WWLP Wear: Fashion for College Co-eds during WWII

Leotards were all the rage throughout college campuses in 1943. That’s not so different than today’s longstanding craze for leggings and lounge wear, although we certainly style it a little differently now!

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Acrobats’ tights make news in this year’s college fashions” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

‘Mademoiselle’ suggests short leotards, ‘smooth as a second skin…wear with, long or short skirts” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

‘Vogue’ cover features this “polydxtrous gray flannel suit” modeled bu Anne Norring, ‘typical campus-citizen-of-the-world.’ Pretty Anne has never been to college.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Chinese influence is sponsored by Mademoiselle. This outfit, called Nightshift (but obviously not for sleeping), has a coolie coat of striped cotton and velveteen slacks.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

‘We’re mad for the plaid’ writes Mademoiselle in college jargon of this outfit. ‘It’s so snazzy for this fringed-in-front skirt, cut slim (…ixnay on fullness) and short.'” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Turtle-neck sweaters of wool are a Harper’s Bazaar suggestion for girls who want to wear cotton pinafores to college. Sweaters may be worn under pinafore or jumper.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Waves havelock is, according to Harper’s Bazaar, “something.” College issue rated many “somethings,” ended with “Anything is never as good as SOMETHING.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

“Felt hat, like little boy’s cap, was ‘dreamed up for you by Betsy Tyree of Virginia Intermont College,’ according to Mademoiselle. Here cap is worn by Barbara Luff.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

“Skullcap of green felt has red wool border and tassel. Fashion magazines show caps, bumpers, berets and beanies with college clothes, ignore the popular head kerchief.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943


WWLP Entertain: Vintage Dorothy Thorpe Vintage Punchbowl

This Dorothy Thorpe punch bowl is now mine. I am probably far more obsessed with it than any woman buying this in the 1960’s ever was. Dorothy Thorpe was a popular glassware designer and a lot of her glass sets were sold in higher end department stores throughout mid-century America.

dorothy thorpe punch bowl set

There are TONS of similar sets available on ebay and etsy and surprisingly a lot of them are in perfect condition. I picked this one up at an antique mall in the Fox Lake area. The glasses on this set are more cylindrical than the more famous (thanks to Mad Men) roly poly style–which is also abundantly available online and at antique stores.

Vogue’s Book of Etiquette (1948): Thanks to a Stranger

The 1948 edition of Vogue’s Book of Etiquette contains over 600 pages of etiquette rules for daily life and special events. While a lot of the social conventions of the 40’s were out of date by the time the 60’s happened, they are nonetheless fun to read about! So Laura Petrie might not have followed all of these rules, but she certainly would have had parents that did (or at least tried to).

Thanks to a Stranger (p. 35)

Women must thank all those, including strangers, who do them little services.

This means that if someone holds a door for you or lets you skip the line ahead of them, a woman must always say ‘thank you’. If someone does something nice for you and you say your thanks, but THEN they try to start a conversation with you, you can politely and discreetly decline their conversation. However,

…it is more attractive to take for granted that the gesture was motivated by politeness only than it is immediately to suspect another motive. One should never be afraid to be kind, or to put a generous interpretation on the actions of others.

Always give the benefit of the doubt. Just because someone strikes a conversation with you doesn’t mean they are automatically a perv or trying to pull one over on you.

It is better to risk a little trouble than to risk a narrow, ungenerous habit of mind.

Ultimately a woman should never risk her manners in the name of “what-ifs” or general safety. Always give the benefit of the doubt because to do otherwise would be egregious.


Jim Beard’s Basic Equipment for Entertaining 1954

Jim Beard was a well published cookbook author and foods educator during the middle of the 20th century. His recipes focused on real food, and his book Jim Beard’s Complete Cookbook for Entertaining offered complete menus and recipes for any occasion. He claimed that even the most inexperienced housewife or poor cook could handle the recipes in his book if they had the right tools and easy to follow directions; and he even went so far as to list mail order grocers in case readers couldn’t easily find ingredients for their menus. If you had the right equipment and the drive to make exciting meals, you too could throw wonderful parties.

Here are his must haves in the kitchen for effective entertainment:

retro entertaining 2 retro entertaining

  1. Flat Baking Dishes
  2. Baking Sheets
  3. Platters
  4. Knives
  5. Serving Spoons
  6. Omelet Pans
  7. Cocktail Glasses
  8. Wire Whisks
  9. Rotisserie
  10. Pepper Mill
  11. Carving Board
  12. Thermos Coffee Jug
  13. Souffle Dishes
  14. Large Tureen
  15. Charcoal Grill
  16. Tongs
  17. Candle Heater
  18. Odd Serving Dishes and Plates
  19. Electric Skillet
  20. Electric Mixer
  21. Casseroles
  22. Blender
  23. All-Purpose Long Drink Glasses
  24. Roasting Pan with Rack
  25. Glass or Pottery Salad Bowl
  26. Carving Shears
  27. Wooden Spoons
  28. Small Portable Grill
  29. All-Purpose Wine Glass
  30. Aluminum Foil
  31. Electric Glass Hot Tray
  32. Small Mortar and Pestle

Most of these tools are still regularly used, although with the current minimalist trend of younger generations and the general societal trend of Peter Pan Syndrome, I’d argue that a majority of folks who entertain don’t have a lot of these in their kitchen at the ready. I’d have also added “punch bowl” to this list based on the number of punch recipes available for that time.

WWLP Cook: Suprise ‘Burgers

This recipe comes from a Campbell’s Soup advertisement in 1968 that was side by side with a recipe for Manhattan Fish Fillets. The idea behind both of these recipes is that they both require 8 ingredients to make, and 5 of those ingredients are found in Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

Campbell's Soup Ad burgers

Surprise ‘Burgers


1-5. 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell’s Tomato Soup

6. 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

7. 1/4 cup shredded process cheese, crumbled blue cheese, or drained pickle relish

8. 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish


Shape ground beef into 8 thin patties. Top each of 4 patties with either 1 tablespoon cheese or 1 tablespoon relish. Place remaining patties on top; seal edges well. Brown in skillet; spoon off fat. Stir in soup and horseradish. Cover; cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Stir now and then. 4 servings.

Serve with: side dishes of cole slaw, crisp French fries, and hot buttered rolls. Set out warm apple pie and coffee for dessert.

WWLP Bake: Banana Lemon Torte

Layer upon layer of mix-made banana cake, with fresh fruit slices and creamy lemon frosting in between

Bake cake at 350* for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 1 nine-inch torte

Fixing time: 15 minutes


  • 1 package banana cake mix
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • 1 package lemon-flavor creamy frosting mix
  • 2 cups cream for whipping
  • 3 medium-size ripe bananas
  • Lemon Juice


  1. Prepare cake mix with eggs and water, bake in 2 greased-and-floured 9-inch layer-cake pans, cool, and remove from pans, following label directions. Split each layer.
  2. Blend frosting mix and cream in a medium-size bowl; beat until fluffy thick.
  3. Peel bananas and slice thin; brush with lemon juice so slices stay bright.
  4. Place one cake layer on a large serving plate; spread with about 1/4 of the frosting mixture; top with 1/4 of the banana slices. Repeat stacking with remaining layers, frosting mixture, and banana slices, arranging banana slices in a pretty pattern on top. Chill torte about an hour before serving. Cut in wedges with a sharp knife.


Family Circle February 1968