Slogans from the 50s: Sweater Letter


Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.

Hi folks and Welcome to “Slogans From The 50’s You’d Never Hear Now”.

The 1950’s were a very different time. Life back then was far less complicated and people’s goals and ideals were much different from what was to come. This could not be more evident in the advertising slogans of the day.

For this Episode of “Slogans from the 50’s You’d Never Hear Now”, we’re looking at an ad from a series of ads by Chanel. Like most of society in the 50’s, Chanel places value on young people growing up as soon as possible. It was as though the marking of adulthood was some kind of important badge that all youths were just dying to wear.

This particular ad says:

“When his letter is on your sweater, you’re ready for Chanel.”

Chanel perfume ad, ca. 1950s.

I have mixed emotions about this one. On one hand, it’s kind of romantic and definitely indicative of the era, but on the other hand, eww. It’s corny, overly sentimental and worst of all, presumptuous… Let’s just ASSUME you’re gonna need a fella’s letter on your sweater, because otherwise you will have failed as a girl. And let’s just ASSUME that once his letter is on your sweater, you’re gonna need some Chanel to complete your transition from girlhood to womanhood. Because, you know, Chanel can do that for you.

Of course, this is an ad, and all ads will push upon you the need for their product in order to be successful in the world. That is the very core of advertising, after all. Big names like Chanel have always been masters at this, even way back in the 50’s. And apparently, back in the 50’s, there were two things a gal needed in order to grow up: a fella’s letter on her sweater, and Chanel.

So go grab a bottle of Chanel today. Or even better, grab a fella who can afford one.



I hope you enjoyed this post!  For more, stay tuned and please follow Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever on WordPress.  You can also follow Retro Dee on Twitter @RealRetroDee and Instagram @mariepascal82

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