A Season for Sweater Guards | December 4th, 2015

Being born into this world at the tail end of the 1960s, there were several amazing fashion trends on which I, unfortunately, missed out. If only they could make a comeback sometime during my lifetime!

One of these trends included the many different types of clips manufactured during the 1950s. Some were sold in pairs that clipped onto shoes called shoe clips. Others were a bit fancier, used to dress up a plain day dress and were called dress clips. There were also fur clips as well as scarf clips.

But my favorite of all is the sweater clip, also known as the sweater guard. I just love the way it accessorizes a sweater and has an important function at the same time.

The first time I discovered the sweater guard was at a quaint little antique shop in the Hill Country in Hico, Texas called Sugar Moon Antiques.

The stones were a cheerful, bright pink, accented with gold metal. It was like nothing else I had seen before, so I made my purchase and set out to discover what I could about the history of the sweater guard.

Sweater guards were very popular during the 1950s era. It was quite fashionable for women to wear their sweaters loosely over their shoulders at that time. The sweater guard, clipped to each side of the sweater, held it in place. They were also used on lightweight jackets or capes to keep them from slipping off of the shoulders. It was both functional and in vogue.

The clips were usually alligator style like what is used on a tie clip:

It was also common to find pins on the back of each piece to attach the sweater guard:

They came in many designs and were made with a variety of materials. The chain that connected the two pieces of the sweater guard were many different styles and lengths.

Here is a vintage sweater guard I repurposed into two adjustable rings:


Although I have never seen anyone accessorize their outfit with a sweater guard, I would love to see it come back in style someday. Perhaps I will just have to be one of the first to bring this clever fashion trend back for another season!

Kimberly Moore is a vintage costume jewelry expert, blogger, speaker, and author of Beauty in a Life Repurposed. To learn more, visit her website at kingdomsparkle.com

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