1913 Shoe Styles

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

Saturday, February 22, 1913:  Mother and I went on a shopping expedition this morning. I doubted whether we’d ever get to Milton. The train was late, and it looked rainy. Ma got me a gray jacket suit, two waists, one is silk, and a pair of shoes which I think I will keep for graduation.

1913 shoe

All shoes from a Red Cross Shoe advertisements in Ladies Home Journal (April, 1913, October, 1913)

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

It sounds like a fun shopping expedition. The shoes must have been very special if Grandma planned to save them for graduation.

Grandma and her mother probably rode the Susquehanna, Bloomsburg, and Berwick train to Watsontown. There was a flag stop at the feed mill near their farm. They probably then took the trolley to Milton.  According to my father, Grandma used to call the train the Sweet, Bye, and Bye because you never could tell when it would come.

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1913 China-Inspired Dresses

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

Thursday, February 6, 1913: About the same as yesterday.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 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 another tangent.

Today our world is so global—and we think that people lived very geographically isolated lives a hundred years ago.  Well, not exactly—

People considered themselves to be very cosmopolitan. As I mentioned several days ago, students studied current events in China in school—and according to the June, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Interest in the political and civic activities of the new China, which is more or less world-wide at this time, let the designers of the garments on this page to look at that country for inspirations for clothes that would be unique and new and yet fit in with present-day modes and the needs and environments of American women.

China has always been known as possessing a wonderful color sense, and the exquisite beauty of its hand embroidery is the marvel of every needlewoman.

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These facts are well known, but one might readily question the possibility of finding in the apparel of the Chinese lines that could be successfully modernized, yet that this has been done is charmingly and most convincingly shown by these attractive and absolutely wearable garments.

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1913 Dresses

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

Saturday, January 18, 1913:  Fixed some of my clothes today. Didn’t do much work because I didn’t feel very energetic.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

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

I bet Grandma wasn’t very energetic fixing her clothes because she wished that she had new clothes.  Did Grandma dream of having the outfits featured in Ladies Home Journal?

For more hundred-year-old fashions, see Fashion a Hundred Years Ago.

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1913 Hair Styles

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

Sunday, January 5, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this morning. Would like to go every Sunday of this year. Was over to see Carrie this afternoon. Went along with her to church this evening.

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Source; Ladies Home Journal (November, 1913)

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

Carrie Stout was a friend of Grandma’s who lived on a nearby farm. What did the two teens talk about? . . . do?

When I was young my friends and I enjoyed fixing each other’s hair. Maybe Grandma and Carrie also enjoyed fixing each other’s hair.

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There’s a fun YouTube video that shows how to do an early 1900s updo.

Beauty Through the Decades, 1900-1910 Hairstyle

1912 Aprons

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

Thursday, December 19, 1912:  Ma went to town this afternoon to do her Xmas shopping. Wonder what she got me for a present. Perhaps nothing much.

1912 aprons

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

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Grandma’s mother got her some wonderful gifts.

A hundred years ago people often made homemade gifts. Aprons were a really popular handmade gift back then. Did Grandma’s mother purchase fabric to make one?

1912 apron

1912Picture Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1912)

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy the post that I did on aprons last year.

 

 

Women’s Shoes a Hundred Years Ago

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

Saturday, November 9, 1912:  Was real busy today. Got a new pair of shoes, but I wasn’t away to get them. As I said before that I was busy today.

Source of pictures: Ladies Home Journal (1912)

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

Hmm . . . How did Grandma get shoes without going anywhere?  Did her mother or sister buy them for her?

I’ve posted lots of pictures of 1912 fashions from Ladies Home Journal—and many of the pictures showed shoes peeking out beneath the dresses.  Today, I cropped a few of the pictures to just show the shoes.

 

You can get a sense of what stylish shoes looked like a hundred years ago—though many of the shoes were drawn in a soft, slightly blurry way since they weren’t the focus of pictures.

Tore Good White Dress

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

Sunday, October 6, 1912:  Was rather woe-begone this afternoon. Guess the start of it all was that I tore my good white dress. Just sat down in a chair and there was a nail or some other rough surface.

I picture Grandma’s dress being solid white–rather than a print–and really pretty, but this is the best illustration that I could find. (Source: Ladies Home Journal, July, 1912)

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

What a downer! Did Grandma tear the dress at Sunday School or at home? I hope it was at home—it would be especially traumatic to tear a dress in front of others.

I’m surprised that Grandma was wearing a white dress. It seems like it would have been difficult to keep clean. And, white seems more like a summer color than a fall one.

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