Tag Archives: hats/headcoverings

The Red Hat Society Lives On

Any commentary about older women and fashion in America must address the Red Hat Society, a loosely knit organization of women over fifty.  Moreover, the founder of the group, Sue Ellen Cooper, hails from my neck of the woods in … Continue reading

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Mother at the Old Farm

The polka dot dress!  I think of this as the archetypal dress of the 1930s, when polka dots were everywhere.  This particular outfit has some fancy details.  The dress itself appears to have a halter strap around the neck—or is … Continue reading

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The Black Women of California’s Central Valley

During the Great Depression, when waves of migrants came to California to escape the drought, Black cotton farmers were part of the population transfer.  Some were recruited by California cotton growers, while others came on their own. More migrated after … Continue reading

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The Black Women of Appalachia, 1920s

If you are looking for dignified portraits of older American women, sooner or later you will come across the work of Doris Ulmann (1882-1934). She started out as a celebrity photographer, but in the 1920s her life took a turn.  … Continue reading

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Hatless in a Hat Shop, 1942

The photos taken by the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information during the Great Depression and Second World War offer many insights into how ordinary Americans survived hard times. One small slice of history was recorded by photographer … Continue reading

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An Immigrant Family, 1906-1908

I find many of the photos for this blog in thrift stores, at flea markets, and on sites like eBay.  Most of them are not dated, which means that I have had to teach myself how to make educated guesses … Continue reading

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Pose with Swagger Coat, early 1930s

This photo introduced me to a new fashion term.  Although some of the words are cut off, the writing on the back clearly reads, “I wanted you to see my new swagger coat.”  Quick online research revealed that the swagger … Continue reading

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Mrs. Kate Mike Sets Sail for France, 1933

In my search for images of women on Veterans Day, I quickly discovered that the most common pictures were of Gold Star mothers, women who had lost children in American wars.  The group was founded in 1928 for mothers of … Continue reading

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Hats with Bows, 1948

The back of this photo says “Simpson Sisters,” and then in another hand gives the date of 1948.  Like many older women, these two happy sisters did not keep up with the latest styles. The one posed in front has … Continue reading

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Flowers and the Older Women—Violets, Yes; Daisies, No

Did you know that flowers can carry messages far behind the beauty of the blossoms? I was reminded of the language of flowers in an excellent exhibit of vintage clothes at my university. The graduate student curator, Ayrika Johnson, assembled … Continue reading

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