Friday, July 30, 2010

Ypsilanti News from a Century Ago: The Hobble Skirt

The July 30, 1910 Ypsilanti Daily Press features a story about the hot new fashion of the day: the hobble skirt. True to its name, the hobble skirt was a narrow, constrictive skirt that limited women's ability to walk easily. Hobble skirts were a short-lived vogue, and faded from the scene by 1915.

"Chicago, July 30--Halsted street has seen its first "hobble" skirt. It welcomed the advent of the new skirt with cheers and the Halsted street small boys turned out en masse, to serve as fitting escort in the latest of Dame Fashion's whims.

"Therefore, when Miss Reba Goldstein, the belle of Twelfth Street, turned into the main thoroughfare wearing the latest of fashion's fancies, she was welcomed in true Halsted street style.

"Miss Goldstein had no sooner appeared on the Boulevard de Halsted than little 8-year-old Ignatz Dubinsky abandoned his position of keeping flies from his father's fruit stand and ran shrieking into the street:

"'Hay fellers, pipe de sack race!'

"The fair follower of fashion had not progressed down the street more than half a block before she was the center of a cheering mob of urchins.

"Miss Goldstein was at first pleased by the attention she was attracting but when the gist of the remarks came to her above the clamor of the mob she was embarrassed. She attempted to seek safety in flight, but owing to the skirt, she could not flee. She could do nothing but toddle.

"'Push 'er over and see if she kin git up,' shrieked a juvenile student of style.

"Miss Goldstein started to cross the street to seek safety, but a car was approaching so rapidly that she was about to be run over unless fate interfered. Fate did. Policeman John Dolan, seeing her danger and realizing her inability to run, picked her up in his strong arms and carried her to safety.

"Miss Goldstein was reduced to tears when Sol Rubetsky shoved his pushcart through the crowd that surrounded her and, like a Lochinvar, loaded her in and bore her to her home and to safety."


cmadler said...

Here's my favorite cartoon on the topic of women's fashion.

Dusty D said...

cmadler: That is hilarious. And true of any age I daresay...e.g. the female actors on Mad Men, thanks to the series' creator's fidelity to period accuracy, wear period underwear, including girdles, ugh.