Archive for Rag Trade

Your work is cut out for you

There have been releases of this sort before, but I don’t remember anything like this:

The Vintage Patterns Wiki released 83,500 sewing patterns of pre-1992. You can find pretty much everything from the Dynasty-inspired suits and Betty Draper’s frocks and white gloves. There’s also an 1985 boys’ Reefer Suit and short trousers.

The search can be narrowed to particular pieces, designed and decades. There are patterns from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Lots of illustrations at the link.

(Via Michael Bates.)

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All those anchorpeople look alike

And I guess that’s all right, as long as they’re not wearing green:

I just wish they’d done a little more vertical: Ms Fullbright is renowned for her shoe choices.

(This is why not green.)

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Natty anachronism

Okay, what if Henry VIII was a sk8ter?

Henry VIII Skate Dress by Lorica

Holly at Gadgette explains:

Described as “a line of sustainable fashion for your hardcore history-loving heart. Perfect for LARPers, cosplayers, and the geek community looking for everyday cosplay,” Lorica is right up our nerdy street.

The site has designs inspired by chainmail, damask and other such medieval delights, plus a new range inspired by Henry VIII.

And you’re seeing the Henry VIII Skater Dress, which sells for a modest $72. I think it’s utterly adorable, though I seriously doubt I’ll ever see anyone wearing it.

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Keeping it uniform

Arlo Guthrie once sang about the Group W Bench. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it:

Hosiery ad by Ellen Tracy

This turn-of-the-century advertisement for Ellen Tracy says perhaps a little more than it seems to. I mean, yeah, there are different hosiery colors, and the shoes aren’t exactly identical, but otherwise this is a shrine to conformity. Since this was almost certainly shot in New York City, everyone is reading what appears to be The New York Times: the two other Big Apple dailies are tabloids, and somehow you don’t, or at least I don’t, expect them to be reading The Wall Street Journal.

Tangential: There’s a scene early in John Duigan’s Flirting where the students at a girls’ boarding school have arrived for assembly, and as they’re seated, they all cross their legs, right over left, at precisely the same angle — except for a newcomer, played by Thandie Newton, who quite deliberately fails to fall in line.

As for Ellen Tracy, it’s just a name, coined by founder Herbert Gallen in 1949; the company flourished until 2002, when it was sold to Liz Claiborne.

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Devil with a blue dress on

For some reason, I can’t bring myself to get exercised over this little, um, exercise:

Bill Clinton in a blue dress and heels

But this, we are told, is the scoop:

Jeffrey Epstein had a bizarre portrait of Bill Clinton in a dress hanging in his Manhattan mansion, DailyMailTV can reveal.

The picture depicting the former president apparently lounging on a chair in the Oval Office, wearing red heels and posing suggestively in a blue dress redolent of Monica Lewinsky was in a room off the stairway of the Upper East Side townhouse.

The dress is also strikingly similar to one worn by Hillary Clinton at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors.

The original painting is called Parsing Bill and is by Australian-American artist Petrina Ryan-Kleid, although it is unclear if Epstein had bought the canvas or had a print mounted. Ryan-Kleid exhibited for her degree show when she graduated with an MFA in 2012 from the New York Academy of Art.

The following observations apply:

  • Of the people who’ve seen me in a dress — the last time was circa 1994 — all but one, so far as I know, are still alive.
  • That really isn’t enough cleavage.
  • Hillary never looked that good in blue.

I have to admit, it takes guts to wear red heels with that shade of blue. And had it been a name-brand Republican who posed for such a thing, he’d be hanging from a light fixture right about now.

(Via Ed Driscoll.)

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Canny valley

This is 2019, y’all:

Said a noted British naturist:

Oh my god! Boobs are ALMOST visible! What is the world coming to? Is it the end of life as we know it? Will babies refuse to feed from these threatening milk containers? Will men feel inadequate for not being able to match the shape & size? There is maybe one hope — #GrowUp

The link from the original tweet has gone 404, but it’s hard not to believe the worst out of EasyJet:

Great Britain-based value airline EasyJet is under heavy criticism after the carrier stranded more than 130 passengers on an island in the English Channel for three days.

The flight, scheduled to leave Jersey Island near the French coastline on Tuesday, kept passengers in the airport until late Thursday. The airline called it a technical issue with the plane, but the problem was exacerbated [when] EasyJet could not immediately find a replacement aircraft to come and rescue the passengers.

Compared to that, merely booting a woman for insufficient clothing is trivial.

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Shoe fly

Sneakers for professional gamers? Well, technically, they don’t actually sneak, but otherwise:

Playing video games for a living is hard work. You need skill, endurance, and, according to sneaker maker K-Swiss, the right footwear.

The clothing you wear when you’re sitting down for hours at a time is important, as any frequent flier knows. Dress too nicely and your clothing becomes a prison, but looking like a total slob isn’t ideal, either. The same is true for the marathon gaming sessions that professional streamers and esports athletes regularly engage in. Enter the MIBR One-Tap, a new sneaker from K-Swiss that’s being marketed towards pro-gamers.

The esports athletes at the Immortal Gaming Club (IGC) helped K-Swiss design the shoe. Made in Brazil, or MIBR), is one of IGC’s teams and the shoe’s namesake. Just looking at the shoe gives you an idea of its gaming bonafides.

One-Taps by K-Swiss

Considering what gamers pay for hardware, these shoes, at a mere $125, seem downright cheap(ish).

(Via LegallyBae.)

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Light and airy

Lorna Burford of Raindrops of Sapphire fame says of these shoes: “[H]ow amazing are they? If it wasn’t for the super high price tag, I’d purchase them in a heart beat!”

Let’s check our pulse rates, shall we?

Chiara sandal by Sophia Webster

Um, yeah. This is “Chiara” by Sophia Webster. Made in Brazil and standing on a three-inch heel, this easily meets my definition of “insubstantial.” It runs $650 at Shopbop, which probably meets your definition of “super high price.”

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Expand the brand

For a while, they were just an inexpensive brand of pantyhose, sold in a plastic egg. But inevitably they wanted more:

L'eggswear advertisement

This dates from 1994 or thereabouts. I admit to being somewhat tickled by the paper-doll motif. And the little plastic eggs have long since disappeared.

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As summery as it gets

And, well, let’s face it, it’s summer, at least north of the equator:

A relic from Vashti's closet, originally from Old Navy

Vashti explains:

I am a sucker for anything with a pleat. I recently did a huge closet dump and found this beauty in the back of my closet collecting dust and decided it was time to bust her back out.

I definitely like. But now I wonder: how common are these “closet dumps”? And what happens to the dumpees that don’t earn retention?

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Simple, but not too simple

Years of looking at fashion advertising have yielded up one conclusion: no distractions. This Chanel print ad from about twenty years ago isn’t necessarily trying to sell you shoes or bags, but it will, unlike most of the ads that were trying to sell you shoes or bags, tell you where to get them.

Advertisement for Chanel boutiques, circa 1989

A brand with less self-confidence might have shown you their signature shoe, just to make sure they were on message. Chanel figures you already know that.

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A right to scowl

For many years I have said that what I was looking for, in the purely physical sense anyway, was a sweet smile and a nice pair of legs. This combination is not hard to come by, but it never approached my particular orbit. And fashion, as long as I can remember, might happily grant the latter, but the former just is not part of the deal:

Humming Bird hosiery advertisement from 1930

Now there may be extenuating circumstances here, inasmuch as this ad appeared in Vogue in 1930, and in the wake of the crash of 1929 smiles were somewhat sparse. Still, even today, a model is expected to look like they got her out of bed too early.

Davenport Mills, out of Chattanooga, was the first manufacturer to produce hosiery made out of that newfangled nylon stuff, circa 1939. They survived into the 1960s.

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Buying local-ish

This turned up in yesterday’s paper, and it set me off on a wholly unnecessary tangent:

Local model dresses up nicely

Model Adrianna Standfill wears red patent heels with see-through straps by Christian Louboutin, $675; Loeffler Randall bag, $395; Alexis gauze dress, $525, all from Balliets. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

I have Actual Neighbors who could wear that and do it proud; what I can’t do is imagine any of them putting up $1595 to do it.

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Knot at all plain

An interesting little slide:

I had this up on a screen at the work box when a pair of gloriously lovely tootsies strode into the room. The owner thereof took a look, smiled, and then said: “Wouldn’t that leave a pattern on the top of your foot?”

Maybe if you stayed out in the sun too long. That’s not her thing, though.

(And I’m wondering how it is that I’ve known this woman for twenty years, maybe more, and never noticed anything below the pant cuff before.)

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Leaving room

Meghan Markle's well-turned ankleThe Duchess of Sussex, I am informed by previously reliable sources, wears a size 8 (US) shoe — except for the minor detail that she would rather not:

At first glance, her heels appear ordinary — something that would garner sister-in-law Kate Middleton’s approval — but upon closer inspection, her shoes are noticeably a size too big. It’s a fashion oddity that [she] has been quietly practicing since her engagement to Prince Harry.

According to fashion expert Harriet Davey, there’s perfectly logical explanation behind her rotation of ill-fitting pumps: “Celebs often go a size up, or even two, in the shoe department when they’re at an event or on the red carpet and it’s for one reason we can all relate to — to avoid blisters,” Davey told The Sun. “There’s nothing worse than uncomfortable shoes.”

Not even royals will suffer discomfort for the sake of protocol. Well done, Your Grace.

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Current fashion

Fran Porretto sent this along:

AC/DC shirt with Tesla and Edison

I pray you got it on first glance.

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Just some of the perks

If you’re high enough on the celebrity ladder, things will be arranged for you. Last fall, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone wed occasional co-star Ranveer Singh in traditional Konkani and Sindhi ceremonies — at Lake Como, Italy.

The happy couple were shod by Christian Louboutin:

Ceremonial shoes for the wedding of Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh

But that wasn’t all:

[D]esigner Sabyasachi told … how the luxury brand went about creating a pair of shoes after her. He revealed, “Deepika is a traditional girl. I remember calling Christian because we both are big fans of her and we love her. And so I told him that we are doing this wedding and you have to do the shoes, and he was like ‘of course.’ When probed further if the diva had shoes named after her, he was quick to say, ‘Yea, the Deepik heel’.”

Behold the Deepik heel:

Deepik heel by Christian Louboutin

List price is $995, but at the moment they seem to be sold out.

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The right to Bear legs

Sometimes you have to go with the title you have:

Advertisement for Bear Brand hosiery

Thia particular advertisement boasts that the product is “British made,” but Bear Brand originated in the States: the former Paramount Knitting operation had several American plants, including one in Kankakee, Illinois that has since been razed. While the Stateside operation was winding down, the British firm continued until the 1990s.

Now there’s a thoughtful driver.

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Score one for karma

This asshat was blown off magnificently:

Summed up nicely by a Farker:

Guy insults woman on Tinder because of the dress she’s wearing. Company that makes the dress asks woman if they can use her picture to advertise the dress. Guy looks like an idiot. Woman looks great.

In the UK, ASOS sells this dress for £75.

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Took a shine to her

In 1972, the Army dispatched me to my first permanent duty station, to the extent that anything is permanent in the Army. I never thought of myself as anything but the generic Good Soldier: I wasn’t expecting to save the world, but by damn, I could get my bed made in the morning. And I did a pretty decent job keeping my boots properly glossy, which drew the attention of an adminstrative type two barracks over.

Donna Marie — her last name escapes me for some reason — outranked me by about a week, which meant more then than it does now. And she noticed the boots: “How do you do that?” I started to explain, but she cut me off and requested I do hers right then and there. Unfortunately for me, she was done up in the Class A of the day. So I’m crouched down low, putting some gloss on Donna’s shoes while daring myself not to look at Donna’s legs.

This late-1950s ad reminded me of that, rather forcefully:

Woman in a rain slicker with shiny shoes

For some reason, this ad, one in a series of such, was deemed a trifle risqué, perhaps because of low contrast: what she’s wearing, apart from the shoes and that wet-weather garment, is not all that obvious.

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Modestly wacky

This dates from a time when underwear was gradually ceasing to be, well, “under”:

Undies by Lycra

In 2003, Du Pont moved to spin off its textile-fibers division to Koch Industries, which combined it with its existing fiber operation to form Invista; the Lycra trademark is gradually fading away in favor of the generic “spandex.”

(With thanks to Amy Poindexter, whom I’ve never seen in anything like this.)

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Smartly dull

Today, this would more likely be called a matte finish:

A downright cobwebby Kayser hosiery ad

Kayser called this “Gossamer,” and it’s tricky for me to work my mind around the idea of something proudly billed as flimsy sold as a premium product. Then again, it must be conceded that my experience with purchasing women’s unmentionables is decidedly limited.

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Nine individuals later

One does get weary of contemplating “Individual-1,” after all:

Individual 10 by Wolford

Wolford sells these in 15 different shades for $49 a pair.

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The Empress’ new clothes

An advertisement for “Spanish lambswool invisible petticoats,” from 1806:

Mrs. Robertshaw begs leave to inform those ladies that found their invisible petticoats shrunk last winter that she has a kind so much improved that she will warrant them never to shrink even in the commonest wash, at the same time will be found equally as soft, pliant and warm. Everybody that has tried them allows them to be a much pleasanter article than ever before invented, being so very elastic [a word merely meaning at the time having some stretch or give] and of so beautiful a white, and, like all these comforts will add quite as little to size as her patent lambs’ wool so much approved of last winter. Likewise invisibles and stays all in one; well adapted to ladies that are confined; also under waist coats and drawers of the same description.

Of course, what makes these garments “invisible” is the fact that they’re worn between the body and the dress, hence unseen; no H. G. Wells-style trickery here. Interestingly, advertisements of this sort disappeared, so to speak, after 1816:

The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year and Eighteen Hundred and Froze To Death) because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F). This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.

Evidence suggests that the anomaly was predominantly a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). This eruption was the largest eruption in at least 1,300 years (after the extreme weather events of 535–536), and perhaps exacerbated by the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines.

We may perhaps assume that the tendency of women to wear less when it gets warmer goes back at least two hundred years.

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Here a light, there a light

The shoe vlogger known as Bupshi tours the Crystal Worlds museum run by Swarovski in Austria:

There is a Part One, but it’s all daytime: not so exciting. And if anyone cares, she’s wearing “Daisie” by Steve Madden.

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The height of discomfort

Some Japanese women have had it up to here with high heels:

Did you know that it is mandatory for women in Tokyo to wear high heels to work?

That’s right, a working woman’s dress code in Japan’s capital city necessitates them to wear heels. But no such absurd dress code demands are observed when it comes to the men. We can smell the inequality all the way from Tokyo!

To protest against this form of discrimination, women have launched an online movement called “#KuToo”. The #KuToo movement takes a leaf out of the #MeToo movement as women finally speak out
about the pain of having to work with heels.

Apparently “KuToo” is a fusion of the words for “shoe” and “pain,” which at least makes sense.

A lot of people are drawing parallels between having to wear heels at work with the discriminatory tradition of “foot binding.” While foot binding was a custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to alter the shape and size of their foot, in some twisted way it is very similar in having to mandatorily wear heels to work.

You get old enough, high heels will alter the shape and size of your foot..

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Big leg woman ain’t got no soul

We will leave questions of taste aside for the moment:

(Via snipe.)

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Perhaps this will help

A friend of mine, fortyish and tech-minded, came up with this brainstorm:

What I really need is a way to order lipstick by hex code or RGB value.

Think of it! Sixteen million colors! (More precisely: 16,777,216.) No doubt some of those colors would look terrible on her, and some other ones might look terrible on anyone, but a little six-character code is probably more functionally descriptive than, say, “Tahiti Twilight.”

And if you’ve ever fancied the edges of this page, done up in Too Long Marooned, it’s #330000.

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Not quite bedtime yet

And really, this makes a heck of a lot of sense:

Yes, I have lots of pajamas. But they are important to me. I even have what I think of as “pre-pajamas” — comfortable clothes that are still okay for going outside in if you have to put the trash down or if you need to run through the bank’s drive-through window (I would go ahead and get “properly dressed” again if I had to go to the grocery, but it’s nice to have lounge pants and old floppy funny t-shirts for at-home wear).

I think we may safely assume that all of her utilitarian garb is in good repair, unlike some of the stuff I’ve seen creeping across the parking lot at sunset.

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Doctor’s orders

I may be wrong, but this seems sensible to me:

And that pseudonym grabs me right in the temporal lobes.

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