Texas Tech University

Hats and Purses and Shoes . . . Oh My!

June 29, 2016-January 15, 2017

Rose Crepe Velvet Hat worn by Mrs. E. D. Criddle of Denton, Texas, 1918, Gift of Mrs. Tom Masterson TTU-H1964-083-050b

Rose Crepe Velvet Hat worn by Mrs. E. D. Criddle of Denton, Texas, 1918, Gift of Mrs. Tom Masterson TTU-H1964-083-050b.

Originally designed for utilitarian purposes, this exhibition of more than 115 accessories, selected from over 2000 examples in the Clothing and Textiles Collection of the Museum of Texas Tech University, demonstrates their evolution into beautiful objects. Intended as protection for the head and feet as well as a way to carry things, hats, shoes and purses have changed with fashion. While maintaining their function they became beautiful objects. It is these fine examples, which are on exhibit through January 15, 2017.

Rose Crepe Velvet Hat worn by Mrs. E. D. Criddle of Denton, Texas, 1918, Gift of Mrs. Tom Masterson TTU-H1964-083-050b.

Rose Crepe Velvet Hat worn by Mrs. E. D. Criddle of Denton, Texas, 1918, Gift of Mrs. Tom Masterson TTU-H1964-083-050b.

Early hats in Texas not only enhanced the fashionable silhouette but also provided necessary protection from the sun. In the first three quarters of the 20th century hats were an essential component of the attire of the properly dressed woman. Although still worn on special occasions hats are more difficult to wear today because of the development of the high headrest in cars to protect against whiplash. The diminishing importance of hats in the 1970s, other than "baseball caps," can be tied to the timing of those protective headrests. Early purses were tiny knitted pouches that were often looped over a belt. Many beautiful beaded and enameled purses, fashionable in the 1920s are shown in this exhibit. The shoes range from high button boots that walked the dusty streets of West Texas, before the advent of the automobile, to silk pumps embroidered in gold from Italy.

Open-toed Sling Back Navy Blue Shoes created by Andrew Geller of Exquisite Footwear, 1940s, Gift of Mrs. O. V. Adams, TTU-H1978-203-220.Open-toed Sling Back Navy Blue Shoes created by Andrew Geller of Exquisite Footwear, 1940s, Gift of Mrs. O. V. Adams, TTU-H1978-203-220.

The stories behind each object and the events to which they were worn are numerous. Stop by and pick out your favorite!

Aqua Colored Beaded Purse given to Ruth Bryant (Mrs. Harold) by a young French Chasseur in 1917, Gift of Ruth Bryant (Mrs. Harold), TTU-H1967-056-011.

Aqua Colored Beaded Purse given to Ruth Bryant (Mrs. Harold) by a young French Chasseur in 1917, Gift of Ruth Bryant (Mrs. Harold), TTU-H1967-056-011.