Posts Tagged ‘passage’

Test Pattern: We’ve been here before

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

It is clear that women throughout the centuries have molded their figures into many strange and different shapes. Each seemed beautiful in its day, but most of us are inclined to think none quite so lovely as today’s.

The Arts of Costume and Personal Appearance, Grace Margaret Morton, 1943. (p 234)

Later on in the chapter (Contemporary Figure Ideals), Morton lets us know that the ideal weight for five feet is 110, and approximately five pounds for each additional inch taller, “depending on the scale of the figure.” The entire chapter is very much your standard hide-the-‘bad’-work-the-‘good’ stuff of fashion books—pushing vertical movement of line for the “stout” and emphasising an “uplifted bosom and upstanding posture, with abdomen and posterior flat.”  But Morton also quotes an article from the June 1927 Ladies Home Journal:

The popular conception of beauty is wrong, because its basis is that everybody shall look like everybody else . . . Life would gain enormously in interest if women emphasized their differences from each other.

Beauty and Plain Women, Elisie Ferguson

Test Pattern: Ready-made clothes, 1943

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

According to Evelyn Tompson of the U.S. Department of Labor, “ready-made clothes are made chiefly for women under twenty years.  Ninety percent between the ages of fifteen and nineteen can find ready-made dresses to fit them easily enough, while only fifty percent between the ages of twenty and forty-four, and thirty-three percent of those over forty-five can wear ready-made dresses without alteration.”  And a National Retail Dry goods Association report of 1938 states that in department stores over the country forty per cent of the dresses sold required alterations of $2.00 to $3.00 above the retail price; in better dresses, where customers are more particular, 87.5 per cent of the dresses were altered at prices ranging from $1.00 to $7.50.

The Arts of Costume and Personal Appearance, Grace Margaret Morton, 1943.

I have been doing research and asking real people for real data because I take this blog too seriously.  And, like the monograph I’ll never finish, I want what I write to be well-hyperlinked and supported.  So I have a thing, and you’ll get it tomorrow, but I wanted it up today.  To placate my guilt I wanted to share this from one of the books I was researching in.

Some things, they never change.