Hayes Fashions from 1958: Coats

As part of the items I got at my first flea market in 2011, back in May, I happened upon a catalog from the Fall 1958/Winter 1959 produced by Hayes, a company from Indianapolis, IN.

I absolutely love this navy and black dress on the cover.  The skirt portion looks like it’s made of boucle wool and the top looks like a knit wool also; a cozy and chic dress for the winter months.

What I find interesting about this particular catalog is that all of these fashions are marketed to the half-sized woman, retaining the correct proportions, basically today’s petites (perfect for mini-me!).

The following except is a note from the editor:

I have yet to see an adjective so widely used today as the word ‘smart’ was back in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s to describe woman’s fashion.

Basically half-sizes are clothes that are better proportioned for petite women, not just short women.  For instance the sleeve and dress hem are smaller, along with a shorter length from the shoulder to waist on bodices.  So dresses aren’t just shorter at the hem, they’re shorter/more petite in several places so that the garment will look the same ( or retain the correct proportions) as on a regular sized woman.

Due to the density of the Hayes’ fashion catalog (50+ pages worth), I’m planning on posting up a bit for you all each week.

This week will I’ve scanned in the first pages that focus on outerwear thanks to my new, handy scanner.  :)  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting up some dresses, followed by separates, shoes, and lastly underpinnings.

This is the inside cover of the Hayes Catalog, which is in color:

I love how ‘put together’ these gals look with their pops of color in their gloves and hats.  I have a propensity for picking out basic, neutral colors when it comes to my outerwear.  So for me, it goes to show how a simple red glove or blue hat really brightens up the ensemble (until I can teach myself to pick bright for my next coat undertaking.)

The pleating design on the back of the two coats on the left (at bottom) is very reminiscent of the angular shapes of the 40’s.

I’m loving the contrast collars and simple cuff detail on the coat on the far right, also.


Oooh, how cute is item E?!  Lovely inward pleats cinched by a bow at the bottom.


Lighter-weight jackets for in between weather:


These look like such warm, comfy car coats:

I love the galoshes for heeled shoes, although I feel like I would just end up tripping all the time if I were wearing these.

The pockets on item H are especially lovely; I adore anything with tabs & button detailing, which is mirrored on the cuff of the coat as well.

I love the look of the white fur wrap below, but I don’t think I have the heart to buy it…


Just as the page states, these are “lovely hats”.  I think my favorite would have to be item J, at the bottom right.  I love the shape of this hat, the twisted fabric, along with the veiling.

While I like some of the details on the coats in this catalog, I personally prefer more shapely, waist-cinching clothes than the boxy, straight coats that were so popular during the late 50’s.  Since I am so short, I need to have some shape element or else I feel like my form looks as wide as the widest part of me (my hips).  I wonder if women felt the same way back then about these styles or if they felt that they that the looser style was more becoming since the coats didn’t ‘hug’ their hips, but skimmed over them instead.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and they will be more fashion scans for you all next Monday.

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

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