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Woman's home companion
Vol. LXIV, No. 6 (1937)

For sunny sands,   p. 85 PDF (744.4 KB)


Page 85

- ..A i~ershio
DEAR MRS. LITTLE:
I have just been on an unusual sho pin  tour
and I must tell you all about it. A friend who
would much rather swim than eat and is never so
happy as when she is loafing on sunny sands, asked
me to take her on a personally conducted tour to
the houses that have made beach clothes this
season. She follows the sun north, beginning on
the shores of Africa and visiting all the coasts in
turn, including the Scandinavian. She specified
that the things she bought must be practical both
because she tries to keep her baggage to reasonable
proportions and because she has a horror of pic-
turesque clothes on the beach.
First we went to Vera Bor&a's because I had
told her about the sportswoman's new invention
called a "beach kilt." This is an ingenious little
affair of cotton, bright red or blue dotted with
white, and begins with a brassiere top and a
short skirt attached to hidden trunks. She or-
dered this in navy and white because she could
turn somersaults in it if she liked.
Then we went to Schiaparelli's. Here we found
beach clothes of two entirely different types-ec-
centric and intensely practical. My friend, who
prefers sensible things, jumped at the white linen
coat sketched for she said she could wear it al-
most any time of day or night at a beach resort.
It is shown in the salon over a navy blue swim
suit with a hat of blue and white striped glazed
cotton very like a ship's ventilator or like Ten-
niel's picture of the oysters waiting to be eaten in
Through the Looking-glass. She
also bought one of the new short
full-skirted dance frocks that
look like engravings of the ladies
of 1830. There are, as you know,
versions in butterfly-printed and
silver-striped organza but she
chose the one in a new waffled
white piqu6 because, again, she
could wear it for other occasions
besides summer-night dancing.
She ordered it with Padova's
white kid sandals with low heels
for day wear and high ones for
evening.
After that we went to Marcel
Rochas who shows some of the
most practical beach clothes in
Paris. Here she chose the trim    Vera Borea
tailored outfit in Rodier's pink
flannel pin-striped with white which you see
here. The shorts look exactly like a pair of
trousers cut off at the knee and the jacket is
severely plain with big pockets for make-up and
matches. She ordered a plain short flannel skirt
with this so that she could wear the suit away
from the beach and the navy linen blouse that goes
with it. I went with her later to a blouse shop
which specializes in pull-overs of fine lacy white
wool, embroidered here and there with naive
little bright wool sprigs and flowerets, not Ty-
rolean, thank goodness! More like Dresden china.
For warmer weather she chose the two-piece frock
of fine white piqu6
with its divided
kilt-pleated skirt
set into a deep yoke,
pointed top and
ottom, the top one
buttoning to the
pleated bodice and
showing off a sup-
ple slender waist to
perfection. She left
off the decoration of
a chain of dark blue
linen stris so that
she coul vary her
color schemes by
knottin  gay hand-
kercief round the
neck. We looked at          Schiaparelli
a novelty, a suit of
jacket and knee-length shorts in unbleached linen,
the shorts covered with long knotted fringes of
red and green string; and we were tempted by a
suit of slacks and jacket, the slacks in blue and
white striped flannel, the jacket in indigo linen
with a backless waistcoat of the stripes under it
instead of a blouse. But the vendeuse made the mis-
take of saying that this had been much ordered, so
my friend decided against it.
Nevertheless she said she must have some
slacks, for nothing that the dressmaking mind has
invented really takes their place, in her opinion,
especially on a boat. So we went to Madeleine de
Rauch, another specialist who really does all the
sports she makes models for. She had a perfect
suit of jacket and long trousers in heavy creamy
tussore, the sort that comes from the East. I did
not have it sketched for it is really too simple to
draw. The trousers are just like a man's and
beautifully fitted and the jacket is strictly tailored
and buttoned with two buttons. It is shown with
a yellow linen blouse, with a high round neck
buttoned at one side and cut low in the back.
Again, she ordered a skirt to match, for plain
white suits in tussore or flannel have suddenly ap-
peared again for resort wear and no type looks
nicer. She looked long at a Scotch kilt suit in red
plaid, short pleated culotte and attached top,
with a jacket in ecru linen exactly like a High-
85
lander's; and also at a good yellow linen coat-
yellow will be seen on many beaches this summer
-with a small hood that fitted closely round the
face like the ski-jackets of last winter. This was
worn over a romper play suit in brown and white
checked linen. There was also a plus-four suit
(you remember that a few European women wore
them at resorts last summer), trousers in brown
linen and blouse in
checked red, green
and white; but we
agreed that while
plus-fours are well
enough with
heavy ski-boots
and gaiters, they
often look un-
gainly when worn
with bare feet and
beach sandals.
* Anyway," said
mly friend, "why
not have the trou-
sers full length
and be done with
it?"
She decided that
the beach frocks
we saw had
changed so little
Marcel Rochas
in essentials that it was hardly worth while to
order new ones. There are some in novel mate-
rials, certainly, including Rodier's printed piqu6s,
a new printed cotton ottoman, the ubiquitous
rainbow stripes, the new piqu6s, one of them em-
bossed with a rose design, and the dull-surfaced
rayons in this year's shades of pink and yellow,
besides the ever successful white. But we found
some very new ideas at Maggy Rouff's, inspired
by an Eastern cruise that she took last winter. A
sort of tunic or tabard frock worn over a con-
ventional bathing suit and a full knee-length cape
draped in various ways was the basic idea of many
of them. Maggy Rouff has not hesitated to use
bright plaids or bayadere stripes or brilliant prints
like batik or Egyptian
bas-reliefs for some of
them. My friend, how-       r
ever, compromised on the
model sketched, a knitted
suit in yellow wool, quite
plain and simple, and
over it a tabard of white
wool, thin and looking
like a native Eastern fab-
ric, slit up the front and
up the sides, buttoned in
front and very easy to get
into. Over this goes a
cape of the same white               _
wool, lined with yellow ~
wool jersey, which can       -
be worn thrown over one
shoulder or draped back       Maggy Rouff
like an Italian officer's.
The story of beach clothes runs like this: the
couturiers invent new things and adaptations of
old ones every spring. The best of these are
ordered by their clients and worn in various in-
dividual interpretations at the European resorts
during the summer. There they are observed by
fashion scouts from all over the world, studying
what "they are wearing" for our own southern
winter season. So the beach cycle runs its course,
ending nearly a year later at Palm Beach. That's
why I thought it worth while to describe our ex-
pedition and its fruits to you so fully in this letter.
It may hold ideas that COMPANION readers can
carry out in planning their sports clothes-not
only for this summer but for next winter as well.
Affectionately yours,
41
& -


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