Bring back some good or bad memories


March 21, 2023

Beautiful Women’s Factory Fashions Designed by Tina Leser, 1953

In April 1953 about 16 million Americans worked in manufacturing jobs—many more than today, where the number is about 11 million. And roughly a quarter of those workers back then were women. Many work near moving machinery or poisonous dusts and acids, and must wear coveralls, made for safety and comfort but seldom for style.

Enter noted designer Tina Leser, who debuted a fashion line that year for the burgeoning female lunchpail set. In a group of clothes called Fashion for Industry released in stores, Leser presented her solutions. The standard, safe—but usually shapeless—factory coverall appears in practical but neatly fitted and attractive versions... Some designs have pants legs narrowed so that they can be pushed up and hidden under a skirt on the way to work.

These photos, taken by LIFE photographer Yale Joel, tell a story not just of a clothing line but of women’s increased prominence in the workforce, with the fashion world looking to address needs beyond the social and domestic realms.


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10