Misc.18-1985 Girls coat made of russet wool, made in England under the Utility Scheme 1941-1948
This coat and hat for a little girl were made under the Utility Scheme, the UK government’s regulations to control manufacturing and eliminate waste of resources during World War Two (1939-45) and the period of austerity afterwards. The Utility scheme launched in 1941 with the distinctive logo ‘CC41’, designed by Reginald Shipp, for use by manufacturers whose products met the rules. It used standard designs to avoid waste of materials and the use of un-necessary details in manufacturing: this coat has only one row of buttons instead of the two that would be usual for the style. The inclusion of the hat probably indicates that it dates from the early years of Utility clothing. The coat and hat are probably former shop stock which failed to sell, and were stored away when fashions changed. The wartime ‘Make Do and Mend’ campaign encouraged restraint, repair and re-use wherever possible; because of the smaller size and simpler construction, children’s clothes for this age group were particularly likely to be made at home by their families rather than bought in shops. Buying new garments at this time was quite difficult, needing coupons from the limited number issued to each person, as well as the monetary cost. Families sometimes had to use the adult’s coupons to get new shoes or winter coats for their children who had outgrown their old ones. The alternative was to buy second hand garments, or to go to a dealer who was willing to break the government regulations- technically a criminal offence.
Image reference: 2010BU0150
Image credit: © Victoria and Albert Museum,London
Ivory satin dress, 1921, with silk embroidered vine and tiny faux pearl “grapes.” The scalloped apron of embroidered netting is attached with satin bows. Portions of the bridal headpiece bear wax flower buds and faux pearls. The skirt is short, reflecting the style during the 1920s. This dress was worn by the donor’s mother, Annie Kangeter (1896-1990) who married Dr. Charles D. Boette, April 14, 1921 at her home in Charleston. Annie’s sister, Mamie Pfaehler made the dress.
2005.37 The Charleston Museum
Actually, before Hitler’s regime, the masculine color was pink and blue was the color for females. This all changed when Hitler started using colored stars to identify the people in his camps, such as yellow for the Jews. Homosexuals were forced to wear pink stars, so pink was then seen as feminine. Long story short, baby boys are wrapped in blue and baby girls are swathed in pink because of Hitler.
Is there any actual source for this? It’s true that the switch started around the 40s but certainly the average American wasn’t aware at the time of Hitler’s treatment of homosexuals. And even the idea that this knowledge would influence fashion, especially at that rate, is sort of preposterous.
I found a really cool-sounding book on GBooks last time this factoid came across my dash. Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America, by Jo Barraclough Poletti. I keep meaning to look into it and forgetting. /o\ But anyway, there’s a whole section on the switch from gender-neutral baby stuff to heavily gender-segregated baby stuff as a product of ramping up consumerism in the postwar years. It’s kind of depressing, really.
(She also goes into how earlier baby gender neutrality was more stereotypically feminine - long curls, dresses, pastels - while 1970s and onward gender neutrality was more about all children in boys’ clothes, which I find really interesting.)
wah-pah said: Not exactly about AOGG but your post reminded me I was watching The Knick yesterday and one of the lady characters even had a black bow on top of the frilly white neckbow of her shirt that mimicked a men's one as well as the busininesslike suits you mention. A couple of centuries later but if you watch Mad Men and are interested in costume design check Tom and Lorenzo's Mad Style posts - they're really interesting and that 'lady's fashion mimicking men's' is something they point out frequently.
I keep meaning to look into The Knick—it looks very good!
We do see more pseudo-masculine touches around the turn of the century—that was, I understand, due in part to the growing popularity of Chanel and her styles of more androgynous forms and accents—but where there are women working in traditionally male settings, it feels very conscious, and probably WAS a way for women of the day to make a statement along the lines of ‘look, I have given up so much of what makes a woman traditionally feminine by way of frippery’ (a problematic mindset, but one of the earliest methods of trying to get away from misogyny is unfortunately a manifestation of internalised misogyny in the form of ‘I’m not like THOSE girls’, ‘one of the boys’, etc..)
I never did get into Mad Men—it’s just not my sort of show, I suppose—but one thing I have always enjoyed have been stills to see the aesthetics for different characters and situations, particularly for women, in the period.
It’s really not about Chanel. For one thing, she didn’t really Make It until 1919 at the earliest, and she didn’t become influential until the later part of the ’20s. There’s masculinity in women’s dress going back centuries, but relevantly, women started wearing suits made by tailors in a masculine style in the 1880s. Lapels specifically bled into regular dress, although they were usually just stuck on rather than actual turnbacks, and jabots and waistcoat effects. Not to mention the rise of the shirtwaist, which when paired with a dark skirt is definitely reminiscent of menswear - which has to do with the rise of ready-to-wear, since shirtwaists didn’t have to fit as exactly as other clothing and could be churned out.
Sorry, didn’t mean to jump on you - I just have a thing about changes in fashion being attributed to Chanel, because she didn’t really stand out too much from the other couturiers of her time.
From the Musée Galliera
More likely at the earlier end of the range. My first instinct was earlier than that, as the pattern of embroidery on the skirt was mostly popular around 1800, but there was a brief resurgence 1804-1805. The gown seems to open in the back, putting it after 1804, but since the sleeves are not puffed, it can’t be much later than 1805.
Jessica Chastain - Miss Julie (2014)
This is an interesting take on 1890 … (Who am I kidding, I will watch this and love it.)
Photo with 5 notes
Took some more patterns for my book! Read more about them on my blog.
A pair of stays dated circa 1620/1630, found under the floorboards of an old public house in Kent.
A woman of medecine Martin Engelbrecht, early 18th century, maybe 1730s
This is actually “A Doctor’s Wife”. I’m not sure if she’s reading that liquid (probably urine) as some kind of satire - there are a few German/French [Occupation]’s Wife prints out there that are satirical/humorous - or if doctors’ wives generally helped in their practices, or what.
Also, she’s wearing a robe battante, precursor to the française.
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