Tag Archive | ladies home journal

Home Fashions-May 1945 Ladies Home Journal


Here’s a peek into what was happening on the home fashions front in May of 1945.

This ad is for Crane Co, manufacturers of  plumbing fixtures and steel cabinets. Many ads like this mention the new products and technologies to look forward to once the second World War was over.  Then companies could switch back to manufacturing for the general public, instead of for the military.

“And of course you’ll want a modern sink and storage cabinets selected from the Crane Line of tomorrow. This line-which promises the last word in styling and step saving efficiency-will be available as soon as regulations permit it’s manufacture.”

cinderella kitchen ladies home journal may 1945

Cinderella kitchen- Ladies Home Journal May 1945

This ad is for Meyercord Wall Borders, which were a very popular way to spruce up a room back in the 40s.  I just love the graphics, especially the bubble dancers, blue morning glories, and the berry festival.   I never see modern wallpaper borders that are this adorable. The Meyercord company made some fabulous decals as well. Sometimes you can still find unused ones online.  Original borders are harder to come by, but they are out there, like this gorgeous chartreuse drape pattern border for sale on etsy.

meyercord wallpaper border ad May 1945

Meyercord wallpaper border ad May 1945

Actress Merle Oberon says “To keep fresh and alluring, I prize my Serta, perfect sleeper” If only it was that easy! Love the gown and the shoes though. This mattress and box spring cost 39.50!   Ad also says “Make victory complete, buy more war bonds.”

Serta Perfect Sleeper Merle Oberon Ad 1945

Serta Perfect Sleeper- Merle Oberon Ad 1945

World War 11 was coming to an end and there would be government approved housing available for our returning servicemen and women via the GI Bill, and in the case of the house showcased in this issue, the California Veterans Welfare Board.  The article , titled “Home for the Veteran” features a design by architect, Mario Corbett, famous for his Northern California Modern style homes.

It’s interesting how he designed the house so that each bedroom opened up to its own individual garden.  I think I would enjoy a little private space for myself like that!

Mario Corbett House Plan-May 1945

Architect Mario Corbett House Plan-May 1945

From the article “here is a typical post war living room fully constructed, furnished and photographed for your immediate inspection. You can see that it is altogether different from the family rooms you are used to seeing”

“If you have been living in tight little rooms, those floor to ceiling windows will be the first things to catch your eye.  They are the kind of luxurious feature we have been seeing only in very expensive modern houses up to now.  After the war, even small houses can have them”

Living Room Mario Corbett Design May 1945

Living Room Mario Corbett Design May 1945

A view of the dining area.  The article states that the newest trend is to paint your ceiling to match your walls.  The color scheme used is turquoise, chartreuse and coral.   Think that’s a great combination, very tropical and cheerful and makes me feel like redecorating!

Dining area-Mario Corbett Design 1945

Dining area-Mario Corbett Design 1945

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Ladies Home Journal-May 1945 Fashions


This month I’m going to feature fashion, cosmetic ads and home decor from  my May 1945 issue of Ladies Home Journal Magazine.     World War 2 was almost over, so womens’ dresses  were still close fitting to the body, and just below knee length for day, because of fabric rationing.  Rayon became the fashion fabric of choice, often in darker shades. But some of the most interesting rayon novelty prints came from that decade as well.

Of course,  as you can see from the pictures below , flamboyant hats were popular, as were flower accents and gloves, especially ones that were made from the same fabric as your dress. All this accessorizing added a nice feminine touch to what would often be an austere outfit.

The two dresses below are designed by Rose Barrack. I keep seeing the prettiest dresses by her in so many of my 1940s vintage magazines, yet cannot find any information on her.  I wonder if she is related to the Ben Barrack who was a dress manufacturer in the 50s and 60s.  Maybe his mom!  Anyway, I love the use of flowers on the hats and as a corsage on dresses. Adds such a nice summery touch.

The flower hats are John-Frederics designs. The “John”  of this partnership refers to “Mr John”, a famous milliner who designed for Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. His hats were very much in demand.

Floral rayon dress by Rose Barrack-1945

Floral rayon dress by Rose Barrack-1945

Rose Barrack brown crepe 1940s dress

Rose Barrack brown crepe dress-1945

And how can you not love the timeless classic that is navy and white polka dot?  And the matching gloves! Note the bright red flower accent at the waist. A lovely finishing touch.

1945 navy polka dot dress

Navy and white polka dot dress and gloves-1945

Many women were into sewing their own clothes back then. Imagine that?  The illustration of the apron dress below and the white sundress with the polka dot trim could both be made from “Hollywood Patterns”, a company that was very popular for putting pictures of famous actresses on the covers of their patterns, making them very collectible till this day.

Apron Dress Hollywood pattern 1589- 1945

Apron Dress 1945 Hollywood pattern 1589-

hollywood pattern white sundress 1945

White rayon faille sundress-1945 Hollywood Pattern 1580

This last picture is an ad for Selby Arch Preserver Shoes. It  shows a model wearing an amazing novelty print dress.  Looks like fluffy clouds shapes and  inside every one is the word “Capri”.   The  illustrations give you an idea of the shoe styles of that period. They’re all adorable and I would wear every single pair if I could get my hands on them!

Selby Arch Preserver Shoes Ad-1945

Selby Arch Preserver Shoes Ad-1945

Beauty Ads from May 1945 coming soon…….

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1955 Resort Wear Fashions


Wilhela Cushman, fashion editor of Ladies Home Journal for over 25  years, wrote in the January 1955 issue about the resort wear fashions in style that year.

“By air or sea, smart career girls are setting the pace, traveling light.”

“A lot of places in one trip…a lot of fashion in one suitcase….that’s the winter vacation idea.”

And wouldn’t it be nice to go on a trip right now with a suitcase full of clothes like this!

Embroidered blue and white cotton dress with sweater. By Toni Owen.

1955 dress toni owens

1955 Embroidered sundress by Toni Owen

Love the combination of turquoise jewelry with this coral and gold print dress by Anne Fogarty.

anne fogarty dress 1955

Anne Fogarty dress-1955 Ladies Home Journal

Pale pink perfection . Chiffon cocktail dress by Ceil Chapman.

Pink chiffon cocktail dress by Ceil Chapman-1955 Ladies Home Journal

And let’s not forget some fabulous swimwear!

Left-Deep sea printed jersey bathing suit with matching hooded jacket.

Right-White cotton pique bathing suit with striped beach coat.

1955 swimwear  isabel dobson

Isabel Dobson swimwear-1955 Ladies Home Journal

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Holiday Evening Gowns-1950


Below are some photos of glamorous holiday evening gowns from a fashion spread in the December 1951 issue of Ladie’s Home Journal.  What I wouldn’t give to have a closet full of these!

The accompanying text for the article was written by Wilhela Cushman,who was fashion editor of the Journal for 25 years.

“Time to be feminine, to look the way men like to see you-in a drift of tulle, in lacy cotton over taffeta, in a column of satin with a trailing panel. Your shoulders are bare, your waistline bracelet-size, your skirts ruffled and puffed, fan pleated, side draped. You’ll wear opal colors-especially mauve, violet and blue. Your slippers will be jewel colored velvet and you’ll twine rhinestones or pearls round your arms and in your hair.”

Did you catch the part about the “bracelet sized waist”?  Now you know why so many dresses from that era have such small waistlines.  The hourglass shape was the height of fashion,  and women laced themselves into corsets and waistcinchers to create that extremely curvy look.

First up is a frothy pink confection by Ceil Chapman.  Reminds me of cotton candy!  And how about that silver Christmas tree with the pink roses on it? Swoon!

Pink ruffled tulle gown by Ceil Chapman

Pink ruffled tulle gown by Ceil Chapman

This next festive frock is an emerald green satin column gown with floating panel by Wilson Folmar.   Dresses with his label are sought after among savvy vintage clothing collectors.  He designed very stylish, higher end cocktail and evening wear.

Emerald green satin gown by Wilson Folmar.

Emerald green satin gown by Wilson Folmar.

Another smashing gown by Ceil Chapman in embroidered organdy over taffeta, accompanied by a gold taffeta coat.


Organdy dress with taffeta coat by Ceil Chapman.

This violet beauty is a Mark Mooring creation. He was a designer for Bergdorf Goodman and also a Coty Fashion Critics Award winner.

Dresses with his label are scarcer than hen’s teeth. So if you ever run across one, consider it the equivalent of hitting the lottery!

Violet taffeta gown by Mark Mooring.

Violet taffeta gown by Mark Mooring.

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1957 Fashion Spread-Celebrity daughters


Take a look at these lovely images  from a 1957 Ladies Home Journal magazine. The fashion spread is titled “Pretty Daughters of Famous Fathers” and features celebrity daughters modelling  summer party dresses.

Of course, I got curious as to who the mothers were of these gorgeous girls, so I did a little digging.

The amazingly talented Fred Astaire, without a doubt one of the most famous dancer/actor/singer/choregraphers of all time,  married Phyllis Potter, a Boston socialite, in 1933. They had two children, Fred Jr. and Ava (pictured below).

Fred Astaire's daughter, Ava, wearing a white embroidered organdy party dress

Fred Astaire's daughter, Ava, wearing a white embroidered organdy party dress

Norman Foster was a movie director in the 40s and 50s.  After his first marriage to Claudette Colbert, he married actress Sally Blaine, an elder sister of Loretta Young. They had two children.  Gretchen (pictured below) and Robert.

Noman Foster's daughter, Gretchen, in a three tiered white organdy gown

Noman Foster's daughter, Gretchen, in a three tiered white organdy gown

Henry Fonda, the Hollywood legend, married Frances Ford Seymour, a New York socialite in 1936.  They had two children who turned out to be famous actors in their own right, Jane(pictured below) and Peter.

Though her dad’s acting career continued right into his seventies, I was horrified to discover her mother, after many bouts with mental illness,  commited suicide when she was only 42, by cutting her throat with a razor.

Jane Fonda was born in 1937, making her only 20 years old when this photo was taken.

Jane Fonda, daughter of Henry Fonda, in a printed dimity shirtwaist gown.

Jane Fonda, daughter of Henry Fonda, in a printed dimity shirtwaist gown.

Walt Disney married Lillian Bounds in 1925 after meeting her where she worked in the “ink and paint” department at Disney Studios. They had two daughters, Diane and Sharon(pictured below).

Lillian Bounds Disney is credited with giving the world famous cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, his name. She died exactly 31 years to the day after the death of her husband.

Sahron Disney, daughter of Walt Disney, wearing a blue polka dot tiered sundress.

Sharon Disney, daughter of Walt Disney, wearing a blue polka dot tiered sundress.

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