Easter Parade

An advertisement for Foster’s Bargains’ Easter Sale from the April 6, 1917 issue of the Perth Amboy Evening News.

A Day to Debut Your Best New Spring Fashions

Spring is here. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and the orchestra of lawn maintenance machinery is now an integral part of our morning wake up routines as scenes of winter fade from collective memory.

With a new spring comes the return of vibrant colors to plants budding after a long winter slumber. This same transformation is also reflected in spring fashion. Out with the neutral colored, warm, heavy winter clothing, and in with a new lighter and brighter wardrobe to welcome fair weather and rebirth of Spring!

And what would be a better day than Easter Sunday to show off your fresh, colorful, new clothes? In particular, a great event to show off your new threads would be on the fashion runway of an Easter Parade.

One Easter during the 1870s, an impromptu parade occurred down New York’s famous Fifth Avenue. Socialites from the area attended Easter mass at one of the nearby churches and subsequently paraded down the street after donning their fabulous new dresses and shoes. This parade grew larger with each year and subsequently became a nationally known event where onlookers waited in anticipation to see the new latest fashion trends

Due to the proliferation and ubiquity of Easter fashion in American culture through events such as the New York Easter Parade, no matter how you celebrate the season, debuting one’s best new spring attire on the holiday has become part of our culture. 

Below we have curated a small collection of Easter fashion advertisements from a few of the historical New Jersey newspaper titles available on Chronicling America. As you will see, retailers seized the Easter holiday as an opportunity to sell the latest spring trends to their customers. As the Regal Shoe Store would have you know, “Easter calls for the newest and smartest in attire.”

An advertisement for Regal Shoes in the March 26, 1915 issue of the Perth Amboy Evening News.
An advertisement for The P&Q Shop from the April 1, 1920 edition of the Perth Amboy Evening News.
A full page advertisement for Globe from the March 24, 1916 issue of the Perth Amboy Evening News
A full page advertisement by Hilton Clothes from the April 3, 1914 issue of the Perth Amboy Evening News. “To Win First Honor at Easter Parade, ” shop at Hilton Clothes.
A picture from the annual New York Easter Parade published in the April 11, 1901 issue of the Bridgeton Pioneer.
A picture from the New York Easter Parade published on the cover of the April 9, 1912 issue of the Perth Amboy Evening News.

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(Contributed by Giovanna Ligato-Pugliese and Jacob Paul)

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