Flipping through a 1918 Sears, Roebuck & Co catalog is a trip—quite literally. It’s like time-traveling, and the fashion is not as inaccessible as you’d think. It’s fascinating to see tweed suits and lace blouses that wouldn’t look out of place in a hip vintage store in Brooklyn today. But let’s not even start on the fur or the lack of representation; those are trends that can stay firmly in the past.
The most mind-blowing part, though? The prices. You’d laugh at how cheap everything seems by today’s standards. So, buckle up because I’m sharing my top picks from this catalog—both the shockingly timeless and the wildly outdated. Stay tuned: Part II will be what I would happily buy for my house.
1All Wool Velour Cloth Coat
I actually had a coat like this for a time—far left (and it looked very old-world). Had my ex not been the one who bought it for me (from a very vintage-y boutique), I’d probably still have the coat today. If I bought it from this catalog? Cost: $19.95
2Attractive Sweaters for Women
Truthfully, I’d probably wear everything on this page, but if I had to pick, I’d take the black striped sweater in the top left. It’s thick knit, all wool, and has a sailor collar. Cost: $11.95
3Embroidered Cotton Voile Waist
Apparently, dress shirts were called waists back then? If I had to pick one, I’d actually wear the one in the center. All cotton, embroidery lace detail, not too frilly… what’s not to love? Cost: $2.98
4Silk Georgette Crepe
Sure, all these crepe waists (I think that’s what they are calling them?) are beautiful. But which one would I actually wear? Bottom left, all day, every day. Cost: $5.00
5Misses Poplin Skirt
I am not really aware of current fashion trends, but I swear I have been seeing high-waisted skirts that cut at the calf on Pinterest lately. I’ve also seen them on some of my favorite K-drama shows. I’d buy the one in navy at the top left. Cost: $3.69
6Stylish Novelty Boots
I have never worn very pointy shoes in my life, even when they are in style. But the boot furthest to the right on the top? I have boots just like that, actually. But they probably aren’t nearly as well-made. Cost: $3.59