Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wings and Other Girly Things

Do it yourself millinery page, Eaton's 1899

The 'store books' contain little mention of girly things: probably because any such purchases were incorporated into Margaret's allowance.

A key story in Flo in the City, my book about a Canadian girl coming of age in the pivotal 1910 era, based on the letters of is the story of Margaret's Big Hat. I've written about it for a magazine. A Cautionary Tale

That story took place in 1909, when big hats were 'explosing onto the scene' which is why the story has relevance as an 'historical' essay. Miss Eugenie Hudon, town milliner was losing her best clients, the young, to the city. So she foisted these modern creations on the middle-aged woman who were staying behind. And like all older women, they felt uncomfortable in the latest fashions.

I have three bills from Hudon in 1898 and 1899. In account with Miss E. Hudon, dealer in the lastest novelties of Millinery and Children's white wear. Ross Block (opposite St. Jacob's Hotel) Main Street, Richmond, Quebec. Terms: Strictly cash.

1898..April 9.. 1 flat and veil...3.60

1899..April 22..Wing 35, Ribbon, 45, Work 25, Violets 20. Total 1.25.

June 8... repairing sailor 1.12, flower 45, 2 1/2 inch ribbon 45 work 25. Total 2.32

In 1911, Edith and Marion, both living in Montreal would go hat shopping at Ogilvy. Edith would buy a big black shape for 7.00 and Marion something smaller with pink rosettes, 6.50. Edith was a fashion horse, the big black shapes were all the rage, the Merry Widow Style.