Story of Us, 1900-1910: Hair Accessories

Just as accessories can make or break an outfit, hair accessories have the magical ability to transform a hairstyle. The period between 1900-1910 saw a variety of accoutrements for hair especially with the advent of new, cheaper, easy-to-produce plastic materials to replace traditional materials like ivory, bone and tortoiseshell. Combs were both decorative and functional. Hair pins were essential to keep big hairstyles in place. Ribbons made of taffeta, tulle and velvet were woven through hair or used to tie the ends of teenagers’ braids. Feathers and plumage were ever so popular. So much so that the National Audubon Society established the Audubon Plumage Law in 1905 which banned the sales of plumes from native birds and the import of various exotic feathers.

This decade was also dominated by the Edwardian aesthetic, which had a love affair with enormous hats. The bigger the better it seemed. To support the size and weight of headwear, hair fashions and the way hair was dressed were affected. Pompadour hair frames and wigs were used to help women achieve the large styles necessary. Hats were a part of everyday life, and the seasons affected the choice of style. Straw hats were worn during the summer months while heavier materials like velvet and felt were favored during the winter. Some of the popular styles were flat caps, cartwheel hats, straw sailor hats and automobile bonnets especially designed to keep the dust from one’s eyes. 

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