Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Ladies Journal and Portfolio of Fashions December 1931


I’ve been looking forward to sharing this with you.  I love old magazines, but this one is extra special because it still contains the free gifts, as mentioned on the front cover, which is quite remarkable when you realise how old it is. My real reason for buying it was the Weldon’s Portfolio of Fashions (one of the free gifts) but there is much else to enjoy including a serial entitled Cat’s paw and an article about spending Christmas with the then King and Queen.



This from the Weldon's Portfolio of Fashion:  Paris Calling:  The world over, financial and economical questions are difficult to solve and that makes life hard for everybody, but in such trying times it is the duty of the women to provide the pleasant note which gives relaxation to minds and hearts.  


Having mentioned times being rather hard it goes on to describe the fashions that every self-respecting woman simply must have.


In case you can't read the descriptions they are (left to right). The interesting points of this fondant green (a shame the images are in black and white!) satin dress are, epaulette sleeves, crossover bodice and moulded-to-the figure effect.    Have black or raisin brown for this lovely frock of faille, with a low v-shaped neck, and pointed hip yoke.    Frills contribute largely to the chic of this white Japshan silk frock. Note how they catch up the bodice, which has a crossover line and is draped at the waist.     Printed taffeta or Grand Prix Ninon are good materials for interpreting the charming new lines of this frock with a low decolletage, flounces and bustle effect.  


The party season calls for - pretty frocks and fancy dress. 



The pictures are in colour this time, but the descriptions are no less flowery.  The upward lift of the flared frills to the bow at the back shows how charming the bustle can be.  Satin in the soft yellow tone of old ivory is suggested for this gown with new, softly draped bodice and moulded hips. Gay enough for any festive occasion is a frock like this. Make in chiffon or Georgette.   



It's not all party frocks - here are four smart outfits for the younger married woman, combining youthfulness with sophisticated chic. 


Here an introduction to the newest in jumpers ... following the vogue for all things that give a trim military silhouette ... and the latest frocks for wearing till the evening. 


I feel sure my mother would have read magazines like this. This is a photograph of her in the garden of her family home in 1933. She was a stylish young woman, but as she got older, she adopted darker colours and sensible shoes.  I’m glad my memories go back a long way (to the 1950s), or I might never have known about her love of fashion. 


If you are still wondering about the second free gift, this is how it is described in the magazine: Economy or no economy - one thing is certain - every smart woman must have a woolly pochette this winter. With the free pattern, you can make the flat little pochette with its trimly professional air for almost next to nothing. 


Or, by sending to our Service Department, you can secure a lovely mount and chain in oxidized gilt, which we are offering to our readers at the bargain price of 2s, post free, and with it make a very attractive handbag.  


A few more pages from the Portfolio of Fashions; 







If you are interested in vintage magazines you might enjoy these previous posts;  The Best of British Homemaking 1966 and Lilliput Magazines

Thank you for visiting, you are very welcome to leave a comment, and if you enjoy my blog, please follow with Bloglovin, thank you.

40 comments:

  1. Barbara, what a fantastic post!!! I absolutely love vintage and this 1930's vintage magazine is gorgeous! And the photo of your mother...what a beautiful woman! Thank you so much for sharing, you have made my day...and then some!!! :)

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    1. I’m really pleased about that Linda because your blog always makes my day – you share such lovely things. x

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  2. Fascinating. And that's a good picture of your mom.

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  3. this magazine sounds wonderful .
    i too found old magazines so fascinating.
    .i love old wearings .
    they look graceful and elegant.
    your mom was surly a pretty sensible lady.
    in my youth i found lighter colors attractive like her and now i love little darker ones.

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    1. It’s difficult to know just what to wear as you get older. I tend to go for more somber colours, but I like to dress them up with a bright scarf or a pretty top. In the end, I think we should all wear what suits us and what makes us feel comfortable.
      Thank you for reading my post and for leaving a comment.

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  4. Love that word...'FASHION'...!
    As l always say.."Every street is a catwalk".
    Don't remember the 1930's was'nt created then..
    But, women's fashion was always ahead of men's
    fashion, men's fashion only existed in show
    business, and not really out and about, men
    dressed up for dinner, and to socialise, top
    hat and tails..etc..! Middle/Lower class, wore
    the same every day!

    Then the 60's came along...The best and always
    voted the best decade of ALL time! Goodness!
    What a decade that was! Everything happened
    during those ten years! Fashion was at it highest,
    look at some of the bands of that era..Silks, patents,
    make~up...HeHe! Even the women were wearing it...! :).
    And, dare l say it...one of my wardrobes is still full
    of 60's gear, looked after, cared for, washed by hand,
    and it all looks brand new!

    I must say though..l do like to see ladies dressed in
    long gowns..l love the more elegant style of dress,
    clean, ironed, smart...! And, worn with pride!
    During my working years, l wore waistcoats and dicky~
    bows...I have 32 waistcoasts and 37 dicky~bows!
    And brother...are they loud..still, got me a lot of
    business, once seen....! :).

    And...when l read on the cover of the second magazine
    down...90 models..I had to go lie down...90 models!
    Goodness! But! As the song says....
    "Those were the days my friend". :).

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    1. Now you're talking Willie, the 60s best time ever!

      I loved mini skirts worn with knee-high white boots and white stockings! My dad hated me going out looking like that, but I thought I was the bee’s knees. Back-combed hair and Dusty Springfield make up completed the look! After that it was all maxi dresses and coats, much more elegant but a perfect pain when you lived in the country as I did.

      It’s great you still have some of your 60s gear and the waistcoats and dicky-bows! I packed all my 60s stuff in the loft of a previous house only to discover we had mice! They had lovely nests that year, even nibbling bits out of the front of my wedding dress. Pesky things – it was my own fault because I couldn’t abide the thought of poisoning them or catching them in traps. In the end, it was a choice between us moving out or the mice being dealt with, so dealt with they were.

      Thanks so much for your comment Willie, you always brighten my day.

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  5. Good morning Barbara! We are currently watching (for the 3rd or 4th time) the entire season collection of Downton Abbey. We simply cannot get enough of that series. The fashions are my absolute favorites and these patterns are so similar! And what's even more endearing is how much I remember from my childhood, looking at these....my mother sewed all of our clothes and there is so much to remember. Thank you.

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    1. Hello Anita, I’m a big fan of Downton Abbey! I l the fashion and the general feel of the time. We went to a friend’s wedding at the real Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) some years ago. It was at this time of the year, and I’ve never forgotten the big Christmas t in the hall and the swags of greenery adorning the stairs. It was a truly magical day.

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  6. WOW! Sixpence bought a woman a lot in a magazine back then (of course, Sixpence was harder to come by also). I loved looking at all there is here. One of my favorite things to do is to look through old magazines. Columbia has a wonderful collection of McCall's and Good Housekeeping I would read whenever I went up there to do research and needed a break.

    When we were kids, relatives use to send us a bundle of English newspapers and magazines every month, and I was always excited to see it arrive. I even knitted a few things from patterns in the women's mags. So your post was especially fun for me to read. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. Hello Alex, researching at Columbia sounds very exciting to someone born in the UK – not only that, but you got to look through the magazine collection – I am so envious!
      My granny Daisy used to keep all her magazines for my mum to look through and for me to play with. I loved cutting out all the fashion illustrations and pasting them into scrapbooks. I’ve often wondered what happened to those scrapbooks I would love to look through them again.

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  7. What a gorgeous post, Barbara! Your Mum is lovely. I adore the dresses with the big bows in back, especially #855163. I may have to copy and adapt it! Not in taffeta! Maybe in a summer cotton... Another project! Do you have any photos of you with the Dusty Springfield hair and make-up? I would love to see one. Your posts give me such joy.

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    1. It would look lovely in a summer cotton Colleen. I hope you make it and share a photo on your blog. I don’t have many photographs from the 60s, but I’m seeing my sister next week, and she might have one or two. The biggest problem back then was paying for the processing. I do have a couple taken in 1969 my hair is still back-combed, but it’s short so you can’t really see it that well. If you visit this link (on my family blog) http://flitneyfamily.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/sepia-saturday-293.html you can see them – Terry and I are on the left as you look at the photos. I’m doing my best model pose in the first one and just ended up looking sulking! I’m laughing in the second one because of something Terry said – I can’t remember what now. They were taken by the official photographer at The Post Office Tower (which is why we have them). I’m sitting down so you can’t see how short my skirt is, and although I’m wearing my favourite white boots they are hidden by the table.
      I'm so pleased you enjoy my posts as I do yours.
      I don't get a lot of time to publish things on the family blog, but I hope to give it more attention one of these days.

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  8. Oh, Love all those fashions and would wear any/all of them apart from the fancy dress! I think mum always loved her sparkly jumpers at Christmas time, but like the rest of us found trousers easier as she got older. xxx

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    1. I love them too Sue, and I do remember mum and her sparkly Christmas jumpers. The dress she wore to your wedding is still my favourite one of hers. Thanks for coming over to my blog. xx

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  9. I love the elegance of the designs. The fabrics just beg to cling and flow. What a lovely piece for your collection, Barbara. Thanks for giving us look at it. Did you read the Cat's Paw?

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    1. Hello Lee, yes I've read Cat’s Paw or at least part of it. So far, there has been a murder and a kidnapping … now if anyone has a copy of the Ladies Journal from January 1932 can you please tell me what happens next! :-)

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  10. Oh how lovely Barbara. Thanks for sharing them. I do so love these old magazines and the beautiful fashions of that time. They all look so elegant, graceful and chic.
    Lovely that you have your mum's memory as when she was wearing fashionable cloths. I of course remember my mum wearing pretty sarees to parties but for some reason I remember most of all ,she going around the house doing little excersises to keep her thighs slim๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. I remember that often when I go to the gym๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Hello Shashi, you have such lovely memories of your mum. I smiled when you said she exercised to keep her thighs slim, women never change!
      One of my first jobs back in the 60s was in the office of a large clothing factory in the East End of London. I found it all very strange to start with, but I gradually got to know the other girls and began to form friendships. The girls took it upon themselves to introduce me to the East End. We spent lunch hours in the markets, pubs and shops. My favourite shops were the ones that sold sarees. I had never seen such wonders before, the colours and fabrics were breathtaking! My mum & dad worried about me going up to London every day, but it was a real education and something I’ve never regretted. :-)

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    2. I can't blame your parents. Back in the sixties London must have been so different. East end would have been very industrial and full of immigrants from India because when boat loads of worksers came for the leather and textile industry I believe they were off loaded in the London docks and east end had all the factories from what I have heard and read and people still not comfortable mixing. I would have loved to see London from that era. I came only end of seventies . By then london had changed a lot. My husband once drove me through east end of london to show me and I could capture some of the atmosphere although that part of london looked very sorry. After all the redevelopment I cannot recognise any thing there. It is so changed.

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    3. It was an amazing time, colourful & noisy and very exciting. I worked for a Jewish company in Whitechapel. They were tailors by the name of Schneider. I don’t remember how many of the family were employed in the business, but I’m guessing quite a few. Arriving via the underground on my first morning was an experience in itself. I remember wandering around the back streets trying to find where I needed to be. It was a real eye opener for a girl from the country! After a few years Schneider’s (or Guards Menswear) moved into a new purpose built factory in Basingstoke, I worked there for a while, but it was nothing like working in London. I missed the excitement, and it wasn’t long before I was back working for the Automobile Association in Leicester Square.

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  11. How fun to see page after page of beautiful fashions from your magazine. And wonderful to see your pretty mom, too! I'm not sure if I'd ever heard of the little bags called pochettes before, but this design looks very fun to make. Thanks for this fascinating post!

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    1. Hi Marcia, it’s OK I had never heard the word either but according to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s a woman's small handbag shaped like an envelope. Perhaps the word come in and went out of favour before we were born! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.

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  12. Raisin Brown. Isn't that a great description?

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  13. What a great photo of your mom. I think my mom was fashionable as well, but I avoid dresses like the plague. Fun to see these pages though. Many of the simpler ones look like they could be worn today.

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    1. Thanks Tamara, I’m very fond of the photo. I think you are right about the fashions, I would be very happy to wear most of them.

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  14. What a fantastic post!!! I absolutely love vintage magazines! My mom used to read these type of gorgeous magazines.
    Thanks for sharing your passion :)

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  15. How fun! I love that you can remember your mom when she was more focused on fashion. It is interesting to see the fashion magazine and the descriptions of the clothes. Fun to see old dresses! I am glad some of the photos are in color and I was intrigued by the free gifts. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoyed the fashions. It’s nice to have memories of my mum as a young woman, although for most of my life, I thought of her as old! Perhaps all children think anyone over 30 is ancient!

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  16. Barbara, I'm charmed by fashion from the 30s. It's so sophisticated. Good for you for receiving every gift that came with this journal. And your mother (still very young then) was a wonderful dresser, as you are, my dear!

    My mother isn't very adventurous with fashion and colours. She thinks at her age she ought to dress in duller colours, but with a nudge from us, she'll give a dusky pink or a bold orange a try for Chinese New Year. : )

    Also, I've received your lovely, lovely X'mas card. Such a highlight of my day! Thank you so much, Barbara, and I wish you and Terry the sweetest, warmest Christmas. (Will the girls be visiting or will you be spending it with your grandsons?)

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    1. Dear Claudine,
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I’m not so sure I’m a wonderful dresser these days, although I’ve always enjoyed clothes. Dusty pink and/or orange sound perfect for Chinese New Year, just like red is the colour for Christmas.

      I’m so pleased your card arrived safely. It was sent with love and very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. We won’t see Zoe and Lilly this year, but we are spending Christmas Day with our grandsons and Terry’s parents, so I’m very much looking forward to it.

      Lots of love, Barbara x

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    2. I hope you guys have a wonderful time together!

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    3. Thank you so much Claudine, Happy holidays xx

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  17. I love this - it's an exquisite post. One of the reasons I watch older Hollywood movies is to see these fashions. Even if the movie winds up being awful, at least I got to look at some lovely clothes. I like the fashions from the 1930s and 1940s especially.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean about Hollywood movies, I love them too. The women always look so polished with superb clothes and amazing hair styles.

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  18. I love love these vintage fashions! I often wish I lived in another era. Your mom looks very stylish. Even though my mom was a farmer's wife, she always left the house well dressed. Even now, at 88, she likes to look her best.

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    1. Hello Darlene, your mom always looks lovely in the photos you share. My dear old dad spent most of his time in dungarees and Wellington’s but whenever he was away from the farm, he put on a sports jacket, smart trousers, shirt, tie and a flat cap and I loved him for it. Mum was the same slippers and a ‘house dress’ while at home but always smart and tidy to go out.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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