Ahh, to have been a Lady Who Lunched in Indianapolis in the 1930’s, 40’s or 50’s.
Would you have opted for “That Ayres Look” or …well, what would you have been called if you preferred Block’s? A Block Babe? Nah, too recent and colloquial. Building Blocks of Beauty? No, again, not quite right. Ok, so I have no future in advertising. What I do hold in my future is more suits of this era. Vintage suits (as well as dresses and other garments) are well constructed, of high quality materials and the ultimate in showcasing female pulchritude. The suits of today look so sad next to those of the World War II era, in particular.
I vote for bringing back quality attire and formal ladies ‘tea rooms’ of yesteryear. Who else is with me? Leave cheap frumpyville behind forevermore–life is too short!
And by the by, while the majority wax poetical about the L.S. Ayres Tea Room, I may be a convert, based on the fabulous recent article in Indianapolis Monthly, showcasing the William H. Block building (100 year anniversary this month). The October 2011 issue features the decorous tea room of that notable department store. I can certainly imagine spending some quality time there.
Deepest thanks again to Thomas Brown for sharing his collection of local vintage advertising with us!
I frequented Block’s a lot more often than Ayres (I was a window-shopping, record-buying teenager) as Block’s was right across the street from the old Traction Terminal bus station – which was my only mode of transportation!
BTW – did you know that the Ayers Tea Room has been recreated at the Indiana State Museum and that it serves many of the dishes that Ayers actually did?
My birthday is in August. When I was very young, my mom & I would take the bus to the L.S. Ayers store downtown to buy new school clothes for my birthday. I think we ate at the tea room once, too. This was a VERY BIG deal for me!
I grew up shopping at Blocks – always Blocks – and even worked at the Washington Square Store when it opened in 1974. With the demise of Blocks, I was happy to become an Ayres customer and continued to shop them until there was no more Ayres. I appreciated that they stayed at Washington Square and Glendale, when Lazarus did not show confidence in all parts of town. I almost always shop at the Macys store at Glendale, why? So that I can pretend that I am still shopping at Ayres! Let us not forget Wassons, truth be told, it was probably my favorite.
Beautiful suits! I completely agree that vintage suits beat modern every day. In Louisville, I see these labels every once in a while – the stores must have been marvelous.
Great post. To see Indy Monthly’s photo album about the Block building turning 100 years old, see the link below, including extra shots not shown in the October print issue: