In my occasional series on clothing of 1939, I am showing some items that surprise me at their modernity. See Can you name the vintages? for the work of some designers that seems astonishingly new today. The shoes and shoe prototypes of Steven Arpad came first.

Next, a strikingly simple long red cotton coat. It was designed by Claire McCardell in 1939-40 and meant to pair with this plaid silk dress.

I love Claire McCardell and counted the reasons why in a previous blog (Claire McCardell, always new). Here are some more of her 1939 items found in the Metropolitan Museum Collection Database.

Wool dress and coat by McCardell for Townley Frocks

Evening dress of silk and wool by McCardell for Townley Frocks

Wool evening dress by McCardell 1939-40

Silk evening dress by McCardell for Hattie Carnegie, 1939

These rayon lounging pajamas are McCardell's work too, dated 1938.

If you want to see the work of McCardell housed at the Metropolitan Museum, visit their collection database. No matter what year you search, McCardell seems modern.