Click on any image to see the full-size version. Or you can go back to the catalog home. Yay, it’s Billy’s turn to order the family wardrobe this year! It’s not often you see the phrase “big as silver dollars” used these days. All the hours I spend trudging through these catalogs is totally worth it when I land on a beauty like this. I don’t know what I love most – the matching belt and shirt on Slim, or the positively eye-popping pattern and colors on Helen’s little ensemble. This is just lovely, although I feel bad for women with more than four ribs who needed a new dress. In an incredible case of foresight by Sears, every single color on the dress in box F is web safe. Kicky! Bright colors, high waistlines. Can someone who was around in 1958 clue me in on whether or not the “hat” in the lower right was acceptable to wear in public? Nothing special here, I just wanted to include some Bobby Socks for historical reference. These hats are youthful? They look like something to wear while Morgan Freeman drives you to the Piggly Wiggly. If there was ever a golden opportunity for glove makers to stage a comeback, it’s now. With germ paranoia at an all-time high, this can be pitched as a safe and stylish way to prevent illness. I love the names companies come up with for otherwise generic materials and products. Behold, Searofoam! If you ask me – and by reading this you implicitly are – saddle shoes are a timelessly cool look. The question is, do they have Searofoam too? I recognize very few of these brands. Let’s see… Dunlap, Kenmore, and of course Craftsman. Those are familiar. Wait a minute, did Gold Bond make shoes too? That Gold Bond? Hmm, seems not. Oh well. I promise you I do not have a shoe fetish. There you go, retro bloggers — a whole gaggle of color combinations for your site redesign. You’re welcome. Oh sure, you could cheap out and go for the Good-rated hair dryer. But then again, we really can’t say that it won’t spontaneously combust after one year, burning you and everyone you love into a crisp. Ah, the housecoat. Quite possibly the single most unflattering item of clothing designed for women since the suburban muumuu. Your little Debbie will look resplendent in these fetching outfits, as she prepares for an adulthood spent deferring her dreams and pleasing her husband’s every whim! I just find the whole “let’s take adult fashions and miniaturize them” trend to be odd to say the least. Kicky nautical scarves notwithstanding, of course. Maybe I’m just getting thrown by the period colors and graphics technology, but I’d bet my last Eisenhower half dollar that the gloves, purse, and headband on the girl in the upper left are totally drawn on her. Of course, that’s only slightly more unsettling than the girls in panel H, who look like they’ve been dosed with the Joker’s Smilex gas. Most of these boys’ shoes are quite unremarkable. Except, of course, those spectacular saddles shoes and the pair with the leather flap covering the zipper. Ooooh, plaid saddle shoes! I never knew such a thing existed. “Hello, Sears? Yes, I’m calling about the child you sent me from your 1957 spring catalog. Has the money-back guarantee period expired yet? No? Well, can I just return it for store credit?” Every one of these kids spent the late ’60s/early ’70s getting heavy into drugs and sex. This poor bastard is counting down the hours until he can get his license and start rebelling against his folks in earnest. Alright, these are cute. But man, it’s true that even kids back in the ’50s looked like adults. Just don’t say that to little Mr. Wash ‘n’ Wear on the right, he’s just itching to bash some kneecaps with that bat. Somehow the phrase “metal baby buggy bumpers” doesn’t have the same ring to it. “Kids! You asked for the most modern design in slacks and you got it. Pleats? Yes! Rib-hugging waists? You bet! Superfluous ass buckle? Hell yeah!” I never knew croquet was so big among the pre-teen set in the 1950s. That explains so much. I’m not going to sit here, more than five decades after these clothes were fashionable, and bash them. I know tastes change and these patterns were perfectly acceptable at one point. That’s cool. But I cannot think of those Western-style outfits as anything but totally goofy. People talk about how tough it was to get by in the ’50s, and how there was all this pressure to conform. Yet here we have irrefutable evidence that major corporations were actively encouraging men to dress like the biggest spazzes possible. Yeah I’m looking at you, pink floppy hat guy. If you think these typewriters are expensive (the cheapest one here goes for half a grand in today’s money), wait’ll you see the shipping charges. Welcome to Health Club of the Damned. While browsing our fine catalog of consumer goods, make sure to pick up some bath items from our new Spongebob Squarepants Collection. People remember fun ’50s fads like phone booth cramming or atomic bomb school drills, but no one talks about the Turn Your Kitchen Into a New Jersey Diner craze.