The Daily Mail 8th March 1921
When researching towards my book, British Fashion in the 1920s (Shire Books, 2013), I ordered a newspaper from the company Historic Newspapers, who run an impressive archive of original newspapers and supply academic researchers, the media and members of the public seeking special gifts:
My copy of The Daily Mail, 8th March 1921, arrived beautifully presented and in extraordinarily good condition. As hoped, its pages were full of fascinating illustrated clothing, accessories and hair care advertisements – a wonderful resource for studying fashion and popular consumer goods.
Department stores who advertised their fashion ranges in the newspaper include large companies that have survived into the 21st century, like D H Evans and Selfridges, as well as other names that are familiar to many of us (perhaps from childhood), but which sadly no longer exist, such as Gorringes and Swan & Edgar of Piccadilly.
The diverse and numerous notices in this Easter-time issue of just one daily newspaper demonstrate the power of advertising nearly 100 years ago and the attraction of seasonal sales and bargains to our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers who were responsible for clothing themselves and their families, often on a tight budget.
From children’s underwear, clothes and shoes to women’s raincoats, corsets, stylish hats – from Paris, no less – and ‘dainty frocks’ with contemporary names like ‘Laura’ and ‘Lydia’, through these advertisements we see a snapshot of precisely what was fashionable in early Spring 1921.