May 2, 2008

Reminiscences of Bonnets (part one)

In studying the antique and comparing them with the modern fashions, there are no greater contrasts than in the styles of headdress.
Women always wore flowing drapery, of course varying with fashion's freaks, but still, from the time of the most antique statue to the present day, flowing skirts are found, sometimes suffered to fall in the folds of the material, sometimes drawn gracefully(?) over three or four tiers of hoops. Now in dressing the hair there is no set style of arrangement, "on the contrary, quite the reverse," as Paddy has it. We find, first, the classic style, then the pyramid, then loosely flowing, then a la Chinois, then in bandeaux, again in braids and puffs or curls, and occasionally a slight return to the classic. Of course, with the hair arranged as it was worn some twenty-four or five years ago, it would have been absurd to wear a modern bonnet, and so these pretty head protectors must vary with the style of coiffure they cover or display.


more to come... from Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, October 1858

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