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Cotton Kittens: 1940

Cotton Kittens: 1940

May 1940. "Cotton Carnival -- Memphis, Tennessee." 35mm nitrate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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We wore white a lot

We wore white a lot but navy blue suits for most of the year. I was born in Memphis in 1949. I remember the Cotton Carnival every fall. My aunt Mary was Queen of the Cotton Carnival in the late fifties or early 60's. I remember seeing her picture in the newspaper called the Commercial Appeal. We wore white suits to the coronation, the parade and the ball (we got to stay up late). We wore white suits at Easter time. We wore white dinner jackets to the country club for debutante dances and balls.

Interesting chioce of Shoes

The Tennis Shoes (or whatever they were called then) kind of clash with the suit and tie.

A Snappy Dresser

This youngster in an immaculate white suit had to have a very fashion-conscious caregiver. Having grown up in the northeast in the mid-century, where nearly everyone wore dark, heavy clothing and every audience was a sea of black, I first noticed white dress suits for men in southern movies such as the "Scopes Monkey Trial" depicting the July, 1925 court case from "Inherit the Wind", which also took place in Tennessee. This boy's outfit brought to mind the courtroom scenes with the lawyers perspiring in pastel seersucker while a ceiling fan attempted to move the air overhead. Having had three sons and one daughter, I would not even consider a pure white suit for a child. However, I must admit, he does look very sharp.

Risky business

White suit and Eskimo Pie. So far, so good.

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