The Cost of a 1926 Spring Wardrobe

While doing some research on this amazing early 1920s cocoon coat (label from Mme. Najla Mogabgab) we recently added to the shop, I ran across this fascinating New York Sun article from 1926.  In it, Mme. Mogabgab proposed that a husband should expect to spend at least $6,000 for his wife's Spring wardrobe.  These prices are definitely a far cry from the prices we see in the Sear's Catalog from the same periods!
1920s Mme Mogabgab Flapper Cocoon Coat

"Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 19 (U.P.). - Husbands must prepare to spend at least $6,000 for clothes for the wife this spring if they would have them appear 'smartly dressed,' according to the dictates of aristocratic Palm Beach.  Mlle. Najla Mogabgab, a Paris modiste, who is here to see that the American society woman stick to the French style decrees, made the estimate, and then said $15,000 or more probably would be near the proper amount to spend for a woman's spring wardrobe.
In the first place, the 'smartly dressed' woman should appear in at least twenty-one different dresses during a week, three a day, she pointed out.
There should be at least seven morning gowns, each costing from $75 to $200.  Two piece crepe de chine and fille in pink and Monaco blue are the most correct for the spring season, Mlle. Mogabgab said.  Love nest green is also a good color.
The afternoon dresses, more elaborate, range from $150 to $300 each, and the well dressed woman should have seven, one for each day of the week.
Printed chiffons and flower patterns are correct for afternoon gowns.
Seven evening gowns each costing from $200 to $1000 should also be added to the list of expenses for the wife's spring wardrobe, Mlle. Mogabgab said.
Gold and silver patterns, very elaborate, are demanded for the proper evening dress, she said.  Taffeta bouffants are also popular.
The most fetching evening wrap is a Bianchi brocaded silk affair as colorful as Joseph's coat and decorated with ostrich feathers.  Such an evening wrap may be had for $1000.
Colored linen shoes of brilliant hues to match the gowns, large hats and French nude colored stockings complete the style requirements, although it would be well to have several suits of beach pajamas for bathing and a number of brocaded shawls for evening wear, it was said."

What does that mean in today's dollars (accounting for inflation)?
...from an astounding $79,000 to almost $200,000! 



Here are some ads from Mme. Mogabgab's shops found in The Smart Set magazine, 1911




And what did her Edwardian era shop in Palm Beach look like?


1924 Fifth Avenue Fashion

I recently picked up some great catalogs from smaller, high-end shops.  I thought you'd enjoy looking through them as much as I have.  This one is from Franklin Simon & Co., Spring 1924.   The mid 1920s saw chic, simple lines and was greatly influenced by menswear fashions.  All of these pieces seem so modern - wouldn't you just love to be able to actually shop from this catalog?!

Franklin Simon & Co, Spring 1924.  Such a simple, gorgeous cover design.

1920s Knit Suits

1920s Spring Dresses


1920s Suits

1920s Spring Coats.  Check out the prices - $155.00!  Pretty pricey for the 1920s.

1920s Suits


1920s Swimsuits 

1920s Lingerie

1920s Sprtswear - sweaters and skirts.
These are some of my favorite looks from the 1920s.

1920s Shirts.  You can really see the menswear influence here.
And notice the simple cloche hats.

1920s Shoes.  These women's oxfords are to-die-for!

Up next...a mid-1930s catalog with the NRA label!
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