23 September 2010

Some Vintage Fashion Eye Candy

All images property of Dover Publications

Look!  Look what I got for my birthday.  Pure eye candy.  We visited a pioneer village in British Columbia this summer and I was pawing this book in their dry goods shop.  My mother in law snuck back and bought it for me.
I find the book a fascinating trip through time.  The fashions are a reflection of what was going on in the world.  Prices went down and value was the catch phrase of the day during the Great Depression and the wars.  $1.00?!

All the clothing is made of wool, cotton and linen.  The word sanitary is used over and over.  I'm thinking hygiene was a big public issue after the turn of the century.
Sears sold corsets for toddlers, nasty looking full body contraptions to hold up children's knit socks, and tons of rompers that buttoned up the back.  How did a child go to the bathroom with back buttons I wonder? 

Here is a style I hope never comes back in fashion (but I wish the price would):

And here is a style that I still love seeing today:

The book has an introduction detailing how Sears sent catalogues to the most remote rural areas and published it in several languages so that everyone could have the opportunity to dress like people from the cities and movie stars.  There is a page in the catalogue that cracks me up.  It features Shirley Temple dresses at the height of her popularity.  In the description for one dress, the catalogue states that you will receive this particular Shirley Temple knockoff dress, OR a dress based on something she will wear in an upcoming movie.  I think that's hilarious - you don't even know what you are ordering!

Intrigued? The book is published by Dover Publications.  Visit to locate a copy.

I am a sucker for vintage.  I popped over to Ebay afterward to view vintage department store catalogues, but couldn't turn any up.  Then I realized I was spelling catalogue the french way... I found many more catalogs and ordered a 1979 Sears.  I'm hoping to find a little bit of my own childhood in there.


NameThatCandy said...

Sooooo cool!! I love vintage patterns, I collect vintage sewing, crochet and knitting patterns.

Melissa said...

It can be tricky shopping online in North America for us Canadians. We spell things the European way with ou instead of o (Colour vs color) and we spell things the French way like catologue. I'll have to check my spelling next time my Ebay search comes up nil.

Great post!

Some Like it said...

Yay for vintage! Those children are soooo cute!

Elisabeth said...

What a great find!!! Thank you so much for sharing!! If I found a book like that I'd do nothing but look at it and pine over everything all day!