Summer has officially begun in the United States. The weather has finally turned warm here in North Dakota, and most schools in our area are closed for the year. North Dakotans are finally able to pack away the heaviest winter gear and pull out summer fashion. Current fashion, however, is a little different than that of the early twentieth century as is underscored by items in the digital library.
Within our collection are advertisements clipped from magazines or newspapers of the time period. One of these clippings features a particularly interesting summer fashion. It is labeled “Correct Hair Dress for the Summer.” The wording of the title is thought-provoking in that it makes one wonder who determined this style as “correct.” Reading through the ad copy answers that question: “[T]he ‘Curled Chignon’ added to the ‘Roman Braid’ produces a hairdress that charms Paris, and is proclaimed the reigning style for summer.” While it is still unclear who proclaimed this hair dress the “reigning style,” the consumers could be sure that it was all the rage in Paris. Obviously, that was the best endorsement for any fashion.
Correct hairdress for summer, 1908. From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs collection.
Another important accessory for summer was an auto veil. Riding in an automobile, or motoring, required something extra added to a lady’s fashion ensemble. Motoring at that time was not quite like riding in a car today. Motor cars in the early twentieth century were not enclosed, and some did not even have a windshield. Therefore, a trip in an automobile could be a very dirty endeavor. It was at this time that long coats called dusters became fashionable because they covered the person completely. In addition, men and women needed protective eye wear, hats, and gloves.
Motor veil advertisement, 1910. From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs collection.
The veil that is featured in this advertisement appears to cover the head completely, encompassing everything except the face. While it is difficult to say whether an Autaro motor veil was actually the “motoring necessity” the advertisement claims, it does seem as though it would maintain both a lady’s hair style as well as her hat for the duration of her auto ride. Perhaps the enveloping nature of this garment is what alleviates the unexplained “motor veil problem.”