A Sparkling Vintage Life

Jane Russell

Sweater-ing to the Oldies (31 Days to a Sparkling Vintage Fall, Day 12)

sweater girl

source: etsy.com

lana turner

Lana Turner, 1932

I was going to title this post “Be a sweater girl,” but I thought better of it, as some ladies wouldn’t take kindly to that description. According to Wikipedia, “The term ‘sweater girl’ was made popular in the 1940s and 1950s to describe Hollywood actresses like Lana Turner, Jayne Mansfield, and Jane Russell, who adopted the popular fashion of wearing tight sweaters over a cone- or bullet-shaped bra that emphasized the woman’s bustline. . . . The sweater girl trend was not confined to Hollywood and was viewed with alarm by some. In 1949 a Pittsburgh police superintendent even singled out the sweater girl as a symptom of the moral decline of postwar youth.”

Moral decline aside, I think sweaters are one of the most delightful joys of fall. After all, you don’t have to wear them skin-tight over a bullet-shaped bra. You can wear them snuggly and loose over jeans, or fitted and classic over a skirt.  matching sweaters

Sweaters are as old as hand-knitting–that is, very old–but they got a boost in the 19th century with the development of knitting machines that could mass-produce quality knitted garments. In the early 20th century, sweaters for both men and women surged in popularity when worn by the likes of designer Coco Chanel and the fashion-forward Duke of Windsor.

So go ahead–be a sweater girl this fall! Just stay classy about it.

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Jennifer Lamont Leo