Grand and Glorious: The Stray Hair

Clare Briggs

Clare Briggs

Clare Briggs is a famous cartoonist who lived from 1875 to 1930. Poems by Wilbur Nesbitt.

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Hats must have been a thing to a degree that I cannot imagine today.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Perhaps a bit like shoes.

      But I suspect shoes were like shoes in Biggs’ time too.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      Hats used to be mandatory wear when going outside. I worked for a lawyer who graduated law school in the early 1960s (pre-Beatles on Sullivan). He said that lawyers were expected to wear a hat. I think this changed in the 1960s after the whole hippie thing took off.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        Actually, it was JFK. He wasn’t a hat wearer and the people who followed his style, that of Camelot in general, started to not wear them.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        The one thing the hippies got wrong…Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Plus local effects. When my dad was doing field audits and safety inspections in outstate Nebraska in the 70s, he wore his Stetson Open Road and appropriate dress boots. The Open Road was what ranch owners wore when they were in town to talk money. As he said, protective camouflage that sent the message, “I’m here to do serious business.” Heck, when I visited outstate college friends in the summers in 75-76 I wore my beat-up straw cowboy hat and the boots I never polished because it kept me out of trouble in small-town bars. As was mentioned in a completely different discussion the other day, you have to be confident enough to pull it off.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        It was part of the great informalization of fashion that occurred at the time.Report

  2. Avatar atomickristin says:

    I was just rereading the “Little House on the Prairie” books and they went to great lengths to get Laura and Mary hats when they were going out into public as adults. It did seem entirely mandatory and that would have been in the 1880’s.

    About hair length – once my husband and I started watching this old French movie that appeared to be from the early 50s. The movie was halfway over when we tuned in. The man had a wife and a mistress, and it was quite confusing for us as the wife (who was supposedly dowdy and old) had this beautiful long hair and the mistress (who was supposedly young and sexy) had this awful short grandma hair – that helmet look, set with rollers and hairsprayed. We had so strongly associated that type of hairstyle with old people that it took us quite some time to realize the person we thought was the wife, was actually the mistress, and that the long hair was supposed to be unstylish and old fashioned.

    My mother (with the exception of a year or two in the mid 70’s) and grandmothers were super opposed to long hair on women. It took me years to get over that and grow out my hair.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    There was likely a trendsetter style choice against hat wearing in the 60s, but my take on why it stuck is that more people than ever starting driving cars to work and working in white collar jobs. So if you’re never really exposed to either sun or cold, hats are superfluous and just another thing to keep track of.

    I would also like go out on a limb and say ‘no hat’ is kinda a white thing for the past 50 years. Non-white fashion choices have often had some kind of headwear present – and very rarely for merely religious reasons.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      The baseball cap is a contemporary staple. You wouldn’t have seen them (outside a stadium or a truck stop) 40 years ago.Report

      • Avatar atomickristin says:

        I thought that too, and a lot of white people wear cowboy hats as a fashion statement. I see white people in hats every day where I live. Plus the hipster beanie which has been a thing at least since the early 90’s.

        Not sure I’m seeing this as a racial difference.Report

        • Avatar Pinky says:

          Ron Howard is responsible for every baseball cap you see on middle-aged men with thinning hair.Report

        • Avatar Pinky says:

          I think that – oh, how to say this accurately and without offending anyone – people with genetic background in Africa who tend to have coarse, curly hair have fewer hair options, and are often more open to covering their heads.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          I wish to revise and amend my remarks by saying there’s also (and may be primarily) a class angle (which goes to support my causal theory)Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The cartoon explicitly talks about how much she loves her hair.

    But her head with a hat is more important than the head without a hat. I mean, to the point where she cut off her hair for her hat-wearing.

    How much of one’s day was spent in a hat?

    Seriously, this is nuts to me.Report