An ad promoting more “feminine” fashions found in a 1974 issue of 19 magazine. Because, you know, ladies dasn’t wear pants.
Diana Pooley Ltd. must have been like Laura Ashley was in the 1980s; the option for “non-feminists” who eschewed being anything other than a lady in a man’s world. Fashion choice is one thing, but forcing such gender ties to fashion… Well, I often wonder if the Pooleys and Ashleys of the world are ever embarrassed to see their old ads.
It was pretty obvious to me when Amazon, Google, and eBay invested in the fashion sector, that fashion was going to surpass the e-commerce success of books, music, and videos.
Data, analysis and insights publisher on digital marketing, media and commerceeMarketer is predicting that the fashion apparel and accessories sector is expected to grow 20% to $40.9 billion this year (up from $34.2 billion in 2011), while books, music, and video are only expected to grow by 18% this year (to $20.4 billion). The figures are for the US:
If you’d like to make money (or even more money) via fashion affiliate programs, get my white paper.
“Dior said that the forward thrust of the hips was a way for women to advertise their childrearing abilities, so he was certainly tapping into the emergence of the baby boom,” says Timothy Long, the costume curator at the Chicago History Museum. “But there’s no surprise that that whole idea of hyperfemininity is going to continue.” Long is the force behind the current exhibition Charles James: Genius Deconstructed which sheds new light on the unique way that the American couturier-said to have influenced Dior- crafted his dresses.
Does this mean that those 1950s-1960s New Look fashions we find so sexy are indeed incredibly sexist — by design? Or is our fertile femininity to be acknowledged, even celebrated, without judgement? It’s nearly impossible to say… History teaches us just how limited and controlled women were in those times. And the return of such looks — can it be completely coincidental in terms of the current assault on women?
A quick image search on Google, and I received the instant gratification I sought: vintage fashion labels for Jay Herbert of California.
My favorite is this fancier version in which the scroll work at the bottom somehow remind me of scissors. It still holds it’s logo value today, for somehow, in all my perusals of vintage fashions over the years, I retained the sight of it enough to recognize it on the lighter.
If I had to guess, I’d say the fancier labels are the older ones. But it would only be a guess. For aside from department store ads in old newspapers announcing the Jay Herbert of California brand, there’s scant information available on the fashion house.
One thing is for certain, though: Jay Herbert was not a fashion designer or even an actual person. Buried in a precedent setting legal case regarding the definition of an employee (at least for tax purposes), I discovered that Jay Herbert of California was the business name of partners Herbert Owen and Joseph Silverstein who “engaged in the manufacture and sale of ladies’ dresses” in 1960.
That technically means that references to Jay Herbert as a designer are false.
But there’s even more ambiguity…
It appears that Jay Herbert of California began appearing in vintage department store advertisements in the late 1950s but by the mid 1960s they fade away… And decades later, in the 1980s, the name Jay Herbert appears again — on handbags and wine caddies — but now simply as Jay Herbert, New York.
I’m not sure if this Jay Herbert, most known for their coveted quilted Chanel-inspired handbags, is related past anything but name. Trademark searches show no records for the name Jay Herbert, Jay Herbert of California, or Jay Herbert New York. The name could have been sold, licensed, or, having no protections, even just capitalized upon as having some recognition with retailers.
More contemporary handbags appear with metal tags bearing the Jay Herbert name and metal “coin” logos — but these handbags and purses are “by Sharif.”
Sharif, like Cher, uses only one name. The designer bags are sold mainly (if not only) on HSN. The designer incorporated as Sharif Designs Inc. in 1979, but it has a family history dates back to 1827 in Egypt.
Personally, I prefer the vintage bags over the new ones, and the vintage fashions even more. But it’s the vintage labels and logos I love most of all.
I hope this helps you with your Jay Herbert shopping and collecting. If you can add any information, please do!
A link round-up of what I’ve been reading and writing — not all of it, just the stuff I think you Kitsch Slapped readers might like.
What I’ve been writing:
I wrote about the Girl Scouts celebrating 100 years, which reminds me of this graphic some anti-Girl-Scout, control-all-the-wombs, misogynistic self loathing person made. It’s supposed to make me not buy the cookies. But in fact, had me double my order this year. My hips can totally carry the extra weight; I can’t bear any more attacks on women and women’s rights.
This I actually read in hard copy — belatedly. Having grabbed a copy in November when I was seeing family for the holiday, the paper remained tucked inside my suitcase until I got home and after unpacking it, plopped it onto the magazine pile. Anyway, it’s still a fabulous read: Daughter Thinks It’s Time To Have Sex Talk With Parents.
Before there was today’s code for handkerchiefs, there were other fashion accessories used in courtship for communicating and flirting. There was the fan, of course, and, according to this article found in the Bismarck Tribune (March 15, 1879), gloves were used too.
The Glove Language
The English girls have improved upon the language opf the fan and the handkerchief by devising a very copious vocabulary of the gloves, which for the benefit of American women we beg to “pirate”from an English contemporary. It runs thus:
Drop a glove — Yes
Crumple a glove in the right hand — No.
Half unglove the left hand — Indifference.
Tap the left shoulder with the glove — Follow me.
Tap the chin with the glove — I love you no longer.
Turn the gloves inside out — I hate you.
Fold the gloves neatly — I should like to be with you.
Put on the left glove, leaving the thumb uncovered — Do you love me?
Drop both gloves — I love you.
Twirl the gloves round the fingers — Be careful: we are watched.
Slap the back of the hand with the gloves — I am vexed.
Take a glove in each hand and separate the hands — I am furious.
More spectacles on the half-shell — with a switch that’s new to our eyes
…Worked out for the nearsighted, these clear the field of vision for all close work — reading, writing, gros- or petipoint — but provide quick accommodation for the distant objects that call for optical help.
They look upside down, but they’re not! And more than purely stylish, they solve problems; they’re like the reverse of the classic cheater readers.
I want — nay, I need a pair of these!
The article states that the frames are from the Fashion Eyewear Group of America. If you can help me find a pair, let me know!
As a researcher *, I disagree that corsets were as restrictive as the roles women had in society. Because women controlled how tight they laced, could remove stays, etc., there was far more control by the individual over her corset than her culture. Culture has been far more damaging, suffocating, than any corset.
There were actually significant health issues directly tied to corsetry, as well, particularly when the fashions dictated the smallest possible waist. Women did permanent damage to their lungs and even rearranged their internal organs to accommodate corsets! Plus, it was (in my oh-so humble opinion) a lovely turn of phrase…and I love a good turn of phrase. :)
In that sense, women today who are not wearing a properly fitting comfortable bra are doing far worse things to themselves and their bodies than corsets, really. We are imprisoned by the places and times we live in, yes, but our ignorance of our bodies, our bras, is some sort of self-inflicted madness at this point…
Agreed, especially as society is less rigid today and women have much more opportunity to make decisions for themselves about how to dress, especially underneath their clothes.
To that extent, I see your book as a companion piece to the iconic Our Bodies, Ourselves. How can we be the action figures we need to be in our lives without knowing this fundamental functional part of our lives? That question may be rhetorical… (Feel free to comment though!)
Naturally, I love the idea of being a companion piece to the seminal Our Bodies, Ourselves! When it comes to bras, specifically, the thing I love is how empowered women feel when they figure out how fit works on their bodies. It’s fantastic to help a woman feel better in her skin and move past the negative body image messages perpetrated by the media.
I’m glad you mentioned body image messages in the media… Fundamentally, we women think we know our breasts. But we really don’t. I think we more about how our breasts are “supposed” to appear, clothed or not, and we certainly have feelings about that… But we really don’t know our own breasts, do we? How does this compound the matter of fit?
I don’t think I’ve said that women don’t know their own breasts, but women certainly get mixed messages about the role of breasts in society.
No, you didn’t say that bit about women not knowing our own breasts; I did. *wink* It seems we don’t know as much as we should, or we wouldn’t suffer with bras that don’t fit!
If you’ve never been taught how a bra should fit, and you may not even be aware of brands that are designed for your specific body type, it’s like trying to hit a moving target with a blindfold on!
In Chapter Two, in Once Upon A Time, When Fit Was A Fairy Tale, you discuss the fairy tale of fit:
Bra fitting can be confusing because there are so many pieces to literally fit together, and it’s not something most American women are taught — not at home, in school, or anywhere else. There’s no real mechanism for that education. It’s not taught in high school health classes. Many mothers overlook the chance to help their daughters get fit correctly, perhaps because they never experienced the benefits of the right fit themselves.
So poor bra fit is literally passed down through the generations!
Historically, speaking, what’s to blame for this? How much of women’s ignorance to the issues of bra fit are our fault? How much do we, must we, hold others accountable for? How do we take back our breasts, our health, our lives? Is there anything we can do at the consumer level?
I think economics and the bottom-line thinking that has been so pervasive in America is the culprit. Customer service has left the building in a lot of areas of the department store (except the men’s suit department…hmmm).
The good news is that I see a swing of the pendulum in the opposite direction. There are an increasing number of fit-based boutiques out there. Right now, most of them cater to the high end of the market, but it could be a beginning of a movement. I’d like to think so, at least! The product is there, the message is getting out…so I’m optimistic about the direction this industry is going.
We’ve all heard (and quite possibly ignored) the percentages of women who are not wearing a properly fitting bra; what does this percentage mean in terms of number of women?
The numbers are staggering. Between 80-100 million American women spend several billion dollars each year on bras that don’t fit and cause them physical and emotional harm!
And that’s just women over the age of 18 — the youngest group of women are actually most likely to wear bras that don’t fit.
I know you’re not a doctor; and neither am I, but I’d guess this phenomenon of poor fitting bras and the increase of medications for depression, anxiety, aches and pains, lethargy, et al. is likely related. My readers might think I exaggerate — do you have any comments on the links between poor fitting bras and the things that ail us?
I know that women who have gotten fitted report that they no longer have daily headaches, shoulder aches and back pain. They stand taller and feel better — both physically and emotionally. I know that was true for me, and my experience is what led to me writing this book.
To say that proper bra fit can be life-changing may sound overblown to some, but I’ve seen it happen way too many times to question the phenomenon!
The reason I find your work, your book, so amazing is that women spend how many hours a day in their bras? I mean, even if we take them off the second we can, it’s a lot of hours to be miserable! Like that seminal feminist work, Busted! is based on the principal that we can be instruments of change — for ourselves, personally, and for society itself. In order to do that, we need to be educated. Did you have any idea when you began your work as a bra coach that you’d be writing such a book? Did the connections between bras and health, society, etc. surprise you?
First off, thanks! I really appreciate it. My work has evolved very organically. It started with my own moment of realization, when I found pretty bras that fit and were comfortable. I started talking to my friends about my discoveries and began helping them. Then friends started bringing friends, and the seeds of my fit methodology began to gel, and I started talking to industry experts and blogging about my experiences. The more I learned, the more I realized how pervasive this issue is, both from a comfort standpoint and also that connection to self-image so many women face.
Bra coaching goes way beyond bras — it goes to the core of how we carry ourselves as women. I didn’t expect that, and every time I hear back from someone who has benefitted from my fit methodology, it’s incredibly fulfilling. Helping women feel better about themselves is rewarding on so many levels.
Is this an American problem; are things better in the UK or elsewhere?
Culturally, women from the European countries seem to value buying fewer items of better quality more than in the US. And in the UK there is a wider array of product available in more places, it’s just easier to find stores that carry a variety of sizes. But availability of product doesn’t necessarily translate into excellence of fit. Fit is a challenge worldwide, simply because there are so few standards for sizing within the industry.
I would love to see American women placing more value on finding a quality garment that fits, versus going for the least expensive, or only buying on promotion.
Since you work with bra designers and other in the manufacturing industry I have to ask, how much of the problems regarding limited bra sizes begin there? Or is it the retailers who are the biggest problem?
I think there’s a ton of great product out there in a huge range of sizes – like I’ve said, 28AAA through 56N. The challenge is finding what works for you.
There are real issues for retailers when it comes to stocking that wide range of products, the amount of inventory required is mind-boggling. So (as with most things in life) it’s more complicated than it seems and I honestly believe that most manufacturers and retailers want their customers to be thrilled with their purchases.
Rather than focus on the inherent problems, I see a great opportunity for women — own the solution by understanding fit on your own body and finding the products that work for you, either in local stores or online. It’s very empowering!
Now go forth, ladies, empower yourselves with Busted!
* In fairness to Ali, and for clarification for you readers, I should note the following. Ali and I had a bit more of a discussion about corsets and history. She is operating off the more generally accepted wisdom about corsets, yet when I proffered her my research (What If Everything You Knew About The Corset Was Wrong?, Corsets Are Too Sexy?, Corsets Bound To Stay Suffrage), she not only read the posts but called them “fascinating!” We happily agreed to the following: Corsets, while restrictive, may not have been AS restrictive as women’s roles in society. That is probably more than a humble research obsessed feminist historical blogger can really ask for.
In the 80s, we used to decorate our boots with chains and wraps, just because we could. Or maybe it’s where we kept our gold, which could quickly be converted to cash — you know, like when when we needed to buy our boyfriend guitars, like Apollonia did for Prince in Purple Rain.
Your desires to buy a sperm-shaped guitar or pull your finances literally up from your bootstraps aside, you might just find these shoe and bootstraps by Lizette quite fetching. They are not only stylish (and retro 80’s style at that!), but practical in that they hold loose shoes, like mules, on to your foot to boot!
Hey, edible underpants, you had competition… The Bachman Pretzel Bikini.
Just $2.50 for a “classy” and “sassy” two-piece bikini of “velvety non-woven material.” I can’t imagine you could swim in it. Nor can I imagine wanting a crunchy edible item of apparel — which the words “pretzel bikini” rather imply. Perhaps non-woven means edible? Plus the obvious “good enough to eat” cliche, which the pretzels then lend to the women, and kids, who wear it…
In any case, what’s the use of such a novelty item that “can be worn several times before you discard it”? Pure schtick promo, that’s definitely in bad taste no mater how you look at it.
I’ll admit, I liked this vintage dress more when I thought the Sunkist-orange orbs were oranges, not hats; but passersby would likely make the same mistake and gawking to confirm is one way to turn heads.
Talk about crunk. Bambara gives the side eye to the notion that you can attack capitalism, racism, or other systems of dominance out in the world without challenging those same systems (especially hetero-patriarchy) within one’s own relationships. That, in fact, leaving your own house “out of order” not only jeopardizes but it, in fact, undermines both your potential for good work and your potential for intimacy and happiness. Indeed, for me, Bambara’s call for us to essentially get our ish together charges us to recognize how important—how revolutionary—it is for us to love (and love on) each other and ourselves fiercely and fearlessly.
The review, conducted by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers Union, was published in June. Bailey’s report, ‘Letting Children be Children,’ looked at cultural influences on children and children as consumers but particularly significant for the clothing sector was its examination of clothing, products and services for children.
The report stated that the marketing of “sexualised and gender-stereotyped clothing, products and services” for children were “the biggest areas of concern for parents and many non-commercial organisations contributing to the review.”
As the report was published, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) unveiled a set of guidelines governing the design, commissioning and marketing of clothing ranges for children under 12 years old.
The article continues to discuss the practical and impractical issues involved. As citizen of the USA, I’m left wondering if such clothing prohibition is the answer. After all, the problem isn’t the garments glutting the market; it’s the consumers with horrible judgement who pay for clothing in such poor taste. At what point does the law need to protect us from our bad choices? Or, more pointedly, at what point does the government need to protect children from the bad choices of their parents?
Do you still remember the sanitary belt from last century, which was only used for women monthly period, now we have them in new design, some of them are with pure cotton material inside, some are made with rubber inside…. please see below for the difference
You can also put them on as sanitary belt by place sanitary pads on, but more important, they are new underwears making you sexier and more special. just image it!!
1. Condition:100% new, never been wron
2. Size: one size fits more with the straps
belt length:around 17.0″, width: around3.0″ .
3. Color: show as the picture.
4. Packing: simple plastic bag, then packed in dark grey bag when shipment is made to keep private.
Hey, these garments come from China, so I’ll excuse the English as a second language issues — but the garment itself? No way.
I realize there’s a sexual fetish about everything, including menstruation, but really, so in your face about it? Really?!
The old sanitary pads that were worn with sanitary belts were like bricks. I know. I’m old enough to have seen them. First, in that grade school girls only “changing bodies” talk in the gym. And, yup, those thick brick sanitary napkins were on store shelves too. Mom warned me about them, and I, when I reached that special time, opted for the modern marvel of sanitary pads which were both thinner and had adhesive on the underside so they stayed in place in your panties. Even then, I quickly switched sides and became a “cork girl.”
“Corks,” that’s what we called tampons around our house; it was corks or pads. No one opted for bricks, though I’m sure they were still available. On store shelves then too. After all, you can still find them today at hospitals and stuff, so someone is making them, selling them.
Now that I’ve already digressed…
Here’s a horrifying truth from my young womanhood: When my sister, mother, or I had “the curse,” we had to remove our sanitary paper product, wrap it thrice in toilet paper, place it neatly into a small paper lunch bag (kept in supply neatly in the cabinet under the bathroom sink), close the paper bag by folding down the top three times, then carry the whole thing out to the garage — immediately. How’s that for communicating the evils of bodily female functions?
One tradition I did not hand down to my daughters.
Anyway, back to the “sexy sanitary belts.” Elastic strips are not sexy, or comfortable. Hell, that’s why I hate thongs. Adding areas for storing menstrual flow is not sexy. I repeat: not sexy.
I’m not saying women should be ashamed of their monthly cycles (say by removing all signs of it from the household asap). Or that women should feel uncomfortable about using pads rather than corks (that’s just my personal preference). And yeah, you have my permission to love and lust the periods and products of your periods; to each their own includes kink and fetishes. But to market sanitary belts as sexy panties is to clearly not understand what is generally sexy, what the general human population will respond to as sexy, or why people would enjoy this particular kink.
The whole thing shows a lack of understanding about marketing as deep and vast as the complete lack of understanding of taboos as turn-ons.
That is unforgivable.
And the Christmas tree lights border around the whole page?! Oh, gawd, puh-leeze give me a toaster or appliance instead. I know that small appliances are no-nos as gifts for a woman, especially from her spouse or lover, but now that these “sexy sanitary belts” are an option… Well, honey, you have my permission to get me a toaster. No, make that a mixer; I do have a fetish for those.
In The Washington Post, November 1, 1909, an unidentified “London fashion designer” gets bitchy and judgmental about how suffragettes dress. Yes, even though I don’t know if this possibly fictitious designer is male or female, I say “bitchy.” For even should ye olde fashion designer be both real and male (gay stereotypes aside), the fact that this item appeared at all in the Society pages, is proof of the bitch factor.
But perhaps most importantly are the number of appearances of myths, stereotypes, and general mean spiritedness which are preyed and played upon today:
The worst blow the cause of equal suffrage has received is the charge that its champions are careless in dress. Women who are not neat in attire and care nothing for personal adornment cannot hope to attract or influence men, and the future is gloomy for the British suffragettes at least. A London fashion designer has divided the suffragettes into four classes, each one marked by distinctiveness in dress.
“In the first is the woman of independent means,” says this fashion critic, “who can can and following her habit does dress well, and also the woman of limited income with an instinct for clothes Secondly, there is the working suffragette, who, as a rule, is a typewriter, and goes to the office in neat shirt waist and skirt She does not differ in any way from the woman clerk in any ordinary office, or the school teacher and secretary Thirdly we arrive at the thin, corsetless esthetic type, the modern development of the love-sick maiden who adorned Bunthorne These ‘willowy’ suffragettes adopt the empire and pinafore gown, with strange embroideries and sometimes strange results Last of all comes the suffragette who looks as though she had just returned from the wars and was still in fighting kit She generally wears a green costume of skimp design and rough material, a purple scarf, an impossible complexion, ‘something’ on her head and ‘something’ on her feet Few suffragettes have the faintest idea how to dress their hair Either they have not the time to spare from work for the great cause to give their hair ordinary care or attention, or else the languid drooping style and the straying wisps of hair are meant to illustrate the down-trodden station of women”
All of which should make the most ardent suffragette pause!
Turkey, why are you wearing your socks wrong side out?
Shh, there’s a hole on the other side!
‘Cuz men are stupid; they never change or replenish their socks — or underwear.
(Confession: I sit here right now, my bare toe sticking out of — wait for it! — my husband’s sock. Why? I am in need of purchasing more socks for myself. …However, it is so fun to say, “My toe is sticking out of hubby’s sock.” That’s how close we are!)
In panel three:
Oh, these pants are tighter than my skin!
How can anything be tighter than your skin?
Easy! She can sit down in her skin, but she sure can’t sit down in those pants.
‘Cuz women are stupid; they kill themselves for fashion.
(Confession: I wore tight Jordache jeans. They were tight… But obviously if I wore them to school or took a ride in a car, I could sit in them. …And I do recall that men’s jeans were just as tight. In fact, I vaguely recall it being some sort of a competition.)
PS Bonus points for the ironic “Watch Your Step” sign in the background of that last panel.
With the current state of affairs — i.e. republicans trying to defund Planned Parenthood, it seems these Knee High Converse shoes might become affordable birth control. (Yes, even at $60+ they are a one-time purchase.) Since, even with the zipper, it takes a good 15-20 minutes to get them on or off (my 14 year old timed herself and tells me so), greatly delaying the removal of the unfortunately popular skinny jeans, jeggings, etc. (which are so tight they must be completely removed), these shoes might just be as good as a chastity belt.
From a Modern Woman magazine from the 40’s, some interesting news…
For the benefit of eighteenth century ladies who didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain, a Parasol Lend-company flourished in Paris, France, about the year 1776. Negro attendants carried the parasols and collected payment upon delivering a charge at her destination. In those times, a parasol cost too much for an average woman to own.
I think Betsey Johnson must hire non-English speaking peoples to name her products, using some translation software to easily convert their ideas to nonsensical gibberish now… Because Locking Lips Hobo sounds like a lot of the spam I receive.
Who knows, maybe such random word alignment actually sells stuff>