Friday, June 19, 2015

Thrifty Acres: Stepping Out In Style With The 1947 Sears Spring/Summer Catalog

Hello! Due to having suffered a sprained ankle recently (household cleaning mishap), foot comfort has been on my mind. Although I can put weight on my injured foot, it remains too swollen for any of my shoes to be worn on it. Consequently, I had to wear one of my husband's shoes while out and about earlier today. Yeah, it looked weird, but I am grateful my ankle is getting better. 

Anyway, while looking at my 1947 Sears Spring/Summer catalog (a cheapo secondhand find), I noticed a number of nifty line drawings accompanying the footwear offerings, so I'll show off some examples of both in this post. 

Only a few footwear pages show shoes in colors other than black, brown or white, and thus only a few of the line drawings are also in color; the above is one example. A stylishly-dressed woman is shown using what looks to be some sort of telescopic device. Perhaps this was meant to indicate she was a tourist. 

On the same page:

"Exotic sandal...born to lead summer costumes a brighter life...Hand made by native artisans in far off Haiti." Priced at $5.45, which would equal $58.12 this year.

Above, our duo is following the action at a racetrack. The gal on the right looks a little like Taylor Swift, I thought. Indeed, Ms. Swift's casual clothing and swimsuits often look like they came from the 40's. 

Not sure what Ms. Swift would think of the shoes though:

"Sharp 'flats' give you the springy easy walk that only flats permit!" That $3.98 sets one back $42.44 in today's money.

Of course, dancing was a very popular activity in this era, so we see this dapper couple doing just that. And what might the woman have been wearing on her feet?

"Rise to heavenly heights of fashion on a sky-high platform...Lovely spring party companion." The heel height is 2 1/2", which doesn't seem so "sky-high" compared to today's stilletto heels. And today's price tag would be $63.77 compared to 1947's $5.98.

I've covered a few shoes for the gals, now it's time to see what the guys were wearing back then:

So what would this man relaxing at an outdoor cafe have on his feet? How about:

Not bad! "Moc-Style...harness-stitched by hand around the vamp" - $9.75 then, $103.97 now. The shoe on the right is priced 30 cents lower, but is described much more fancifully: "the 'in-betweener' combines the cushioned, free-and-easy comfort of platform casuals with the coolness and custom appearance of hand-woven dress shoes." All that for $9.45, or $100.77 in 2015 money. 

I liked this drawing of the gent treating his gal to a night out at the movies:

"Wear them to the movies, the ball game, ...everywhere on your day off." The "them" means the footwear shown on the catalog page, of course, but the three examples shown all look similar:

"Get out of stiff, hot, winter-weight shoes...get into these breeze-conditioned he-man sandals and let your feet take a rest." Only $3.29, or $35.08 today. 

To me, these shoes look awfully casual to be worn with the three-piece suit-and-tie outfit the man in the drawing is wearing, but what do I know? The sandal just above the one featured in my photo is modeled by a man in nice slacks and socks. 

A nicer look for relaxation, in my opinion:

While chilling out on a lawn swing, our guy could be wearing:

"Elastic side gore on or off in a wink. Comfortable cool cotton fabric." These look nice, and have a nice price of $2.98; $31.78 today. 

I'm showing only a fraction of the footwear offered in my Sears catalog - for guys, gals and kids, there are dozens of styles. But unfortunately, one product was nulled:

Seems like a shame that the Army combat boots weren't available after all. Had they been surplus after WWII and were sold out by this point? Or did Uncle Sam decide to keep the boots for itself in case another war began? I don't know. 

What I do know, however, is that I found it awfully fun to look over the pages of this vintage Sears catalog, and it helped me forget my temporary foot woes for awhile! 

Note: price calculations were done with the online resource US Inflation Calculator. You can find this handy tool HERE.



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