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Chapeau Noir: 1890

Chapeau Noir: 1890

Circa 1873-1890. "Unidentified woman with bonnet." 5x7 glass negative from the C.M. Bell portrait studio in Washington, D.C. View full size.


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Impractical costume bonnet

The reason her bonnet looks so impractical is because it is not a real bonnet.
What little I can see of her clothing does not fit the fashions of the time period the photo could have been taken which confirms she is wearing a made up version of what someone Thought bonnets looked like in the past.
Shaker bonnets were worn as sun bonnets at least into the 1890s. They were shaped like sugar scoops or rural mail boxes with the doors and bottoms removed. Unlike the freak thing on this woman's head, they were very practical for keeping the sun off the wearer's face and the long curtains kept the sun from fading the shoulders and backs of cotton work dresses, This bonnet served no function and was beyond impractical to wear even by 19th century fashion standards.

BTW, This is Bill's wife posting, not Bill.

Perfect Complexion

A young lady, such as this, with a perfect complexion would be a rare find these days. You might make an argument for having good genes, but I'm inclined to think it's the healthy diet of yesteryear versus today.

[Her face shows extensive negative retouching, at the time a standard practice of portrait studios. -tterrace]

[Indeed. Credit her stipple-cheeked complexion to the retoucher's lead pencil. - Dave]

Trend setter

It certainly predates the "Hemingway cap" by six or seven decades.

Dual purpose headgear

Looks like a feed grain scoop I used as a kid.
Only without the handle.

Windy Day Adventure

I bet that bonnet was fun when walking into a headwind.

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