Hats can be stunning fashion statements while keeping the wearer warm. These two hats, perfect for a chilly winter day, are currently in Fashion Accessories: Hats, on exhibit until January 19, 2014.
This man’s brown beaver fedora was purchased by the donor’s husband, Dr. Herbert Ulysses Seabrook in 1930 for $32.50. Dr. Seabrook (1884-1941) was an African American physician practicing in Charleston on Spring Street. He also worked as the director for the Hospital & Training School for Nurses. Born in Charleston, he was the son of Williams and Amerintha Alston Seabrook. He married Miriam DeCosta in 1923. Their papers are housed at the Avery Research Center, College of Charleston.
The fedora, invented in 1891, features a wide brim, a hat band or ribbon and a pinched and indented crown. It was enormously popular in the 1930s when almost every man owned at least one. The style actually started out as a woman’s fashion, but by the 1920s, men had adopted this practical and attractive hat.
Our warm choice for women is this amazing hat, c. 1912, black velvet covered with iridescent feathers and a stuffed bird. It bears a Stern Brothers / Paris New York label, a company founded in 1867 by Isaac, Louis and Benjamin Stern. They built several impressive locations, including an enormous cast-iron façade store on West 23rd Street. It was an elegant store noted for its fashionable clothes; ladies from all over New York came to Stern Brothers for their Paris fashions. Doormen wearing top hats greeted customers as they entered.
This luxurious hat was worn by Lucy Robertson Garden (1845-1930), the wife of Hugh Richardson Garden of Sumter.
Both of these hats are currently on exhibit in Fashion Accessories: Hats (June 19, 2013 - January 19, 2014).
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday