PFD download file:

150 pages - Narrative plus letters, illustrated with family photos, period catalogs, and magazine ads, as well as color images of 61 carefully restored hats, which span the decades from the teens to the sixties.

  • Fashion History
  • Hats History
  • Hat Restoration
  • American History
  • Family History
  • Women's Studies
  • Popular Culture
  • Gender Studies
  • American Craft
  • Customs and Manners
  • History of Private Life

Mamie's Hats 1914-1960: A Social History Through Hats is a story of Mamie, my grandmother, and her three daughters, my aunt Marguerite, my mother Mary Katharine, and Dorothy, my other aunt. It is, therefore, a story about me. Because of them, I was surrounded by sewing and dolls and doll clothes and new dresses and hats and gloves, yes, even white gloves. This is a story about their hats and what they wore, and indirectly, how all of that influenced me. The story starts with the hats, discovered forgotten in an attic, lovingly retrieved, restored and photographed, and extends out into the world. As with any good detective story, I followed the clues embedded in the hats, letting them take me where they would. Where did each one come from? Who designed it? Who wore it? What did it mean as a social statement? What was going on in the world when it was worn? I looked in libraries, contemporary magazines, and the family archive to find answers. I did web searches, went to The Hat Museum here in Portland, and even visited an obscure museum in the nearby Columbia Gorge. It is a story of how we are all connected and affected by world events, how fashion is shaped by the needs of a society in a certain time and place, and how we are influenced by those around us. We each think we are so special and individual, but really, we are all part of a grand wave, mostly moving along together, but with a few odd splashes and ripples, to make things interesting. This then, is the story of three generations of one family’s women, the clothes they wore, and why.

~Susan Lilly~

Susan Lilly, who was a costume designer for twenty-four years, is fascinated with the minutia of daily life, and the social meaning of material culture.

Free Preview

The Weaving Room uses the secure and complete payment services offered by PayPal.
Official PayPal Seal
Mamie's Hat - PDF file download - $10

Note: As soon as your payment is confirmed by PayPal for your PDF order you will automatically receive a verification message:

Please select "Return to Weaving Room" to go a page with a link to download your PDF file.

Thank you for your order!

Hard copy of Mamie's Hats is available on our Etsy site: