In the Corner

A little sartorial humor for your Friday. Can you believe the size of hats these days? Fantastic feathers.

This is a postcard found here, and printed underneath it reads,

"Her hat, may not, indeed adorn her,
But it helps keep her man in a corner."


I'm doing some clothing research on the first two decades of the twentieth century, and while bumming around EphemeraObscura I found another great contemporary commentary on hats. There are a bunch of listings for color plates from Bird Children, a 1912 children's book by Elizabeth Gordon, and among the darling little bird children is the Bird of Paradise. Having just read about the enormous amount of money spent on (whole) preserved birds and feathers for decorating hats in this decade, it's delightful to read the little rhyme that goes with the picture:

"Paradise Bird in her new clothes
Said: 'They're expensive, goodness knows!
I s'pose, because they were so dear,
I'll have to wear them all this year.'"

Bird of Paradise was one of the most sought-after types of feathers, and thus one of the most expensive. The practice was so pervasive and predatory that laws were passed to attempt to save the poor birds. And obviously so ingrained in contemporary society that it extended even to children's books!