Vintage Woman’s Own: Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 6th 1955

Is it getting a bit late to say ‘Happy New Year’? I must admit, I’m not one of these people that does say it as a rule, and I find it particularly awkward when someone says it and it’s the 16th of January or some time about then… Anyway, this will be my first and only mention of ‘Happy New Year’:

Bird's Custard Advert

She’s definitely wearing contacts.

Yesterday I looked at the 1940’s Marie France magazine. Today we are fast forwarding six years and skipping across the Channel to see what fashion and life was like for ladies in Britain in 1955:

January Fashion

“British designers have taken inspiration from all that is best in the couture styles from Paris, Rome and Switzerland, translating them into lovely garments perfect in every way for women at home.

The ideas are not entirely continental – reognize the influence of the Army Officer’s ‘British Warm’ in the jacket sketched on the far left?

Matador-style pants – slim and tapering, are now striped in velveteen for extra flattery; they’re so attractive, it takes a strong mind to reject them, but do so if you are the slightest bit overweight.

Skirts – full and pleated, bell-shaped and gored, hold their own successfully against the craze for slacks and prove that, although not all of us are built to wear pants, there is a skirt style to suit everybody.

In the group on the left the centre skirt is made of suede, finished fabric, pretty and practical. The attractive skirt on the right, of white blanket cloth, is trimmed with multi-coloured bows of thick knitting wool – an idea to copy.

The sweater story is one of brilliant colour and a multitude of designs. For the first time, there is a style to cover, destract from or disguise every figure fault. The Paisley patterned wool jersey sweater on the left has ribbed collar and cuffs and comes in a variety of colours. Delightful for both day and informal evening wear. Chosen carefully and cleverly teamed, your separates will keep you warm but elegant for informal Winter wear.”

(P.10-11, Woman’s Own, January 6th, 1955)

Did anyone else spot the Americanisms in that? Pants, slacks, recognize – what was going on? Also, some of the fashion ideas seem to be somewhat similar to today’s fashion: Paisley knitwear, full skirts and strange shaped trousers!

Multi Striped, Gaily Coloured

I’d wear the black and striped one on the left. Apparently made by Estrava and available in several colours.

Paisley skirt by Jaeger and grey dress by Susan Small

“Jewellery with these new evening fabrics should be chunky, and gold or silver kid is the best choice for belts and handbags. And do please be sure to wear plain, plain shoes.” (p.11)

Beauty and the Bachelor by Ann Anderson

Illustration for a short story done by Al Buell.

James Norbury designed Knitwear

A few adverts from the same magazine:


One Comment Add yours

  1. M. says:

    So in love with your treasure trove of these adverts and magazines…

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