This thread was originally written and published in January 2022. It has been lightly edited and corrected as applicable for this post.
The following is taken from a wartime guide to Edinburgh, published by the Citizens Advice Bureau in 1940-41.
FASHIONS FOR THE OLDER WOMAN.
To-day, when a woman finds she must forsake the styles of youth to select fashions that have dignity as their key-note, she will find in her quest for appropriate clothes that here requirements are happily anticipated at Darling’s.
There are Gowns, Coats and Accessories for her specially, in which elegance and comfort are well allied to a wise economy. DARLING’S “ALL FOR THE LADIES” PRINCES STREET, EDINBURGH.
Sir William Young Darling CBE FRSE LLD MC (1885-1962) joined the family drapery business in 1922, which was located at 124-5 Princes Street, where the New Look store now is and advanced to become its Director. He was a member of the Corporation of the City of Edinburgh from 1933, made city treasurer from 1947-40 and was Lord Provost from 1941-44, for which he was awarded the customary knighthood. During wartime he was the Chief Air Raid Warden for the city from 1939-41, a period when it saw sporadic and occasionally fatal aerial attacks. Post war he was the Unionist Party (predecessor to today’s Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party) Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South from 1945-57. He was the great uncle of Edinburgh Central (later Southwest) Labour MP, Baron Darling of Roulanish.
A 1932 advert for the company in The Scotsman declared that their sale offerings include: Hats of Every Description, Travel Coats and Costumes, Model Afternoon and Evening Gowns, Washing Dresses, Kintwear, Blouses, Stockings, Gloves and Shoes, Lingerie and Corsets, Furs, Including Model Fur Coats, Silks, Cloths, and Tweeds.
Darling was a bit of an author; during his wartime service during the Irish War of Independence (1920-22) he was joint editor of an army newspaper called Weekly Summary. He published 5 anonymous novels in the 1930s, after which he behind to use his own name. He published a book to celebrate the centenary of the family business in 1949, “Princes Street Parade. A Century of Fashion“. I have found a few pages online from auction sales of what now seems to be a collectors item:
* – I assume women didn’t have figures before 1871?
** – Before 1927, women had wheels instead of legs and had to be moved around by men?
If you have found this useful, informative or amusing and would like to help contribute towards the running costs of this site (including keeping it ad-free) or to the book-buying budget, why not consider supporting me on ko-fi.
These threads © 2017-2023, Andy Arthur