Friday, April 15, 2011

15 April 1911: "Our Hats Are Not Freakish."

On this day in 1911, Michael Brothers ran this full-page ad in the Athens Banner:

(click image to enlarge)

The Michael's advertisement sounds odd to our ears, but they are using a more traditional use of the word "freakish," meaning "capricious" or "whimsical." The ad is telling Athens women that Michael Brothers' selection of Easter hats will be good for more than just this one event, this one day--they are a style statement that lasts.

Proper new outfits, and the social stumble a less than appropriate outfit would be, was the common thread in the various clothing stores and millinery shops in Athens in the weeks before Easter Sunday. Both men and women were expected to show up in style at church Easter morning.

Throughout the teens and twenties, men's clothing ads merely indicated that, as you had to have a new suit anyway, you might as well shop with the advertiser. However, an arms war of decorative headwear promises seemed to wage on the pages of the local papers for women, as each business promised to make the most impressive Easter hat, emphasizing the most striking decorations, styles, and statements that could be made by shopping at the right store.

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