FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Found in Ohio September 19, 2012

More folks from Ohio must have been visiting Chicago than perhaps one might imagine. Someone bought a hat at the State Street store of Carson Pirie Scott, and Co. This hatbox, a style new to this millinery researcher, was from the Uptown Antiques and Collectibles,, just blocks from the Toledo Art Museum. Great shop, delightful, and VERY kind owner. About a half dozen cute hats,  plus plenty of cute hat pins were left behind for your enjoyment.

Then down south of Toledo, in Findley, a new hat designer from Chicago was uncovered. Billings is all the label said, plus Chicago. This green straw with fruit was cute. Bet some gal was proud as a peacock to have brought that to Ohio.

Anyone have some history on the mystery of Billings hats from Chicago? Do tell!


Chicago Millinery History: Vintage Hats at Randolph St Market August 26, 2012

My daughter was right. She told me I would love the hats at the Randolph St. Market in Chicago. This event was not news to me, but this year was the year not to miss this fun.

Held monthly for a weekend, there is an outdoor part with lots of distractions, and probably a few good hats, if one can handle the 90+degree Chicago temperatures.

NOT for me.  I was on a mission anyway to see a certain vintage seller, who I had met in Feb. in Elgin, thinking I would get there the next month to see what other treasures she had. Kimberly Oliva of Estate Chicago on Etsy brought along a hat we had convod about thru her shop. At this event she is able to set up a wonderful selection of vintage goodies, of accessories, jewels, and assorted temptations. She does know her hats.

Along the way a Michigan seller had the best offerings for me, and a desirable hat went home for my viewing pleasure. Vintage Allure is a stop I would make again at this Market, and would love to visit in MI as well. Time will tell, but she tells of more Chicago hats in her treasure trove, sparking my imagination greatly.

On the far right is a Chanda straw hat with fruit that was as pretty on the inside as the outside:

Some pretty clothing with hats interspersed almost diverted my attention:

But finally focused on the back wall there are a couple of hat boxes:

Too excited to even think about taking a picture, I asked the seller about the hat way up high. Teresa Postema graciously pulled down a mannequin from a top shelf all covered in pearls, and a small pearl accented hat.  Some readers may be able to imagine the maker, as he was highly regarded in Chicago, with the initials of BBG. This is the hat that went home with me:

Moving into the main room, along with Kimberly Oliva we find Zelda’s Attic:

She too had a delightful Chanda hat:

Back to back with Zelda was a new seller of exquisite handbags, Kevin G. Notice these are handbags, not purses:

Scattered among the handbags are a few choice hats.

This wide brim straw was stunning:


The daisy straw tilt and the pink rose tilt are almost lost with the beauty of the other items:

The best hat was the Betty Coed:

There are still plenty of terrific hats left for anyone visiting the Randolph St. Market 8/26/12, or even in Sept.


Antique and Resale Shoppe in Chicago April 8, 2012

Filed under: Chicago Millinery History,hat,millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 2:10 pm
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A couple of weeks ago this most wonderful shop had their spring sale. There were many temptations, and a few came home. This trip yielded some hankies, and lots of photos of many of their wonderful hats. This shop is well known for their vintage jewelry, but there are too many other temptations to even mention. You must go there yourself and be tempted.

This white feather hat caught my eye last time, and did again. Here are some other shots:

Made in France for Chicago’s Marshall Field and Company one wonders what wonderful shopping trip the original owner had when she bought this beauty.

But then there are other fine hats to adore:

This is just the tip of the iceberg of fun in this store. There was one hat from Fields which was almost an overwhelming temptation:

There really were other almost overwhelming ones too. Always on the lookout for new labels, this little pretty is a J Jrs.  hat:

For the past half dozen times I would go and seek out this silk hat from Frances Heffernan, an elite womens shop in Winnetka I remember from the 1970s, as well as remembering Frances herself in the last few years of her life. She dressed better than any other elder I knew in 1977. The shop is owned by others to this day, and is still a wonderful place for fine fashion. The problem with this little hat is that someone has removed about a square inch of silk from a noticable area on this hat. I am perplexed to wonder how to restore it to it’s former glory. Someday when I think I can restore it, I hope it is still there for me to bring home.

And to close this blog here are a few more hats that make one smile:

But then everyone needs pretty hat boxes for those hats, and perhaps a feather boa besides. Stop over at Antique and Resale Shoppe on Harlem in Chicago for lots of fun temptations.  IF some of these hats are not there when you visit, they may have come home with me, overwhelmed with temptation.


What Hats Did Linda Feigenheimer Like Best? Glitz and Glam? May 28, 2011

So many hats of the collection of Linda Feigenheimer make one think she fancied ones with a bit of Glitz and Glam.

Here are just a few of the 300 hats that had started the estate sale in 2009. So many elegant hats for every mood, but many were just plain…elegant…feminine…delightful.

Bes Ben hats were on a table behind the sales ladies, as these were considered even more treasured than some others.


It is an understatement to say most all of the hats were great, but this Lily Dache was the one I spent the most time examining for days after acquiring the collection of about 100 hats. Fifty hats seen in the sale were sold at rock bottom prices at a Susannin Auction Chicago event in Nov 2009. Luckily this one was spared, probably as it was not in it’s full glory.  Faded in some areas, it seemed it should be restored, yet it has it’s own not too shabby chic that does not allow it to be deconstructed and reconstructed, tho it likely would improve it significantly.


Some seem patriotic, which is fitting for Memorial Day weekend and July 4th, some years ago.

Some big and little black hats catch your eye, but only for a moment when you add some color.

One Big Pink Flower here. Did you even notice it was attached to a hat?

In this case the hat is in there somewhere, as the assortment of accents is almost overwhelming.

Which milliners get credit for these treasures? Loreta Corsetti, Lily Dache, and others. It is nice to have those two names in the same sentence. Anyone out there want to guess which is the Corsetti? It is not too hard to place the Dache-the insides with the labels are also shown.

Here is the inside of the Corsetti.

Did you select the black pique with the grey and black stripe band with buckle? There were a couple of others in the group you might have wondered about. The black with pink velvet rose is Adolpho II, the black with feathers and rhinestone swag is Breithaups from Milwaukee perhaps a hundred years ago or more,  the little black straw was probably 40s or 50s Gladys and Belle of NY sold at Ruth McCullock of Hubbard Woods and Evanston, and the last white straw was Edythe of Evanston from long ago.

The patriotic ones were the large brim from Mandel Bros in Chicago,  and the white straw a Ere Nouvelle of NY sold at Edythe of Evanston.

Happy Memorial Day, 2011. Mandel Bros hat, here I come. Even if it is not Glitz and Glam.



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!