Tag Archives: hiking

Ramblers – Germany

These photos dates from the 1930s through 1950. All are from Germany.  All I really have to say is that I cannot wait until rambling weather returns!


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Travel, Vintage Photographs

Hiking Weather, and What to Wear

After weeks of rain, today was the perfect early fall day.  Fall is the time for hiking here in the mountains, with crisp, cool days and low humidity that makes the mountain vistas even better than usual.  When it comes to what to wear on such a hike, I really don’t think we can improve much on this knicker set from the early-mid 1920s.  It’s made from linen, and is appropriately “woodsy” but still quite polished.  How to accessorize?  Here’s how they did it at B. Altman & Co in 1925:

from a 1925 B. Altman catalog

I have the patterned stockings, and a casual dark red cloche.  I’m still looking for some brogan shoes, but I do have a great pair of 1920s lace up hiking boots from Abercrombie & Fitch.

When this set was made, slacks were not an option for women.  Bloomers had been made for bicycling before the turn of the 20th Century, but most female bike riders did not wear them, preferring a slightly shorter skirt instead.  Bloomers became commonplace at women’s collages, worn first as gym attire, and later as sports uniforms.  But until the very late 1920s, pants for women were knickers like these for sports wear, or long flowing pyjama pants for beach and poolside.

But what freedom these knickers must have afforded a generation of women who were used to hiking in long skirts and corsets!


Posted by Catwalk Creative Vintage:

If only my history lessons at school had been so interesting! Love the 1925 advert from B Altman & Co to go with. Great post! 🙂

Monday, September 28th 2009 @ 1:32 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Well, aren’t you kind! I just hope some of my students from all those years of teaching history feel the same.

Monday, September 28th 2009 @ 2:00 PM

Posted by Trudy Callan:

Great blog you have here. Lots of interesting things. I found you through Sew Retro.


Monday, September 28th 2009 @ 10:02 PM

Posted by Anna:

Wow! I came over from Sew Retro and I am so impressed with your blog! Absolutely fascinating!

Tuesday, September 29th 2009 @ 5:18 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Welcome to all the new readers from Sew Retro. I’m pleased that you all have checked out my journal.

Tuesday, September 29th 2009 @ 8:48 AM

Posted by Nan Jaeger:

This is one cool hiking outfit, love the linen — the knickers look so much better than the coulottes I remember wearing as a kid.

Tuesday, September 29th 2009 @ 11:26 AM


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing

The Junior Campers on a Hike

It’s almost summer camp time.  The first camps for girls were opened in 1902, and within a few years they were located throughout the eastern US. Because these camps were for girls only, the prohibition against girls wearing pants in public did not apply, and in photos of even the earliest camps you see girls and young women wearing bloomers. By the 1920s middies and bloomers were standard wear at camp. In a 1920 list of articles to bring to Camp Keystone near Brevard, NC, girls were instructed to bring 8 middies, 4 bloomers and a heavy sweater. Skirts were not mentioned at all.

So the younger sisters, and even daughters, of the pioneering college students who first wore bloomers on a regular basis spent their summers attired in the relative freedom of middies and bloomers. And before long, this “uniform” was pretty much standard schoolgirl attire, although middies were worn with skirts outside the gymnasium. The girls of the teens became women in the Twenties and Thirties, and were the first to wear short and slacks in public. Not surprising, really.

All of the above is from my up-coming workshop that I’ll be presenting in 3 weeks on the VFG boards.  I have really neglected my poor lonely journal, because I got so involved in the writing of the workshop and finding just the right photos.  I had not planned to get it squared away quite so early, but I was afraid I’ve have one of those college class dreams – the one where I was enrolled in courses but was neglecting to go to class until the term was half over!  I had that dream all through college, and when I started contemplating grad school, I started having it again.  It was the single most important issue in my decision not to further my formal education!

But I digress.  The above photo is from Camp Merry Meeting.  I have no idea where this camp was located, but I got the photo in Ellijay, Georgia, not that that really means anything.  It was probably taken in the early 1920s when bloomers were still full. I love that their stockings are rolled to below their knees.  Rebels!

Leave a comment

Filed under Camping and Hiking, Sportswear

Time to Hit the Trails

Time to dust off the boots and do a bit of springtime hiking!  Actually, winter is a great time for hiking in the mountains too, if rain or snow isn’t forecast.  But I love spring and fall best, when the days are crisp, and before the snakes really get going!

This picture shows a view of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in North America, east of the Mississippi.  It’s not much of a hike really; you can drive practically to the top, and then it is an easy walk to the top.  For years there has been an old stone tower up there, but it has been demolished in order for a new observation platform to be build.  Actually, it seems a bit pointless, as the platform will only be 10 feet off the ground!

The postcard is probably from the early 1930s.  The seated woman is wearing slacks, and the girls look like they may even be wearing a uniform of sorts.  I’ve never seen this particular postcard with a postmark, but the motor road in the background was built in 1922.  In 1928 it was the scene of a famous motor car race.

Leave a comment

Filed under Camping and Hiking, North Carolina