Mrs. Randall in Overalls

OverallsWritten in a tidy backhand at the bottom of this photo is “Mrs. Randall.” I have no idea who she was or where she lived, but I was immediately drawn to the overalls she has put on to work in her garden. Although Mrs. Randall might not be in her fifties, she is certainly not young, so I’ll count this as a rare find–a photo of an older woman in pants from the first half of the twentieth century.

The overalls look to be from the late 1910s, although maybe she has kept them many years as her special gardening outfit. You can see the same gathering at the cuffs in these 1918 offerings from the Sears catalog.

Everyday Fashions 1908-1920, as Pictured in Sears Catalogs

Everyday Fashions 1908-1920, as Pictured in Sears Catalogs

The bib looks similar to these overalls used for women in the British Land Army during World War I.

British war poster

British war poster, 1917

There are several androgynous elements in Mrs. Randall’s style. In addition to the overalls, she wears a tall wide-brimmed hat with no visible trimming and what appears to be a loose tie at her neck. Her skin looks quite tan, as if she spent a lot of time outside in the garden. Aren’t these overalls the most practical thing for a hardworking woman gardener to wear?

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4 Responses to Mrs. Randall in Overalls

  1. eimear says:

    the gathering at the cuff I had not seen, so practical, some of the excess fabric in the wide leg pants patterns can really trip you up if you are working in them

  2. Carol in Denver says:

    Gathered hem also will keep field mice from running up your leg, inside your pants leg. Happened once to a childhood friend and I’ve never forgotten it.

  3. Rhoda K says:

    Not sure about gardening in heels though 😉 Otherwise, they’re perfect for the job. I wouldn’t want anything running up my legs!

  4. Lizzie says:

    So interesting. What I’ve give for a date on this one!

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