1950s Handmacher suit
To say that I have 1940s and 1950s skirt suits in abundance would be an understatement as it’s my number one choice when buying vintage. I can never resist the immaculate tailoring that 1950s suits are so synonymous with and when it comes to a choice between the perfect vintage dress and equally perfect suit, I usually end-up purchasing the latter. Nothing can beat the versatility to which a vintage suit can be dressed up or down, making it the perfect choice for a day-to-night look, a real pièce de résistance. When shopping for vintage on Etsy or at any of the vintage fairs in London, I don’t look for any particular brands, with the exception of Lilli Ann and Dorothy O’Hara that is, because a lot of incredible garments from 1930s and 1940s were hand made either by the original owner of the piece or custom made by a seamstress. There are times however when I get extremely excited about a vintage brand, like in the case of my latest purchase of a 1950s Handmacher suit, that I later found in Harper’s Bazaar from 1952!
Handmacher suits were incredibly popular and well known from the 1940s-1960s with their ads appearing in various fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, modelled by the most recognisable faces of the time such as Dovima, Suzy Parker or Dorian Leigh.
We read in one of the ads for a Handmacher suit “Why are Handmacher suits so perfectly adapted to American living? Is it the beautifully easy way they fit? Their serenely classic taste? Their forthright price? One store in your city has Handmacher suits. Try them on and see for yourself” Well, I did try it on and it fits like a glove.
One of the best things about skirt suits is that they don’t have to be worn as a set, I often mix each piece with contemporary pieces like in the examples below.