Tag Archives: 1917 hats

Tam-o’-Shanters for Women, 1917

Tams for Women. Ladies' Home Journal, 1917; Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Tams for Women. Ladies’ Home Journal, 1917; Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Tam o’ shanters have been popular hats for women at several periods, including the turn of the century . . .

Women in tams, as pictured in Punch Magazine, 1896 and 1901.

Women in tams, as pictured in Punch Magazine, 1896 and 1901.

the World War I era . . .

Young woman in a fashionable velvet tam, about 1918.

Young woman in a fashionable velvet tam, about 1918.

the twenties, the thirties, the nineteen sixties, and into the twenty-first century:

Tam "Beret" pattern, Vogue # 7980, 2004.

Tam “Beret” pattern, Vogue # 7980, 2004.

Origins of the Tam o’ Shanter

The Tam-o’-Shanter (or Tam o’ Shanter) was originally a hat worn by Scottish men.

Two Scotsmen, as drawn by Charles Keene in Punch Magazine, 1880.

Two Scotsmen, as drawn by Charles Keene in Punch Magazine, 1880.

With them it entered the military . . .

A private in Crawford’s Highland Regiment, 1740, Illustrated by Pierre Turner. From Michael Barthrop’s British Infantry Uniforms Since 1660.

A private in Crawford’s Highland Regiment, 1740, Illustrated by Pierre Turner. From Michael Barthrop’s British Infantry Uniforms Since 1660.

and became part of the official uniform of some regiments, like the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Tams and Berets

In its simplest form, a tam is just a round or oval piece of cloth gathered into a band around the head.

Some tams are made of two round pieces, or a round piece and a cylinder, stitched together around the circumference; the round hole in the lower piece can be eased into the band with or without gathering. This can produce a crisp look, as in this Vogue pattern illustration from 2004.

Vogue pattern 7980, dated 2004.

Vogue pattern 7980, dated 2004.

Vogue called this a beret in 2004; “tam-o-shanter” had disappeared from the current fashion vocabulary by then. Today, you can find tams – some with a 1920s look – at hats.com, but they are classified as berets, not tam o’ shanters.

A beret.

A beret.

Sometimes the words “tam ” and “beret” are used interchangeably, but a beret usually has a very narrow binding around the head, and a relatively small crown.

Tam, 1917.

Tam, 1917.

The tam o’ shanter usually has a wider band.

Also, the crown of a tam is much bigger than the band, and the tam is rarely symmetrical when worn by women; it tilts or droops to one side or to the back.

Both berets and tams can be worn with the band turned to the inside, where it isn’t seen:

Tam o' shanter, 1925.

Tam o’ shanter, 1925. Delineator.

Tams for Women, 1917

Tams were very popular with women’s fashions during the First World War. This Paris design “for very young women” is by Paquin, as famous in her day as Poiret or Patou:

A chic Paris costume for a 'very young lady" by Mme. Paquin, 1917. Delineator.

A chic Paris costume for ‘very young women” by Mme. Paquin, 1917. Delineator.

Here, a Butterick coat pattern is accessorized with a tam (left):

On the left, a tam worn with a coat by Butterick, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

On the left, a tam worn with a coat pattern by Butterick, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

In 1917, tams could reach rather extreme sizes, something like a chef’s toque (technically, a ‘toque” is any hat without a brim; since tam o’ shanters have no brim,  the line between tams and toques can blur. Most fashion hats described as “toques” are more vertical than horizontal, lacking these huge crowns.)

Women in tams, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

Women in tams (one is like a chef’s toque), Sept. 1917. Delineator.

A tam made of fur and a tam made of velvet; Ladies' Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

A tam made of fur and a tam made of fur or velvet; Ladies’ Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

Tams were also popular because they could be knitted or crocheted:

Delineator crochet patterns, Sept. 1917.

Delineator crochet patterns, Sept. 1917.

Ad for Bear Brand Yarn, Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

Ad for Bear Brand Yarn, Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

This young lady got really carried away and made a matching tam, scarf, and handbag trimmed with Vari-colored cross-stitch:

Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

A knit tam could be rolled up and stuck in a pocket, which made them handy for wearing to school.

Both Delineator magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal encouraged their readers to economize during the First World War by making new clothes from worn-out or out-moded clothing.  One Home Journal reader bragged that she salvaged enough fabric from her old velvet skirt to make tams for both of her daughters and a “small toque” for herself:

Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Her examples look very much like this soft tam (or toque?) from Delineator magazine:

Delineator, Sept 1917.

Delineator, Sept 1917.

Perhaps the model on the right is explaining that her clever mother made this soft velvet hat from an old skirt.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, Accessory Patterns, Hats, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Couture Designs

Van Raalte Hat Veils “Make a Plain Face Pretty,” 1917

Van Raalte Veil Advertisement, Delineator, June 1917

Van Raalte Veil Advertisement, Delineator, June 1917

The Van Raalte Company is probably better known today for its gloves, stockings, and underwear, but hat veiling was one of its first products. In 1915, Zealie Van Raalte applied for a patent on his special hat veil which had an opening for the crown of the hat, and “which can be readily and quickly secured to the hat with the least possible delay and trouble in securing the correct adjustment, and which is detachable or removable at all times.” Dollhouse Bettie has written a fine series of illustrated articles on the history of the company. Click Here.

“A Veil Makes a Plain Face Pretty…”

Images and Text from an Ad for Van Raalte Veils, May, 1917

Images and Text from an Ad for Van Raalte Veils, May, 1917

“A veil makes a plain face pretty — every face more attractive. The subtle witchery of the veil has enhanced miladi’s charms since the earliest years — and there were never such becoming veils as the Spring collection of Van Raalte Veils.” According to Dollhouse Bettie, the first Van Raalte plant opened in 1917, so this is a very early advertisement, one of a series that ran in Butterick’s Delineator magazine that year. “The Cherry Blossom” and “The Shirley” veils are shown drawn tightly over the face. (“The Vision” seems to stop above the chin and gives me the impression of a tribal tattoo!) Perhaps not coincidentally, hats with veils appeared on some of the pattern ilustrations in the same issue:

A Veiled hat shown with Butterick fashions, May 1917.

A veiled hat shown with Butterick fashions, May 1917.

A veiled hat shown with Butterick fashions, May 1917.

A hat and veil shown with Butterick fashions, May 1917.

A Veiled hat shown with Butterick fashions, May 1917.

A eiled hat shown with Butterick fashions, May 1917.

Two of these illustrations seem to show the same hat, which has a veil similar, but not identical to, Van Raalte’s “Shirley.”two simillar hats and veils

I often see the same hat used repeatedly over several months in Delineator pattern illustrations. Apparently the illustrators worked from live models who were accessorized from a stock of hats, purses, boas, etc.

The “Winsome” Veil

Van Raalte Veils Ad, June, 1917

Van Raalte Veils Ad, June, 1917

“A white veil makes the fairest face seem fairer — and gives a fashionable touch to the Spring or Summer costume.  [Suntans were not yet in fashion in 1917.] Since this veil slips over the hat and exposes the crown, it may be one of Van Raalte’s patented veils, or it may be tied behind the hat. Note the model’s lips — lip rouge was becoming acceptable on ‘nice’ women.

A veiled hat illustrated in Delineator, March 1917.

A veiled hat illustrated in Delineator, March 1917.

I love the way the handbag echoes the colors of the jewels on the hat. [The hat does not have a brown feather — that is part of the fur worn by an adjacent model.]

Long Veils

Ad for Van Raalte Veiling, Delineator, April 1917

Ad for Van Raalte Veiling, Delineator, April 1917

A veil this long was versatile and could be tied in place behind the hat, and (if the hat was not too big) even used to secure the hat on windy days. Riding in carriages or the open cars of 1917 often required something stronger than a hatpin to keep your hat from blowing off. [Henry Ford refused to make a ‘closed car’ until 1927, when the Model A was introduced to compete with the more comfortable cars being produced by his competitors.]

Van Raalte Veils could be identified by their small paper label:

Van Raalte Label

Van Raalte Label

 

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Hats, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Accessories