20th Century

Monogrammed sportswear in the 1920s

Carrying on with showing you the bits from my Bestway Initial Transfer catalogue, here are the pages featuring monogrammed sportswear – so not only could you have monogrammed unders, but you can wear monogrammed tennis dresses over them!

The first page features monogrammed blouses and blazers for women, a ‘smart’ day ensemble, a monogrammed mens shirt, and (best of all!) a swimsuit!

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com

 

Oh wait, I stand corrected.  The day ensemble is not just ‘smart’, but ‘exceedingly smart’!  Don’t you love the tricorn-esque hat?

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com
And here is the write-up for the ensemble and the swimsuit:

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com
I think I might need to add a swimsuit in navy stockinette with red trim to my swimsuit collection – and add a rosette covered hat!  Check out her lace-up beach boots too!

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com
I also need the pointed-bottom blouse.  I could see that on the catwalk today – and in my own wardrobe!  I also adore the cloche worn with the classic cardigan blazer.  It’s such a perfect illustration of the late teens and early ’20s cloche – still with a distinct brim.

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com
The blazer is ‘just right for tennis’, and the ‘jumper blouse’ is embroidered in tangerine silk.  Be still my heart!

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com
I’m trying to figure out what fabric ‘taffetas’ was that it made a suitable tennis shirt for a man.  Perhaps a rayon taffeta, which would be a lot softer and less crisp?  More research must be done!

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com

The next page features more blouses, a tennis dress, an overall for housework, and a men’s blazer:

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com

Here is a close up of the overall:

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com
I find the ‘overall’ dress one of the more fascinating garments featured in the catalogue.  It’s clearly the precursor/older sister to the 1930s hooverette frocks.  This version is made of grass-green ‘government silk’, which is another term I’m going to have to add to my terminology research list.  I strongly suspect it is either a rayon, or a silk blend, and the name is because it was officially promoted during the silk shortages of WWI.  I actually love how the overall dress looks, and want one for myself.  Probably without the monogram, and DEFINITELY without that cap!

There is also a very chic tennis dress:

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com

On the other page, a suave man in a blazer and a striped silk scarf, and (since this is the ’20s), a cigarette.

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com

But the best piece of all is a simple silk blouse.

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com
Why is it the best?  Not the fabulous hat or the fabulous parasol, but the embroidery, which is topped with ‘a lucky black cat’.

Adorable.

Sadly, I’ve heard anecdotaly that the globalisation of media is eroding the the British tradition of lucky black cats, and replacing it with the more American & European ‘unlucky’ black cat superstition – which isn’t great for black cats.  In my opinion, all cats are lucky, and I’d be delighted to have a blouse with one embroidered on it!

Early 1920s Bestways Initial Transfer book thedreamstress.com

3 Comments

  1. Tegan says

    The thing I love about these ads is that clearly the artist is more familiar drawing women — those men’s faces are very feminine and dainty! I would kill for those smokey Bette Davis eyes!

  2. That house dress cap is awful! I suppose it would be functional… but I don’t think it would be at all worth it to wear one! Cute swimsuit and day wear, though. Thanks for sharing!

    Best,
    Quinn

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