Category Archives: Hats

Ladies’ Hats, 1960

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Filed under 1960, Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Hats, Montgomery Ward, Vintage catalogs

Jane Austen Era Hats and Bonnets


“The cartoonist’s view of a lady’s hat shop. Jane and her sister Cassandra spent much time shopping and keeping in touch with changes in fashion, and Jane’s letters record many shopping excursions.”


“Silk drawn or poke bonnet, ca. 1815 – 1840
Bonnets like this one were stylish up to 1840, although the brim’s shape varid somewhat. This bonnet measurs 13″ from back to front; the brim measures 8″ from the crown to it’s edge. $600 – 1,000.00”


“London head-dresses of around 1800. There is much talk of hats in Jane Austen’s letters. Top cenre in this illustration is the ‘Marmeluke cap’ which became fashionable after Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile. Jane Austen’s letters tell us that she wore such a cap at Lord Portsmouth’s Ball. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.”

Ackerman's Repository fashion plate, 1818

Cartoonist’s drawing of a hat shop and the sketch of London headresses are from “Jane Austen” by Brian Wilks, 1978.

All other photos in this post are from “Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770 – 1970” by Susan Langley, 1998.

Related posts:
Jane Austen Era Straw Bonnets
Annotated Progression of Ladies Fashion, 1785 – 1820

Fashion Contrasts: 1770 and 1815
Annotated Jane Austen

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Filed under 1800s, Books, England, Fashion, Femininity, Hats, History, Jane Austen

Jane Austen Era Straw Bonnets

Fashion plate from Le Bon Genre, No. 28, "Atelier de Modistes"


“This charming plate depicts a milliner’s studio, ca. 1807, showing many fashionable hat styles. Note the straw poke bonnet on the girl in the pink gown, and lingerie cap on the girl to her right. A poke bonnet and a round straw bonnet rest on hatstands in the background. The girl on the extreme right is fashioning a turban on a wonderful milliner’s head; she wears a wonderful gold ornament in her hat. A wonderful “skimmer” is on the floor beside her chair.”

Wikipedia defines a Poke Bonnet as “a women’s bonnet (hat) in the shape of a hood, featuring a projecting rim on the front side, which would shade the face of the wearer.

The poke bonnet came into fashion at the beginning of the 19th century. It is called a poke bonnet because all of one’s hair could be poked inside it.”

Early 19th century Leghorn straw poke bonnet


Trim on this hat is turquoise silk ribbon. “The original lining is intact. Due to their large size and fragility, they were difficult to store so few survive. Dimensions 11″ end to brim horizontally, 9″ across the eyes, and 6 1/2″ brim edge to crown join. $800.00 – 1,200.”

…”straw poke bonnet of intricately woven bands of braided straw in an openwork design, similar to fashion plate No. 42 (above left). This hat retains its original silk lining and is trimmed with two sheer silk ribbons (original?). Dimensions 12″ back to front horizontally, 8″ width across the eyes, and approximately 11″ vertically from top to chin. There are several breaks in the straw edge. $400.00 – 800.00.”

Above left is wallpaper box (circa 1820). Value: $800.00 – 1,200.00.”

Now, that’s a great box (and I love old boxes), but twice the value of the hat??

Split straw bonnet, circa 1810.


This rare bonnet has “overlapping layers of straw, the fancy openwork, and long, slightly angled crown. The ribbons present are probably not original. The hand-stitching is clearly visible in the close-up. This bonnet came from Massachusetts. Dimensions: 14″ horizontally (side back to side front), approximately 8″ wide across the eyes, and 9” from top front to chin. $1,000 – 2,000.

The Kyoto Costume Institute’s wonderful book, Revolution in Fashion 1715 – 1815, pictures on page 99 a hat very similar to this one. It also resembles an early nineteenth century straw bonnet at the Rhode Island Historical Society, made by the famous Betsy Metcalf. In 1798, Betsy, at the age twelve, made what is believed to be the first documented American straw bonnet. She the ‘learned all who care to make bonnets,’ launching the American straw hatmaking industry.”

All photos and quotes in this post are from “Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970” by Susan Langley. These prices are only a guide and were set in 1998 when it was first published.

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Filed under 1800s, America, Antiques/Vintage, Books, Crafts, England, Fashion, Femininity, Hats, History, Jane Austen, Made in the U.S.A.

Annotated Progression of Ladies Fashion, 1785 – 1820

Having just read Persuasion by Jane Austen, I’m particularly interested in the details of that era. Today at the library I was able to check out several non-fiction books about her and early 19th century historical details.

However, this post features selections from my own copy of John Peacock’s broad treatise on fashion history.

These illustrations only roughly represent her years. She lived from 1775 to 1817; the pictures are for fashions from 1785 to 1820. Since Miss Austen completed the rough draft of Persuasion in 1817, her stylish characters would’ve worn dresses from the last sketch below.

(Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.)

Also, please note that they are intended to show the progression and details of fashion development. I think it helps to see how styles can sometimes ease from one to another. Other times they change radically.

1785 - 1798

1798 - 1800

1800 - 1811

Regency 1811 - 1820

Sketches are from John Peacock’s book: Costume 1066 – 1966, A Complete Guide to English Costume Design and History (copyrighted 1986). Mr. Peacock was the senior costume designer for BBC Television when the book was printed.

The calligraphy is by Rachel Yallop.

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Filed under 1700s, 1800s, Books, Clothing, Dresses (Including Formals), England, Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Hairstyles, Hats, History, Jane Austen, Shoes

Fashion Contrasts: 1770 and 1815

DK Costume Book by Rowland-Warne

Vintage Hats & Bonnets by Langley

Apparently it’s not a particularly modern practice for fashion designers to make yesterday’s clothing look dated and outmoded.

Even though the time gap (from the 1770s – 1815) shown here spans 45 years, the changes were huge. It’s doubtful that many women would be wearing the same apparel for all those years (despite the superior quality of fabric then as opposed to now), but it is possible that women who wore the 18th century styles when they were young may not have wanted to change with the times and would have looked extremely outdated even to a casual observer.

Albeit that we are discussing clothing, a comment about hair styles comes to mind. I read once that a hairdresser said he could tell within 5 years when a woman graduated from high school by her hair and makeup – no matter her age.

The difference in hair styles between 1770 and 1815 were at least as striking as the change in clothing: from massive powdered wigs to ringlets and close to the head buns.

Windsor_Guildhall_corn_market

Windsor Guildhall
The DK Costume book by L. Rowland-Warne was one that I bought in 1999 in Windsor. Every Sunday morning vendors were set up under the portico at the front of the Guild Hall – built around 1687 under the direction of Sir Thomas Fitz then Sir Christopher Wren. There were a couple of book sellers and I was able to get this costume book from one and a vintage Penguin Agatha Christie novel from another.

Vintage Hats & Bonnets by Susan Langley was bought on a trip to Massachusetts a few years ago. While Joe attended a class for his job, I drove over to Lowell and had an absolutely marvelous time at a hat exhibit at the American Textile Museum. Well worth the time if you’re ever in the area.

Fashion Museum, Bath


V & A


The V&A was the museum which Mr. Thackeray’s (Sidney Poitier) class went to for their field trip in To Sir, With Love. Remember the girls in their mini-skirts looking at the wide-skirted dresses?


At the Museum of Costume in Bath (in 2007 the name was changed to Fashion Museum) and then at the Fashion exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum, we saw the false hips that women wore under their dresses to make their hips so broad.

No, I can’t imagine it either.

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Filed under 1700s, 1800s, Antiques/Vintage, Clothing, Dresses (Including Formals), Ephemera, Events & Museums, Fashion, Femininity, Hairstyles, Hats, History, Jane Austen, Jane Austen, Shoes

1965 Junior Fashions

These are Gidget (the Sally Field television show) era fashions. Chambray and madras were hugely popular fashion fabrics. Also, this was the beginning of both the dropped/belted waist dress and empire waist. Very cool.


Colleen Corby and unknown model wearing outfits by Patty Woodard. Overtop about *$12. Pants about $9. Babushka (kerchief) about $3. Shift about $17.


Andrea Allred modeling the low belted cotton knit dress by Lansford Jr. Petites. About *$18. Echo scarf, Van Eli shoes. Stockings by Archer.


Susan Henning modeling the wool twill coat costume by Hallie Jr. About *$50. Adolfo Realites hat, bag by Lefcort, gloves by Wear-Right. Wools loomed in America.


Nanette Vest wearing a cotton chambray and madras trimmed outfit by Ladybug. Dress about *$18. Madras hat about $5. Sandor bangle, shoes by Bandolinos, stockings by Hanes.


Blue or red bleeding madras with gathered yoke, back zipper, lined, *$9.95. Blue, pink or yellow striped shift with white and ruffled, $8.50.

*Prices are about 5x what they were in 1965.

All photos are from the January 1965 edition of Seventeen magazine.

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Filed under 1960's, 1965, Clothing, Fashion, Femininity, Gloves, Hats, Jewelry, Shoes, Vintage Advertisements, Vintage Magazines

Mod Fashions, 1967

(My apologies for the quality of these photos. I can’t scan them in because the old Seventeen magazines were oversized and the whole page won’t fit on my scanner. Photographing them is not easy because of glare. I’ll try to do these over and substitute better ones at a later time.)

McCall's pattern# 8614, model Candy Slater

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Filed under 1960's, 1967, Boots, Clothing, Fashion, Hats, Vintage Advertisements, Vintage Magazines

The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947 – 1957, Part III

Balenciaga Evening Gown - 1950

Designer: Cristobal Balenciaga
Model: Dovima
Photographer: Richard Avedon
Published: Harper’s Bazaar (British edition), December 1950

Balenciaga Coat - 1950

Designer: Cristobal Balenciaga
Model: Lisa Fonssagrives
Photographer: Irving Penn
Published: Vogue (French edition), 1950

Balenciaga Dress with Scarves- 1951

Designer: Cristobal Balenciaga
Fabric: Satin and Chiffon

Balenciaga Wool Suit - 1954

Designer: Cristobal Balenciaga
Fabric: Wool Tweed
Model: Yvonne
Published: Vogue (French edition), September 1954
Cost: Approximately 110,000 francs

Balenciaga Suit - 1948

Designer – Cristobal Balenciaga
Model: Elise Daniels
Photographer: Richard Avedon
Published: Harper’s Bazaar (American edition), October 1948
(I cropped this photo because the model is surrounded by street performers; it is a wierd and unpleasant photo, but a beautiful suit. Avedon was a talented artist, but this was just too bizarre.)

All photographs and information are from the book “The Golden Age of Couture Paris & London:1947-1957”, edited by Claire Wilcox, for the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibit.

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Filed under 1948, 1950, 1950s, 1951, 1954, Books, Clothing, Fashion, Hats, Vintage Magazines

Nurses’ Uniforms, Hats & Shoes, 1960

When someone says “nurse”, this is still what comes to mind:

Sears Fall Winter 1960 catalog

Sears Fall Winter 1960 catalog

When did they stop using the traditional, identifiable uniform? It was sometime during my adulthood, but I didn’t notice at the time. All of a sudden I realized that I couldn’t tell the doctor from the orderlies, or the R.N.s from housekeeping.

In fact, when I went in for one of the tests before surgery, there was a whole group of people in scrubs in my … well, it’s not really a room; it’s a curtained off part of the pre-surgery room. Anyway, I was talking to a woman who I thought was a nurse, but in fact, she was the radiologist M.D. who was going to do the procedure. We’d never met before and she didn’t introduce herself, and I’m too embarrassed to stare at the name tags. I must have said something about wondering when the doctor was going to get there because all of a sudden everyone was kind of shuffling their feet and Joe said “She’s the doctor.”

Oops.

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Filed under 1960, 1960's, Fashion, Hats

1968 Sears Spring/Summer Fashions


My dad would never have understood my love for old catalogs. Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs arrived in our mailbox 3 times a year: Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter and the Christmas catalog with toys, decorations and gifts.

When the new one came, the old one went. Well, I’m just thankful that other families kept theirs, because where would I get one if they weren’t on ebay? I’ve bought very few at antique malls. They’re rarer than hen’s teeth.

Today I’ll post some ladies fashions. Hopefully I can get to the teen fashions, shoes and furnishings later.


Some women still wore hats and gloves to church.


There weren’t any formal fashions for juniors in this catalog. The girls in my 8th grade graduation class wore dresses similar to these.


I loved tent dresses. My mother made one for me in 1967 out of blue lace fabric and I had blue shoes to match. I wore it when we went to Washington, D.C. that summer. At that time, the stairs in the Washington Monument were still open to the public. My brother-in-law and I climbed them clear to the top. The only thing I remember about it was how tired I got and that I took my dress shoes off about half-way up and that we took the elevator down. I don’t even remember the view.

It’s amazing to think that I went up in something of that height. Now I don’t even like going up in tall buildings and certainly didn’t go to the top of the Empire State Building when we were in New York City.


The striped dress in the above photo is similar to one that I had. Instead of blue and green stripes, mine was orange and blue. And something else about those horizontal stripes: when I was 14, there wasn’t an ounce of fat on me and I could pull it off wearing horizontal stripes. I would never do that now.

These models are holding gloves but that seems out of place, because this type of dress is what my mother called a house dress. She wore them daily at home and for short trips to the grocery store or dime store. If we were going to Sears or church or a luncheon, she’d dress up a bit more. I never saw her wear slacks until after I was married. We have photos of her wearing slacks when she lived in California in the late 1930s and 40s, but at some point she went back to wearing only dresses. Possibly because she had put on a bit of weight. I don’t really know because she never talked about it.

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Filed under 1960's, Ephemera, Family, Fashion, Hats, Vintage catalogs