they were also right for tennis, golf, and reading.

Click to enlarge

Here we see more clothes for active sports, including breeches. “The great demand for a practical substitute for the skirt, allowing greater freedom of motion, had prompted us to design the Camp Breeches shown in the picture.”

The silk tie was available in several colors, including Wellesley Blue, Dartmouth Green and Vassar Rose and Gray.

The skirts and sweaters on this page seem to be good for classroom wear.

Coat model 212 is described as a trench coat, a term that came out of the war that was beginning to wind down in Europe.  Note how very different it is from a modern trench coat, but the wide belt and pockets do give it a bit of a military air.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

All the bathing suits on these pages were made from wool or cotton jersey knit.  Several of the models have “attached tights”, something I’ve never seen in an actual garment.  I love the variety of bathing caps they offered.  Model  83 is referred to as a “smart jockey bathing cap.”  Note the bill.



Filed under Collecting, Proper Clothing, Sportswear

Lowe & Campbell Athletic Goods, 1935 – 1936

I’ve been spending some time working in my paper collection, looking for interesting things to share here.  I bought the catalog above ages ago from Tina at What I Found, and I’m pretty sure that I posted about it at the time.  The problem is, I couldn’t find the post.

If you’ve been reading The Vintage Traveler since before December 2010, you might recall that the blog used to be on another site.  Due to crazy problems with that site, I moved to wordpress in December, 2010, and at that time I had to manually move over my old posts.  It was a bit of a job, and I’m afraid that in the shuffle, some old posts got misplaced.

But that’s good today, because I get to show this off now that I have more than the 20 readers I had on the old site!  And it’s a really good lesson on not judging a book by the cover.   The catalog is illustrated with sports goods and clothing of all types.  Most importantly, there are plenty of offerings for the girl athlete, which shows how much sports were gaining in popularity among girls in the 1930s.

All these pages can be enlarged by clicking.

I loved this page of football jerseys.  These are seriously collectible, especially if the school or athletic organization can be identified.

These hose are simply wonderful.  And I think I know where a pair is located.  Stay tuned.

I included the hooded pullovers mainly because of how this item of clothing is currently being super analyzed by the news media.  In 1935 a hoodie was worn by an athlete to keep them warm while practicing or while standing on the sidelines hoping Coach would send him in.

Note that the second shoe is a Converse All-Star.  Converse first made the All-Star in 1917.

Cute clothes for the pep squad.

Here is the company’s selection of girl’s basketball suits.  These are a very far cry from what girls had to wear just a few years prior, with bloomers to the knee and long sleeved middies.

They even offered a good selection of warm-up suits for girls.

Last week in the comments about the gymsuits, several readers mentioned that they wore tunics with bloomers for gym and field hockey.  Note the two tunic styles above.

This girls’ softball suit is probably my favorite thing in the catalog.

And of course there was a nice selection of swimsuits.

Lowe & Campbell was located in Kansas City, Missouri.  I didn’t find out a lot about the company until I found an application to make the building that was the company headquarters part of the National Register of Historic Places.  According to the application, the company was formed in Kansas City in 1912 by George Lowe and Keedy Campbell.  The partners merged their company with Wilson Sporting Goods in 1931, but they retained a separate identity.  Their headquarters, which also included some light manufacturing, was built in 1925, and the company remained there until 1961, when it appears that Lowe & Campbell was completely merged into Wilson.


Filed under Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Summer Sports, Winter Sports

Cottons for Spring 1952 from South Carolina Mills

I was interested in this little catalog because I’d never heard of the company, South Carolina Mills, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Spartanburg is a quick trip down the mountain, in the SC Upstate, or piedmont.  It was at the beginning of cotton country, and a lot of cotton is still grown in the region today.

Unfortunately the generic name of the company brought up every mill that ever existed in South Carolina in a google search.  But after a careful consideration of the contents of the catalog, I’ve pretty much decided that there was not a “South Carolina Mill,”  but that the company was a sales outlet for many of the region’s textile and garment factories.

In the catalog there is a wide variety of cotton-based products – clothing for the entire family, towels, carpets, blankets, curtains, and fabrics.   All of these are products that were made throughout the Carolinas.

One of the few brand names mentioned in the catalog was Startex.  Startex was located just west of Spartanburg, and made printed cotton towels and tablecloths.   Today the factory is gone, but there is still a village remaining by the name of Startex.

The catalog does not give us the brand name, but these sure look like Beacon blankets to me.  It could be that because that mill is in North Carolina, they did not want to mention it.  Or it could be that they were made by another company.  There were lots of small blanket makers in the area.

There were several pages of fabrics for the home sewer.  A few of them are labeled as being from Springs, which was a large mill in Lancaster, South Carolina.  They are the makers of Springmaid.

The catalog clearly shows the diversity of products that were being produced from cotton.  And here is a look at some of the clothing:

Probably my favorite page from the catalog was this one showing clothes for boys.  Is that argyle shirt nifty or what?

I did a Google maps search for the address given in the catalog of where to send the order.  Today it is an empty lot.


Filed under Collecting, Textiles

Catalogs Making a Comeback?

Several years ago someone predicted that print catalogs were sure to go the way of the dinosaur.  With practically everyone being online now, the idea of a catalog that comes in the mail seems a bit old fashioned.

Several years ago I went to one of those websites where you can opt out of receiving print catalogs.  At the time we were getting dozens of them a week, including quite a few duplicates.  It must have worked because our catalog mailings slowed to a trickle, and over the past two or three years we rarely received any.

But just in the past week I’ve gotten two print catalogs from companies that I’d ordered from online.   The one I’m showing is from French cashmere company Eric Bompard, which has an almost cultish following among francophiles.  It was beautifully photographed in Lapland, and it seems more like a storybook than a catalog.  Which I suppose is the point, or at least the trend.  The other catalog I received, Brooks Brothers, also has an editorial quality to it, with the photos telling several short stories.

I’ll admit that I’ve enjoyed the Eric Bompard catalog a lot.  And there was a big bonus, a card of yarn swatches was included to better show the colors.  It’s the type of thing I love to find in vintage form.

You can see the entire catalog online, but there really is something satisfying about curling up with a nice wool (preferably cashmere) throw and a cup of something hot and a catalog of beautiful clothes.

As I said, I have ordered from this company, and I love the item I bought which is a cotton/cashmere blend polo top.  I’ve worn it a lot with no pilling or any other signs of wear.  I was disappointed, however, to find a tiny label that read “Fabriqué en Chine.”


Filed under Shopping, Viewpoint

Von Lengerke & Antoine, 1939 The Time of Your Life Begins Here

Von Lengerke & Antoine was the less famous branch of Abercrombie & Fitch.  Located in Chicago, it has a colorful history that includes Al Capone, but it was overshadowed by the company that acquired it in 1928, A&F.   Still, it was one of the great 20th century sporting goods stores and their catalogs are a delight for people (like me) who love vintage sportswear.

An interesting thing I found today:  comedian Bob Newhart worked briefly at Von Lengerke & Antoine in the late 1950s, and he tells about it as only he can.

The sunglasses made famous by General George MacArthur, the Ray-ban Aviator.  And yes, they really were new, having been introduced in 1937.


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Proper Clothing