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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Hundred-year-old French Twist Directions

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

Sunday, May 31, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

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

Sometimes on boring Sunday afternoons when I was a teen, I practiced creating glamorous hair styles shown in the flyer that came with Adorn hairspray.

Did Grandma also style her hair when she was bored? . . .

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share 1914 directions for how to do the latest hair style, the French Twist.

French Twist

This coiffure is no more difficult than any other but to be entirely successful the hair must be artificially waved or possess a natural undulation.1914-04-73 a

Part the hair high on the crown, almost on a line with the ears, as the greater portion of the hair must be in back. Plait the back hair loosely to hold in place until you comb back the side portions.

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Then take a small portion of hair from the center front as shown in the illustration. Twist this in a loose knot temporarily and comb back each side portion of the hair, fastening halfway between the crown and lower hair-line, as indicated in the illustration.

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Twist this in a  loose knot temporarily and comb back each side portion of the hair, fastening halfway between the crown and the lower hair-line as indicated in the illustration.

Now unfasten the top portion which you knotted. Begin at the end and roll under, forming into a puff to be used as the foundation on which to pin the back portion. Unfasten the loose braid in back; brush and smooth this strand of hair, and taking the entire strand. Draw it upward.

Give it a single twist near the crown of the head, keeping the lower portion smooth and straight. Then begin to roll under the end as you did with the front section, fastening in a becoming line on the top of the head. Place the pins underneath, so they will be practically invisible. The comb may be placed in back or in a diagonal position in front , following the line of the twist. Comb the hair together at the partings and fasten with invisible pins.

Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Hundred-year-old Tips for Buying Shoes that Fit

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

Friday, May 29, 1914:  Just like some other days.

Picture Source: Red Cross Shoe Ad in Ladies Home Journal (November, 1913)

Picture Source: Red Cross Shoe Ad in Ladies Home Journal (November, 1913)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent.

My feet hurt! A few days ago I wore some new shoes—and ended up with terrible blisters. This hundred-old-information about how to select shoes resonated with me—and gave me clues about what was wrong with my shoes. (I think they are too wide and my foot is slipping forward.)

The Shoe

The style of the shoe is very closely related to the corset in the amount of harm it is capable of doing. The compression of the foot interferes with the circulation, compresses the nerves, weakens muscles and ligaments which should support the arch, and is the prolific source of corns, bunions, weak ankles, and “flat” foot.

The front part of the sole must be so designed that the great toe will retain its normal position. In many shoes the great toe is forced out of its natural position toward the middle of the sole instead of pointing straight forward. This leads to a malformation of the foot and ingrowing toe-nails.

The front part of the upper leather must be broad enough for the free movement of all the toes in walking; when it does not give room enough for the toes to spread outward and forward in walking they are bent on themselves. This makes the descent of hills and all active exercise and games very painful. Tight leather uppers are also productive of corns.

The shoe should be slightly longer than the foot, and sufficiently broad for the foot to spread in walking; but, at the same time, the shoe must fit snugly about the heal and instep, or else the foot will slip forward in walking, and all the evil effects of too short a shoe will result.

1913-11-47.d

The heel must be broad and low. High heels force the foot to keep perpetually and unnaturally on the stretch; if they are worn in early youth, they may bring about permanent deformity of the skeleton and the foot.

Moreover, the high heel interferes with the natural walk, in which the pressure of the foot on the ground passes from the heel to the toes. The high heel requires that the front of the foot should be set down first instead of the heel. The result is an awkward tripping gait and a short step, which is very fatiguing,

Personal Hygiene and Physical Training for Women (1911) by Anna M. Galbraith

1914 Panama Hats

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

Friday, May 15, 1914: Nothing much doing.

1914-06-25 a

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

Two days ago I did a post about Grandma’s attempt to remodel a hat. When I was looking for a picture to illustrate that post, I came across some wonderful pictures of Panama hats in the June, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

The hats were linked to a major historic event and engineering feat—the building of the Panama Canal. In spring, 1914 the canal was nearing completions—and it would officially open on August 15, 1914.

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share some of those pictures.

The Panama Hat for Any Occasion

The name of the hat designs illustrated here would of itself arouse an unusual feeling of interest, but in addition to that The Journal is able to present the name of Mrs. William Crawford Gorgas—wife of the most able and eminent physician, now Surgeon-General of the United States Army who first made the digging of the Panama Canal possible by his great work on sanitation.

These hat designs which vary from morning to afternoon fashions have been admired and endorsed by Mrs. Gorgas as representing the most charming and becoming hats for the summer girl.

The flexibility of the straw affords many opportunities for the shaping to individual lines and expression, while its delicate tint can hardly fail to blend with one’s natural coloring whatever it may be.

Fancy-band trimmings, scarfs, flowers, and feathers have changed the Panama hat, originally used for protection from the sun and for knock-about wear, into a thing of dress and beauty to be worn upon any occasion.

Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

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