FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Claire’s Millinery Club? December 19, 2010

Filed under: millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 10:14 pm

Saving stamps to get a hat, how clever.

Searching for treasures of a millinery history kind brought this curiosity along to puzzle me.

For starters one has to wonder who was this person who shopped in the 60’s and bought hats in northern IL. How sad she did not get that final hat to fill her card and get the treasured free hat. Perhaps she filled many others and enjoyed this process and all those hats. We know she had at least these 9 from Claire’s.

The wonderful ebay seller, Barbcity, acquired this some years ago in the northern IL Dekalb area. I am so grateful this was listed on a cold wintery day or I may have never come to find it. Fate, for sure.


Claire’s, the mega-company of accessories, began as 60 stores in the Chicago area, according to their corporate website info. A buyout in 1974 took them on the path of becoming a household word in the vocabulary of tweens and teens.* Could this card be from one of those first 60 stores? I hope there is a business historian who can answer that burning question. My heart says yes, and my brain wants confirmation.

Have you seen Claire’s hats? Lots of fun there, and that blog is busy with hat talk too.

Purchasing items at stores and saving stamps has been a long practice (Anyone else saving those Jewel stamps for cookpots? Yes, me too!) But when it comes to saving them for hats, I had no clue this had been going on years ago. Anyone ever hear of this before? Do tell, please. And if you have any of these cards around in some stash of forgotten paper ephemera please dig them out. I’d love to take them to the Claire’s to see their reaction-there is no expiration date from what I can tell. But then again I wouldn’t want to part with this oddity of my Chicago millinery history obsession.

Perhaps we need a campaign to bring this process back to Claire’s with a line of vintage hats designed by a Chicago milliner. Is anyone out there volunteering?

* “1974 FT Industries, Inc., a company founded by former Chairman Emeritus Rowland Schaefer, bought Claire’s Boutiques, Inc., which operated approximately 60 stores in the Chicago area.”

Happy 353rd day of 2010.


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