The Ebell Club of Los Angeles, founded in 1894 and still going strong, was part of a network of women’s institutions devoted to women’s education and philanthropy. As we can see in this photo, the members were mainly the well off who had the time and money for such pursuits. These days, the club draws on the broad ethnic mix of Los Angeles and has recently had an African American president. In 1927, however, it was an all-white institution.
This group photo offers even more evidence, if more be needed, that the drop-waisted dress style of the 1920s was not kind to the older, rounder figure. Isn’t it interesting how much fur there is—by my count seven out of fifteen women are wearing fur collars or stoles. I love the varieties of cloche (or bell shaped) hats, some with brims and some without. There are even a few broad brimmed hats that perhaps date back to an earlier era. And look at the shoes! Although some have on slip on or lace-up oxfords, most sport footwear with lots of interesting straps.
And lest you think that all old ladies in the past dressed alike, take a close look at the woman on the far right. Her amazing hat pin, fanciful buttons, two-toned gloves, and incredible shoes make her a prime candidate for “Advanced Style,” 1927 edition. Unfortunately, the new version of WordPress does not have a “click to enlarge” feature, but you can follow the link below the image to see her outfit in detail.
Wow! I imagine there was a subtle competition among them to see who would have the most memorable outfit. I vote for the woman on the left with the striking geometric ensemble, and I’d love to see that hat in person. If there were a competition for hats by weight, I’m afraid the woman in black, 3rd from right would win. It looks like a huge piece of masonry is pushing down on her head.
The woman on the left: “Vertical stripes are slimming, they say.” I had never heard of Ebell Clubs and your post sent me right to Wikipedia.
You’re right: She misunderstood the idea. One long, vertical line is slimming. Multiple vertical lines are not, and this woman proves it! Fashion victim….
Is it possible that the woman on far left of photo, upper row, is wearing a zipper front sweater suit? Zippers were used on sweaters before they made it on to dresses, but I just can’t trust my eyes on this one. (Even when I zoomed in on the lined picture.)
It looked like a zipper to me until I zoomed in. I think it’s a tie closure for the neck of the sweater.
The style may not be flattering to most women but it must have been more comfortable than wearing Edwardian era corsets!