Girls Have Fun, 1890s-1910s
Girls fashioned identities and claimed freedom by adopting new styles such as fanciful hats and shirtwaists.
Hats said who could buy the latest styles. Working-class girls copied popular looks for less by doing the work themselves.
Shirtwaists were easy to remix. Unlike dresses, a girl could mix and match with different skirts, and wear them without corsets.
See Girlhood in 3D! Explore a model of a shirtwaist.
The shirtwaist will be with us more than ever this summer. Women are wearing shirtwaists because they are comfortable, because they can be made to fit any form, and because they are mannish.
Hatpins, around 1900
Young women used hatpins to keep their large fashion statements attached to their heads and add another decorative element to the hat.
While one end was decorative, the other could be a deadly weapon. Americans worried about young, single women alone in cities, and journalists seized on the hatpin as a form of self-defense against sexual assault.