Happy 115th Birthday to Amelia Earhart: An Unlikely Fashionista
If you’ve done any searching today on Google, then you may have seen the image of Amelia Earhart and her plane flying over the search engine’s input box. It’s a nice reminder that today is Amelia’s birthday and she would’ve been 115 years old today. A couple of years ago, I undertook my own search for the missing Amelia, but not for her remains or her plane, for her fashion line from the 1930s. I was fascinated to learn that Amelia was an avid seamstress who made her own clothes, as did many women of her era. In 1934, Amelia created a line of fashions known as “Amelia Earhart Fashions.” Her clothing line was sold at Macy’s in New York and Marshall Fields’ in Chicago.
Pictured: Amelia Earhart in a dress from her Amelia Earhart Fashion line in 1934.
The original Amelia Earhart clothing line included dresses, blouses, pants, suits, and hats. I have not found any information about the line including a leather bomber jacket, although this is the fashion item most commonly associated with Amelia today. As a designer, Amelia was the first to recommend the marketing of “separates”, so that a woman did not have to buy a suit in one size. In the Amelia Earhart line you could purchase a jacket in one size, and a skirt in another size. She wanted her clothing to accommodate various sizes and shapes. Amelia was something of a recessionista
, remember she was designing clothing during the Great Depression, so of course, she was budget-conscious. She told the press her goal was to bring the beauty she’d found in aviation closer to all women at prices that didn’t reach “new altitudes.” Amelia said, “I hate ruffles, and at the price I could pay, that was all I could buy. So I decided to design clothes. They are nothing exciting. Just good lines and good materials for women who lead active lives.” Read more about Amelia’s fashion line on our sister site, The Chic Bargainista. Happy Birthday Amelia. I think of you every time I shop for separates, as you had the foresight to know that most women wear a different size jacket, than they do pants or skirts.