Category Archives: 1910s

Mary Colter–Architect of the Southwest

You don’t have to spend much time at the south rim of the Grand Canyon to hear the name Mary Colter (1869-1958).  She designed Bright Angel Lodge, the Hopi House, and the Lookout Studio, which fits into the walls of … Continue reading

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The Easter Parade–A Dressmaker’s View

Do you know the song “In your Easter Bonnet, with all the frills upon it”?  As the song promises, there really were Easter Parades on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  The Library of Congress’s large collection from the Bain … Continue reading

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Women in White

The simple white skirt and blouse of this older woman is probably sending a political message. In the 1910s, the American suffrage movement adopted purple, gold, and white as the colors of their cause.  Wearing white, meant to symbolize the … Continue reading

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Dr. Mary Walker, A Pioneer in Pants

Next time you worry that it might take a long time to reach your goals, consider the case of Dr. Mary Walker (1832-1919)–physician, feminist, and dress reformer. She worked her entire life to gain equal pay and suffrage, along with … Continue reading

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Older Women in Pants–the Research Agenda

This British postcard from around 1910 makes fun of older women, current fashions, and women’s suffrage all at the same time.  But how accurate was it?  Were there older women in harem pants, or other kinds of bifurcated garments, appearing … Continue reading

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You Can Keep Your Hat On

How do women in positions of power establish their authority in a work environment?  These days it is done through clothes, but it used to be done with hats. I’ve read many memoirs about women editors at fashion magazines being … Continue reading

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Lillian Russell–An Older Icon for the 1910s

Although she all but is forgotten today, Lillian Russell was a big star of the American stage, music hall, and vaudeville circuit at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Called “America’s Beauty” for decades of … Continue reading

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The Embroidery Club of Orange, California 1914

It’s not all that easy to find photos of older women in costume.  Most of these happy ladies look young, but a few, center right, might be pushing fifty. Many have chosen decades past for their inspiration, but two have … Continue reading

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What to Wear in Utopia, 1915

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a noted writer, feminist, and sociologist at the turn of the twentieth century.  She was also an advocate of dress reform, that movement which struggled against corsets, uncomfortable clothing, and unnecessary finery.  Her views on what … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The Language of Flowers for Older Women

For those of you who chafe against fashion rules and continue to wear white shoes after Labor Day, consider how lucky we are that so few rules remain.  Poking around in early twentieth century millinery books on wonderful Cornell University … Continue reading

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