Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blast from the Past-Mode-o-Day

Here's a post of something of a past I lived through.  Does anyone remember
Mod-o-Day or Mode-o-Day stores?  I don't know if there are still any around,
maybe in California or Colorado?  When I was young, my mother took us to
another bigger town to shop in that seemed to have every store you could possibly
want, or so I thought.  This was in the 60's and 70's mind you!  This little town
now no longer has a one of these wonderful stores.  The town was booming
back then with oil production and cattle ranchers.  This was the town that
Ree lives not too far from.  Now Ree never shopped here when she was young,
she lived in a much bigger town east of this one.  With golf courses.  But actually
this little town had a very nice golf course too.  I would imagine that MM's 
mother shopped in these little stores though, just like we did.  I couldn't wait
for Saturdays to come around and we could go to shop.  There was a J.C. Penneys,
C.R. Anthony's, TG&Y, (kinda like a Target back then) Montgomery Ward, (I think
this was mostly a catalog place but it always made me think of tires!) and lastly this
wonderful new store called Mod'o'Days.  It was so cool and modern.  I was pre-teen
and finally found some clothes that fit me.  They actually had sizes like 1, 3, 5, etc.
I always had trouble finding small enough sizes.  Most clothes in J. C. Penneys were
labeled S, M, L.  I had to still shop in the children's department to find a fit.  Mod'o'Days
had the new modern styles of California.  Some things seemed a little outrageous for
Oklahoma but it was a fun store.  I found clothes that fit (size 1 back then was a little big
for me, finally they came out with 0's).  I found style!  So great.  Another wonderful
part of this trip was going to the drugstore and getting Dr. Pepper's and ice cream.
This was a time when streets were safe and life was much slower paced.  We had
the time of our lives in this small town.  I still love it.  Memories are good!


37 comments:

Sandy said...

I was in a uniform back then plus we were the JC Penney shoppers, not Macy's you understand, 'cause they were too expensive but I remember looking in the window at Mode-o-day and drooling! Thanks for the memories.

Kila said...

Good times :)

I never heard of that particular store here in Wisconsin. (We shopped via the Sears catalog!)

Shopping was quite a special occassion in those days.

kitten said...

We never had a store like that around here. Does sound a great memory. I have my spice tea recipe up.

Joy T. said...

I live in Canada so these stores aren't familiar to me but I've always lived in the country where stores are somewhat of a drive to get to. As a child I remember it being a very big deal to get ready and make the hour long drive into town to see a movie or do some shopping. You made sure and did everything in one trip that's for sure. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Wish they were still around, it is still hard to find 0's.
Margie

Pamela said...

Yes. I remember Mode-o-day. I also remember when "monkey wards" (as my dad called 'em) was the place you could get about anything.

And I remember just barely when I wore petite sizes. Sure lonesome for those days

Egghead said...

We had a Mode-o-Day in our small town also. It was about the only place to find clothes for teenagers. At one time there was a Montgomery Wards and a Sears but shortly after we moved to the area they became catalog stores only. I remember looking at all the cool clothes at Mode-o-Day with my friends....Oh the day.

Egghead said...

We had a Mode-o-Day in our small town also. It was about the only place to find clothes for teenagers. At one time there was a Montgomery Wards and a Sears but shortly after we moved to the area they became catalog stores only. I remember looking at all the cool clothes at Mode-o-Day with my friends....Oh the day.

Anonymous said...

In So. Calif. my Mother and I shopped at Mode-O-Day all the time in the late 50's and 60's. I wore their dresses to Grade 6,7,8th grade. I miss their pretty dresses.

Anonymous said...

I dreaned of Mode O Day last night and I haven't thought about those stores in eons. The Mode O Day store was a lovely store in our small town of San Fernando California. My Mom used to buy her lingerie there as it was prettier and better than Penneys, which was the only other place to shop in those days in our small town and when I was a teen she found dresses that fit me. Such wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember Mode O Day Stores. Really good memories
of my Mom and I going to a Mode
O Day in Culver City, California -
around 1956-1962 timeframe. We
would go there after she got off
of work, and we would both find
fun and pretty dresses and outfits
there. Those were the days! Many
times, I wish I could go back!

Anonymous said...

I was so surprised to find a conversation regarding Mode O' Day I actually worked for the company at their headquarters in Burbank, Ca. I was the dress, sleepwear and accessories buyer from 1988-1992 and loved it. It was a great group of people with a warm family atmosphere.
I've loved reading everyones comments.
Thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

My mother and I owned a Mode O' Day Franchise for 15 years 1967-1982. The company went under when it was bought out by another company that was in Financial Trouble (I belive it was a lumber hardware Co. I just can't remember) Our district office was in Kansa City but the main office was in Calif. Cato Stores did carry some of the brands Mode O' Day carried and they opened up in this area several years after Mode O'Day stores closed. Some of the perosonel from the KC office went to work for them.

Anonymous said...

I loved mode o day in the 1960's. They carried the prettiest tops and blouses there. I was really well dressed in high school thanks to that store.

donna said...

I just found this & laughed out loud when I read the post by someone (I know who you are) said she bought Dresses, sleepwear & accessories from 1988-1992. You replaced me as bought those same areas from 1984 until 1988 when I left to design gold jewelry.
I loved working for Mode O'Day which had become Fashion Crossroads later on. I loved going to the stores & meeting folks from around the country & discussing the type of dresses they needed for their customers.
I have old photos (from 1950's & 60's) and a newspaper ad from 1936.
I too thank you for the memories!

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Anonymous said...

Mode O"Day really brings back some fine memories.
I worked as the Los Angeles area Supervisor of 32 small franchise shops 1971-'73. I was a Sportswear buyer and stylist from '73 thru '75Mode O'Day was owned by the Gamble-Skogmo Co. during these years. I was the designer of the ever popular "Jelly Bean" tops in the '70's. Cecil, Joe, Richard, Bill, Howard, George and Paul ran the place. I moved over to Gambles Import Company in 1976 and traveled overseas buying for the entire corporation and Gambles Catalog. I left Gambles in 1979 and purchased my own Variety Store in the state of Washington.
Mode O"Day was a great family type company to work for. I'm 76 years young and 150% retired.

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I believe there may be one in Exeter, California (Central California south of Fresno).

Rosemary said...

When I was 10 my faily moved to a small town. If you wanted to shop the only place you could do it was Mode-O-Day, Cornet and Cheevers Variety. I remember those days very fondly. Thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Oxnard, California, in the 1960's and just recently traveled back there for a reunion with my childhood/high school girlfriends. We spent hours trying to remember the name of the store where we all remembered shopping. It was not until I was discussing it with my 84 year father did Mode-O-Day pop out of his mouth! He was a city fireman during those years and, without hesitation, remembered all the names of the businesses in town! Mode-O-Day was located on "A" Street, the main drag in town. My friends and I were remembering the "had to have" tweed skirts with matching cardigans at the time. Great memories! BTW, Oxnard is a beach town in southern California, located along the coast between Malibu and Santa Barbara. It was a beautiful place back then.

JoJo said...

My grandmother opened and operated a Mode-O-Day store. Very chic clothing....Lucille Ball dresses, some Jackie O types and Doris Day. Quite sophisticated. The store was in Sikeston, MO. I miss my grandmother and her store!

Anonymous said...

I remember this company well. My father "Wayne H." was the VP in Kansas City, MO. He always spoke well of the staff and store owners.
Cheers!
Scott

Luis said...

Being a boy, I never had much use for the store-other than those times when I would walk in, hand in hand with my mother-but I must have liked the old television commercial where the animated butterfly spread out to become the store's logo, while a chorus of women sang the store's name ("Mode o' dayyyyyy...), because I can remember it now as clearly as if it was yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I am 63 years old and I can remember going to the Mode O Day store in Los Angeles with my mother and grandmother in the mid and late 1950s...

Jim

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting earlier this year I went to a vintage fair show in Melbourne ,Australia where all these vintage boutqiues from around differnt areas would create little stalls of what they had to offer in vintage clothing , jewellery antiques and so on...
anyway i mannaged to pick up a really amazing little black dress thats very fitted at the waist and the skirt had kind of soft like ruffles with a little decoration on the side of the waist and the bodice high necked with short sleves ( sorry for the horrid discription my words dont do it justice haha) but the lable just happend to be Mode O'day so its really good to find out the history/background of this dress :)
From Pippa :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you spoke of God and Mode O Day stores at the same time.

Both were on my mind.

My late father used to work at a Mode O' Day store in Burbank, California. Not sure when it closed down but I think I read that the entire chain is out of business.

As you said, that was back in the 1960's.

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to our one and only Lord Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Oh I loved Mode O Day. I used to get all my clothes there back when I was a young girl and teenager back in the 1960s, and I was still buying there.

There was a Mode O Day in Vancouver, Washington, and when we moved to Hillsboro, OR after I got married, there was one there too until 1983 or so.

Starr

breadmaker said...

There was a ModeODay store in Avon Park, FL when I lived there in the early 60s. The lady who owned it did alterations and she taught me to sew well enough that I could do work for her. That has served me well all these years. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

My father was a plant manager for Mode O Day in Hastings, NE. for nearly 40 years. My Mother and I also worked there. A wonderful family company that cared for it's people unlike those of today. Quality, high end clothes that anyone could afford. Miss them but have lots of wonderful memories. Glad they were a part of my life.

Anonymous said...

Wow,I too have fond memories of that store in the town I grew up in, Grants Pass Oregon. Such a treat to go there, it was definitely the coolest place. We have been going through our Grandmothers estate and we found a Jacket/Skirt suit she had which I have posted on Ebay. Its so well made! Here is the link if you want to take a look: http://www.ebay.com/itm/311112818352?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Anonymous said...

I was the Accounting supervisor/manager from '78-'87. I was originally in charge of the company store accounting but moved up quickly to all of accounting. You all have great memories of past Mode O'Day history. This company was the last designer,manufacturer,distributor, franchiser and operator of company operated stores in America.
Funny there is a post about religion in prior postings. The connection between honest wages, clean living was due to the values of it's long time VP E.Mills Whitney who was high up in the Mormon church in So Calif.
MOD also had plants in Mason City, IA and in downtown LA, known as Better California garments(BCG).
When I started the ladies in the claims area were still using Comptometers, a noisy tall box pre-adding machine where you typed down heavy on the keys to enter data. Bought four new calculator, came in around midnight one month's end and changed them. They were searching high and low for them, even wanted to see the trunk of my car!. (They were in the post office next door's trash bins). After two three days, they were good with the change. The reason I bring this up is that they accepted change, the upper management at MOD did not want to , coming or not.
MOD was owned by Gamble-Skogmo,which was a cash rich company that basically had no future directions/visions in sight and was happy surviving. Wickes Cos., the lumber,hardware and farm equipment holding company was just the opposite. They wanted expansion, had high debt to asset ratios and found Gamble- Skogmo an easy takeover.
One night about 1am I received a call from the Controller who asked me to come into the office as there was something going on. My first thoughts were there must of been a break-in or fire, but I was soooo wrong. Waiting for me there in the office was Ming the Merciless, Sanford C. Sigaloff and his right hand man Ed Krasnoff. These guys wanted to see my general ledger books for Gamble Realty in Burbank and Gamble Mo. Realty in KC. These were for the distribution centers and had no long term debt and basically showed about a five dollar profit every month from MOD paying me the mortgage due over what I had to pay. They took the books to the Santa Monica courthouse, got the judge they'd worked with previously,Judge Lazarus filed chapter 11 and started MOD's death.
Other store brands were Fashion Crossroads, Xpressions and SARCO that was the outlet store for everything that did not sell in small towns across America.
Was my first real job. Of the names mentioned above, I remember Wayne,Cecil, Joy, Paul Horst who was President of MOD at the time, E.M. Whitney SR VP, Hal Zabilski VP Finance, Roy Jackson controller and Mr. Fun & Games Stanley Schultz VP OPs

Joe Murphy

(BTW, Roy retired and lived in Grants Pass, OR.)

Anonymous said...

do You Know If There Are Any Mode o day Stores Still in Around ? Do You Know If They Will come Back ?

Anonymous said...

The only Mode O' Day store I was ever familiar with was the one located in Saugus, CA. There's a picture of it following the 1971 Sylmar earthquake where some of the mannequins were knocked over. They looked like dead bodies. I grew up in Sylmar, which is a neighboring community to the east of San Fernando. I believe there was also a shop in the Sunland / Tujunga area.