Tuesday, August 21, 2012

back to school, august 1957

This time of year always feels like something new is starting.  You may not be going back to school, or helping someone else get ready to go back.  But you can still sense and enjoy the change of season; you might buy new clothes or redecorate your home.  (Though buying new clothes was never a big thrill when I was young, getting new school supplies was, for some reason.)  These ads (all from August 1957 issues of Life magazine, which you can peruse in full here, here, here and here) are full of that back to school excitement, advertising all things required, from plaid and wool to...asphalt roads?

Ivy League stripes for "real boys."

This whole ad is awesome.  I showed it to Andy and said he should build a wardrobe on this.  Especially loving the duffle coats and the desert boots on the fella in the left corner.

I like how Sears covers both the men's and women's looks in this ad, and the added pieces and accessories shown on the right.  (The color for autumn 1957 is "Amber Haze"!)  Her skirt is fantastic.  And look at the men's accessories, etc. on the right--desert boots again!  They must have been a hot item that season.

Cutest graphic!

Well, it won't be tough to guess--that plaid dress is calling to me.  Mom--make it for me, pleeeeease?  Just kidding.

How cute is the little coed lamb logo?

I guess asphalt was kind of a new thing in 1957.  The kids in the back of the bus have kind of a desperate look about them...like they want to escape.

This "chubby lass" isn't really fond of the moniker "Chubbettes"...but it's a cute dress!

Cute wool fashions, cute lambs, and cute lamb logo again--this time in a back-to-school beret and scarf!

Lots of summer into fall transition looks from Blue Bell.  Loving the shorts and blouse on the girl in the forefront, and the contrasting plaid cuffs on pants on the right.  (I have a pair of deadstock Blue Bell jeans in the shop right now, by the by!)



  1. I adore these vintage ads even the chubbette one. I just graduated college this year so there's so special event with me but I still love browsing the school supplies for my home office and love looking at the new clothing collections :)

  2. Those are some beautiful ads. Chubbettes reminds me of the "Husky" brand of britches for boys when I was a kid.

  3. Love these. That Blue Bell ad is interesting. There was no way a girl would have been allowed to wear shorts - especially in denim - to class in 1957. Well, maybe at some all girl colleges, but that would be about it. We couldn't even wear pants to my high school until 1972!

  4. Great find Karen! Vintage American college fashions are always so great to look at. Especially love those plaid dresses!

    I have to admit I was never enthusiastic about shopping for clothes for schoole either. I was more intent on finding the best pencil case, coloured pencils and pens. :D

  5. Desert boots are back in - I bought a pair a couple of years ago from jcrew. i wear them all the time!

  6. I was always most excited about the school supplies, too. I had a uniform in elementary school, so going clothes-shopping didn't really have anything to do with school. By the time I got into high school, I was going to estate sales and pulling things from my grandmother's closets. She'd saved practically everything she, my grandfather, my dad and my uncles had worn in the 70s. There were some good pickings.

    I love the Sears ad. The September 2012 issue of Marie Claire (the French edition) says that "L'ambre" is back.

  7. I wish more kids/men dressed like th boys in the 2nd ad. Would love that. I'm really liking the knee socks too. Theyre really pulling the outfit together on some of these girls. Thanks for sharing, Karen. This post really did capture some of the excitement that comes with the new school year!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin