In the last post I introduced the Dry Goods Economist and hinted at other posts where I would tell you more about what is in the magazine. The first area I wanted to focus on is fashion and beauty.
I am always looking for new resources to add to the beauty and fashion research guides, so the Dry Goods Economist was a great find. Since there was so much I wanted to tell you about this publication, I felt this content warranted its own post because fashion and beauty goods covered a lot of ground and also included materials to make clothes, gloves, undergarments, millinery, leather goods, handbags, shoes, stockings, etc.
Clothing and other beauty related products were an important part of a store’s wares. They obviously needed to know who made what, they also needed to know what was popular and what would sell–no one wanted to waste floor space or money on products that don’t sell.
These products were such a large part of the dry goods business that the publisher created special monthly sections focused on them. The first Saturday covered fabric, fancy goods, and notions (for those making their own clothes), the second Saturday covered shoes, and the third Saturday was devoted to women’s garments and toilet goods.
Publishers didn’t confine all the beauty and fashion content to just those special sections. They published articles and advertisements throughout the year where they talked about all the new styles and highlighted fabrics, patterns, laces, etc. The November 6, 1909 issue had an article about women’s automobile fashion and another on fashionable motor hats. Some articles even went beyond the standard how and what to sell. The October 2, 1909 edition had an article on “How Textiles are Made” that was a pretty detailed piece on raw silk production and may have provided just a few interesting bits salesperson could use to upsell a fabric or garment.
One thing that caught my eye were the articles talking about the “It” colors of the season – sort of, what PANTONE does today. For example, the October 2, 1909 issue reported on colors and fabrics for Spring 1910 and the colors for Fall/Winter 1909. Black, Walnut, Raisin, Violet, Seal Brown, and Mustard were going to be popular for the “High Class Dressmaking Trade.” For “Retailers and Garment Manufacturers,” the palate was much wider and broken into 6 color series: blue- Navy, Russian, Gendarme; green- Chicory, Artichoke, Moss, Olive, Bottle; gray- Coal Dust, Blue Gray, Green Gray; brown- Seal, Castor; rose- Ashes of Roses, Faded Old Rose; and red- Burgundy and Purple Red.
There were also many advertisements for products that would allow women of the day to create the elaborate hairstyles including combs, hair nets, turban hair pads, turbanettes, and hair rolls. Advertisements for perfumeries, brushes, razors, hair goods, and fancy goods are just some of what the November 20 issue reported on.
If you didn’t see our first post you can catch up. Keep your eyes open for upcoming posts!
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