1910s Hairstyles: A Short Compendium

Last week I mentioned that a friend of mine would be hosting a 1912 Titanic themed murder mystery party at the end of July. Since I believe it’s never too early to start planning for themed murder mystery parties, I’ve already began to research hairstyles. It’s really best to start from the top.

A drawing by Charles Dana Gibson. This shows the basic hairstyle that the Gibson Girl wore. From Loyola University.

The first hairstyle that I am thinking of going with is a Gibson Girl hairstyle. The Gibson Girl was created in the late 1890s by Charles Dana Gibson, and embodied the ideal woman of the turn-of-the-century. Gibson called her ‘the American girl to all the world.” The Gibson Girl was supposedly based off of Evelyn Nesbit, a artists model and chorus girl from that time. Nesbit had quite the life, and rumor has it that L.M. Montgomery used her as an inspiration for Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables fame.

Evelyn Nesbit at age 17. Said to be the model and inspiration for the first Gibson Girl. From Wikipedia.

Since I’m not the best at figuring out how to do hair (and by “not the best”, I mean I wear my hair the same all year long), I found this lovely tutorial for a Gibson Girl hair style on Locks of Elegance.

I think this turned out well on my hair, despite it being my first time trying this tutorial. I don’t have the thickest hair, so it may be best if I gave my hair a little curl before trying it again. It’s a little messy, but I think it gives me a mischievous “first class – Nouveau Riche” look.

My first try doing a “Gibson Girl” hairstyle. I have very fine hair, so this look isn’t as full as a real Gibson Girl look.

An easier version of this hairstyle is from Simply Stardust. I’ve done this version many times before, and it’s a really easy, really nice hair-do. I think for dress-up parties it needs some dressing up itself, though.

I like to dress up the “Simple Gibson Tuck” with a bejeweled comb. Or you could choose flowers. Whatever suits your fancy.

Historical Hairstyles is a nice blog for looking at different hair from all eras. It doesn’t have very many tutorials, but it’s a good source for ideas.

Finally, here are too hairstyles that I think would look really nice and really unusual for a theme party.

Irene Castle, circa 1910. I really love that she was one of the first women to have a bob. This could be easily done on shorter hair with a curling iron, and longer hair with a few tricks and tucks. From Pinterest.


Wedding site BHLDN has a nice look-book with downloadable tutorials on how to create these hairstyles. This one is very romantic and could easily be modified (a ribbon around the head instead of a feather) to look Edwardian.



Beat your gums and all such nonsense

Hello all,

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, but I got back to the dorm late and had quite a bit of homework to do, so blogging wasn’t high on my list of priorities. Anyway yesterday I was reminded of my sister when I was browsing the news and found that the government is releasing the 1947 census to the public. My younger sister S, the middle child, has taken to using archaic slang as of late and I’ve had to put up with comments such as “That’s the bee’s knees” and swell as of late. Well I decided that I would dedicate a blog post to historical slang, more specifically the 1920’s and 1930’s. So here we go.

Beat your gums- idle chatter

Cheaters- glasses

Egg- crude person
Eggs in coffee- to run smoothly

Other lovely slang words are:

All Wet- no good

Joed- tired

Kippy- neat

“Now you’re on the trolley”- now you’ve got it

Jake- Okay as in “everything is jake”

Darb- excellent person

Berries- similar to bee’s knees an expression of appreciation

Brodie- mistake

So anyway I wish you all a great Easter weekend and enjoy the relative warmth.

Abyssinia (I’ll be seeing you)


Hats, Hats, Hats

This week I’ve been decently busy with papers and work evaluations, however; as usual one of my homework assignments gave me inspiration for the blog. The project was to create a hypothetical project researching the history of a certain piece of fashion. I started to wonder about the downfall of the hat. It has not been that long since every sensible person was not seen outside of their home without a hat on. Milliner was actually a word that was used in everyday language and the fedora was commonly seen. Since I am an admirer of hats (one of the reasons I have short hair is so I can wear my cloche) I’ve decided to put together a short photo history of hats. I ran across PoppycockVintage a hat shop on Etsy and fell in love with some of the hats I found. This is a photo history of some hats from 1910 to 1980 the one I am using for my header is a hat from the 1890’s and the lovely model is Ashely Webb the owner of the shop. Some of her hats remind me of a collection that one of my friends mothers let us use for a historical set play. I just loved the netting on my hat.

A totally awesome hat from 1910, made out of velvet with ostrich feathers.


A 1920's fur cloche. I wish I owned this one, I love cloches.

A hat from the 1930's I do not know what I think of all the feathers.

A hat from the 1940's. Looking at this woman I wish I had her hair, it reminds me of my little sister's so much.

This hat is from the 1950's. It reminds me of one I wore once.

A 1960's hat that reminds me of Peacock in Clue!

A 1970's Fedora that is almost Nancy Drew in style.

A 1980's hat that I also think should be in Clue.

Fifties recipies


In one of my classes “Media and Power: the history of the modern era” we just finished the simulation that went with the paper I discussed last week. Basically my class and I simulated a panel discussion on whether the atomic bomb should be used on Japan. Anyway my prof brought up another project we are going to do this year, which will be getting together and making a meal based totally on food that was popular in the 40’s and 50’s. He mentioned such delicacies as Twinkies suspended in jello and the wonders of such drinks as the atomic cocktail. Because we can’t have alcoholic beverages at the meal due to college procedure and the realitive young age of the class I decided to find some “fun” fifties alternatives and came up with this.

I came across a version of this ad in the book "The 100 Greates Advertisements" This version came from Life magazine in the 70's but the original idea was in the 50's.

I am really looking forward to the dinner, even though most of the food looks kinda-gross. Anyway if anyone has old recipes from the 40’s and 50’s I’d love to get some. I have to choose something to make and I don’t think I want to go with something traditionally thought of as coming from the 50’s such as this jello salad.

I will never understand the 50's and 60's generations love of mixing anything and everything with jello.

And so you all have something a little less stomach turning here is a picture of my grandparents in all their 50’s regalia.

I don't know when this was taken. I'll assume sometime in the 50's because my mother was born in '61 and she was the youngest of 7.

Historical Fashion Drawing

I like to pretend that I’m good a drawing.

From top: Home Course in Fashion Art (1939); Russell's Standard Fashions: 1915-1919; 20th Century Fashion; Fashion Drawings and Illustrations From "Harper's Bazar" (Erte); Fashion Drawing in Vogue

But I’m not very good a drawing most things. It’s still one of those things I like doing. Mostly my drawings are of clothes, historical clothes. Because I like to do this I’ve been trying to amass a good deal of books on historical clothing.

Some fashion drawings in "Home Course in Fashion Art". I think that the previous owner of this book colored in illustrations.

This is one that I found at an antique store when I was out shopping with Anne. It was one of those things that I found and I had to get, because where else would you get a 1930s fashion drawing book? It’s by no means the best, but it does have some interesting tips. This is one of those books that I think have gained a personality over the years.

Two of my favorite covers that Erte did for Harper's Bazaar.

Ah, Erté. I was introduced to him by my mom, who studied fashion and textile design when she was in college. This is a really nice book that I was given for Christmas 2009, and it’s filled with his fashion drawings and Harper’s Bazaar covers. The covers mostly date in the 1930s, but the fashions run from 1917 through the 1920s. My mom also owns a smaller book with plates of costumes Erté designed for productions like Folies-Bergère.

One of my favorite pages in "Fashion Drawing in Vogue".

My newest fashion drawing book Fashion Drawing in Vogue. I saw this book and knew that I needed it. I was right about needing it; it’s one of the most beautiful books that I own. I haven’t had much time to read it, but I’ve just looked at the pictures and I love it. It contains drawings from the early 1920s to the 1980s, but focuses more on the Vogue fashion drawings from 1925 through 1965.

With these books, it’s become less of a “oh, look at that, I wish we could still wear clothes like that” and more of an appreciation and then an understanding that the more I study the fashion of years gone by, I can see how our fashion is being influenced.

My own drawing.

Finally, a drawing I did of a costume that I designed for a play that I have yet to write. It’s somewhat based in early 1920s late ‘Teens dresses, but adapted for a stage.

History is my muse

Hi Anne again, as I said in my last post I’m a history major and although I enjoy history I do not enjoy the constant stream of long papers that go with it. Eli tempers her history major with a journalism major, something that doesn’t appeal to me. Anyway I have a wonderful paper due by Thursday that is occupying my thoughts at the moment. So you all will get a decadent ramble on the atomic bomb and the revelations that I have had about it.

This mainly has to do with the fact that when we look back at history we see the large picture and judge those who came before us. However, when they made decisions they often knew only a fraction of what we know today. For instance many military documents from the time reveal that most of the military personal and scientists didn’t know the extent of devastation that it could cause. There had only been one test previous and it was in a desert and half of the crew thought it would fail somehow. There was limited knowledge on radiation poisoning and although they could grasp the terror that such a weapon could cause they grossly under calculated the effects.

It intrigues me that what modern people perceive as total understanding of what would happen when an atomic bomb was dropped was in reality the measures of some desperate officials who didn’t quite grasp the dangers that they were unleashing. They could foresee no other possible way to end the way without casualties and choose the one that seemed the best choice.

Now with any historical rambles of mine I don’t claim total mastership of the information, however; I have ideas that I have based off of primary documentation. This is one of the reasons I love history. It is a living form and historians are constantly uncovering new information on the past. For instance the documents that I used for this paper were just declassified in 2005. Things are lost, hidden or suppressed and it is the duty of historians to find this data and use it to present a viable picture of the past.

My own forays into historical study outside of school is limited to my family. Both sides of my family have kept most of the historical documents that they have found over the years and when I am around my relatives that store the information I dig in and explore. My family history isn’t something that I am going to expound on in depth on such an impersonal and public sphere, but I enjoy sharing the little I know.

Most of the information that my mother’s side of the family have saved is the result of my grandfather. He insisted on protecting the information that he was able to get and collected it on his computer. I have access to some of the pictures that he has scanned in and would love to share some of my favorites. Most of them are from the 30’s to the late 60’s, but there are quite a few from way earlier. As a side note the first picture is of my grandparents when grandpa was still in seminary.

I don't know her name or how she's related to me, but I just love the twenties try at glamour.

He's a great something of mine, but I just love how his look (minus the clothes) could fit in with anyone on the streets today. I think the double pierced ears really make this piece. I know that it was a cultural thing with the Dutch, but it just seems so this century.

This is an amazing picture of Chicago after the Chicago fire. My grandpa lived in Chicago as a child and his family had been there earlier than that.

The wedding of some unknown relative. I get a kick out of her glasses and realize where my own eyesight comes from and I really want her shoes.

The final picture for today it is of another relative I have not gotten the name of yet, but she reminds me of a classic Nancy Drew.