Tag Archives: slacks

1930s Sailor Inspired Pants

It was during the 1930s that women became serious about wearing slacks.  Many had already taken to wearing knickers during the Twenties, and by the end of that decade the pyjama pant had become a popular beach option.  In the Thirties pants moved from the beach and into other casual venues.

This delightful pair was one of my flea market finds.  They aren’t perfect, but for an eighty-year-old garment that received rough wear, they aren’t bad.  I love the double button flap in the front, but check out this great detail in the back:

Just like a real pair of sailor pants, this pair has laces at the waist.  The stitching holds in place a sort of modesty panel.  We couldn’t be allowing a peek of our panties!

The label is great as well, with a horse and equestrienne theme. Marshall Field was the great Chicago department store, having been founded in 1881.

A second label gives a bit more information about the fabric.  It is “sanforized,” a process that helped keep cotton fabrics from shrinking.  It was developed and patented in 1930 by Sanford Cluett, one of the owners of Arrow shirts.  A sanforized tag can be useful in dating a garment, as one having that label cannot predate 1930.

Here’s a close-up of the front flap opening.  The buttons are the originals.  How about that little pocket?

Another nice detail that does not show in my other photos is the white piping down the side seam.

And I love that piping is also on the trim of the little pocket.

In the 1930s, the nautical look was hot, but it was not new.  Seaside outfits that took inspiration from the sailor’s suit dated back to Victorian times, and the inspiration continued through the Edwardian era and the 1920s  in exercise and swimwear.

This 1930s woman did not need to be on the shore in order to enjoy her nautical ensemble.



Filed under Sportswear, Vintage Clothing

Women in Slacks

I rarely dispense fashion advice, so you can count this as one of those rare times.  I was sorting through some photos that needed scanning and I was drawn to all the ones showing women wearing slacks.  What struck me was how fabulous they all looked.  A quick look around your local shopping street will drive home this point:  Women have forgotten how to flatter themselves with a well-cut, well-fitting pair of slacks.

I do realize that a big part of the problem are the choices available in women’s ready-to-wear.   Cheap fabric, skimpy cutting and the ubiquitous low rise make for a lousy pair of pants.  My advice – Invest in one really good pair of black slacks that you know look good and wear them until you find another, equally fabulous pair.  Seriously, forget about having a pair of cheap pants in every color of the rainbow.  Cheap pants are not your friend.

After you find the perfect pair of slacks, make sure they fit.  By that I mean than not only can you breathe while wearing them, you do not have to struggle in order to button the waist.   You can sit without getting a wedgie.

It’s that simple.  Well, not really, because the finding is the hard part.  If you know  (or are) a sewer who knows how to properly fit, then find a pattern you like, vintage or modern, invest in some quality wool, and soon you should have slacks success.


Filed under Viewpoint, Vintage Photographs