21 February 2013

Language of Love: Hats?

This month I've been ardently researching the clothing and culture of the 1920s. Two reasons. One, I'm helping costume the actors in my daughter's spring musical theater recital, set in the 20's. Two, I'm presenting a costuming workshop at my RWA chapter's writer's retreat. So I gladly combined my two efforts into one tax-deductible order of vintage costuming books :).

So what does this have to do with the language of love, this month's theme? In one of the books I read that women, supposedly, used to tie the ribbon in their ubiquitous cloche hat hat differently depending on their love relationship. (1) Picture a cloche hat with a stiffened ribbon through the side, sort of like a feather. The wearer left the ribbon straight, like an arrow, if she was single but committed romantically. She tied a simple knot if she was married. And she tied a fancy, frou-frou bow if she was looking for love, hopefully in all the right places...or speakeasies, since this was during the Roaring 20s!

While that doesn't seem to make logical sense -- surely the knotless ribbon should represent the unentangled single gal -- it is a type of love language represented symbolically. General engagement rings and wedding bands, the color of flowers (http://www.teleflora.com/flowercolors.asp) -- though this is more in the meaning of the gift than what it represents about the wearer, or how you wear your claddagh ring (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claddagh_ring) -- these are other various cultural symbols beyond the FaceBook status that quietly whisper the language of love, of a sort, without the wearer having to state it aloud.

I found a couple references to the meaning of circle pins (http://thevintagevillage.com/profiles/blogs/50s-circle-pins-do-they-have) and here for pretty pictures (http://mid2mod.blogspot.com/2011/08/back-in-day-circle-pins.html) but they seem a bit more vague than the aforementioned examples. Here's one about what the color of your cravat supposedly represents: http://academia-cravatica.hr/interesting-facts/speech  which I had not heard before.

Can you think of more examples? I don't write historicals so, while I'm enjoying my foray into vintage fashion research, I'm not well-versed in other "love language" representations that might exist in other times and cultures.

Jody Wallace
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://www.meankitty.com  

(1) Herald, Jacqueline. Fashions of a Decade: The 1920s. BT Batsford Ltd, London, 1991. Page 30.
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