This cute little striped cotton playsuit with matching overskirt is labeled Freshy Playclothes and was worn by Ruth Holmes Walker Gadsden of Summerville. c. 1940. The one-piece playsuit was introduced around 1935, suitable for a variety of sports or casual wear. Shorts for women were a pretty new concept and a coordinating wrap-around skirt made it even more appealing. This outfit was probably purchased by her at James F. Condon & Son in Charleston, one of the many fine stores nationwide selling this brand. An advertisement during their 1940 campaign of Freshy Playclothes Worn by the Stars features a garment very similar to this one, for sale at $6.95. The one in the ad is of acetate rayon whereas ours is of Sanforized cotton. The list of stores carrying it includes Condon’s.
The one-piece shorts playsuit has four white buttons on the blouse front and 5 white buttons down the left shorts leg. The matching flared skirt, of four bias panels, opens on the left with four buttons. There are two slit pockets in front and a shaped waistband tie.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday