Tag Archives: velvet hat

Copies of Store-Bought Hats, 1917

After encouraging readers to make their own hats in July and September of 1917, in November The Ladies’ Home Journal sent a staff member to buy nine fashionable hats and then make her own copies — and compare the costs.

Article "What I Paid for Some Hats and What I Made Them for at Home." Ladies' Home Journal, Nov. 1917, p. 134.

Article “What I Paid for Some Hats and What I Made Them for at Home.” Ladies’ Home Journal, Nov. 1917, top of page 134.

I have included larger images of all the individual hats, later in this post.

The article does not have a by-line, but readers could address inquiries to the Millinery Editor.

“NOTE — If you would like to learn how to make your own hats, the millinery lessons will help you:  “Hat-Frame Making,” “Covering a Velvet Hat,” and “Trimming a Hat.” They cost ten cents each. Descriptions of the hats pictured on this page and a list of the various articles used and their cost will be mailed upon receipt of four cents in stamps to cover the service. Inclose [sic] a stamped, addressed envelope to the Millinery Editor, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Independence Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with your request.”

Presumably, the photos show the originals, not the copies….

Hats bought and copied, Ladies Home Journal, Nov. 1917. Center of page 134.

Hats bought and copied, Ladies Home Journal, Nov. 1917. Center of page 134.

Hats Bought and Made, Ladies Home Journal, Nov. 1917. bottom of page 134.

Hats Bought and Made, Ladies Home Journal, Nov. 1917. bottom of page 134.

The purchased hats cost between $30 and $15.  Making them was cheaper, of course, but the Ladies’ Home Journal made it clear that these store-bought hats were not overpriced:

“You may think, upon comparison of these prices, that the profits of the milliner are overwhelming; but in all fairness to the milliner, the figures which signify the cost at which these hats were copied at home do not include the salaries paid to the high-priced designer and the assistants, nor the wages of the dainty model who so alluringly pictures to you how you will look in the hat [!], or those of the saleswoman who serves you. It does not include the rent for the salon in which you comfortably relax while trying hats on, nor the many other expenses incident to the final delivery of the hat.”

Dover’s Women’s and Children’s Fashions of 1917: The Complete Perry, Dame & Co. Catalog shows eight pages of ready-to-wear hats with loads of trimming; the most expensive is $6.49, and most can be purchased for between two and four dollars.  The Ladies’ Home Journal Millinery Editor must have thought her readers would be impressed by the idea of copying a $25 dollar hat for $5.

Here are larger images of the individual hats.

Toque, $25 in a store, and "a very new shape ... trimmed with gray vulture." $30 in store. LHJ, Nov. 1917.

Toque, $25 in a store, and “a very new shape … trimmed with gray vulture.” $30 in store. LHJ, Nov. 1917.

If you can read the words “trimmed with gray vulture” and not think of Neville Longbottom’s grandmother — or Professor Snape dressed in her clothes — where have you been? The position of the feathers reminds me of a skunk on alert….

Two "tam" style hats for women, Nov. 1917. Ladies' Home Journal.

Two “tam” style hats for women, Nov. 1917. Ladies’ Home Journal.

This hat style, with the brim rolled up on one side, was recommended for “matrons” in July.

Hats with rolled brims, Nov. 1917. Ladies' Home Journal.

The hat on the left is trimmed with a “smart hackle fancy.” Clusters of feathers, sometimes known as hackle pads, can be found online. Here is a large selection of hackles from the Zucker Feather company (a wholesaler.)

The wings on this hat are made of moleskin (a brushed cotton) and velvet — and it cost $12.25 to duplicate at home, more than any of the others.

A hat covered with moleskin and velvet. LHj, Nov. 1917, LHJ.

A hat covered with moleskin and velvet. LHJ, Nov. 1917.

Hats that required special navigational skills — hats which were extremely tall, or extremely wide — were often illustrated. I showed more 1917 hats in a previous post:  click here.

Delineator hat illustrations, May 1917.

Delineator hat illustrations, May 1917.

Delineator hat illustrations, September, 1917.

Delineator hat illustrations, September, 1917.

Hats in Delineator illustrations, May 1917.

Hats in Delineator illustrations, May 1917. Usually a sheer hat would have visible “spokes” supporting the brim.

The hat on the left, below, is quite wide, and has a very high crown, too.

Velvet covered hats, Ladies' Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

Velvet-covered hats, Ladies’ Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

The “rolled quills” are probably long feathers that have been trimmed to have short barbs. This was not a good time to be a bird (or a woman with an aversion to wearing parts of dead animals), although by 1913 the Audubon Society had succeeded in passing legislation to protect native and migrating birds. (Read a good account here. (“Mama, there’s a woman with a dead body on her hat who wants to see you.”)

Ladies Home Journal, Oct. 1917, 137. Hats for tailored clothes.

Ladies Home Journal, Oct. 1917, 137. Hats for tailored clothes.

May, 1917. Hats from Ladies' Home Journal.

May, 1917. Hats from Ladies’ Home Journal.

Hats which use old velvet and fur scraps. LHJ, Nov. 1917.

Hats which use old velvet and fur scraps (and bird parts). LHJ, Nov. 1917.

However, there are plenty of delightful 1917 hats to copy without looking like a taxidermist’s shop.

Hat in ADM ad, Oct. 1917 LHJ.

Hat in ADM ad, Oct. 1917 LHJ.

Cloth covered hats, Delineator illustration, May 1917.

Cloth-covered hats, Delineator illustration, May 1917.

Delineator, hats illustrated in May 1917. The one on the right uses wide striped ribbon for a band and cockade.

Delineator, hats illustrated in May 1917. The one on the right uses wide striped ribbon for a band and cockade.

Picture hat with a tassel on a long cord. LHJ, Oct. 1917.

Picture hat with a tassel on a long cord. LHJ, Oct. 1917.

If you were persuaded to make your own hats, and you wanted to learn the milliner’s craft, the Woman’s Institute was ready to help with a correspondence course:

Ad for hat making course from Woman's Institute, Ladies Home Journal, September, 1917.

Ad for hat making course from Woman’s Institute, Ladies Home Journal, September, 1917.

 

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Hats, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Accessories, Woman's Institute, World War I

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