Thursday, May 29, 2014

You Ought To Be In Pictures

The photograph on the left is of my Aunt Gertrude and her friend wearing a skimmer or boater hat.

A boater (also straw boater, basher, skimmer, cady, katie, somer, sennit hat, or in Japan, can-can hat) is a kind of men's formal summer hat. It is normally made of stiff sennit straw and has a stiff flat crown and brim, typically with a solid or striped grosgrain ribbon around the crown. Boaters were popular as casual summer headgear in the late 19th century and early 20th century, especially for boating or sailing, hence the name. 
To the right is a picture of my Aunt when she was under five years old. This is a lovely studio shot. For years my mother thought it was a picture of herself but my Uncle Al clarified it for us. If you look at the outfit she is wearing note the muff and bonnet typical turn of the century costume. The double breasted coat with an attached cape trimmed in what looks like velvet, were popular at the time. Gertrude was there first daughter and her parents chose to dressed her laviously.

While there is documentation to suggest that premade children's attire existed as early as 17th century Europe, it was not until the manufacturing age (or the age of mass production) that ready made children's garments were available to all social classes. Before the 1860s, ready made children's clothing was only purchased by the upper class. Tailors and "little dressmakers" visited the home of the wealthy, taking measurements and fitting garments to each child. However, by the end of the 19th century, fashion called for loosely fitted dresses and less tailored suits- allowing for a one size fits all industry.

Aunt Gertrude in her teens with
 Aunt Tillie, a friend of the family.
The sailor outfit that my Aunt is wearing in this photograph to the left looks like it was taken on some kind of boat. The sailor dress with a high waist and buttons down the front complete with a midi collar and bow was a popular style.  The photograph was taken circa 1917 -1919.

The photograph found to your right is of Aunt Gertrude and my Mother Tillie. My mother looks around the age of seven and is wearing a light coat which leads me to believe that it was Springtime. My Aunt Gertrude is wearing a black lace dress with a low waistline. Typical style of the 1920's this dress shows off a long pendent that could possibly a locket with her innitials on it that my Sister Barbara has in her collection.
The final photograph was taken of my Aunt Gertrude and who I think is her husband, John Clark. The photographs shows my Aunt wearing a long winter coat and sporting a picture hat. The dark coat with matching satin trim adds a beautiful accent to the coat with its fur trim. The photograph probably was taken in the early twenties.

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