It’s 1921! Let’s Shop the Newest Fashions: Silk-Taffeta Dresses, Oxford Boots & Floral Straw Hats

How about another trip in my time machine? This time we’re headed back to January 1921 to check out the news, the movies that are playing at the Capitol Theater, what’s on sale at the Piggly Wiggly, and how much the latest styles in hats and shoes will set us back. Actually, some of the prices are a bit higher than I expected.

You may remember a few weeks ago I shared this unique end table in my upstairs living room/bonus room. In case you missed that post, this table is actually made from very old, bound newspapers. Many, many years ago–probably 20-25 years ago, the Macon Telegraph brought in their old bound newspapers to have them recycled at a recycling facility in Macon, Georgia where my sister, Glenda, was working as the bookkeeper.


Glenda couldn’t bear to see them all destroyed so she rescued some of them, mainly the ones from years that would have meaning to family members, like our birthday years. She also save some of the newspapers that were printed during historical time periods, like those printed during WWI or WWII.

When I shared these books before, a few of you asked if I had these newspapers bound into book form. No, they were already bound this way when they were brought in to be recycled. I guess that’s the way newspaper companies saved their old copies back in the day. I’m sure it’s all done digitally now.


Today we’re taking a peek into the second book up from the bottom in the picture above. We’re headed back to 1921, specifically January-March 1921. Apparently, Warren G. Harding had just been re-elected and was planning his cabinet. I tried to crop, sharpen and make these newspaper articles as large as possible in hopes you can read parts of them if you wish.


Prohibition was still very much a thing back in 1921.


When I see articles like this one, I always wonder if the ship is still sitting on the bottom of the ocean or if was somehow retrieved. I always get the willies when I see videos or photos of sunken ships–totally creeps me out! lol


More headlines from 1921…


I thought this article was fascinating because it actually lists the population counts in both the urban and rural areas of some states back in 1921. Hugh difference in numbers today!


William DeMille is playing in a Midsummer Madness at the Capitol! Want to go? Do you recognize the names of any of the other actors? I don’t–this was way before my time.


Did you know that 500,000 people daily were beating a path to the Piggly Wiggly store? 🙂 Wish we had Piggly Wiggly stores here in Atlanta.


Silks must have been really popular back then because I kept seeing ads for silk fabric and silk clothes for women.


Should we bring back wearing hats on a daily basis?


That would be so much fun, seeing what hat our friends were wearing each day! Look at the handbags shown at the very bottom of the page! They have really changed in style and design!


Interestingly, shoes like this have had a comeback in recent years. Remember the “sock boots” that everyone was wearing on Instagram a year or twos back? I never cared for those, but they were popular for a while. Long, pointed toes on shoes have been in style again for several years, though.


The Dannenberg Company was putting down the sales! I was surprised that a spring dress was so expensive at $22.49, maybe because it was made of silk. I wonder how they cared for silk back in the day? Did they have dry cleaners back then or were they washing their silk dresses out by hand? It gets super hot in Macon so those dresses would have required washing a lot–probably after almost every wearing!


When looking through these old, old newspapers, the sales ads always fascinate me the most. I just love reading what was available to purchase, it tells you so much about the fashion of that time period.


I hope you enjoyed this brief trip back to 1921. Let me know your thoughts–would you love to go back to 1921 for just a day to shop the stores dressed in a beautiful silk taffeta dress, a pretty, flower-bedecked hat, and those seriously, toe-pinching shoes we saw in the ads?  Okay, maybe not the shoe part–we’ll skip that! 😉


Update: I just discovered Talbots is having a Flash Sale that’s 30% off + an additional 15% off. I know many of you love their clothes as much as I do. I just ordered two more pairs of corduroy pants from them recently, waiting for them to arrive. I still need jeans so I’m going to check out the sale. It looks like it applies to everything–my favorite kind of sale! You’ll find the sale here: Flash Sale, 30% Off until Midnight.

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. Amazing, Susan. Just awesome.

    And the hand bags at the end are so cool. What a treasure you have.


    • Thanks, Wendy! I’m so glad my sister saved some of these. I don’t know how they could just toss them. I guess newspaper companies can’t keep all their archive books forever.

  2. I just saw your newspaper books
    They look great as an end table

    That was the year my father was born, so it was interesting to see what his mother would have worn at that time

  3. Linda I. Palmer says

    This post is one of your most interesting yet! I’m a history buff and a genealogist so I love your old newspaper articles! Thank you very much for sharing.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Linda! The 1921 is so fragile–it scares me to even open it. Glad I could share some of the articles for this post.

  4. That was so much fun to read. I agree that the ads are the most interesting since they give a peek into daily life. But I’ll pass on traveling back to 1921; not fond of hats and would definitely not be wearing any of the footwear I saw!

  5. Sandra D in Joliet says

    Wonderful trip back in time. Thank you! I used to watch some old silent movies on AMC before they stopped showing them. I’m not sure if they ever show them now but it used to be once a week late night. I loved Rudolf Valentino in The Sheik and yes, I know, women would want to ban the movie today. I recognize Conrad Nagel in name only, the others I don’t. I loved reading the old crime stories back then like the one about Fatty Arbuckle accused of raping and killing Virginia Rappe. I read the story in a link on the Smithsonian Magazine so if you would like to know how the trial went and if he was found guilty or innocent I suggest reading it. It’s not a long read. That happened in the Summer of 1921 so you might find it somewhere in your jumbo book-LOL.

    • I’m sure a lot of the old movies would be attacked today if they newly released. I will DuckDuckGo that and look for the article…sounds like times haven’t changed very much!

  6. Wonderful look at the past!! Love the prices!! Lettuce for 10 cents!! So very interesting. Thanks for sharing, Susan.

  7. GAIL M BELL says

    I love these “Back in the Day” posts, especially the ads. Keep them coming!

  8. So interesting looking back at the price of things, especially when you think about how people then probably thought things were high. In that sense, some things never change.

  9. I had to look up messalines. That was not a word that I had ever heard. They sure did wear a lot of silk back then but of course it was before synthetic fabrics.

  10. franki Parde says

    What a find!!! This has to be SO interesting!! Just wished reading burned more calories…*sigh* franki

  11. OMGosh Susan, I just love this post and the last one on these books! Having a peek inside of these is just amazing. So interesting, I wouldn’t get anything done if I had these. I’d just sit there reading page by page. lol My cousin’s first job was a bagger at Piggly Wiggly in Conway SC. You know, when they bagged your groceries and helped load them into your car?! lol Way back in the 70’s and before. lol Thanks for this time travel to 1921, hope you keep doing these! Hugs, Brenda

  12. Tina W Reynolds says

    I love everything about this story! The old, bound papers rescued by your sister, the way you created a one-of-a-kind table and how much history and meaning is in that table! Looking at the advertisements I wished that we wore hats more often! I have my sun hats and yardwork caps and floppy hats, but I wish we wore pretty hats to church. This is something that has totally disappeared from our culture (at least in the Midwest where I live). The hats featured on the TV show “Downton Abbey” are a treat to see! But, my memory is of my mother purchasing a winter white wool pill-box hat sometime around 1961 or’62. Of course, Jacqueline Kennedy wore and popularized those hats. My mother knew how to style her hair around that hat! It was indeed special.

  13. Hi Susan, I think Glenda’s bound newspapers are a unique treasure she left for you! I believe William deMille produced the movie Midsummer Madness rather than act in it. Seeing his name reminded me of the line spoken by Norma Desmond in the movie Sunset Boulevard “I’m ready for my close up Mr. deMille.” I recognize the name Conrad Nagel but none of the others. What fun to look through the newspapers of times gone by.

    • Oh, I bet you’re right! lol I’m clueless about these old movies. I miss my sister soooo much. I have a songbird clock in my office that she gave to me one Christmas. A different bird sings out at the top of each hour. I think of her every time I hear it throughout the day.

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!