Tag Archives: e.e. cummings poem odorono

Marcels in the Family, 1920s to 1930s

Marcels in the Family, late 1920s to Mid-1930s

Two women with waved hair, Ad for Odorono deodorant, The Delineator, June 1932.

Two women with waved hair.  Ad for Odo-ro-no deodorant, The Delineator, June 1932. My mother had a long Marcel wave like the brunette’s.

These three photographs of my mother, with and without a rather unbecoming — but tight-fitting — cloche, show why the cloche hat influenced so many women to adopt the close-to-the head Marcel hair style in the late 1920s. [Unless your hair was naturally curly, you needed a permanent wave to preserve the Marcel style under your hat. The women in my family spoke of the Marcel wave and the permanent wave interchangeably.]

This 1920s Marcel hair style fit under a cloche hat, and didn't look too bad when the hat was removed.

This 1920s Marcel hair style fit under a cloche hat, and didn’t look too badly flattened when the hat was removed.

A secretary like my mother (above) would have worn a hat while commuting to and from work, but not indoors on the job, so she probably wore an invisible hair net under the hat to protect her style when the hat was put on and removed. A good quality hat would have been fully lined, but this unflattering cloche looks like a cheap hat. Although my mother had bobbed her hair by 1922, . . .

Bobbed hair, circa 1922. On the right, this young woman is wearing fancy dress with her usual hairstyle.

Bobbed and permed hair, circa 1922. On the right, this young woman is wearing fancy dress with her usual hairstyle.

. . . she grew it out by the end of the decade, like a lot of other young women.

A Marcel wave later in the 1920s. Her skirt is very short.

The same young woman with a long Marcel wave later in the 1920’s. Her summer dress is very short.

Her Marcel ended in a small bun at the back.  Her older sister had a Marcel wave, too:

Side view of Marcel hairdo, late 1920s. Note the small bun at the back.

Side view of Marcel hairdo, late 1920’s. Note the tightly twisted bun at the back. Her hair must have been quite long.

My aunt liked her Marcel so much that she wore it all through the nineteen thirties:

Woman with Marcel waved hair, early 1930s and late 1930s.

Woman with Marcel waved hair, early 1930s and late 1930s.

(And she was still wearing it in the 1950s!)

My mother was also photographed at intervals, now wearing her 1930’s Marcel with a side part:

Woman with Marcel hairdo and tilted hat, early 1930s.

Woman with Marcel hairdo and tilted hat, early 1930s.

Woman in classic mid-1930s hat.

Woman wearing a classic mid-1930s hat over her Marcelled hair.

In this 1930’s family photo of three generations, both younger and older women have Marcelled hair.

Family group, early 1930s. Most of the women have Marcelled hair.

Family group, early to mid 1930s. Note the proud grandmother on the left. Most of the women have Marcelled hair, regardless of age.

My grandmother, center, always had her hair permed, but I can’t tell from this picture whether she wore it long like her daughters, or kept the bob she had in the 1920’s. Perhaps she was one of the older women who decided they would never go back to heavy hair and hairpins.

Digression: I have a special fondness for Odo-ro-no deodorant, because it is one of the many products and advertising slogans mentioned by e.e. cummings in his satirical “Poem, or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal.”

Odo-ro-no Ad, Delineator, June 1932.

Odo-ro-no Ad, Delineator, June 1932.

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, Hairstyles, Hats, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Accessories, vintage photographs