Changes for Ladies

During each historic period, there have been styles in hair, appearance and clothing that were demanded. So it was difficult for your female ancestors to meet the norm, no matter how much money was in the family.

Here are some examples of what females had to go through to be proper for their time frame.

You, your mother or grandmother, for sure had to wear garter belts, these helped keep up nylon stockings that women wore. This was before pantyhose (full length) came into existence.

Ironing one’s clothes, including men’s items, was always needed to be done. You did not go out in wrinkled clothes. Fabrics made of wash-n-wear had not come out yet.

In the 1950s the wearing of crinoline was popular. It was a stiff or structured petticoat designed to hold out a woman’s skirt. Not just in the 1950s but popular in the mid-1800s also. During that time period crinolines were worn by women of every social standing and class across the Western world, from royalty to factory workers. But they were also hazardous if worn without due care. Thousands of women died in the mid-19th century as a result of their hooped skirts catching fire being a bit too close to a fireplace or oven. Such skirts were also dangerous while near machinery or getting caught in the wheels of a carriage.

The ones worn in the 1950s were as dangerous, the hooped, tiered, and/or ruffled crinoline petticoats were made of nylon, net and cotton were widely worn, as were skirts with integrated hoops. Some of those hoops had a narrow band where you could blow air into them to make the crinoline stand out more.

The wearing of scarves on the head was done to protect a lady’s hairstyle since restyling one’s hair could take quite a while. Best to just not have to do it over and that’s where the scarf came in. Tying a scarf to one’s handbag was an easy way to make sure you always had one on hand.

You, a relative and certainly an ancestor have had a home perm. When those came out in the 1950s, it was the thing to do, even on young girls’ hair. Note: my mother gave me my first home perm when I was 10 months old, it was from a portion of a home perm she did for a friend.

Hair with curls was also done in the 1920-1970s using curlers. But most of the time it meant wearing some type of curler even while sleeping at night. The type of curler ranged in the early years from rags that rolled the hair, to pins to make the curls to full metal and plastic curlers also worn at night.

Photo: Toni Home Perm Kit of the 1950s

Related Blogs:

Styles After Labor Day

Your Great Grandfather Worn ‘Pink’ as a Baby

Occupational Clothing

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