FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Hat Boxes February 5, 2011

Filed under: Chicago Millinery History,millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 12:33 am
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There are many hatboxes holding treasured hats in my hat collection, but some are a bit interesting in their own right.

Major department store hatboxes often are used as accents in a ladylike bedroom decor, as well as ones mass produced to put on display and hold anything, including hats.

Here are some from stores in Chicago, from years gone by:
Most of the time one thinks of the green signature color for Marshal Field and Co, but those hats from the French Room may well have come from this beauty.

Carson Pirie Scott & Co. was a well established business in downtown Chicago just steps away on State St. This is a sturdy box, but the exact age is unknown,

Charles Stevens & Co was also on State Street between Fields and Carsons. The front had a U shaped access with display windows in the center. This was a wonderful location to get in out of the rain without even having to go into the store. Of course the windows were so delicious one couldn’t help themselves but to go inside to see their latest fashions. They had the regular hat area, then also the designer area featuring Luci Puci hats, a well regarded line in its day. When you google Luci Puci you come to a link to a wonderful red pillbox already sold on etsy, by
Susan of Calloohcallay. She wrote of Luci, “who was turning out 900 hats a day for 14 labels in her heyday.” You can find her at

Saks, Fifth Ave. Ours was on Michigan Ave, and still is, tho in a different location across the street. Elegance, pure and simple.

Neiman Marcus, on Michigan Ave, in Northbrook Court and out at Oakbrook mall as well. This box came from the Linda Feigenheimer hat collection, tho no particular NM hat remained. The best NM box from my collection sadly wore out from toting it around to hat shows. It was not in prime shape when I got it at a rummage sale in Lake Forest 20 years ago. The treasure was on the inside-a new with tag white straw hat by Mr. John. That was a glorious day. That hat has always been a favorite. Sorry, I digressed-back to boxes.

Bes Ben hats were class, and only the best box would do. They seem to have come in 2 sizes, and are the most sturdy ones ever.

Hats by Sue, a northwest side of the city hat emporium.

Raymond Hudd, the top of this octagonal box has his signature color of lilac, a color he enjoys even today.

Do you have some unique Chicago boxes to share? Do tell!

Happy 35th day of 2011!


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