August 12, 2012

The Dog Days of Vintage Summer Fashion

Right this very moment it’s early August, and for the vast majority of us in the northern hemisphere that means means the temperature outside is currently trying to give the surface of the moon a run for its money.
While I do thoroughly love many aspects of the most sizzling season of the year (a topic that I delved into last month in this post) and am grateful for every moment of summer we get in Canada, there can be times when these stifling days with their glaring sun and 100+ degree temperatures leaves one, well, a little frazzled and beat.

This problem is anything but new - much like the dog days of summer themselves (the name of which has been in use since at least the time of the ancient Romans, who associated them with Sirius, also known as the Dog Star), who called them diēs caniculārēs. Though, even to this day, debate continues as to which days of the season officially fall under that heading, it's generally excepted that much of July and August make the cut for sure.

Even though I've experienced the toastiest Canadian heat waves of my life in July (while living in Toronto), if you were to stop me on the icy street in January and ask what I thought that hottest month of the year was, I'd always answer August. Though, technically, July can sometimes be the hotter of the two months (depending on where you live and what your weather is up to in a given year), there's just something about August that makes it feel skin tinglingly hot and, at times, a bit hard to slog through.

During these wildly warm days, it's important - one might argue vital even - to have plenty on hand to help take our mind off the the heat, the staggering, mind-blowing heat. To that end, in the spirit of celebrating the name of these scorching August days, I thought it would tons of fun to gather up fifteen of my favourite vintage images and ads that just happen to include fabulous fashions and darling dogs in them.

{The combo of a red wiggle dress and darling white pup is bound to ensure you take home best in (fashion) show!}

{Model Anne St. Marie and her sweet little Yorkies shine in this elegant image from 1957 featuring a Jaguar.}

1950s fashion photo of a woman in a red sweater holding a cute Boston Terrier dog

{One of my favourite dog breeds, the Boston Terrier, stars in this lovely photograph from 1952 that first appeared in Glamour Magazine.}

{It's safe to say that no other dog calls to mind the fabulous fifties quite like the iconic poodle, especially when you see ones as adorable as the pink bow adorned duo in this beautifully illustrated Pepsi ad.}

{There no need to beat around the bush (or fern), this chic, lightweight spring suit is thoroughly beautiful - as is the wee little corgi pup.}

{Spots of both the fabric and fur kind abound in this immensely pretty Harper's Bazaar image from 1952.}


{A teenage Shirley Temple and a beautiful black spaniel give RC Cola their vote of approval in a 1944 colour photo and illustration filled ad.}

{Hailing from 1937, this image of a blonde model and shepherd type dog is the oldest featured in today's post. I adore the casual elegance of her look and am especially fond of the stack of blue bangles on her wrist.}

{Calm poise and riled up excitement stand side-by-side in this fashion shot of a woman sporting a wool day suit as she walks her Boxer through town.}

{Another image featuring a completely cute Yorkshire Terrier, this time partnered with a lady decked out in a stylish autumn look from 1961.}

{Though it took a little searching, I was delighted to find an illustrated 1940s ad featuring my all-time favourite breed: the British bulldog.}

{Whether you spot the poodle or the woman's shocking hair colour first, there's no denying this pinky-mauve filled paint ad  is definitely an eye-catching!}

{The ravishingly sophistication and mid-1950s beauty of this wonderful autumn ensemble is only heighted by the presence of a preciously sweet little furry friend.}

{For just about as long as there has been cars, there have dogs who loved riding around beside their owners in them, whether they were pint sized pups or colossal canines like this fellow!}

{Completely cute chihuahuas, stylish pleated skirts, and pointy toed shoes all ad up to oodles of late 1950s glamour.}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr stream or page.}

These photos and illustrations are not all summer themed by any means, but it's my sincere hope that the cuteness overload - and distracting enjoyment of the sublime mid-century fashions - they offer up will help to distract you enough that you're able to forget about the searing heat, if only for a few delightful minutes.


  1. Amazing clothes!!! I love the suit the lady walking the boxer has... so classy!
    I hope that you are doing well!! :D

  2. Awww what cute dogs^^ and beautiful images as well! All these suits and gloves have made me even more excited about the beginning of fall :)

  3. these are really, really cute. I love dogs and it's great to see a well dressed woman with it. The pink one is really cute haha.

  4. Poodles and Jaguars in one post - fabulous!

  5. Oh gosh, the dalamation has sent me all wobbly! Just adorable!

    I think my vintage look would look brilliant with a massive great dane, I just need to get my young man to agree!

  6. What a lovely collection! And I wish I could have that purple and green number that the gal in the General Tire ad has on! It's delightful!


  7. French Bulldogs. Boston Terriers and of corse Pugs are my current favorites and naturally the adorable Dachshounds! Fashion and dogs go very well toghether.

  8. Love the old adds too! Great clothes and great dogs, a very fun theme.

  9. I think my favorite is the teenage Shirley Temple add. I sure don't enjoy summer as I do some of the other seasons, but I do love summer fashions.

    Enjoy summer while it lasts, Jessica!! If I could I'd give you my summer for an extra fall. :)

  10. I loved this post! I converted dog lover (ex-lover of cats). I especially liked the photo of the woman with the boxer, oh! and the boston terrier photo. Love bully breeds. I'm currently begging my boyfriend for a boston or a french bulldog right now. Our puppy needs a little brother or sister! ;)


    p.s. July is typically hotter in Winnipeg than August. We're done with hot summer nights right now. It's actually cool and raining today.

  11. A while ago I bought my Mother this little book with vintage photos of people and their dogs. You would love it.

  12. What a great post! I'd have to say the picture from '37 is my favourite. The colouring is gorgeous and for some reason, the picture looks old and modern at the same time (L)

  13. Gorgeous clothes in those ads.. and of course.. wonderful dogs! I can't pick a favorite dog or dress. They're all awesome! :) LOVE this post. As always.

  14. The Treasure Tones Paint ad makes me want to watch the "Think Pink" part of "Funny Face". Both the woman and the poodle would have fit in with that song perfectly. :)

    Great collection of photos!

  15. how inspiring ... great post.

  16. Hi, This is my first visit to your blog. Thank you for the fabulous post. In addition to collecting and wearing vintage clothing and accessories, I collect vintage dog photographs. So this post was made for me. I adore the image from 1937 of the blond with the cool composed expression and the dog with the big happy smile.

  17. Great post! Im a dog lover sovlove them all but my favorite is the one from 1937. Love her bangles too! Thanks for the sweet comments on my recent posts!!!

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Jessica. :)

  19. I now have suit envy....I desperately want a 1950's slash 1960's suit....yum! xx

  20. Great and funny collection of vintage dog pics!

  21. What an adorablepost! As a total dog lover I can't helped but be charmed by these darling pups! I adore that Glamour photo too.