Monday, May 5, 2014

Proper Young Lady

"There was a time, not too long ago, when a proper young lady wouldn't think of showing up to church on Easter morning with the same hat she wore last Easter."

Year after year my daughters and I are the only ones at our Easter church services wearing an Easter Bonnet.  My girls didn't even wear their gloves this year.  We don't always have a new hat.  We usually have our favorites that we wear that day, although I know traditionally it is supposed to be new.  

So, my question is, what has happened to this tradition?  Why has it faded in to the woodwork while candy, gifts and excess take over?  In New York City there is still an Easter Parade on 5th Avenue.  Here is a bit of history on the long lost tradition.

"Easter was once known as the "Sunday of Joy." After the Civil War, mothers and daughters who had donned the dark colors of mourning for such a long time began wearing colorful flowered hats and elaborate corsages as part of the Easter celebration. Their hats were adorned with blooming and fresh flowers. If the flowers were not blooming they would make them from paper, ribbon, feathers or sea shells.  Read more HERE.  

This is a cute article about a woman remembering making Easter hats during the Great Depression.  

The Easter bonnet reached its apex with the release of MGM's 1947 Irving Berlin musical, "Easter Parade," that starred Judy GarlandFred AstaireAnn Millerand Peter Lawford. The movie was set in 1912 Manhattan.  It is a fun story, with the famous Easter Parade song.  

And then, what happened?  It was no longer "required by society" for respectable women to wear hats to church.  

 The practice withered in the 1970s when hats became optional for women going to church. "Or perhaps hats went out of style when girls started wearing bouffant hairdos,"


Here is another clip about Easter Parade from the Movie Holiday Inn.  It's a favorite of mine. CLIP