FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Saks Fifth Ave on Michigan Ave in the 1920s. April 2, 2017

Saks Fifth Avenue was established in New York City in 1924. They had branched out with Palm Beach, FL and Southampton, N.Y, resort stores successfully in 1928, and then decided Chicago was the next on their horizon. Opened at 840 N. Michigan Ave, in March  of 1929, they faced serious long established competitors. In the log written by the head of Charles A Stevens there was concern of several of their employees having been lured away to be employed by Saks.

Saks found their newest home in a recent hot spot, in what is now a still vibrant fashion shopping Mecca, north Michigan Ave. It is oft referred to now as the Magnificent Mile. It was only after the opening of the Michigan Ave Bridge/DuSable Bridge with the Tribune Tower on the north side in 1920 did old Pine Street become a desirable destination. The Drake Hotel, between Walton and Oak, anchored the north end of the business, hotel and shopping expansion. 

SAKS AD 2-17-29

Feb 17 a group of north Michigan avenue retailers combined to be featured in a full page Chicago Tribune advertisement, with a map in the center. The Saks store ad indicates an early March opening. They would have been in the same Michigan Chestnut Building as two shops in this form of weekly Sunday ad, run over the next few weeks. The Chintz Shop would not have competed, and may have welcomed the arrival of Saks. Later the Don Lynn fashion shop may have had great reservations about the future.

The Women’s Athletic Club at 626 N. Michigan opened in April, 1929 and was a great draw to this hotly developing shopping area. They were the new home March 1 of the first branch of a successful shop on Diversy, the Leslie Shop. http://glessnerhouse.blogspot.com/2013/02/womans-athletic-club-of-chicago.html

One should not confuse Leslie with Leschin, another fashion spot. Leschin had Jack Leschin listed as a manufacturer of millinery in the 1920 census, living at 831 Ainslie with his family. In 1910 he had been a manager of a cloak factory in Kansas City.

McAvoy at 615 N. Michigan Ave ran an ad March 11 to welcome Saks. McAvoy’s ads regularly boasted of their Fashion Board, made up of prominent Chicago women: Badger, Farrell, King, Madlener, Meeker, McCormick, Mitchell, Otis, Winston, and Winterbotham. Another ad of theirs also on March 11 mentions clothes in the Debutante room started at $45 (equal to $635.35 in 2017.)

Saks must have been recognized by the world of criminals as well as shoppers as a place of value. June 15 found them robbed of $5,000 cash and $15,000 in jewels at the close of business, in a terrifying holdup. One wonders if Miss Florence Geraldson, the cashier, had been a former Stevens employee who wished she had never left. The thieves escaped, having worn “canvas gloves and sneakers.” 

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Kleenex was on sale in a large cosmetics ad Sept 8, 1929, and again in Nov, at Saks for $.33, in the new larger size. Hopefully the wise women invested, as the stock market crash is just weeks away. Kleenex had started in 1924 as a Hollywood product to remove theatrical makeup and cold cream, which was why it was still featured in the cosmetics department at Saks. In 1926 “A test was conducted in the Peoria, Illinois newspaper. Ads were run depicting the two main uses of Kleenex; either as a means to remove cold cream or as disposable handkerchief for blowing noses. The readers were asked to respond. Results showed that 60% used Kleenex tissue for blowing their nose. By 1930, Kimberly-Clark had changed the way they advertised Kleenex and sales doubled proving that the customer is always right.https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-kleenex-tissue-1992033c

For fashion, Saks sought the well heeled client. They were proud to feature the designs of Jane Regny https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Régny

For the person who pulls themselves away from the newspaper headlines daily about the world covering Zeppelin travels, including a stop in Chicago August 29, they may have noticed the full page ad Sept 3, 1929 for the newly opened jewelry store on Michigan Ave.

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After checking out the new place, then one could head over to Saks for some lovely items from Molyneaux. If that did not draw one, perhaps the ad on the sixth for the allure of Vionnet fashions did entice one to the store. The social elite of the city were returning from their summer homes in Lake Forest, Wheaton and Barrington, as the season was about to start here again. Attending a debut of the chosen few young women certainly required a gown from a Paris house, even if one had not toured Europe to select it there oneself. 

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No other ads were placed by Saks in the Tribune during the early fall of 1929, tho Sept 28 alerts one to the new furs from Mr. Perry A. Weinberg. Perhaps they were trying other papers to see what kind of response the others drew. Or they realized the magnitude of financial woes ahead, and felt it better to conserve their advertising dollars. Whatever financial concerns they had, they still proceeded in expansion to two additional floors in the the building they occupied, as reported Oct. 5, 1929.

By mid Sept it was clear there were financial concerns for the city. Headlines had told of the county being unable to pay their bills, especially salaries, including those of judges. They would get IOUs thru the end of the year. A reassessment of property in the county was a hopeful way to be fairer, and gain more tax revenue. That had potential but as people would be losing jobs in the future, it is not too likely as many would be able to pay those taxes. Sept 19, 1929 had a Tribune headline that the city had a  32%  deficit. That would play out to include no pay for plenty of their employees as well, including school teachers. That day they feared the dismissal of 2,000 city policemen and 800 firemen, a potentially dire situation. The city had reassessed real estate property values in 1928, had borrowed against the anticipated higher tax revenue which did not materialize, making for a mess of a financial deficit going into 1930. This news deflected from the previous big issue of the 4,000 county employees being unpaid since Sept 15.

October 25, 1929 was the final blow to the stock market. No Saks Fifth Avenue ads ran that day either. One might imagine the staff spent much of the day concerned for the future, and wondering if the holiday shopping season, soon to start, would be anything like they had hoped for when they were planning it in earlier months.

Much newspaper mention has been made of the stock market crash the end of Oct, a trigger for the Great Depression ahead. It has been a volatile market since at least the spring, and bank failures and suicides had been happening even before the crash. Those just seemed like more isolated incidents till economic gloom became better recognized. 

What other events occurred for which a new dress and hat would be desired by a lady in Chicago? The opera? Yes. Theater? Yes. The new production of Eugene O’ Niel’s third Pulitzer Prize winning “Strange Interlude” opened to 1200 attendees. The Stevens Hotel, across the street, and the theater arranged a special dinner interlude. The performance started at 5:30, and the 1.25 hr intermission was a time for theater goers to dine at the hotel, then return for the final acts of this 5 hour, nine act play. It sounds like an excellent idea, at only $1.50 for the meal, as Thanksgiving dinner was $2, vs $2.50 at the Palmer House.

saks umbrellas

A practical purchase for gifts or oneself, if only to save one’s hat from rain and snow, would have been the special on Nov 23 for umbrellas at a mere $7.50. Just after Thanksgiving Saks featured shoes for $9.85 for values to $27.50, and the same ad is repeated several days.

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One wondered if Saks actually sold hats, a mystery solved when a semi annual clearance sale is announced Dec 2, and millinery is mentioned. Whew! One could relax, tho no hat photos make one wonder if they were all a cloche style, or perhaps a bit more adventurous. 

Speaking of the ads themselves, most Saks ads were rather bland. The two cosmetic ads were simply lists of items with prices, and the shoe sale showed no shoes. Even the biggest ads in the fall for Vionnet and Molyneaux were copies of typed letters from the fashion houses. The aura of mystery was certainly the approach Saks took. Lots of competitors featured lovely drawings, such as Blum’s Vogue Dec ____1929. 

But finally Saks has pulled out all the stops for a full page ad on Dec 8, a Sunday paper, to draw those Christmas shoppers inside their doors. The image contained an Art Deco feel of a woman holding a ship. They were not selling ships, but selling the allure of imported goods, especially French items. 

saks baGS

They followed up on Dec. 12 to entice gift givers to select a purse, with prices which ranged to $250. ( Or $3,530 in 2017)

1929 BAGS

For the bargain hunter, The Fair, a reputable mid-price department store, had an ad of handbags ranging to $15.That week Carson, Pirie, Scott and Co showed “original couturier bags from Lelong, Patou, Worth, Lanvin, and Paquin at $15 to $35.” All the ads were of little use from Dec 18th, and 19th, as a blizzard had hit Chicago, “the worst of a decade.” It caused 12 deaths, and plummeted the temps to zero. For shoppers who had left that gift buying task for the last weekend before Christmas, the city was a mess. 900 shovelers and 75 trucks were working to clear the downtown; the rest of the city had to wait for it to melt.

OG BAGS

By Dec 21 O’Conner and Goldberg, known as OG, the store for shoes, had to do something with their 1,500 handbags, which were marked down to $5, from $27.50.

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By Dec 23 even Saks had to move their $7.50-$10 purses, marked down to $4.95. Perhaps we have a case of handbag wars, where sellers were bound and determined those lovely little evening bags with so much holiday appeal get out their doors, one way or another. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1929/12/23/page/4/article/display-ad-3-no-title

How many people trudged thru the snow for these bargains is unknown. But teachers were not going shopping for many gifts. The city was so broke for weeks they could not be paid, no matter what they went thru to get to work during the blizzard. Loop departments stores placed ads specifically telling teachers they could open credit accounts immediately. In a last minute deal borrowed funds were found to give teachers their checks on Dec. 24th. But sadly for them things would be worse in 1930, with far worse gaps unpaid. For now, Chicagoans went about their business of celebrating a white Christmas, a bit diminished, but hopeful of a new year of hats and handbags. Maybe they even went inside Saks, just to see what it was all about, even if buying their hats seemed outrageous.

 

Chicago Millinery History: The Millinery Staff of Mandel Bros Department Store March 29, 2017

Filed under: Chicago,Chicago Millinery History,fashion,hat,Mandel Bros,Uncategorized — froufrou4youyou @ 8:33 pm
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2-16-13 paris fashion page

To start off the Spring fashion season of 1913 one could go back to the Chicago Tribune anytime after Jan 1. But in Chicago Spring shopping is hard to fathom when so much snow is still ahead. For the purposes of this exploration of Mandel Bros and millinery, we start the Sunday after Valentines Day.

February 16, 1913 Chicago Tribune carried their usual full page feature of fashion. Chicago women would have wanted to know what styles Paris was showing, as this drove the fashion industry. Milliners would want to see the hats, but also know what colors were in style as well.

Mary Buel wrote this fashion column and captured the mood of Paris in her descriptions. Hats had the last word, ie, the last paragraph.

“Hats are of extreme importance as they seem to change from day to day, and it is really dangerous unless blessed with a full purse.” ” The very newest shapes are perfectly tiny, with low rounded crowns, and the smallest turned up brims. some are made of straw with the brim of broche; others are entirely made of broche and in all sorts of light shades.”

In an April 1913 employee newsletter for Mandel’s staff, an article revealed the “Sales Leaders for March 1913.” This State St store had been a major marketing force since it began in 1855, over fifty years earlier. By listing all the 148 departments in rank of sales, it is likely they wished to stir up some competitiveness between departments and increase overall sales. Luckily millinery ranked well, with one section at 41, and the other at 62. The 41st ranking section was broken down to seven groups. Each group had a person identified as the first, and a second, essentially the most successful employees in their various groups. In the section ranking 62, there was no breakdown of groups.

Millinery from ranking 62 had two employees listed: Miss Mayhew and Miss Goldman.

Miss Mayhew is likely Margaret M Mayhew born Aug, 1866 in Indiana. In the 1900 census she was single, 34 and living with her parents in Wayne, IN. Her work was that of a nurse, which in those days did not require much education. She has a 17 year old sister, Bessie, who does not work. In the 1910 census Margaret 43, is now working as a milliner in a retail store, perhaps even Mandel Bros. She is living at 537Abbotsford, in Kenilworth, http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/537-Abbotsford-Rd_Kenilworth_IL_60043_M87814-23427, in the household of her sister, Katherine Woodward, 39, and her husband. Washington Woodward, 43, is a manager of a tile company, and they have a 12 year old daughter. It is likely Margaret indulged her niece, Ruth, in some lovely things from Mandel’s store. By the time Margaret is acknowledged in the Mandel’s newsletter, Ruth would have been 15. Little did Ruth know that by 1930 she would have been married and living in Portland, Maine, with her husband, two children and her widowed mother. No records are found for Margaret until the census of  1940.  Margaret, 73, had moved from Chicago, after 1935, back to Richmond, IN. She was then living with her 81 yr old sister, Emma. No idea what became of Margaret until her burial March 8, 1949 in Richmond, IN.

Miss Goldman?? Far too common of a name to find enough to call a true picture of her life. It is pure speculation that the Mandel’s Miss Goldman is the Hattie Goldman of the 1910 census, living on 12th St, where at 14 she is listed as a milliner in a millinery store. By the 1913 Mandel’s newsletter, she would only have been 17, an amazing success to have reached such accolades. It seems Hattie married in 1918, and moved to Ottumwa, IA, where she died in 1971.

Tho it is unknown if Misses Mayhew and Goldman were on the fourth floor, certainly some of the other high sellers from the 41st ranking department had been there.

Group 1 Miss Enk and Miss Saunders; no clues found for them on ancestry.com

Group 2 Mrs Norton and Miss Maremont; no clues found for them on ancestry.com

Group 3 Miss Shovel Miss Levin; no clues found for them on ancestry.com

Group 4 Miss Zahm and Miss Wimmermark; no clues found for them on ancestry.com

Group 5 Mrs. Meunch and Miss Parent; no clues found for them on ancestry.com

Group 6 Miss Tannenhill and Miss Froelich; no clues found for them on ancestry.com

Group 7 Mrs French and Mrs. Hurley. No clues on Mrs. French, and only maybe on Mrs. Hurley. In 1910 Miss Margaret Hurley is a 23 year old milliner in a millinery shop, living at 4213 S. Wabash, with her parents. Did her mother go back to work and is the MRS. Hurley? Did someone type Mrs when it should have been Miss? No way to figure this out.

Now for a look at just what hats these successful millinery saleswomen were sending home with happy customers. These copies of Chicago Tribune newspapers are from the online archives from the paper.

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Feb 18, 1913 has an ad for the Gondola hat for $12. This Balkan Blue hemp braid hat has Bulgarian crown with “ears” of braid. The fine print also tells you there are 500 hat copies of the leading Paris styles of “Reboux, Talbot, Marie Louise, Lewis and Georgette.” Head to the 4th floor for your Gondola, ladies.

lillian russell 1913

Anyone working in the world of fashion needs to know about the latest beauty tips. And who could provide that better than the famed actress, Lillian Russell. Her column also answers questions from two inquiries. One is advised to break two eggs over her hair to improve it. The other is advised that coconut oil is different from cocoa butter, which is “good for developing the bust”. Really? Wish to have seen her in person? She was at Orchestra Hall the next week from Monday thru Thursday. One might say cocoa butter worked well!

The section on Today’s Bargains has feathers with a savings of 200-300% at two different locations downtown, or winter hats value of $12 for $1.50 at Halla Hat at 4408 Sheridan Rd. Somehow these seem too good to be true.

Sunday Feb 23 fashion page features negligees, including the still popular nighttime head covering. The Mandels ad has $12 hats on the fourth floor, in colors Balkan blues, Beznark reds, bottle greens and natural.

The next day had no fashion Mandel Bros ad, but that Today Bargain section included those still fabulous bargain feathers downtown, and the spring items of two northside millinery shops. Fleishman’s at 1138 N. Milwaukee had some Bulgarian effect hats from $1.98-$2.98. Mrs. W. H. Bentzen at 2658 N. Milwaukee has items in crepe, maline, and hemp. Repeatedly the ad states “Mrs”, tho the milliner found remains very much a miss until many years later. Miss Vilhelmina Bentzen was 24 in the 1910 census and living at home with her parents and younger sisters around the corner at 2651 N. Kimball. By 1920 she and her folks had moved to 2704 N. Albany. Her father, Charles, was the Fire Chief at the Mandel’s Dept store, so one could well imagine she visited the millinery dept downtown to feed her creativity. Wilheminia marries in 1937 in New Orleans, to a dentist, Charles Weinrich. They are in Louisana for some years before returning to Chicago, tho in 1940 she is no longer working.

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Chic satin hats are now the feature, ranging from $5 to $13.75. They also point out the newest Paris creations left just 10 days ago. An ocean voyage, plus over land by train took more than that to arrive in Chicago.small_044

It is all well and fine to read of such loveliness, but even better is the next page practical article on “How May Husband Best Bear the Easter Bonnet Shock.” Two fictional women have a discussion on how to connive the husbands into getting a new hat.

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The front page of the last Sunday edition before Easter has the amusing cartoon of a large hat ready to trap an unsuspecting gentleman. One can interpret it in a couple of ways. Is she snaring him to hopefully make him her betrothed? Or snaring him to them go and get a new hat?

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Page 4 ads in this edition include the Chicago Feather shop, at 107 S. State with hats for $10, tho the Dress Easter hats ran $13.50-$25, and the New York Hat shop in the Stratford Hotel, at Michigan and Jackson for $8, $9 and $10. Many stores followed with hats in their Easter ads, including Matthews, Mesiro at 202 S. Michigan Ave/Pullman Building, Emporium World at 28 S. State, Siegel-Cooper, The Boston Store, The Fair, Hillman’s, Lloyd’s Bargain Store, and Rothschild’s “Chicago made. ” One of the prettiest ads was for Leslie’s millinery.

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OF course Mandels had a full page ad. Some lovely creations were only $15.

Monday brings the ads from Charles A. Stevens, Carson, Pirie Scott and Co, and Marshall Field to get those last minute shoppers moving.

It would be grand to know how many hats were sold for Easter in 1913 by the sales staff. It would also be grand to know how many milliners worked long hard hours to get those creations ready for the sales floor. Hopefully they were not working more than the legal limit of a 10 hour day for 6 days a week at Mandels, tho plenty of places ignored this regulation at the height of the season.

Wish more information on Mandel Bros store? Check out this earlier entry on them, Chicago Millinery History- Mandel Bros Department Store.

 

Chicago Millinery History: Spring 1958 April 23, 2015

The Spring of 1958 had many drawings and photos of millinery during the weeks preceding Easter in the Chicago Tribune. This look back is focused on the advertising and news coverage in that paper. Since many folks did not advertise nor gain exposure, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Benjamin Green-Field is not mentioned once, tho BesBen hats were selling like hotcakes that year. Sometime there will be a more inclusive version of the world of millinery here for 1958, but for now here are some tidbits.

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Peyton Place, the movie, was playing the spring of 1958. It was the second highest grossing movie of 1958, mostly because of the leading lady, Lana Turner. Not only for her acting, but because her daughter killed her mother’s abusive lover, a mobster. Her daughter was not charged. The movie, tho considered racy in it’s day, was a sanitized version of the earlier book. Sadly the movie, not rich in hats, was not a fashion trend setter, as it was set in the early 1940s.
One of the actors in this film was Lee Philips, not to be confused with Lee
Phillip, who had a most wholesome image in Chicago. She had been the hat ambassador, Miss Easter Bonnet, in 1955 and 1956 for the Luci Puci line of Chicago made hats.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050839/

Fashion was facing a trend to a new style of dress, and the term chemise shows up in the description of many hats advertised in the Chicago Tribune newspaper from March through Easter, 1958. The chemise was a straight-line waist-less sheath dress with a below the knee length. Some versions had a loose or manipulated feature in back as a focal point.

HATS IN ADVERTISING
Hats could also be used in advertising other things. Frozen food was pretty new in the scheme of things for the homemaker. Most refrigerators until recently were only able to hold ice cubes and a pint of ice cream.
Libby Foods advertised frozen peas with the photographed model wearing a John Frederic’s hat. She states “I’ll eat my hat if these are not the freshest tasting peas you have ever enjoyed.” One can only hope those peas were delicious. It was a crime to ruin that hat.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/238

THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF HATS
Instead of just looking forward in fashion, the newspaper also carried a regular feature to appreciate the good old days. “When Chicago Was Young” by Herman Clark, is a special column in the Chicago Tribune for a peek at history revealed in a letter written in 1910. The writer laments of the oversized hats worn by women in church the Sunday before, which had been Easter Sunday that year. She was referring to the fashion trend called Merry Widow hats, which came to fashion after worldwide success of an operetta of the same name. At least anyone writing such a column looking back at 1958 would not be voicing that complaint, as it was a rare sight to see a wide brim hat featured in any Chicago Tribune advertisements in The six weeks leading up to Easter.

IMPORTED HATS
To be up to date, one would want to read the noted fashion columnist, Evelyn Livingstone, with her article in the women’s pages, “Today with Women.” On March 31, in the Chicago Tribune, she has “Hats That Bloom in Spring.” Featured are a modified bowler by Dior, a spoon shaped black hat of starched mesh, accented by yellow-orange roses by Jacques Heim- Svend of Paris. Two floral calotte and cloche hats are also photographed by Gigi of Milan, Italy. These hats were available in the import collection at Marshall Fields. Imports held much appeal to the fashionistas of the day. Especially if it came from Paris, women paid top dollar to wear an imported hat. The less well heeled, or thriftier, bought one of many thousands of knockoffs sold each season in Chicago. It was not socially unacceptable to manufacture copies, and some manufacturers added value to the item by putting it right on the label.

MILLINERY CLASS
Millinery class at Chicago park district field houses were offered, for the budget conscious woman. At Horner Park on Montrose, they were taught by Mrs. Robert J. Stack of 3300 Dickens. Classes were popular with neighborhood women who wished to design their own hat. The classes, twice per week, had begun in February. They were free, except for the cost of supplies. Mrs. Stack had worked in the millinery industry for years.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/20/pg/57

FASHION SHOWS
Just as in 1957 there are luncheon fashion shows the week before Easter. The Drake had Blum Vogue doing the honors, and Bramson’s was at the Sheraton lounge, who also did the Kungsholm Restaurant later in the week. The Sheraton brought out several individual collections, which included hats by Betty Owens at the end of the week. Sadly not a word has been found online about Betty Owens, tho this day must have been a thrill for Betty.
The Imperial restaurant was covered by Martha Weathered.
The Van Cleef and Arpels jewel collection was at Stanley Korshak, which might have had a few hats worn for good measure.

Not to be left out of the fashion show parade, Marshall Field’s held shows at both Old Orchard and the State St stores.
Earlier Marshall Fields had hosted an even bigger fashion show on March 10, at the Sheraton-Blackstone. Fashion Director, Mrs. Kathleen Catlin, brought the import collection of 52 dresses. It heavily featured the chemise, the newest look. Several hats adorn the drawings included in the Tribune article. Two were specifically presented by Givenchy. ” …high crowns: Wide brimmed silhouette is fashioned completely of black netting; towering pillbox of white organdy trails two full blown windsocks.”
This had the attention of the Chicago society elite. The hats worn to the event were well described. The room was “a sea of flowers.”
Some of the women were mentioned:
The attendees:
Mrs. Hughston M. McBain, and Mrs. E. Hall Taylor – mimosa
Mrs. Byron Harvey – beret draped with hundreds of white rose petals;
Mrs. William F. Borland – white straw beret (photographed);
Mrs. Kellogg Fairbanks – wide brimmed cabbage rose;
Mrs. Bruce Thorne Jr, Mrs. Maurice P. Geraghty, and Mrs. John A. Prosser – “black veiling with birds or butterflies”;
Mrs. Robert A. Gardener Jr- ” row of tiny brown velvet bows atop a veil”;
Mrs. Wesley M. Dixon – “white feather birds” head veil;
Mrs. Herbert P. L. McLaughlin and Mrs. George S. Isham – Bachelor buttons

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Saks Fifth Avenue brought in their milliner from NY, to offer consultations in-store. On March 6 and 8, Mrs. Virginia Wallace was on hand to reveal the loveliness of the “Sweet butter straws prepared to melt.” These flower covered hats were priced from $10.95 to $14.95. They were available on the fifth floor in the Young Elite Hat section.
BONWIT TELLER
Bonwit Teller starts off March with a special event featuring a visit from Irene of New York, on March 3, and followed with a visit by Miss Alice on March 11 and 12. Miss Alice had also been there in 1957.

The article by Marylou Luther, “These Hats of Spring Revamp Vamp of 1920s,” provided an in-depth explanation of the Miss Alice hats at Bonwits. The hats to reflect the 1920s cloche and turban were from $45 to $65. The “Katy” hats of sailors and Bretons was exemplified by a green and white “houndstooth” straw with upturn brim and velvet ribbon bow for $39.50. It was called the Beau Catcher. A roller silhouette of organdy went for $45.

Bonwits Teller, located at 830 N. Michigan Ave. regularly advertised womens fashions, including millinery. March 21 had an ad for a straw cloche, Daisy Crazy for $9.95. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/21/page/2

Bonwits silk organza with veil Merry Go Round by Betmar for $7.95 was advertised on March 24, 1958.

Bonwit was back to bringing in star milliners, by hosting Mr. Arnold 3/26 and 3/27. Seen in an ad was the “chemise cloche.”

The Thurs paper of that week showed a “puckish cap” of green fabric leaves with single rose in front center from Mr. Arnold and mentions his appearance at Bonwit.

BRAMSON
Mr. Arnold may well have paid a visit to Bramson’s too, if he stuck around to the end of the month. At least one of his hats were featured in an automobile advertisement. It was a wide brimmed hat by Mr. Arnold in a tie in ad with the Premier Landau Lincoln car, which it seems was on display at the Bramson store, along with the hat.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/6

MARSHALL FIELD AND CO.
It was a grand day when Miss Sally Victor visited Marshall Fields on March 4 and 5. Her hats were said to be a good balance for the shorter skirts that season. The one shown in the ad was priced at $85, available in the French Room on the fifth floor.

Marshall Fields has an ad identified as at Old Orchard, featuring vibrant Paris pink accessories. The cloche hat at $16.95 is drawn in black with white dots, so it impossible to know if the black was the pink or the dots. Other items in the ad were white gloves, necklace, carnation, and white with black dots silk shantung blouse, still leaving the question unanswered as to what was pink.

Another Field’s half page ad has three hats featured, described as skimmer, bubble and breton. These were available on the 5th floor in the
Debutante Room.

Rarely are ads seen for millinery on the lower level Budget Floor of Marshall Fields, but the March 2 ad has $9 hats. They had 163 styles of hats in this offering, which must have been a splendid sight to see.

LYTTONS
A recurring column of the Tribune was Fashions By Angela. In a box article there were three hat drawings. G. Howard Hodghes hats of light straw from Lyttons of a wreath motif. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/21/page/2

MANDEL BROS DEPARTMENT STORE
Mandel’s started off March with three days of in-store special informal modeling of John Frederic’s Charmers, the modest priced line. Miss Charmer from New York was doing the honors of modeling. The article covering the Mandel’s event referred to Mr. Frederic as Mr. Fred. Perhaps only the established fashion writer Evelyn Livingstone was allowed to use that name.

Mandel’s ad for March 9 has 470 hats available at the price of $7.70. On March 23 the Flower Chemise cloche $8.95. On March 27 Mandel’s shows a chemise Breton with flowers and veil for $5.95. On March 31 the ad was for the Chemise Brim, at $10.95.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/31/page/27

It is clear that many sellers felt putting the hot word of the season, chemise, in front of any style made it the most fashionable hat of the year.

Mandel’s also had a price cut from $6.95 and $7.95 down to $5.85 the week before Easter. Perhaps the earlier advertised hats at $5.95 and $8.95 had already sold out.

But more than ads this time of year was the good will earned by Mandel’s for a hat fashion show held in their store. They had six college girls modeling hats made by patients of the Hines VA hospital and sponsored by the Red Cross. The winner was the Miss Vanguard hat which featured an Outer space theme. Other winners were a Hang it Yourself hat, equipped with a hanger, and one with fishing lures. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/8

NEIGHBORHOOD MILLINER
Rollback the brim by Hats by Sue $5-$75 3152 N. Central and 4902 W. Irving Park. This local milliner ran ads in spring, and this year only two were found. It is still common to come upon a vintage Hat by Sue on the Northside of Chicago. What is hard to find is the history of Sue herself.

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THE FAIR
Early in March the Fair featured an ad with a list of milliners they carried, and a drawing of one hat for $79.50 by John Frederics. This straw hat is described as a cloche, tho the drawing shows a wide brim hat, unlikely called a cloche by today’s assessment. The hats they carry run from $22.98 to $89.50. The milliners listed were G. Howard Hodge, John Frederic’s, Norman Durand, Mr. D, Suzy Lee, Phil Strann, Vincent DeKoven, Leslie James, Yvonne, John Andrews.

The Fair is showing a chemise roller of an upswept straw Breton by Roberta Bernays for $10.99. Another Roberta Bernays for $10.99 of rippled cloche, of pleated veiling was available in orange, white, pale blue, pink, mint and black on thier third floor milllinery salon.

BONDS
Bonds at State and Jackson has a millinery department on their 4th floor featuring hats from $5.95 to $35 pg 22 two are shown, featuring flowers and veils. Another ad the next week on 3/31 for a $7.95 value for $5 for a Chemise Cloche of imported Toyo straw.

CHARLES STEVENS
Charles Stevens was proud to advertise their new Hat Bar on March 7, 1958. It was on the second floor, with three hats shown. They ranged from $5.95 to $7.95.

WIEBOLTS
Wiebolts, celebrating their “75th year” had sample hats marked down to $5.97 from $8.99 to $12.99. The fine print box also tells of reduced hats to $2.97.

Wiebolts flower covered rippled trellis frame hat for $15.99.

Weibolts shows a full age Easter ad on March 27, with three hats, ” deep cloches and saucy Bretons, ” priced $7.99 to $10.99 pg 26 On March 31 they share their two “young hearted breton” hats but are certain you are aware that the $7.99 hat will gain you 79 S&H Green stamps as well.

CARSON, PIRIE, SCOTT, AND CO
Carson’s advertised matching hats and purses, dyed to match byEverett. The prices ranged from $3.99-$5.99 for the hats, as presented by the manufacturer’s representative, Betty Donoghue.

Carson, Pirie, Scott and Co launched an irresistible contest featuring a hat covered in diamonds, on display in the Junia Room on the third floor, at the State Street store. Entries with the three closest guess won grand millinery prizes. The third closest won two Sam Budwig hats, the second won three hats, and the closest won a hat a month from Sam Budwig. Miss Lee Phillip was making a personal appearance at the store to model the hat on March 10. She was photographed wearing the hat, with diamonds worth between $10,000 to $100,000. The winner was to be announced on March 14 on the Miss Lee television program. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/02/28/page/13/
The four hats in the ad were by Sam Budwig ranged in price from $20 to $25.
A word about Miss Lee. Starting in Chicago by doing flower arranging demonstrations on local Chicago TV, she became the Weather Girl on the 10 pm news nightly. To improve her image, or create a hook to keep the local Chicago women watching, she had a new hat for each evening to reflect the weather. These were rented by the station from Raymond Hudd, a milliner who began in 1950. This was a pivotal boost to his career.
Miss Lee went on to marry, and became Mrs. William J. Bell. Together she and her husband created the top daytime soap opera TV programs, the Bold and The Beautiful and the Young and the Restless. They did well, and she still lives in CA. They had owned the Howard Hugh’s mansion.

026

GATELY Department Store
Gately’s department store on the south side of the city featured two Jane Morgan hats, a cloche and an upswept breton for $4.99.

GOLDBLATTS Department Store
Goldblatts featured six drawings of hats in their ad of many styles ranging from $4.99 to $12.99. Each of the six drawings were labeled: $4.99 ripple sailor chambre soi, $5.99 bouffant breton sewn straw, $7.99 Breton Swiss straw, $10.99 deep cloche bamboo straw, $12.99 imported toyo cloche, $12.99 chemise cloche grape wreath. In small print they also mentioned other hats were available for $1.99 to $3.98.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/11

Another ad from Goldblatts for Easter hats also on March 30 showed five styles in prices $4.99 to $8.99 with a special mention that the hat could be purchased with the Hot Point Certificate. It seems when a customer had purchased a Hot Point product, of a stove, refrigerator, washer or TV, they were provided with a coupon type certificate for a hat at Goldblatts. The “OK IKE” program by Hotpoint was an incentive marketing plan to increase post war production of appliances. The program participants, Goldblatts along with other local appliance dealers such as Polk Brothers, advertised a free Easter Bonnet for the week before Easter of 1958. What woman could resist a new appliance without interest payments for a quarter of the year if one found themselves unemployed, no down payment with a trade-in, and deferred payments till July 1, plus a new Easter hat!http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/45

The Easter Sunday paper brought out the big guns. A full page ad from Goldblatts with 50,000 hats marked down to $2. It seems there must have been far too few hats selected with the Hotpoint certificates.

SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO
Sears ran an ad March 6, 1958 with an interesting combination, all for only $3.99, regularly $4.99. “You’d expect to pay this for the hat alone.” The hat was a natural straw banded to match the dress. The “Gondolier” was a sleeveless narrow waist, full skirt dress, with a matching straight brim hat. How did they come to have dresses at such a low cost, and with a hat as a bonus? Perhaps the hook was the hat, and the dress was the bonus. The time for sleeveless dresses was nowhere close to appropriate to the temperature of March in Chicago.
One might surmise that this style of dress could easily be out of fashion as the chemise style of a waist-less dress was gaining popularity. Perhaps their fashion suppliers felt the “New Look” of the late 1940s into the early 1950s from Dior would sit on the racks as women shifted focus to a straight line dress. Give them a hat and make the dress worth the risk of looking old fashioned. Certainly there were plenty of women across the US who would not consider the new style worthy of their limited fashion budget, and there were still plenty of Chicagoans who adored the silhouette of eight years earlier.

Sears had drawings of eight hats, marked down the week before Easter from $3.98 to $3.30. Hats were a common part of of full page advertising done by Sears.

LANE BRYANT
Lane Bryant hat of flowers for $3.99. This ad was repeated a few times during the weeks before Easter. Most people may think of plus size clothes as the claim to fame for this company. In its early days it covered many fashion areas, long before plus size existed. What made their name tho was a focus on selling maternity clothing. Far more ads for such clothes were seen in the 1950s from Lane Bryant than all others put together. The baby boomer generation mothers of Chicago knew that store well.

CHILDRENS HATS
What about the future women of Chicago? Little girls had hats for Easter too, but there were no big name designers, nor big price tags.
Kresge at their Chicago and 15 suburban stores shows two girls tie under the chin bonnets for $1.95.
Earlier in the month Sears had been selling similar hats for girls for $1.44, marked down from $1.98.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/27/page/35

EASTER BRUNCH HAT CONTESTS
Before the swing to news coverage of brunches, women were mentioned in the papers for their finery at church. One consistently covered church was the Fourth Presbyterian Church, on Michigan Avenue, of what is now called the Magnificent Mile. When several hotel restaurants offered a contest with prizes for hats, and contests sometimes also for children’s outfits and men’s ties, it shifted the fashion reporting focus from church to mealtime.
Monday after Easter is the news report on the Easter brunch hat contests. The Drake had started their Easter brunch in 1933. Somewhere there must be a clue yet to be found as to the first contest. The Drake clientele in 1958 had some fun in the lobby with the hats worn by Miss Petrine Ronning and Miss Dahana Wood. Miss Wood is created with designing both hats, as well as those of Miss Helen Harrison and Mrs. Christopher C. Porter.
One thing is known, Raymond Hudd hats were winners time and again. A spring hat from Raymond had become the favored Easter bonnet. Tho not mentioned in the Tribune, the contests were covered by other papers as well. Raymond got his glory in the Chicago Daily News, now long gone.DSCN3124