Tag Archives: New York

Shirley Chisholm–Unbought, Unbossed

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005) was a trailblazer.  In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to the House of Representative. Four years later, at the age of 48, she ran for president. Her slogan was “Unbought, Unbossed,” perhaps one … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, 1990 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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 , , | 3 Comments

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

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

Posted in 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, General | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Amy Vanderbilt on (and in) Pantsuits, 1971

I have always considered Amy Vanderbilt (1908-1974), America’s mid-century manners maven, something of a fussbudget.  Consider her 1952 advice on evening meals: “Every woman should change for dinner, if only into a clean house dress…Fresh clothes and makeup, even if … Continue reading

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Philosophy of Dress

Feminist philosopher Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), suffragist, novelist, and economist, spent a lot of her life thinking about clothes.  She considered herself a dress reformer, but was not interested in the extremes of bloomers or pants.  Instead, she followed her … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, Pre 1900 | Tagged , | 4 Comments

A Visit to Times Square, 1970s

Today Times Square in New York City looks very different than it did before its big clean up in the 1990s.  It used to be a hub of prostitution, adult bookstores, and sex shows.  You can see evidence if you … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

For the Love of Circles, 1939

I’ve just returned from a trip to Laramie Wyoming, where I spent a week looking through Montgomery Ward catalogs at the American Heritage Center.  Not everyone would call that a fun vacation, but I do!  You will see results from … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Book Review: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

What would you do if you discovered a large stash of material about a once-famous, now-forgotten woman?  Kathleen Rooney wrote a novel.  A librarian friend was one of the first to process a donated archive about the life of poet … Continue reading

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The Garrison Family at Schroon Lake, 1908

Well known for their progressive politics, the Garrison family was involved in the abolition movement, efforts to repeal the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the fight for women’s suffrage. This photo comes from the Garrison Family collection at the Smith College archives.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment