The Easter Bonnet in Miniature
Already the shops are blooming with cards and booklets for Easter. The usual crosses of lilies and books of forget-me-nots are in evidence, and the Easter rabbit and his friend the March hare are to be had in velvet and cardboard and candy. The jewelers will send home the costly gift of coral and diamonds or pearls and jade in a white box shaped like an Easter egg, and the florist will supply exquisite blossoms in baskets of nest-shape, made of twigs and pussy-willow, gemmed with violets and primroses. But probably the sauciest of all the Easter symbols is a wee hat-box—a gorgeous affair of flowered paper such as is used by the smartest of milliners—which, when opened, reveals a hat of coquettish demeanor and great chic.
It is trimmed elaborately and with daintiest skill, and the ribbon and flowers and bows and feathers are all very fine and very smart. Two hatpins with fancy heads are thrust into the sides of the hat, and a sheet of white tissue paper, about as big as a fairy’s pocket handkerchief, is laid carefully over this precious chef d’oeuvre when it is in the box. This pretty little joke is for the young husband to send to his bride.
Philadelphia [PA] Inquirer 24 March 1903: p. 9
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: The joke would be on the young husband if the bride did not also get a new, full-sized Easter hat of the latest design, costliest trimmings, and a very smart bill to match. The expense of the yearly Easter hat was a sore subject for many husbands and it was an ongoing joke that the “little woman” would have her Easter hat at any cost.
Her Modus Operandi.
On a fine morning, when the sun is shining, the birds singing (or caroling, as they say in springtime) and every one should be happy, she broaches the dismal subject. “Dearest,” she begins, trying to cuddle up as close as possible (too close for torpid weather), “do you know, I saw the most b-e-a-u-tiful hat downtown yesterday?”
That is the tip for you to break away. If you don’t you may never get another chance.
“Ah, did you?” you ask vacuously. “Do you know where my pipe is? I’ve misplaced it somewhere,” you add very quickly, indicating your anxiety for a smoke.
“Here it is! I’ve found it for you, sweetest. Don’t you love me? And do you know it was the most reasonable price I ever heard for such a beautiful hat?” Escape seems impossible, but you venture on another tack. “Now, I’ve gone and lost the evening paper. Will you find it for me?”
“Of course I will, beautiful. I will find anything that you want me to find. Oh, how I do love you. And how I do long for that hat. It is only $39.”
It is useless. You might as well give up. You may have to work overtime for three months to pay for it, but where is there any loophole of escape? Yes, there is one. You can skip town suddenly, telling no one your destination. But if you ever come back you will have to pay for that Easter hat.
Pan American Magazine Vol. 9 1909
Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes
You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.