Category Archives: Clothing

Fashion Moments – Detachable Collars

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to detachable collars.

The Detachable Collar

According to the Arrow shirt website, in the 1820s, Hannah Montague formulated the idea to remove the collars from her husband’s shirts for ease of laundering. Soon after, Ebenezer Brown and Hannah’s husband, Orlando Montague, began manufacturing collars in the back of Rev. Brown’s general store in Troy, New York [1]. There are many conflicting accounts of what happened next from various sources. However, the city of Troy became the leading manufacturer of detachable collars during the nineteenth century. By 1897, twenty-five companies based in Troy were making over eight million dozens of collars and cuffs per year. [2].

Leyendecker_arrow_color_1907

Arrow Collar advertisement, 1907, illustrated by Joseph C. Leyendecker (Image from Wikipedia in the public domain).

Detachable collars were typically made of a material different from the shirt, from cotton to linen, and were made in only one color – white. Because they were detachable, the collar could be starched to a cardboard-like rigidity. While most detachable collars were made of starched fabric, some later collars were actually made of stiffened paper and were disposable after a few uses. Collars were attached to the shirt with a set of studs, one in front and another in back. Examples of different collar styles can be found in old catalogs. Though typically marketed to men, detachable collars were also used by women, especially during the era of the Gibson girl. By the 1920s, the use of detachable collars began to decline as more comfortable styles of clothing became popular. However, the fashion can still be seen today in the winged collars of British barristers and on rare occasion on the pupils of Eton College. [3]

Woman Worker making Arrow Collars, 1906

Woman worker making Arrow collars, 1906Source

Source

[1] ArrowLife, website (http://www.arrowlife.com/heritage : accessed 28 November 2015), “Heritage” page. Some sources say Hannah had her brilliant idea in 1820, while others state 1827.

[2] SuitYourself.com, website (http://suityourself.com/History_Of_Dress_Shirts.asp : accessed 28 November 2015).

[3] “Some Notes on Dress at Eton College,” Internet Archive Wayback Machine (http://web.archive.org/web/20081011175000/http://www.archivist.f2s.com/bsu/Miscellany/eton/eton-notes.htm : accessed 28 November 2015), anonymous article by an Eton pupil, October 2008.

Further Reading

Amazon Drygoods (a completely different company than Amazon, and has been around a lot longer, too!) is the only remaining manufacturer, according to their website, of detachable collars. In my theatre days, we regularly ordered detachable collars from them. They still have a variety of collar styles available for purchase on their website.

An comprehensive blog article about the Arrow Collar Man and its illustrator Joseph C. Leyendecker. The Arrow Collar Man was such a huge marketing sensation that many women thought he was real. The book The Girl on the Magazine Cover by Carolyn Kitch states, “Cluett, Peabody & Company, the firm that made Arrow Collars, received on average of 17,000 letters per month from women writing to the Arrow Collar Man, some of them proposing marriage.” In contrast, Dayneford’s Library: America’s Homosexual Writing, 1900-1913 by James Gifford takes note of Leyendecker’s indifference to women in his Arrow Collar Man illustrations, thereby making them the “first American representations of gay sensibility to gain wide distribution.”

A history of the Arrow brand can be downloaded from the website American’s Greatest Brands:  http://www.americasgreatestbrands.com/volume11/pdf/AGB_Arrow_v11.pdf

Blog article, “Detachable Collar & Tunic Shirt,” from the Morning Dress Guide website.

Working Women of Collar City: Gender, Class and Community in Troy, 1864-86 by Carole Turbin

Troy: A Collar City History by Don Rittner

Images

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Woman Worker Making Arrow Collars, United States, 1906.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed November 28, 2015.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/11/29/fashion-moments-detachable-collars/

Fashion Moments – Zipper

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the zipper.

Zipper

Elias Howe (the inventor of the sewing machine) patented a device in 1851 called a “fastening for garments.” It bears a resemblance to a zipper although there are key differences in the design. Howe did not market his patent and it took another forty years for this early seed to grow.

Howe fastening for garments, 1851

Howe’s 1851 patent

The idea of the modern zipper began in the mind of Whitcomb L. Judson (1846-1909), an inventor from Chicago. The majority of Judson’s work (and fourteen of his patents) were related to street cars. Most of his inventions were impractical. After several unsuccessful attempts to produce and operate his pneumonic street cars, the project was scraped and the cars were converted to electricity. With the failure of his street car venture, Judson turned to “clasp-lockers.” In 1890, Judson invented the device which would eventually evolve into the modern zipper. This early version was used primarily in shoes although it was not wildly successful. It is believed that Judson turned to “clasp-lockers” because he was tired of fastening his high buttoned shoes. Between 1890 and 1893, Judson submitted multiple versions of his “clasp-locker” patent. The final design was approved and it was debuted at the 1893 Chicago’s World’s Fair. Overall, Judson received limited success with his “clasp-locker”. Ultimately, the “clasp-locker” was never used by clothing manufacturers and remained a fixture for boots and shoes. [1]

001_Sundback_zipper_1917_patent

Sundback’s 1917 patent

After the death of Whitcomb L. Judson in 1909, Gideon Sundback continued to improve upon Judson’s 1905 patent. Sundback was the head designer at the Universal Fastener company in Hoboken, New Jersey. After three years of review by the patent board, his design was approved in 1917. This “separable fastener” would later be known as the zipper. The term “zipper” would not be used until eight years later, in 1923, when B. F. Goodrich (the well-known American industrialist) coined the phrase while marketing a new type of rubber galoshes which used Sundback’s “separable fastener.” [2]

zipper

© 2015 Deborah Sweeney

In the 1920s, the zipper was used primarily for boots and tobacco pouches, not for clothing. It was not until the 1930s when the zipper made its debut in children’s clothing where it was marketed as a tool for promoting self-reliance thereby allowing children to dress themselves. By the end of the decade, zippers were regularly being used for trouser flies and the plackets of women’s skirts and dresses. [3]

Since the 1930s, zippers have evolved tremendously. They are used everywhere from deep space to undersea exploration and are constructed from various materials including metal and synthetic polymers. They are arguably the most common type of closure in use today.

Further Reading

A great tool for finding patents can be found at http://www.pat2pdf.org/Ancestry‘s database of patents only contains patents from 1790-1909. This tool allows access to any patent, as long as the patent number is known.

Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty by Robert D. Friedel. Available from Amazon.com or your local library.

Sources

[1] Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org), “Whitcomb L. Judson,” rev. 17:55, 10 November 2015.

[2] Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org), “Gideon Sundback,” rev. 17:55, 30 October 2015.

[3] Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org), “Zipper,” rev. 04:48, 15 November 2015.

Images

The patents of Elias Howe, Jr. and Whitcomb L. Judson can be found in Ancestry.com‘s “U.S. Patents and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909” database.

Gideon Sundback’s 1917 patent can be found on Wikipedia, and is the public domain.

Zipper photograph by the author Deborah Sweeney

© 2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/11/15/fashion-moments-zipper/

Fashion Moments – Overalls

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the humble overalls.

Overalls

One of the most ubiquitous articles of clothing may be overalls. It could be argued that this garment is the single most important piece of clothing in the working class wardrobe for the past few centuries. The consensus of research shows that the modern overalls evolved from an earlier garment called “slops.” However, “slops” were more like trousers than actual overalls. During the 1700s, only working class people wore long pants; a gentleman wore breeches. [1]

Carl Morris mural, 1942

Carl Morris mural, 1942-1943, Eugene (Oregon) Post Office. Commissioned by the WPA Federal Works Project

By the first part of the 19th century, the garment was beginning its evolution into what we would currently recognize as overalls. Up until the 1850s, overalls were homemade, sewn to fit the individual needs of the worker. Originally, the garment was a coverall, worn over another set of clothing for protection. Eventually, it became the worn-alone, bib fronted garment we identify as overalls today. U.S. patents from the late 19th century show a variety of “overalls” from specific occupations. For example, the illustration below shows a pair of overalls patented by Eli F. Stacy and John H. Stacy from Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1872. They were developed for fisherman, in an effort to “secure a smooth front, free of buckles, buttons, or straps where the cloth comes in contact with the rail of a vessel.”

Overalls patent, 1872 (fishermen)

Overall patent, 1872, for use by fishermen

Many patents advertised themselves as improvements to the overall. Two years later in 1874, Alfred Rosenburg of Bridgeport, Connecticut, patented a series of hooks and eyelets which made overalls adjustable “to fit persons of varying sizes.”

Overalls, patent 1874

Rosenburg’s 1874 patent

The exact date of the mass production of overalls is unclear, but many companies, such as Levi, Lee, Carhartt, and Oshkosh, began marketing overalls around 1900, although they may have been manufacturing them for several years or decades previously. [2] Overalls are unique in many ways because they have been marketed to men, women and children. They have been used as a patriotic tool in both world wars, as a symbol of everyone laboring for the common cause.

War Gardens for Victory

We like to think of our ancestors as dressing up for those rare photographic moments. For many of our ancestors, overalls were a wardrobe staple, a tool of their trade, their daily uniform. Below are a few examples of my ancestors being photographed around the farm as cameras became more accessible.

John H. Yegerlehner, wearing overalls on his farm, during the 1910s

Ralph and Raymond Yegerlehner on the farm in 1915

McCammon, Lydia & Jesse with Minerva Metcalf

Jesse & Lydia McCammon with Minerva Metcalf, haying in the 1910s

Further Reading

The History of Overalls from the Blair Mountain Reenactment Society

The Development and Use of Bib Overalls in the United States, 1856-1945, a masters thesis by Ann Revenaugh Hemken, Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa), 1993. This paper is amazing! I highly recommend it if you are interested in learning more about the history of overalls. 

Bib Overalls: From Farmwear to Fashion Icon

Documentary Connecting the Threads: Overalls to Art at the H.W. Carter Sons Factory. This 40 minute film tells the story of Henry Wood Carter of New Hampshire. He started as a traveling peddler, and later started an overall factory in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The old factory building is now an art center. There is some great history of the evolution of overalls at the beginning of the film.

A Detroit company, W.M. Finck & Co. produced overalls for the first half of the 20th century. The online encyclopedia of Detroit has a brief history of the company on their website.

Sources

[1] “The History of Overalls,” Blair Mountain Reenactment Society, 10 May 2011 (https://blairmountainreenactment.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/the-history-of-overalls/).

[2] Ann Revenaugh Hemken, “The Development and Use of Bib Overalls in the United States, 1856-1945,” 42-45.

Images

Carl Morris mural (1942-3) at the Eugene Post Office. WPA Federal Works Project competition winner, posted on the Oregon Secretary of State website.

Overall patent illustrations are from Ancestry.com‘s database “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909.”

War Gardens for Victory. 1939-1945. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction no: LC-USZC4-4436

The photographs from the Yegerlehner farm courtesy of Karen Kline Brand. The photograph of Jesse and Lydia (Foster) McCammon with Minerva Metcalf courtesy of Geraldine McCarroll.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/11/08/fashion-moments-overalls/

Fashion Moments – Feed Sack Fabric

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the feedsack, or flour sack, dress.

I was inspired to write this week’s post because of a piece which I read last week from the Kindness Blog titled Flower Sack Dresses from the Flour Mills (Historical Kindness). The original article was written in May 2015. The article contains some wonderful information about the history of the feedsack, or flour sack, dress as well as some great historical photographs. (Unfortunately, none of the photographs have source information so it is hard to tell whether they are in the public domain or whether the author has permission to use the images). The article prompted me look again at some of my family photographs from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Without being able to look at a directory of fabric patterns, it is hard to say whether or not a garment was made from a feedsack just by looking at a photograph. I had to put myself in my ancestor’s shoes, looking specifically at my more rural paternal ancestors.

Note: I can hardly imagine my maternal grandmother being in a situation where she would have worn a feedsack dress. She was a pampered only child who lived in suburban San Francisco in her youth and who later moved to New Jersey to attend teaching college. She had little exposure to farm life, despite spending a few years teaching at an Indian Reservation in the southwest in the 1930s before moving to Malaysia as a missionary.

The Yegerlehner family lived in rural Indiana on a fully functioning farm with livestock to feed. My great grandmother Lovina was a hardworking, frugal woman. I can imagine her using feedsack material for clothing or other household items, such as quilts. After my grandparents, Roscoe and Gladys, married in 1929, they lived in Clay County, while Roscoe continued to teach at rural schools. Gladys’ mother, Emma Foster, frequently visited the Yegerlehner farm, so even though she lived in Terre Haute, she had access to feedsack material. She also baked and sold pies, giving her a need for larger bags of flour. Both Lovina and Emma were quilters. I have inherited several quilts which were their handiwork. Below is one of my father’s baby quilts. How many of these scraps originally came from a cotton feed bag?

Quilt - Baby, detail (attributed to Emma Foster) #1

Baby quilt attributed to Emma Foster from the personal collection of the author

Feed Sack Fabric

Before the 1920s, goods like flour and animal feed were sold in cotton bags. Frugal housewives re-purposed the cotton for various household goods, like towels or children’s clothing. The cotton was plain, but could be bleached or dyed to change the color.

Uses for Cloth Flour Sacks, 1921

In 1924, Asa T. Bales of St. Louis, Missouri, patented his idea for packaging flour in dress quality gingham fabric. The George P. Plant Milling Company of St. Louis was the first company to print the fabric, and soon Gingham Girl Flour was marketing their product in colorful bags. Other flour companies quickly followed the trend.

Drawing for A.T. Bales patterned feed sack fabric

Gingham Flour sack ad

Gingham Girl Flour company ad from the 1930s.

During the depression of the 1930s and the war shortages of the 1940s, reusing the cotton material from these bags became a way of life for many Americans. The photograph below is from Clay City, Indiana, in the mid 1930s. A rural community even today, the majority of these children lived on farms. How many of these children do you suppose are wearing clothing made from a feed sack? [Note: This was my Uncle John’s class picture, the oldest of Roscoe and Gladys’ children. Can you find him?]

Clay City, c1935-1937 (Photograph from the private collection of Deborah Sweeney)

Clay City, c1935-1937 (Photograph from the private collection of the author)

Further Reading

A beautiful example of a feedsack dress from 1959 is owned by the National Museum of American History. The page contains a brief article of the dress’ historical background as well as a photograph of the dress.

Paper written by Margaret Powell titled From Feed Sack to Clothes Rack: The Use of Commodity Textile Bags in American Households from 1890-1960The author has a full bibliography of additional sources for information regarding the use and history of cloth bags.

U.S. Department of Agriculture pamphlet on Cotton Bags as Consumer Packages for Farm Products, 1933. Available for download from Internet Archive.

Feedsack Secrets: Fashion From Hard Times, by Gloria Nixon. I think I will be adding this one to my personal library soon!

Dating Fabrics – A Color Guide : 1800-1960, by Eileen Trestain.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/10/25/fashion-moments-feed-sack-fabric/

Fashion Moments – Bloomers

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the infamous pants known as Bloomers.

Bloomers

Bloomer CostumeThere are two phases of the bloomer style pant adopted by women in the nineteenth century. The first hit the fashion world in 1851, a few years after the women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls. Dress reform, or the rational dress movement, was another objective in the early days of the women’s rights movement. Amelia Bloomer wrote in her publication The Lily:

The costume of women should be suited to her wants and necessities. It should conduce at once to her health, comfort and usefulness; and, while it should not fail also to conduce her personal adornment, it should make that end of secondary importance.

Amelia Bloomer’s friend, Libby Miller, adopted a style of long pants covered with a short skirt in 1851. Because Amelia promoted the pants in her magazine, the style became known as “Bloomers.” And, of course, they were promptly ridiculed by the leading newspapers. This style lasted through the end of the decade, until the rise of the crinoline made it obsolete (at least for Amelia Bloomer). However, it is important to note that during the Civil War, some nurses wore bloomers for their practicality on the battlefields and in field hospitals. The more ardent dress reformers continued to wear the fashion through the 1860s.

A_poser_for_a_bloomer_John_Johnson_political_&_satirical

A politial cartoon mocking the bloomers, 1852

by Joseph B. Forster, albumen carte-de-visite, 1860s-1870s

Mary Edwards Walker, c1866

Bloomers and Bicycles

The second phase, or rebirth of the bloomers, developed with the invention of the bicycle. Cycling became increasingly popular for both sexes, reaching its peak in the 1890s. However, women’s long skirts were too dangerous to wear while riding. The dress reformers won a huge victory in their quest for rational clothing (although they still received a lot of grumbling from the press). Bloomers became the practical mode of dress for women cyclists, and they were later adapted for other athletic activities.

The Bicyle - The Great Dress Reformer of the Nineteenth Century

Gallery

Further Reading

The British Library offers many digital items online, including the Romantics and Victorians collection. A portion of a copy of the Rational Dress Society Gazette is available.

“Women on the Move: Cycling and the Rational Dress Movement” by Aaron Cripps. Posted on his blog, Cycling History, 30 January 2015.

From their website, “Bikes & Bloomers is a research project about the bike, bloomer and female cyclist in late nineteenth century Britain.” This site is fabulous! It contains a wealth of information on the history of nineteenth century women, their clothing and their bicycles. Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.

“Women on Wheels: The Bicycle and the Women’s Movement of the 1890s,” from the Annie Londonderry website by Peter Zheutlin.

Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Renegades, by Catherine Smith and Cynthia Grieg. Published by Harry N. Abrams, 2003. Book is currently out of print.

“What Shall the New Woman Wear, Skirts or Bloomers?” Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) 15 September 1895, p. 14. If you have access of Newspapers.com, you will be able to read this article. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/522276888015710090/

Images

“The Bloomer Costume.” Currier & Ives print, 1851. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Reproduction no.: LC-USZC2-1978

“A Poser for a Bloomer,” Political cartoon circa 1852. John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. Image from Wikipedia under a Creative Commons License.

Mary Edwards Walker, 1866. Photograph by Joseph B. Forster. National Portrait Gallery, London.

“The Bicycle – the great dress reformer of the nineteenth century.” Samuel D. Ehrhart. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Reproduction no.: LC-DIG-ppmsca-29031

“The Start,” 1897. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-93792

Gym Suit, 1893-1898. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no.: 2009.300.884a–f

©2015 Deborah Sweeney

Fashion Moments – Paul Poiret

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to fashion designer, Paul Poiret (1879-1944).

Paul Poiret

Paul PoiretEven though the name Paul Poiret may be unfamiliar to most, modern women have much to be thankful for because of this man. His clothing was fantastical and theatrical; fashion was elevated to a new level through his designs and creations. History credits him with various styles, including the hobble skirt, harem-style pantaloons, and lampshade shaped tunics. However, he is one of a handful of designers who helped to move women’s fashion away from heavily corseted clothing. He represented the new modern movement in fashion during the 1910s. In contrast to his contemporary Madeleine Vionnet (who cut her clothing on the bias), Paul Poiret loved straight lines and used rectangles throughout his designs. In the United States, Poiret became known as the “King of Fashion.”

He began his career by working briefly for both the House of Doucet and the House of Worth, the leading French fashion houses. He opened his own fashion house in 1904. He was a huge supporter of the Art Deco movement. Around 1910, he was influenced by the costumes of the Ballet Russe which were based upon Russian and Asian styles. This inspiration can be seen throughout his designs in the years to follow.

Gallery

A sample of Poiret’s fashions from 1910 through 1925. Many more examples of Poiret’s clothing can be found on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

Models wearing some of Poiret’s clothing, c1911-1914. These prints are from the Library of Congress.

Further Reading

The Metropolitan Museum of Art staged an exhibition of Poiret and his work in 2007. An overview of Paul Poiret and information from the exhibit can still be found online. A book titled Poiret by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton was published to coincide with the exhibit.  A full sized coffee table book, it contains many photographic plates of Poiret’s designs.

More about Poiret can be found on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, also from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

A biography of Paul Poiret can be found on the Head to Toe Fashion Art page. The page includes many photographs of Poiret throughout his life, as well as fashion designs, examples of his clothing, and his artwork.

A book of Poiret’s fashion plates from 1908 can be found at Internet Archive. Commentary about this book and its sequel in 1911 was published on the Smithsonian Libraries website.

The Boston Public Library’s Rare book department has more information on the Modernist movement in fashion (1900-1920) as well as many fashion plates from the period. While Poiret did not typically paint his own fashion plates, he employed many artists to do the paining for him. Georges Barbier was among the artists who illustrated Poiret’s designs.

An article from a fashion historian’s point of view – The Myth of Poiret as Debunked by 1906.

Fashion Plate collection from the Pratt Institute Library from the French periodical, La Gazette du Bon Ton.

Poiret Advertisement

An Advertisement for a Paul Poiret fashion show – Waco Morning News (Waco, Texas), 18 March 1917, p. 24

Images

Advertisement for a Paul Poiret fashion show, Waco Morning News (18 March 1917), clipping via Newspapers.com

Photographs of book Poiret by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton taken by the author Deborah Sweeney from her personal copy of the book.

Photograph of Paul Poiret, c1913. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-100840

Checked suit photograph, 1914. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-56759

Grey suit photograph, 1911. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-56679

Poiret Model – Gimbels, 1914. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-85524

“Paris” robe, 1919. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2005.207

Butard, 1912. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2005.190a, b

Evening dress, 1910. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2009.300.1289

Dress, 1925. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. C.I.50.117

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/09/27/fashion-moments-paul-poiret/

Fashion Moments – Garibaldi Shirt

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the Garibaldi Shirt.

Garibaldi Shirt

I have previously written about the shirtwaist. The ancestor of the versatile shirtwaist was the Garibaldi shirt which first appeared in women’s fashion around 1860 and was popular during the Civil War. The shirt takes it name from the Italian folk hero Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882). He fought for Italian independence from the Austrian Empire. His followers were known as “Redshirts” for the colorful red shirts which they wore as their uniform.

The Garibaldi shirt was often worn with the Zouave jacket but there are many examples of the shirt being worn alone. While the original Garibaldi shirts were red, they eventually were made in other colors, from light white and beige to solid blue and patterned calicoes. One of the advantages of the shirt was its simplicity and the ease of movement that it afforded. The shirts were made from a variety of fabrics from cotton muslin to merino wool. They could be very plain or decorated with pin tucks, ruffles and lace collars.

Godey’s Lady’s Magazine offered a selection of variations of the Garibaldi shirt, including one with a Zouave jacket for a young girl, in 1864.

While the Garibaldi shirt was fashionable, it was also practical. Sleeves could easily be rolled up when work needed to be done. When the work was done, the shirts were easier to launder and clean. The two girls in the photograph below (sisters Lucretia and Louisa Crossett) were texile workers. While their shirts are very plain, if you click to enlarge the photograph, you can see their delicate lace collars at their necklines.

Garibaldi Shirt #1

Further Reading

Basic history of Giuseppe Girabaldi and his Redshirts on wikipedia.

Julia Ditto Young, “The Rise of the Shirt Waist,” Good Housekeeping 34 (May 1902) : 354-357; Cornell University online library here

Article on the Garibaldi shirt from the Victoriana Magazine online.

The Barrington House has a wonderful collection of Civil War photographs on their website. There are several great examples of women wearing Garibaldi shirts. A good indication of whether a woman was wearing a shirt/skirt combination vs. a dress is the color. If the top is light, but the skirt is dark, it is likely a shirt. If both the top and skirt are the same color or patterned fabric, it’s a dress.

Images

I strive to use only photographs and images on my website that are copyright free (public domain), and to provide the proper attrition to the original source. I often find great examples of fashion items but can not post them here. The most common reason (I don’t post a picture) is that I can not find the original source of an item that has already been posted on the web to sites like Pinterest.

Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute Fashion Plates, Women 1862, Plate 117.

Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute Fashion Plates, Women 1863, Plate 48.

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Collection. Sisters Lucretia Electa and Louisa Ellen Crossett in identical skirts… Call no.: AMB/TIN no. 2112

Sources

Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine 68 (January 1864) : 81; and, Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine 68 (June 1864) : 565; Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org).

© 2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/09/13/fashion-moments-garibaldi-shirt/