Fashion Frocks

In my last post, I mentioned that I'd purchased a pile of sample cards created by Fashion Frocks, a dress manufacturing company located in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1908 to the 1970's. I finally finished scanning my favorites, so here they are! I love everything about these cards--the carefully attached fabric swatches, the awkwardly funny ad copy, the matching turban pictured above that "will complete this fashionable masterpiece for a tiny sum!"

I forgot to mention that the lot I purchased included a few cards from a similar company called Janalene. They're from 1940, look slightly 30's to me (something about the way the women are drawn), and are at least as fantastic as the Fashion Frocks cards. (And a note: Clicking on any of the images in this post will open a larger version in a new window.)


  1. These are brilliant! I have a big box of my gran's old dress patterns and they're so precious to me.

    1. I really wish my parents have saved more of my grandparents' clothes and other items. Vintage ephemera is always that much more special when it belonged to someone in your family.

  2. These are great! Have you thought about framing some of them? It would be neat to find some fabric and have a few of these made.

  3. Hello Christy, My name is Cherri. I was born in 1952 and late in 1953 my dad was killed in a hunting accident. My mother was 4 weeks pregnant with my brother at the time and my sister was 4 years old. My mom had never held a job and was a young stay at home mom who was very shy; but when my dad died she had to become mom and dad and also figure out how to bring in an income to take care of all of us. She came across the Fashion Frocks ad and signed up. We lived in rural Mississippi after my dad died and my mom went all over our county and the next county door to door selling these wonderful Fashion Frocks. She won a lot of beautiful dresses and also many contests. She passed away in 2001 and so I have her Fashion Frocks sales award pin which I proudly wear. I remember many days of playing at those other ladies houses and helping watch my baby brother while my mom measured the ladies for their new dresses and wrote up their orders. She did quite an amazing job, considering that we did not even have a telephone at home!! I loved looking at the style cards and feeling the swatches of fabric samples. When I was 10 years old I started learning to sew and eventually started making my own designs. I was so inspired that I have worked creating womens' custom fashions through out the years. My first garment for anyone was for myself at 12 years old and it was what we called a box shift dress.