18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, October 4, 1913: Still working for wages.
Resplendent in a flowing costume of gauzy marquisette studded with stars is the “Queen of the Night.” The dress is the empire design, with a tulle ruffle at the low neck and a drapery of transparent material falling from the shoulders in the back. Paper stars may be bought in various sizes.
Ladies Home Journal (July, 1912)
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma was still helping with the corn harvest. As she worked,maybe she dreamed of making an awesome Halloween costume.
Here are some costumes that appeared in the July, 1912 issues of Ladies Home Journal. (The pictures showed patterns that the magazine sold—and they apparently wanted to give people plenty of time to sew the costumes.)
Divested of the traditional black garments of the traditional witch, the rosy-hued costume envelopes the make-believe witch in a gown that has the power to charm that may prove irresistible. Black cats cut from black crepe paper are used to ornament a simple shirtwaist dress and a peaked cap with strips of paper or ribbon on the dress.
The brilliant colorings suggestive of the aboriginal American’s war dress are strikingly developed in the Indian girl costume. The dress is a one-piece princess design and may be made of russet-brown satin, the conventional trim being either hand-painted or developed with white and colored muslin patches.
Whew, some of these costumes (and the descriptions of them) won’t be considered appropriate today. But some things never change–it’s interesting how the description of almost every costume indicates that the woman wearing it will be attractive or charming.
Note: I included two of these pictures in my October 31, 2012 post—but they are so good I just had to share them again this year.