ERA FASHION INFORMATION & ARTICLES OF INTEREST
The following two links will take you to articles written by our SCVC Members Laurie Elliott and Jill Barrett. These articles, along with others, can also be found on the MAFCA Website in the Era Fashion Article section. A link at the bottom of this web page is provided for you to easily access all of the articles on the MAFCA Website.
Women’s Household Aprons in the Model A Era by Laurie Elliott
Preserving Leather Collectibles by Jill Barrett
MODEL A ERA FASHIONS
Click on the link below to view Model A Era Fashion images. There are pre Model A Era Fashions as well but everything seems to have a date so the Model A Fashions are easily found.
SERGED SEAMS IN THE MODEL A ERA
This research began when a member of SCVC, Mary Jackson, entered fashion judging while wearing a day dress with serged seams in 2002. It was a new old stock (NOS) dress but was not permitted because of the serged seams. The Era Fashion Committee did much research on this topic between 2003 and 2005. It was clearly stated in catalogs and magazines of the Model A era that serged seams were in men's trousers. But there was no mention of serged seams in Ladies dresses. Personally, I believe that ladies cotton dressses were so cheap that not much description was written about them. A cotton dress could cost as little as 69 cents from McCrory's 5 & 10 store in the 30's. Yes, I have one with the tag in it!
The subject has been tossed around for many years and recently, Patti Jones sent one of her era dresses with serged seams to Peggy Gill, Era Fashion Chairperson, and I took pictures of my dress for her in Sept. 2016. On my Model A Era NOS dress you can clearly see a manufacturer's label from J. C. Penney attached to the back of the neck of the dress. As a result of much discussion of the fashion committee, the following will be made available in future updates to the Restorer and the MAFCA Fashion Guidelines.
" It should be noted that original commercially manufactured dresses could have a serged seam finish. However, machines that did zigzag stitching or serging were not yet manufactured for the home seamstress."
We thank the Era Fashion Committee for their continued diligence in pursing this matter.
While there are many books on fashions of the 1920’s and 1930’s, there are very few that focus the Model A era. The manufacturing and sale of the Model A Ford was four short years, from 1928 to 1931. A group of dedicated hobbyists who appreciated the simplicity of this automobile and the social camaraderie it inspired formed a national club, the Model A Ford Club of America (MAFCA). Club events were celebrated with the participants arriving in their beautiful Model A automobiles, wearing clothes from the past. From that simple act, a study of the fashions of the era began, and continues today with fashion judging.
“Dressing the part” is a fun way to enhance the enjoyment of your Model A and Fashion Judging is to period outfits what Car Judging is to our Model A’s. For those who wish to enter, Fashion Judging is an effective feedback mechanism to gauge how accurate our outfits are the given year (1928-1931) and activity they depict.
Entrants choose between the categories of Original, Reproduction, and Era Image. While Original and Reproduction speak for themselves, Era Image can be an amalgamation of everything up to and including modern clothing that looks appropriate for that time period. Awards are given on a point basis, so every entrant can receive the Award of Excellence.
During 1928-1931 fashions had a revolution of their own. Although men’s fashions remained the same, there were a few changes. The zipper was not commonly used until much later in the 1930’s so men’s trousers in the Model A years still buttoned. The detachable shirt collar was on the way out and convenience of the attached collar was recognized as the more modern method. Hats were worn not only for the protection offered but also as the proper etiquette of the day. Accessories were important but only if they were functional.
Elliott, Laurie, (2014) Fashion Judging, Santa Clara Valley Chapter 52nd NCRG Event Guide, p. 10
The Model A Ford Club of America, (2006) A Book of Fashion Facts 1928-1931 A Resource and Reference Guide of Vintage Fashions Specifically Related to the Model A Era, Introduction, p. iii
Patti Jones Articles
The years of 1928-1931 were transitional ones. The economic downturn forced many people to conserve and recycle their clothing. Women’s fashions changed considerably. Women bobbed their traditionally long hair. Hemlines fell, waistlines rose. Geometric, boyish silhouettes gave way to a softer, more feminine look. A wide variety of necklines, and accents were used to enhance the overall look of a garment. Fabrics were often silk, wool, cotton, linen and rayon. Solid colors and print fabric were popular in a wide variety of colors. The main garment was always coordinated with the appropriate accessories.
The national club, MAFCA, offers two publications that are excellent references for men’s, women’s, and children’s fashion: A Book of Fashion Facts and MAFCA Model A Era Fashion Guidelines. Be sure to check MAFCA’s webpage to purchase your own copies or see the SCVC librarian to checkout and use the club’s copies when looking for specific ideas for fashions during the Model A era.
MAFCA Era Fashion Articles
MAFCA Era Patterns
Era Fashion Committee Updates
MAFCA Pattern Project
The Pattern Project video is now available via the MAFCA YouTube channel. The video highlights the enormous work spearheaded by Helen Christensen of the Santa Clara Valley A’s in San Jose, California.