Author Archives: Lynn

Ann Lowe, Custom Designer for the Upper Crust

Ann Lowe (1898-1981) was the first African American to open a custom dress studio on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. During the fifties and sixties, she was a favorite designer for the moneyed elite, creating debutante and wedding dresses. Perhaps her … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, General | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

A Festive Evening at Howard University, 1963

Since it’s not that easy to find photos of older women in evening clothes, I was thrilled to discover this portrait of the Home Economics Faculty at Howard University attending the opening of their new building in 1963.  Howard University, … Continue reading

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Women Get Weary but They don’t Give Up, 1991

This colorful mural by artist Alice Patrick is on the side of the office of the National Council of Negro Women in Los Angeles.  The woman in black is famous African American educator Mary Bethune (1875-1955), founder of the organization. … Continue reading

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Portrait with Chair, ca. 1910

This dignified portrait of an older African American woman comes from the studio of the photographer Michael Francis Blake in Charleston, South Carolina. According to the records at Duke University, most of his customers were black.  The studio was apparently … Continue reading

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Hand Sewing, 1942

In honor of Black History Month, I’m seeking out photos of older black women.  This beautiful portrait of a woman doing hand sewing has been on my radar for a long time.  It is one of a series of photos … Continue reading

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About Pantsuits, Not Politics

The American media is abuzz with interpretations of what Melania Trump might have meant by donning a white pantsuit to her husband’s first State of the Union speech.  If you want to read a particularly clever analysis, try the article … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Older Women in Pants, Mid-Century Edition

It isn’t easy to find photos of older women in pants before World War Two, although I am doing my best to uncover them.  After the Second World War, the numbers climb.  We can credit the same explanation often given … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, 1950s | Tagged | 1 Comment

Turbans and the Older Woman

Do you associate certain kinds of hats with certain age groups?  At the beginning of the twenty century, the bonnet tied under the chin was linked to older women.  For me, it is the turban that I associate with this … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990 | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Bowling Club, 1962

“Members of the Fifty and Over Bowling Club cheer as team member Ann Queen makes her strike.” So read the caption in the Herald Examiner newspaper when this photo as published in 1962.  There’s lots to see here.  The women … Continue reading

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Tobé Coller Davis–the First Lady of Fashion Forecasting

If you read about the history of the American garment industry, it doesn’t take long to come across the name Tobé Coller Davis (1888-1962).  After a varied career in clothing companies and department stores, she opened a fashion forecasting company … Continue reading

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