FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Dan Fox Millinery vs Fox Millinery Supply March 6, 2011

Filed under: Chicago Millinery History,millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 5:52 pm
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These paper treasures were from the collection of hats and hat goodies of a former Chicago millinery dept manager for large dept stores. Clearly she dabbled in creating some items of her own design, as so many women did in the 1950’s. This supply house was well regarded. IF only one could turn back the hands of time and stroll through the wonderful things that must have lined their shelves back then. Sadly too little strolling and much too little shopping brought the end of Chicago’s opportunities for women and ready materials.

Finding Fox items on eBay has become a regular search in this millinery quest. Just to confuse one there are also items from Fox Millinery at 162 N. State St. The fall 1965 catalog shows a greater collection of pictures than the Dan Fox catalog, and a different phone number. Both locations are within walking distance of each other which makes one wonder about the story behind this mystery.

This hat box from Fox Millinery Supply came from a delightful eBay seller, Amy of, who picked it up at a Skokie sale recently by SOS Estate sales.

Now all the Fox things can be stored together from both Fox enterprises. Hope there is no bad karma from issue between the Fox folks years ago that will cause a mess the next time the box is opened. There may be a need for a Dan Fox hat box to separate them in that case.

Anyone know some background on the Fox mystery? Please share.

Happy 65th day of 2011!


11 Responses to “Chicago Millinery History: Dan Fox Millinery vs Fox Millinery Supply”

  1. Ona Fox Says:

    My husband is Dan Fox’s son.

    • So sorry for the long delay in responding. I have been negligent in my blog, and you were so kind to reach out to let me know of the great news there is actually a Fox person I might have the pleasure of communicating with!

      Aside from a fulltime job and life of assorted hat interests, the last couple of months have been spent in coauthoring an ebook with a hat collector on millinery. Hatatorium: An Essential Guide for Hat Collectors was out first attempt, and is on Smashwords. As you can tell my interest in Chicago millinery history is a driving force, and there are other Chicago millinery related books in the initial stages Raymond Hudd, and most likely Bes Ben. I want one on Chicago millinery history to include factual information about Fox, not just the little I have gathered with online research, eBay printed materials purchased and hat purchases. The Hatatorium book has a list of milliners, but it does not include Dan Fox. Perhaps we can add some fundamental information in the 2012 edition, even before a more focused Chicago millinery history book comes to be.

      As you can see I have added little to the blog in recent months, and at this point will do little to add stories here, when some are best shared in greater depth. I would be most honored if there might be a time to gather some info from you and your husband when there is a mutually convenient time. I am in the northern suburbs of Chicago, but if you are elsewhere, email can get us started. Please feel free to email directly to, which I read a couple times each day, as opposed to the email from the blog (which is why your kind response was not acknowledged sooner.)
      Thank you,

  2. chrisnerone Says:

    was going thru some old things in the garage and found a feathered hat and box from fox millinery supply not sure if worth anything but would like to find out

    • It is hard to tell condition as storage in a garage with years of temperature and humidity fluctuations can take a toll on the glue that holds the feathers in place. If they seem secure and there is no odor it may be of interest to vintage sellers. The world of feather hats continues when the style is still wearable and the the hat is clean. Check around for someone who has been selling on Ebay and they may be willing to list it for you. Sadly the market is hard to predict, so it may only bring $10-$15. The same is true of the hatbox. Sometimes people like those more for decor than hat storage.
      If you were in the Chicago northern suburbs it is something I could look at to better judge it’s age.

      If nothing else comes of it donate it to a reseller like Good Will or Salvation Army. Some Goodwill shops even list things online and you could get to see what comes of it that way, but I have no idea if you are anywhere near such Goodwill shops.
      Good luck. I bet it was a treasured part of someone’s wardrobe long ago.

      If you do not mind I will send your email address to someone who might be of interest.

  3. Sue Gaston Says:

    My mother made hats all through the 1950s for herself, her mother, and my sister and me. She always shopped at Dan Fox and my sister and I remember going there with her in downtown Chicago. There was a woman named Nan who always helped us, and was knowledgeable about what shape frame was most flattering, and what materials were needed to finish a hat. I sold some buckram frames on eBay a few years ago to a theater in Chicago – seemed appropriate they went back there. My sister and I still have a collection of the hats Mother made.

    • The story you shared was charming. I too am glad the hat frames have come home, so to speak. If you ever want to share photos of her hats that would be delightful. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  4. Terri Says:

    I found a Dan Fox hat box recently. It has the address of 6 East Lake St, Chicago on the red top, underneath is a womans face holding a black mask in front of her. The sides are decorated with ladies in fancy ball gowns wearing masks and men playing a stringed instrument. It is large with a yellow cord. I would appreciate any information you could give me. Thank you! Sincerely, Terri

    • This was a millinery supply house of long standing in Chicago. The image you describe seems a new one to me. They must have had a special line that went home in such a fancy box. Hopefully you are hanging onto it, as a piece of Chicago’s long standing place in millinery history.

  5. L Says:

    I was looking for information regarding Fox Millinery and came across Chicago Millinery History.
    Glad I did.
    I have 3 Fox Millinery Supply Catalog’s
    1- Spring/Summer 1966
    2- Fall – 1966
    3- Spring 1965
    All have the address of 162 North State Street
    What great prices back then.

    • Those were some of the best years for finding such advertising. I imagine there was enough competition in that area that the company felt they needed to have potential customers impressed with the newest items they would carry. Since my first job was selling hats in spring 66, those styles resonate with me more than others. IF only the prices were still the same and things were available. Enjoy these treasures.

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