I have been building research notes for years about companies that produced off-the-rack clothes but aren’t well known or have little written about them, so I am starting a new category today to transcribe some of the information I have gathered. Off-the-rack’s first posting will be the Adelaar Blouse Company, a firm that produced primarily women’s tailored blouses but also created separates and occasionally dresses and lightweight suits.
Brothers Emil, Maurice, and Bernard Adelaar founded their blouse-making company (formally known as Adelaar Brothers Inc.) in 1934 in Chicago but transplanted to New York in 1945 where it was easier to find jobbers (subcontractor manufacturers.) The blouses were designed by Maurice but tailored by different jobbers using the patterns, materials and notions supplied by Adelaar. The company was at its height of production from the late 1940s to late 1960s when women’s tailored blouses were popular. Foreign competition, rising U.S. labour costs, and changing tastes in fashion in the 1970s lead to the company’s slow demise. The company closed in 1986.