Then in 1872, the two opened their first store at 938 Third Avenue in New York City, and moved in 1886 to their location on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Here is their entire Summer 1890 catalog so you can see what people wanted to buy back in those early days!
It’s pretty tough not to imagine how uncomfortable those “summer” dresses would be, with their high collars, voluminous floor-length skirts, and long sleeves (and don’t forge the requisite corsets and hats).
Bloomingdale Bros. Illustrated Fashion Catalog (Summer 1890)
Vintage Bloomingdale’s for the summer of 1890
For the Summer of 1890 we are prepared with abundant stocks, and a most perfect mechanical and clerical equipment. We have spared neither cost nor effort in our determination to make each of our departments the best and most complete of its kind in existence.
Represented, as we are, in all the leading markets of the world, purchasing always at first hands, and in enormous quantities, we are enabled to lay before our patrons unequaled assortments from which to select; while in the matter of prices there is nothing but import duties and one small profit between our customers and the European manufacturers.
In soliciting your custom, therefore, we feel that we are able to offer you superior inducements—reliable merchandise at lowest prices and service that is not excelled in any merchandising establishment in America.
The great popular demand for our SPRING AND SUMMER FASHION CATALOGUE having exhausted an edition of more than 80,000 copies, has made necessary the publication of this Summer Number. Owing to its limited size and the haste of preparation, this book contains only a very partial list of the goods that will be kept in stock during the coming three months.
Dresses for ladies: Visiting costumes, mountain dresses, English riding habit & more
Ready-made wash suits: Stylish clothing for women from 1890
Very old-fashioned ladies’ blazers, capes, blouses and jerseys
Wraps, gossamer, dusters, etc. (with bustles!)
Waists, wrappers, skirts, house dresses, tea gowns and sacques
Children’s suits, dresses and cloaks – for girls
Ladies’ trimmed hats for the summertime
Infants’ and children’s caps and ladies’ shapes (hats)
Hats and hat decorations – wreaths & flower sprays
Lace by the yard – Chantilly, point de Gene, Vandyke, flouncing
Bloomingdale Bro’s building: 918 Third Avenue, New York