Of the many obstacles facing politically ambitious women in the
'20s, the constricting aspects of prevailing fashions are often
underestimated. Respectable women didn't wear the same dress at
breakfast and then later at dinner. How then to attend party conventions
as delegates where changing clothes
wasn't an option? Designers fortunately made the necessary accommodations
so women could overcome this subtly effective barrier to political
CHICAGO--Women's active interest in politics is creating
new occasions for special clothes, according to a Michigan avenue
designer who now is engaged making gowns and wraps and hats for
the national convention in Cleveland and New York this summer.
"Women who are delegates and those who are interested onlookers,"
she explains, "will all want to stay in the convention hall the
(entire) time. There will be little or no time to change costumes.
And, as everyone knows by this time, the franchise has in no way
lessened women's interest in clothes. The most successful women
politicians are the best dressed. The national conventions call
for a specialized type of gown. It must be simple enough to be
appropriate at breakfast, and still not look out of place at dinner
on the days when politics wax so exciting that no one can leave
for a moment.
"I am making a little black coat dress in French alpalca
for one of my customers who is conspicuous in national politics.
It is made in straight lines, with a variety of vests. ... To
go with it she has a small light leghorn hat with a band of black
velvet, the sort of hat a woman can wear all day without a headache.
I am giving her with this costume, a dozen silk and fibre Burson
dollar hose so that she can vary her costume around her ankles
every day. They are in powder blue, peach-bloom, cinder grey,
fog, blush, sombrero,
sunset and three shades of nude. ... She will have a pair of patent
leather colonials and a pair of dull leather oxfords and by alternating
her shoes and wearing different hosiery every day, she will keep
her feet friendly toward her.
"For the days when she may have time to change for dinner,
she will take two dinner gowns, one formal and one informal, but
the black French alpalca will be her most important gown. Correct
clothes that may be forgotten as soon as they are put on, will
go a long way toward making efficient stateswomen."