Category: Clothing and wearing apparel

Hollywood Swimsuits


Image source unknown, from .

“Formed by Fred Cole from family knitwear firm in Los Angeles, 1923
Began collaborating with Hollywood costume designer Margit Fellegi, 1936

“Ever since former silent film star Fred Cole had first hitched his company’s wagon to the stars of Hollywood, Cole had been a trendsetter, P.T. Barnum style. Cole knew by unerring instinct, like his film producing confréres, how to be sensational and to sell to the American public without being overly salacious.”

Excerpts from .

“As swimwear became more paired [sic] down in the 1930s, Fellegi’s body-conscious designs were more acceptable, even  baring the midriff in 1939…”

Except from Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe — see overview: .

“Fred Cole, founder of Cole of California, initially called his concern Hollywood Swimsuits, and later began working at West Coast Knitting Mills, eventually merging with another knitting company, and becoming Cole of California by 1941.”
Excerpt from .

“The 1938 invention of the Telescopic Watersuit in shirred elastic cotton finally ended the misery of wool. Hollywood endorsed the new glamour with films such as Neptune’s Daughter in which Esther Williams wore provocatively named costumes such as ‘Double Entendre’ and ‘Honey Child’.”

Excerpt from .


Saddle oxford shoes


Image: Alfred Eisenstaedt photo from Life, .

‘It’s the ‘hardy perennial’ of shoe fashions… ever smart…ever now!,’ claimed a 1930s description for brown and white saddle shoes. If there ever was a 21st century shoe that was always in style it was the saddle shoe.”

Excerpt from . Click on the link to learn more about the many-decades-long popularity of this style before and after 1939.

Saddle oxfords probably would be available at this soon-to-open air conditioned shoe store in San Bernardino:


First Samsonite suitcase


A Collectors Weekly post tells the story:

“As Shwayder’s brothers joined him in his enterprise, the company issued a line of luggage they dubbed, ‘Samson,’ after the Bible’s famous strongman… Despite the Depression, Shwayder continued to improve upon its more exclusive brand of products, with frames made from real wood, rayon linings, durable handles, secure locks, and a special fiber finish the company developed specifically to cover its suitcases. In 1939, Shwayder introduced the tapered ‘Samsonite’ suitcase that was enveloped with a tough, vulcanized fabric.”
See more at

The U.S. registered trademark notice shown above has a 1938 date. That would be expected as a business would file, and hopefully receive, trademark protection before showing a new name to the trade. It would then take several months before the new item was made known to the public.

A photo of what is described as a 1939 Samsonite suitcase can be seen here: .

Red dress


Home sewing was aided by patterns available from a variety of sources. For more information on 1939 fashions illustrated above, see the links below.

Kresge mailer:

McCall’s Magazine Young Figures:

Simplicity pattern:

Presently, there is a serious side to wearing red. Today, the first Friday in February, has been designated National Wear Red Day® to raise awareness about heart disease in women and to educate Americans about the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer in women — and it is largely preventable. For more information, go to:

“National Wear Red Day® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and American Heart Association.”