The Fall’s Latest Fashions, ca. 1925

What is it that so appeals about old retail catalogues?

Old catalogues clearly are coveted and admired by many—if you doubt it, just check the prices on them on eBay and elsewhere—and surely even those who have no wish to own one find old catalogues hard to resist when the opportunity presents itself to peruse one.

We’re convinced that, in large part, what folks like about old catalogues is the prices of the wares offered within them. Who doesn’t savor the notion of walking into a fine apparel shop and paying just $3.75 for a beautiful dress fedora or $17.95 for a virgin wool worsted suit?

Of course, while we’re indulging in these reveries of paying mere pittances for such remarkable raiment, we too often forget that the average income of the day was just as low, in comparison to today’s salaries, as those prices of yore are in comparison to the tariffs we pay today.

For instance, that $17.95 suit we cited above can be found in a 1930-31 Montgomery Ward catalogue that we own. Adjusted for inflation, $17.95 amounts to $232.92 today. And though Montgomery Ward no longer exists, one could probably get a suit for about that price at an equivalent store today, we suspect (it’s been a long time since we purchased a contemporary suit).

So what we’re all really fantasizing about, then, when we page through a vintage catalogue is traveling back in time to purchase those clothes using 2010 dollars. And let’s face it, that’s not going to happen any time soon.

The 1925-26 catalogue we’re sharing with you today, though, from Midwestern department store chain Maurice L. Rothschild and featuring men’s fall fashions from Hart Schaffner & Marx, includes no prices. You’ll just have to enjoy the gorgeous illustrations on their own merits, and savor the pleasure of picturing yourself (or the fellow in your life) sporting clothes this stylish and well-crafted.


Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view


Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view

Hi-res view

If you enjoyed this post, please consider
supporting Cladrite Radio on Patreon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.