Tag Archives: 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.


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

Early 1930s Hats

“Typically French”, 1930 McCall’s Quarterly

“A New Slant on Hats”, Harper’s Bazaar, December 1931

Vogue, March 1932

* “Artist Dynevor Rhys’ version of the quintessential 1930s slouch hat decorates this magazine cover. The ‘slouch’, was created by milliner John Frederics, working with famed Hollywood designer Gilbert Adrian, to design Greta Garbo’s ensembles for “A Woman of Affairs”. The slouch hat was pictured in countless ’30s movies, and copies were worn by stylish women everywhere. The 1934 Sears catalog’s version was only 88 cents! Sears proclaimed their price ‘…leaves not excuse for wearing last year’s style’. ”

*All photos and caption information from this post are taken from the book “Vintage Hats and Bonnets 1770 – 1970” by Susan Langley (1998)

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Filed under 1930s, Ephemera, Fashion, Hats

1965 Hats, Shoes, Purses, & Gloves

Here are more photographs from the 1965 Montgomery Ward Fall/Winter catalog.

Gorgeous, but I couldn’t walk in them.  It took a lot of poise. Girls actually practiced back then.

Heels a bit lower, but these are still beautiful shoes.

This is not a great photo, but it was the only page with jewelry.  I thought it might help someone date their mother’s jewelry or something they find at the antique mall.

My mother wore kid gloves like these.  Very elegant.

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

Hats, Old and New

On New Year’s Eve, Joe and I shopped for a bit in Lone Star Antique Mall and I decided to focus my picture taking on hats.

After writing the post at the end of December about Hats and Tea Parties, I was still in a hat mood.

Isn’t it charming? This little number reminds me of one that Lucy might’ve worn; maybe with that navy blue dotted suit of hers.

Didn’t care for the sign this one was sitting on, because I thought it was pretty, and not silly at all. However, since the booth owner didn’t ask me to redecorate, I left it alone.

With little organza flowers covering it, this one reminds me of ones that ladies wore to Sheridan Road Baptist Church in Tulsa in the early 1960’s.

Although most of them were vintage, one booth featured new hats.

Some of them were quite lovely.

How perfect for a wedding or a Sunday morning church service in the spring. It needs a white linen suit and a turquoise rhinestone brooch on the shoulder.


Filed under 1950s, 1960's, Fashion, Hats, Local Shopping, Shopping, Texas

Hats and Tea Parties

The most enjoyable parties I’ve ever attended have been tea parties.

Two at the top of the list come to my mind this morning because they were at this time of year. I’ll share one now and later on another one.

The actual photos from the party are put away somewhere, so we’ll have to make do with illustrations from books and magazines and our imaginations.

In 1995 we were attending Bear Creek Bible Church in Keller. A very kind young woman (who had been our younger son’s 4th grade English teacher) and I were talking at church one day about the holiday let down and we decided to plan an evening tea as something special for the ladies to look forward to during that in-between time of Christmas and New Year’s.

She offered her home and it was a perfect setting for such a party, very Victoria Magazine-like. We carefully planned the menu with traditional English tea time crumpets (which I made from scratch), cakes, fruit, 2 kinds of tea and imported Devonshire cream (bought at The British Emporium in Grapevine).

All the ladies of the church were invited and encouraged to bring their mothers and daughters of all ages (the youngest was less than a year old). We requested that the each bring a favorite teacup and saucer and be prepared to tell us all where and when they acquired it.

And we asked that they all wear hats. Surprisingly enough in this modern age, they all did.

Paula – one of the nicest members of the church – brought her mother, who was an English war bride. She presented us with a short program about the history of the candy cane and contributed authentic British homemade fruit tarts to our tea table.

Books by Miss Read seemed to fit in with the program, so I did a short book talk on those novels. Classical music from the stereo played quietly in the background.

Gleaming silver, candles and flowers, lace tablecloths, books, old ladies in hats, china tea cups and Mozart – how could a party be better?

We were dressed up, drinking tea and using our best manners. It was a lovely time.

Townsend's Monthy magazine (?), 1830, Plate 562

Caption below illustration:
“This plate depicts the wonderful high bonnets and lace caps of the early 1830s. Note the lingerie cap, which used to be worn underneath the hat or bonnet, has been replace by tulle ruffles, flowers, and other interior bonnet trim in several bonnets pictured.”

Photo sources for this post are from:

The Hat Book, Juiet Bawden
The Charms of Tea, Victoria
Southern Lady Magazine, Winter 2001
Southern Lady Magazine, Winter 2003
Vintage Hats & Bonnets, 1770-1970, Susan Langley


Filed under Books, Cozy, Fashion, Fun, Hats, Local Shopping, Shopping, Tea

Mrs. Miniver Era Hats

Henry Travers, Greer Garson

Henry Travers, Greer Garson

In the opening scenes of the movie, Mrs. Miniver is about to board a London bus. She hesitates, ponders, then boards.  But she can’t get something out of her mind. She asks the conductor to stop the bus, and rushes into a shop and claims the prize for her own. It’s a hat. The corresponding scene in the book concerns an engagement book. Jan Struther describes it charmingly, but a date book just doesn’t carry the same weight as a new hat. The one she’s already wearing is beautiful, in fact the prettiest hat among those on the crowded streets. Clearly, this is a woman of taste and style.

Vogue Magazine, July 1944

Vogue Magazine, July 1944

Hats were an important part of any woman’s wardrobe.  They finished the look and were an expression of her personality. Sophisticated, wholesome, alluring, sensible, old fashioned or modern.  Along with the shoes, gloves and jewelry, they polished the appearance.

Although I love hats, most of the ones from the 1940s look silly to me.  There’s a blog review of Mrs. Miniver, in which I agree with the writer about everything, except her hats. She thought Garson’s hats were silly. I think they were fairly stunning.

Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday

Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday

For an example of a really silly hat, how about the one Rosalind Russell wore in His Girl Friday?

So, it’s all a matter of personal preferences, which was one of the creative aspects of dress. As women, we still present ourselves to the world, but much differently. I love pretty clothes, but I dress very casually. It’s seriously doubtful that the Apostle Paul was talking about clothing when he said “…for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Romans 7:15. He was writing about spiritual matters. I’m just using it to illustrate how we humans are inconsistent.

Vogue Feb 15, 1940
On the occasions when I dress up, I feel dressed up. My behavior changes, becomes more ladylike. My mother used to say that with the advent of casual clothing, came casual behavior. She did not mean this in a good way, and I agree with her. Our society has not improved in most ways. Thinking that most things don’t really matter has resulted in the loss of the many of the really important things in modern American life. This, I see is a result of the very casual 1960s.

Back to early 1940’s hats. Here are a few more:

February 1940 Home Arts

February 1940 Home Arts

February 1940 Home Arts

February 1940 Home Arts

Vogue Magazine, January 1945

Vogue Magazine, January 1945


Filed under 1940s, Fashion, Hats

1893 Fashions

1893 Evening Gown, designed by Charles Frederick Worth

1893 Evening Gown, designed by Charles Frederick Worth

Today I wanted to show some of the popular fashions in 1893.

This hat was documented to have been worn to the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago by Janet dePrie(?)

This hat was documented to have been worn to the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago by Janet dePrie(?)

Hat very similar to the green straw one, shown at top of page.

Hat very similar to the green straw one, above.

Photographer: Crane Arto, Waterbury, Connecticutt

Lillian Russell, circa 1893

Lillian Russell, circa 1893

Lillian Russell performed at the fair. This photo was taken by the “Newsboy” studio, New York. Notice the large vertical pom poms on her hat.

1893 Fashions

1893 Fashions

1893 Fashions

1893 Fashions

Victorian Fashions 1893

Victorian Fashions 1893

The photographs of the green straw hat, Lillian Russell and the one by Crane Arto are from the book Vintage Hats and Bonnets 1770-1970
by Susan Langley. I bought this book at the Textile Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts in 2004. They were having a wonderful exhibit of ladies hats. It was one of the best museum visits I’ve ever had.

The black and white illustrations are from the Dover Publication: Victorian Fashions, a Pictorial Archive, 965 Illustrations Selected and Arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton. My husband gave me this book for Christmas last year.

The Worth evening gown was “sky blue damask with a pattern of pink chrysanthemum petals, and layers of embroidered lace and tulle. The gown is festooned with a glarland of pearls and crystal. The hairdo was designed by Lentheric.” The illustration is by Tom Tierney and is from the Dover publication Victorian Fashion Designs. It includes a cd-rom. It was also a gift from my husband.

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Filed under 1893, 19th Century, Chicago, Fashion, Hats, History