Hundred-Year-Old Fashion Color Chart

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 22, 1914: <<no entry>>

color guide f

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What was Grandma doing a hundred years ago today? I wonder if Grandma ever worried about fashion —and which colors were her best colors.

When I was young,Color Me Beautiful was very popular—and I worried about whether I was a Fall or a Summer.

A few days ago I was surprised to discover that the color concept has been around for a long time, and that there were color charts a hundred years ago.

According to an article in the November, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Choosing the most becoming colors is often a difficult task, and while no hard and fast rules can be given for such a selection there are some suggestions which will help to find the right ones. Each woman can find her type, and then take the suggested colors and try them for herself. Do not forget that your personal preference in this matter cannot be taken into consideration for more often than not your favorite color is not a becoming one.

Each season brings a new and fashionable color, and please let me warn you that it will detract from your appearance if you select it for this reason. Make sure that it is becoming first, keeping in mind that good taste, not money, makes the well-dressed woman.

Color guide g1

Color guide h1

Color guide i1

Color guide j1

Color guide k1

Stylish Furs a Hundred Years Ago

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, November 14, 1914: <<no entry>>

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What was Grandma doing on this Saturday a hundred years ago today? Maybe she went out with friends and wore her new blue and black boucle coat.

Did Grandma ever wish that she had some furs? They were really popular in 1914.

It is interesting to see the new furs, soft scarfs, muffs, and coats of unbelievable lightness, with hats that harmonize and strike the right note.

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

LHJ 10 1914 36 a.jpg

LHJ 10 1914 36d

LHJ 10 1914 36 b jjpg

Went Shopping and Got a Boucle Coat (and More)

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, November 12, 1914:  Mother and I went shopping. She’s doing more than I did of course. I got a coat, which is a blue and black boucle, a dress, gloves, and other things of lesser importance. I had a suit case full of stuff and then some more. Ma had her share, too. Fortunately we got a ride part way home.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

boucle coatI found this purple and black boucle coat on ebay. The era’s wrong (this is a 1950’s coat), and the color isn’t quite blue; but it can give you an idea of what Grandma’s coat looked like. I bet she looked awesome.

Grandma–

What a fun day! Nothing cheers a woman up like clothes shopping—especially when her mother pays for the clothes.

Took Black Velvet Up to Town

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, September 28, 1914: One week and some days later. Looks as if my pen had been on a vacation. To tell the truth I am getting tired on writing in this. Nothing nice and sentimental to jot down. Took my black velvet up town to have the trimmings re-arranged.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—

We’re glad your pen is back from its vacation. But do tell, why does your black velvet (dress?) need the trimmings rearranged? Is there a special event coming up? . . . Is there a special guy?

Hundred-Year-Old Women’s Suits

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, September 17, 1914: After a lapse of nine days I decided that it is time to write in my diary.

Went to town this afternoon to oblige Ruthie dear. Her suit need pressing (souvenir of our trip) so I walked it in.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma– I’m confused. There been a sentence or two written most of the past nine days. Do you mean that you went back and wrote entries for all of those days at one time? . . .Your memory must be pretty good.

And, this thing about wearing suits on the trip to Niagara Falls. . .  It’s nice that you took your sister Ruth’s suit into the town to get pressed (at the dry cleaners?); but it seems ridiculous that you wore suits while on vacation.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

House Jackets (Sweater Vests) a Hundred Years Ago

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, September 10, 1914: Called on Carrie this afternoon.

1914-09-39 e

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1914)

This design is the ever-useful “hug-me-tight,” of waist length and with a pretty variation in collar and sleeves.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Carrie Stout was a good friend of Grandma’s who lived on the nearby farm. In my mind, I picture Carrie and Grandma sitting in a quiet corner of the living room, leaning forward towards each other while excitedly chatting about Grandma’s recent trip . . . guys . . . neighborhood gossip. . . whatever.

Were the days starting to get cooler? The house may have had a chill since the heating stove in the living room probably wasn’t yet operating.  Maybe Grandma and Carrie wore “house jackets” (I think that I’d call these sweaters, sweater vests, or short-sleeved sweaters, but the September, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal called them house jackets.)

1914-09-39 cHouse jackets of soft fleecy worsted are as popular as ever and each year brings to us some dainty new designs. The one in pale blue is made in almost straight lines and designed to wear in the house or under a coat. The revers form a good chest protector if one is needed with an open coat.

1914-09-39 dAn adorable kimono which every woman loves is unmistakable in the pink-and white-garment.

 

1914 Bridal Veils

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, June 4, 1914: Ditto

1914-05-48 b

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Oh dear. . . another slow day. . . The previous day Grandma wrote, “Nothing doing.”

While Grandma was doing nothing, maybe she flipped through Ladies Home Journal and pored over the pictures of bridal veils—and selected her favorite veil, while dreaming that she’d someday have a storybook wedding. . . .Or maybe the pictures depressed her and made her worry that she’d never get married.

The New Bridal Veils

As old as the wedding ceremony itself is the custom of wearing the bridal veil. Of course the bridal veil need not be an expensive article, for, unless there is rare old lace in the possession of the brides’ family, it would be perfectly charming and dainty made of fine tulle or of sheer net. Fine lace may edge the veil, or form or trim the cap or head covering, but this is not essential for the beauty of the veil.1914-05-48 c

Trimming the veil with orange blossoms is likewise a custom of long standing. Still there is no reason why other white flowers or strings of pearl beads cannot be substituted should one’s fancy so dictate.

1914-05-48 d

1914-05-48 a

If you enjoyed these pictures and would like to see some more bridal veils from the same issue of Ladies Home Journal, go to Fashion a Hundred Years Ago. It is the companion site to this blog, and I posted several additional pictures there.

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