Tuesday, 26 April 2016

"Selling Millinery" August 11, 1943

Today I'm bringing you some more snippets from the trade publication "Selling Millinery". This time it is the issue from August 11, 1943.

There are similarities, in both the trends and the type of information offered in these pages, to the 1942 issue I shared with you earlier.

Interestingly, they both talked about customer types, but the types given are different. For a start, no one has to panic about classifying themselves as the "careless, ungroomed" type any more. Phew.

Now you can be The Teen-Ager, The Colleger, The Camp Commuter, The Civilian Worker, The Youthful, Sophisticated Woman or The More Conservative Woman. In addition, they look at the most common outfit types too, and create suggestions based on how customer and costume type combine.

I'm generally not keen on admitting my type. I suspect I'm The More Conservative Woman. But with hats like these, I'm actually happy with that!

In addition, both papers talk about face shape. The 1942 issue talked face shape and body type, this one addresses face shape and features in combination with, well age I guess, although they don't say it precisely that way.

I feel like all the little magazine quizzes I used to do and all the little infographics the internet is now filled with, have a longer history than I realised. We have, apparently, always loved to know our "type", and always loved little charts.

I have an urge to write a quiz entitled "What mythical creature are you, what colour is its aura, and what kind of hat should you wear?"

This lady's inner mythical creature is an angry one. But she gets to wear a great hat.

Another similarity between the issues is in the trends themselves. They both report on military influences and "Good Ally Influences". What's new in this issue is the "7-Point Millinery Plan", a voluntary agreement from the millinery industry in the USA, restricting the amounts of different materials that can be used in a hat. While they talk in terms of restrictions, the rules are not exactly harsh!

They are also big on promoting retail to a noble art that has an important role to play for The Nation. Which, of course, it very much can be, but we don't often see it described in those terms.

It does come across as somewhat humorous to us, in a world where hats are not seen as a necessity, that they say "Sell only what your customer needs...every woman should own at least one tailored and one dress up hat."

I love that we get to see the photo of this turban and also the illustration in the classic 40s style sketch above.

Any favourites from these styles? I think I need both a Chesterfield Coat and the hat to go with it!


  1. It's so funny that "conservative" is clearly some kind of a euphemism for old, but they have the best hats! I love the "conservative" hat for an oval face shape, like something straight out of the Victorian era! Which is kind of funny, when you think about it, because wouldn't that have been very similar to what the "conservative" women they're marketing to wore when they were young?

    1. Yes that is a great one! I love the Victorian throwback styles of the 1940s, and I suppose you are right about them! It seems odd to think it, given the massive change in the fashion in that time!

  2. This is a great post! I agree with you on the conservative hats, they are pretty marvelous so I don't mind being in the camp at all.

    What a marvelous resource, especially for a hat maker like yourself.

    Now how do I transport back in time and buy ALL THE HATS!? lol :)

    1. Lol yes! Some kind of time-travelling mail-order service is required :)

  3. Ohhh the conservative hats rock. So it's ok we are getting older

  4. I am rather keen on lots of these, I love the last turban and the angry ladies hat. The chart of face shapes and hats is rather lovely.

    1. How can she be so angry in that pretty hat? :P

  5. "Any favourites from these styles?" All of them!!! :) Seriously. These are some deeply gorgeous 1940s hats and each one of them appeals to me. Thank you for sharing these classic toppers with us. I practically needed a fainting couch and some smelling salts by the end, as my head was all a tizzy from the sheer volume of old school millinery awesomeness at work here. :)

    Big hugs & happy wishes for May,
    ♥ Jessica


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