I really didn’t think I’d be writing about sweaters in April, but much of the northern United States has had a bit of snow, and it is even predicted here in the southern mountains later this week. The way I see it, anytime is right for a fantastic sweater like the one above. I took this photo at the DAR Museum in Washington, DC several years ago. Even though this was a sports piece, the sleeve style is pure fashion, and dates this fabulous sweater to the mid 1890s.
You would think that such an extreme style would have had its moment in the sun, never to be seen again, but it seems to me that all fashion is at sometime recycled.
I spotted this 1980s sweater recently at the Goodwill Outlet. The puffed sleeved sweater was not unusual in the 80s; I had one myself. What I found to be most interesting was the tight lower part of the sleeve. My photo is sort of pitiful, but imagine this sweater on a body. Though not nearly as extreme, the effect would be the same as the 1890s sweater.
I don’t think I would have not made the connection if not for my recent reading of Dressed for the Photographer by Joan Severa. Suddenly I’m seeing 19th century influences everywhere. It just goes to show the power of reading, and looking at lots of wonderful old photographs, to improve one’s eye.
In the latest issue of Dress – The Journal of the Costume Society of America, there was a tribute to Joan Severa, who died in 2015. Colleagues often referred to her as “Joan Perservera” because once started, she would simply not give up on a project. Seeing as how she spent almost twenty years working on Dressed for the Photographer, I’d say it was a very accurate moniker!