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Fashion and Beauty

Historic Fashion

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Illustration showcasing historic women's fashion.
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Public Domain

Illustration showcasing historic women's fashion.

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“ . . . So Then I Started Wearing Army Pants and Flip Flops”

It was sixth grade when I started to feel like a child among women. Up until that point my wardrobe had consisted mostly of gaucho pants, t-shirts, and Converse sneakers, which suited my perfectly boyish body. But the dreaded halls of middle school eventually caught up with me and walking into school the first day I was caught up in a flurry of flowery perfume, tight leggings clung to early curves, lip gloss, and straightened hair flipping over shoulders. Hormones were raging and silly crushes became relationships while“hook up” was introduced into my vocabulary.      

Sally Milgrim

Sally Milgrim flourished not only as a successful department store owner but as one of the foremost fashion designers of her day, creating gowns for Broadway stars and First Ladies alike.

Fashion: A Double-Edged Sword

When I shop for clothes, I try to purchase tops that are not exceedingly cropped, low-cut, or sheer. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been excited about a cute dress or shirt, only to flip it over and find that the back is completely cut out. This is disappointing, but it also makes me question my own tendency to judge the Girl with the Crop Top. If the majority of clothes at the mall are cut out, cut-up pieces of fabric, it might not be fair to judge consumers for buying what is being sold.

Slumber Party Barbie: Always in Fashion?

The little girl races to unwrap it and gasps when she sees what the package contains. It’s Slumber Party Barbie™ and she couldn’t be more thrilled. All of the girls in her class have the doll, and now she can’t wait to bring her new Barbie in to school to show them! With the silky haired icon comes an accessory set including a pink satin robe, hair curlers and a pajama set. But what Barbie would be complete without a matching pink scale permanently set at 110 lbs. to keep her slim and fit? Oh and better yet, Slumber Party Barbie™ comes with her very own diet book, solely containing the advice “Don’t eat!”

Girl Playing with Barbies, 2012

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A young girl plays with Barbies and other dolls, 2012.
Courtesy of Sabina von Kessel/Wikimedia.
Rights
Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

A young girl plays with Barbies and other dolls, 2012.

Courtesy of Sabina von Kessel/Wikimedia.

Related content:

Lena (Lane) Bryant Malsin

Lena (Lane) Bryant Malsin revolutionized the clothing industry with her classy maternity wear and clothes for plus-size women.

Mary Ann Cohen Magnin

Mary Ann Cohen Magnin rose to stunning success at the turn of the century as the founder of I. Magnin and Company, an exclusive chain of women’s clothing stores.

Belle Levy

The second private detective licensed in New York State, Belle Levy created a detective agency in the 1920s that cracked cases across America.

Fania Mindell, 1917

fania_mindell.jpg

Entrepreneur, activist, designer, translator, and founder of the Brownsville Clinic, Fania Mindell (1894 – 1969) in 1917.

Photo in the public domain.

Rights
Public Domain
Contributor: Submitter
Benson, Stephen

Entrepreneur, activist, designer, translator, and founder of the Brownsville Clinic, Fania Mindell (1894 – 1969) in 1917.

Photo in the public domain.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Fashion and Beauty." (Viewed on February 13, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/fashion-and-beauty>.

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