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  • Writer's pictureVintage Pattern Girl

Dressing Well 1904

This odd little booklet came from the “Misc. Fashion” files.  One of those items that is somewhat difficult to actually pin a label on.  At first glance one would suppose it would be chock full of all sorts of hints and information about clothing yourself or your family on a budget.

Despite the title, it appears to be an advertising give-away, most. The magazine is eight pages in length, with black and white illustrations through out – except for the color front and back covers.  The box on the front cover is imprinted with the Berry-Ball Dry Goods Co. which indicates that this was a magazine that was ordered from a central clearing house where it was imprinted with the purchaser’s company name.

However, despite the title – there is very little about Dressing Well For Little Money.  A few of the written pieces exhort men to consider purchasing their suits of “good taste and quality” ready-made.  And there is very sound advice regarding the “Whole Cloth Back Suit” – wherein the back of the jacket is made in a single piece, in order to avoid ”.. the breaking of the stripe or check”.

The majority of the page space is filled with light humor in the form of jokes, short tales of about two paragraphs long, and some pithy observations on the nature of life. Such as:

A man demands that a woman shall always be well dressed.  He is a perpetual victim to the click of high-heeled shoes and the frou-frou of silk skirts, and to his private code, considers mother Hubbards and curl papers as sufficient grounds for divorce. 

But – he expects his wife to achieve the miracle of first-class clothes on an eighth-class income.

And - EVERY man demands that a woman’s heart shall be an ice-bound fortress, diffusing a cold storage atmosphere that will give every other man who approaches her frosted feet. 

But – he wants her to turn into a seething volcano of red-hot affection when he draws upon the scene.

All in all – it’s an odd little bit of printing.

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