Here's a magazine snapshot of the U.S. in 1941, just months before we entered the war.
This comes from the New York Public Library (click image for original post), and features a double-page spread from the inaugural issue of Design for Living: The Magazine for Young Moderns in September 1941.
Dickeys lent a peter-pan-ish look, hats and knee socks were out and bare legs cut the stockings bill in half. But what else? Here "Miss Average College Girl" 'fesses up to the minimum and maximum size of her wardrobe.
"The SWEATER is still old faithful, and a college girl spends 75% of her waking hours in the sweater-skirt ensemble. Cardigan or slip-over, long or short sleeves ... but it must be plain! No fancy scrollwork, no flower garden applique and no puff sleeve!"
Interesting, no? When I think 40s, I think puff sleeve.
"SKIRTS are number two on the hit parade ... anything than can be crushed wrinkled, danced in, spilled on, walked in, hung on a hook, and still look neat and bandbox fresh."
Woo-hoo! My kind of girl.
"Campus feet are the same as ever in saddle SHOES ... and moccasins are owned by 40%. A pair of saddles, pumps and a Cinderella slipper for evening makes the shoe shelf complete."
Boyfriends (not boyfriend sweaters, mind you, we're talking strapping young men): 1-7
"Though he's not exactly an article of clothing ... the BOYFRIEND ... he's certainly what every girl would like to wear on her left arm this season. Boyfriends are scarce at girls' schools unless there's an Amherst or Harvard next door ... but girls at the co-ed schools are always squeezing coke dates inbetween matinee and juke joint."
Finally, in closing:
"So now the facts and figures have verified something we suspected all along ... the college girl, her sweater and her skirt are forever "three comrades"!"
The NYPL post also notes:
The average young woman spent $240.33 a year on clothes in September 1941 ... There is no differentiation between handmade clothing and purchased items in this survey, but I suspect that some of these women's wardrobes included items that they made themselves (and there are articles elsewhere in Design for Living about sewing for oneself).For those of you who are curious, using the Measuring Worth calculator, $240.33 is supposedly worth $3,500 today.
How does this poll strike you? Is Miss Average College Girl so different today?
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