September 16, 2011

This beautiful 1922 Simpsons catalog cover abounds with fall style inspiration

Day 259 of Vintage 365


With just one week left to go until we hit the the fall equinox this year, my level of giddiness for the start of my very favourite season is increasing with each passing hour.

There is so, so very much to love about autumn, from the bounty of seasonal produce (apples, pears, grapes, pumpkins, zucchini, squash - the list goes deliciously on and on) to the return of fabrics such as tweed, gabardine, and corduroy, the crunchy jewel toned leaves to the brisk evening breezes, I could wax poetically until the cows came home about the many splendid points of this gorgeous time of the year.

Without a doubt fall fashions are amongst the elements that I adore most about this season. Interestingly though, my fall and winter vintage wardrobe pales in size when compared to my spring and summer one.

I know this is partially due to the fact that I'm allergic to wool (even very small percentages in fabric blends), so that rules a lot of old school (and modern, for that matter) skirts, suits, sweaters and coats, but beyond that, it's hard to say why such is the case.

You know something, as I sit here and type this right now, it hits me that my whole wardrobe (whether vintage or otherwise) is smaller in the fall and winter department, which makes all of zero sense considering how many months of the year are chilly to down right freezing cold here in Canada.

Determined to do something about this point - if only by a few garments - I went on the prowl for vintage images of fall clothing to help me figure out what kinds of yesteryear pieces I'd like to add to my cold weather wardrobe.

Without a doubt one of the absolute most beautiful images I encountered was the 1922 cover of the Simpsons catalog pictured below.


Though by no means as well known south of the 49th as Sears or even Eaton’s, Simpsons (which later, in the early 1950s, merged with Sears) was a popular Canadian chain of department stores that also offered mail order catalogues to their customers (Simpsons closed its last set of doors about two decades ago).

In this immensely lovely illustration from 1922 (which comes by way of Old Catalogs on Flickr) we see an elegantly attired young woman in a velvet dress and hat (complete with charming feather plume) sitting with her borzoi beneath a maple tree that's burst forth in classic fall shades crisp yellow, orange and red.

Unlike many of the more flapper-ish styles of the twenties (which simply do not get along with my petite hourglass figure), this is the sort of dress from that era that I could really see my (usually 40s and 50s oriented) self wearing.

I love the deeply rich hue of burgundy, the charming Greek inspired embroidery, and the figure flattering sashed waist. Regardless of if I ever add a dress like this to my fall wardrobe, I appreciate the inspiration it provides in terms of colour and fabric.

So as autumn nears closer (yay!), I shall keep hunting for images like this amazing 1920s catalog cover to help me, I sincerely hope, finally grow the size of my vintage fall wardrobe this year.

By all means, please feel free to share any of your favourite images with me in the comment section - the more we show each other what's inspiring us this season, the better! Smile


  1. beautiful image. have a happy fall!

  2. I love early 20's...The charm and the grace, a sensation of innocence still present in the fashion illustration (forever to be lost soon enough). I would wear that in a heartbeat!

  3. I'm sure glad to see now that I'm finally back online myself that one of my favorite blogs is still going strong! Love the post.

  4. I so love your site and this image. I lived in Montreal till 1998 and I remember Simpsons and Eatons etc. I had forgotten them till I came here!