Advertisements for Boys Clothings: E-Z Underwear (1937)

Figure 1.--An ad for EZ-Underwear provides an assessment for the full range of children's underwear offered by the company, one of the major manufacturers. The ad appeared in Good Housekeeping Magazine, 1937--presumably to appeal to mothers who were buying back-to-school clothes for their youngsters.

An ad for EZ-Underwear provides an assessment for the full range of children's underwear offered by the company, one of the major manufacturers. The ad appeared in Good Housekeeping Magazine, 1937--presumably to appeal to mothers who were buying back-to-school clothes for their youngsters.


"E-Z was a brand name and the company name. The company that made the underwear was"E-Z Mills Inc. located in Bennington, Vermont. It sold the product as brand called "E-Z waist suits" The same with Haines--both a manufacturer's name and a brand name.

Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping first appeared May 2, 1885. It was one of of several popular women's magazines established suring the 1880s and 1890s. The magazine provided information about running a home and raising children. This the modern Good Housekeeping continues today. The Good Housekeeping seal of approval was developed to assure housewives of a product's value. Letters from readers were an important facet. The early magazine, however, also included a broad range of literary offerings. Good Housekeeping was founded by journalist-businessman Clark W. Bryan in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The magazine moved to Springfield, but by 1911 the circulation was only 0.3 million. This changed when it was purchased by the William Randolph Hearst and moved to New York. The citculation was soon in the millions of copies. Many well known writers have contributed to Good Housekeeping, including Somerset Maugham, Edwin Markham, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frances Parkinson Keyes, and Evelyn Waugh. Following the death of President Calvin Coolidge his widow, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, memorialized him in its pages. In an efforts to stay close to its audience, Good Housekeeping accepts articles by ordinary readers who are not professional writers. No one individual is more associated with Good Housekeeping than famed American children's illustrator Jesie Wilcox Smith. Over two decades, Good Housekeeping brought her work into millions of Americans homes every month (1917-33). In all she did more than 200 covers for the magazine.

E-Z Underwear Line

The heading reads, "E-Z Underwear--Home tested for the child's comfort and the mother's convenience." Five different styles of underwear are illustrated.

(1) Boys' sleeveless cotton knitted undershirt (sometimes called a "singlet") worn with knitted shorts that button in front. "Athletic shirts and shorts of good warm knitted fabric for boys."

(2) "Waist [suits] and union suits in a variety of fabrics and styles. Elastic and drop seats." The boy in the illustration is wearing a short-sleeved, thigh-length union suit which is apparently untaped (i.e., lacking the special features of a waist suit). But this category also includes "waist union suits" for children (both boys and girls) with the same variety of sleeve and leg lengths. Long-sleeve and ankle-length choices are also available although not shown. The waist union suits have reinforcing tapes over the shoulders, waist buttons at the sides for buttoning on shorts or skirts, and garter tabs for the attachment of pin-on hose supporters. Notice that the necessary back opening is available in two forms--either an elasticized back which can be opened simply by stretching or a drop seat closed at the back by three buttons.

(3) "First class suits, panties and active garments in snag-resisting fabrics. Comfortable and warm. All Cotton and 12 1/4 wool." These garments are two-piece underwear for girls. It isn't clear if the top and bottom attach to each by buttons. These are knitted garments obviously.

(4) "Infants' pantywaists, shirts, double-front vests, bands and panties." Shown here are only the shirts and the panties that button to them. This underwear is for very young children (both boys and girls), probably no older than six. The undershirt shows reinforcement straps to take the added strain of buttoned-on panties. It is not clear whether garter tabs are also provided, but they probably are. The pantywaists, bands, and vests are not illustrated.

(5)"Waist suits and misses' suits in fabrics for every climate. Short sleeve, trunk or ankle length. Elastic back or drop seat." These suits come with buttons at the waist for the attachment of short pants or skirts and have garter tabs for pin-on hose supporters. These suits are for both boys and girls up until the age of about 13 and in larger sizes for older teen-age girls only.

The general commentary underneath reads: "When you mothers are buying underwear for the children, you will find that E-Z garments have all the features that you are most particular about. The buttons, securely taped where the wear comes, are large enough for the little fingers to handle. E-Z elastic back suits are a boon to mother and the children; they encourage the little ones to help themselves. The genuine Lastex is good for the life of the garment. The soft cotton fabrics, firmly knitted to stand repeated washings, are the choice of mothers and child specialists, particularly for children who spend so much time in warm (and often overheated) rooms at home and in school. E-Z garments fit snugly for warmth, but they are generously cut for freedom of movement. The armhoes, crotch and seat are amply sized for comfort. Flat seams do away with irritation, and are strongly reinforced to prevent ripping. E-Z garments have all been designed on real children and tested in actual homes for comfort, wear and style. Whether you are buying for the baby in the nursery or the older ones at school, it will pay you to look for the E-Z label, known to three generations of mothers. Most E-Z garments are priced from 30 c. to $1.00. We will gladly send you our illustrated catalog on request. E-Z Mills, Inc. 37 Worth St., New York."


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Created: 3:23 AM 10/5/2004
Last updated: 3:23 AM 10/5/2004