Monday, August 31, 2015

Montgomery Ward Catalog - RIP

Ahh, Montgomery Ward (or "Monkey" Wards as it was affectionately known) was a staple of Americana for decades before sliding silently into the night.  MW was the first mail order retailer -publishing their first catalog in 1874 (yes, you read that correctly.)  However, they were soon joined, and eventually, eclipsed by Sears.  And like Sears, MW focused on the rural market, bypassing the large cities at first.

But like all good things, time and technology passed them by. (1) (2) They published their last catalog in 1985 and went out of business in December 2000. (3)  However, that's not going to stop us from taking a look back at their groovy fashions!!

Colleen, Kathy, and Karen certainly did their best to keep MW a float! (4)

God, I miss the minis!! (5)

Some fetching lasses from the MW 61 SS catalog!  Hats were still in style for young ladies. (6)

MW sold everything through their catalog.  For a short time, you could even purchase an entire home!

Sun lamps from MW.  Hmmmm, what could POSSIBILITY go wrong?!?

Ahhh, the good life from MW: redwood outdoor furniture, bamboo fishing poles, and straw hats!!

Or for those indoor types, there was only one word in MW grooviness - Wicker!!

Back to Juniors section, this time from 1971.  Kay, Karen, and Wendy looked very elegant.

Karen and Kay stepping out in style!

Let's not forget the guys in our MW look back!  I think that if anyone actually wore these outfits to school.......well, I'd hate to be that guy!!

The Tunic Suit never took off (thank goodness!)  Maybe this signaled the beginning of the end for MW!!

We can't end on that note, no,no, no!
Kathy , Colleen, and Karen.  That's so much better. "It's a Different Kind of World for Juniors." And now it's a different kind of world without the Big Book catalogs.  Sighhh, and I'm not sure it is for the better.


(1) MW had a wild, turbulent history which I decided not to detail.  During the 70s, the company was already fighting for its life.  In 1976, it was purchased by Mobil (yes, the oil company) which was a financial disaster for both sides.

(2) As an interesting side note, MW coined the phrase "Satisfaction Guaranteed or your Money back."  They introduced that phrase in 1875.

(3) Actually Wards still exists, but only as an online retailer (Wards.Com) which is not connected to the original company except in name only. In 2004, the Wards trademark and other intellectual property rights were bought by a company called DMSI which was later acquired by Swiss Colony.

(4) Pic is courtesy of Blue Senshi - Thanks!

(5) Pic is courtesy of JJ's Playhouse - Thanks!

(6) Re-blogged from NoPatternRequired.Com (as if you couldn't tell with their name plastered across the front.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Random Goodness: Shirts, Skirts, and Assorted Miscellany - Part 3!

We can't let summer pass us by without a look at the assorted summer miscellany fashions from the 70s!  No, no, that would simply NOT do.  Besides, with a title like that, I can include just about anything and get away with it!

Like here.  Sweaters fill our "miscellany" quota for the post.  But that's okay because they are summer sweaters so that fits in with the theme (sorta.)   Kathy is leaning up against a...shrubbery? (1) Anyway, this a really, really nice pic of Kathy and Barbara to kickoff our post!

Here we hit the trifecta with shirts, skirts and wonderfully miscellaneous, color-coordinated scarves!

You want shirts? We got shirts - lots and lots of shirts.  And where did we find these uber-cuties? Why at the Sears "Cotton Knit T-Shirt Shop" of course!!  Speaking of cuties, with Kathy, Barbara, and Pam modeling the wares, I bet Sears sold a lot of shirts from this shop!!

Gotta have a closeup of the friendly staff at the Cotton Knit T-Shirt Shop!"

Another trifecta! Shirts, a skirt, and an apron for the miscellany! (2)

Not only are these shirts, but they are "Big Tops!"  and they are in "Floaty Voile."  And I am not ashamed to admit that I have absolutely NO idea what that is.

And now it's official.  Ladies and gentlemen we definitely have a "theme within a theme" with the scarves - which is kinda like a "dream within a dream" which is "all that we see or seem." oh, never mind.

Enough of the poetry, back to the groovy catalog fashions from the 70s!

And back to the groovy, color-coordinated scarves - this time with Nylon Knit Shells!  So that is pretty miscellaneous all around!


(1) Okay, Monty Python movie quotes, no, don't do it.  I said nooooooo!

(2) Pic is courtesy of JJ's Playhouse.  Thanks!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sleepwear: Part 6 - The Heat is On!!

The heat is definitely on, and what better way to keep you're cool than looking back at some groovy 70s summer sleepwear?!?

Gulp! I thought we were going to keep our cool?  So why is the heat rising instead?  It must be because of Kathy, Kay, Barbara et al!!  "Summer Standout Values" indeed!  In fact, I may not be able to continue this post.  Must. Remain. Strong. (1)

Save $100?!?!?  Wait, that reads: Save ONE dollar, oh, never mind.  Colleen, Dottie and their friends are in a bit more traditionally feminine sleepwear attire.  Still, looking very hot for summer! With these two great pics, I'm thinking that I could stop here.  Must. Keep. Blogging.

One giant model in blue towers over a quartet of tiny, yellow women - sounds like the theme for a cheap horror flick or something.  Still my head is swimming form the first two pics.  Must. Maintain. Focus.

Even Kathy seems a bit worried by the giant blue model behind her!!

Back to the night shirts!  Must. Re-focus.  Must. Re-focus.

It seems like we can't have a post on 70s sleepwear without at least one black and white pic.  Kathy modeled the classic PJ - now in DuPont's Antron III (I guess there was a I and a II.)  Nothing says sexy quite like Antron III.  (1)

From Antron III to Nylon Tricot, those guys were certainly proud of their artificial fabrics! Regardless, Kay and Colleen are raising the heat!  Almost. Finished.  Must. Endure. (1)

Gulp!  Forget "Purse-pampering Sleepwear."  The title should've been  "Pulse-pumping Sleepwear!" We started with a incredibly hot pic with Kathy and that's how we are going end this post! (I don't think I'll get any complaints on that!)

Whew! It was a challenge, but somehow I made it to the end of this post.  I hope my readers appreciate the extreme danger, toil, and sacrifice your humble historical went through in this endeavor!  (I'm sure you're thinking "Yeah, right!")


(1) These pics are courtesy of Blue Senshi.  Thanks!

Monday, August 10, 2015

So You Think You Can Sew - Part 2!

Or another title cold be  "Randoms Weirdness - Tiny Models" or another title could be "It;'s a Small World After All."

Okay did they REALLY say that !! Did they REALLY, REALLY say that!! "Kissing Cousins keep it in the Family." Are you kidding me?? What were they thinking?!?!?!?!? 

Let's get a close up of the models...

That's so much better!

This is busy.  Well of course, with "The Groovy Ones', why not!! I'm sorry but I'm getting sea sick just looking at the patterns.!!  BTW, Shelley looks absolutely "slinky"....

Giant yellow tie.... All I can say is "AWESOME!!"  Love is SUCH a groovy thing man, oh yeah!! (but not as groovy as in a "kissing cousin" sense).... ah hem.....let's move on....."

We went from "The Groovy Ones" to "Smartly Coordinated" in 3 years.  I guess the 60s were finally over.

From Country Cousins to Country Prints.  What is this fixation on country when it comes to sewing? Maybe it hearkens back to an age where women actually sewed. (1)

I guess Kathy is doing some kind of country hoe-down??

Okay, whoever wrote these headings for JCP, must have had his mind on something else.  "Play Fashion's Mating Game" indeed.  

Oh yes the wonders of woven checked gingham.  You can use it for a curtain ot a bedspread or a dress.  Does that mean that you're wearing a bedspread??

Sears didn't have the snappy titles that JCP did - just loads of fabrics and tiny model pics.

Let's get another close up of Kathy.....

Very, very nice.


(1) Pic is courtesy of Blue Senshi. Thanks!

Monday, August 3, 2015

K Club Special (Part 20) - Colleen Corby (Part 3)!!

And yes, it happens to be Colleen's birthday today.  That's probably just a coincidence.  Yeah, that wasn't planned at all!!

Well, like I've mentioned before, you might think doing a special on Colleen would be easy.  After all there's tons of material on her out there already.  And that is precisely why it's not.  What can I do that's unique?  After all I kinda "jumped the shark" last week.  I'm not sure I can follow up my own act!!

So I'm not even going to try.  Let's enjoy some nice pics of Colleen.  They be new to the net or they may not.  Like here "Your Search for Value Ends at Penneys."  Hmmm, think about that one!  It could mean the opposite of what they intended (nice watch by the way!)

And while we're on accessories from the JCP Spring / Summer 76 catalog, let's check out some "far-out" earth tone belts and capes!  And they're hammering home the fact that we're not searching for value!  Yes, Yes, we know this isn't Neiman Marcus.  Please stop reminding us!!

Staying with the earth tone and accessories theme, let's check out Spiegel.  That outfit could almost be worn today.  Well, except for the basket.  What's up with that?

Yep, we have ourselves a secondary theme of 70s accessories going on here folks!  I don't expect smiles from Colleen, but here even Karen, Shelley, and the other models seem to be forcing a smile.  C'mon, those Christmas sweaters and shawls aren't that bad.  After all you could wear them ....well, could wear them..........well.............. Okay, okay, I think our search for value just ended!!

Gotta have at least one pic with Kathy.  So why is she looking down while Karen and Colleen are looking up?  Wards apparently stayed away from any snappy saying about value (probably a good idea.)  Instead they simply say "It's a Different World for Juniors."  Once again that can be interpreted in either a positive or negative way.

Like I said, it's probably a good thing they stayed away from mentioning value........

Let's check out some Colleen pics from other sources.....

Did they really say that?  Watch the Action?  I don;t think you could get away with that today!

 Another classic shot!

A very pensive look on the faces of these models as they contemplate the vastness of the ocean before them.
And we'll end on a handwriting analysis of Colleen's signature.  Of course these things are always highly accurate!