A Fascinating View of Local Women's Fashion from 80 Years Ago
To put it lightly, society was different prior to the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s. In general, women could not buy or sell property, open bank or credit card accounts, or hold professional positions of authority.
Women had fewer choices compared to what many have today - from how they learned and earned, down to how they were expected to present themselves in public.
Hem lines were long, hair was curled and coiffed, and waistlines on dresses were pinched. More often than not, formal attire was incomplete without a pair of heals and a full face of makeup.
Whether the fashion of decades past is now considered eloquent or oppressive, back in the day most women just smiled through it for the cameras.
With only a few clicks, you can see local women's fashion from the 1940s and 1950s. An online collection of photographs shows Hillsborough County women at weddings, banquets, parties, church, and other social events. You can search images by decades or by key words, such as "May Festival," "bridesmaid," "studio portrait," and more.
Digital Photography Collection
These images are only a small portion of the photographic collection at the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative. The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative currently has 15 unique digital collections that each tell a vital story about the local history, culture, and people of the Tampa Bay area and Florida. There are over 548,000 items to explore, from historic images to artwork and genealogy records.
Learn more at Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative.