“A New Era:  Women, Their Hats and Social Change” will open at the Sparta Historical Society’s Van Kirk Homestead Museum on Sunday, April 9, 2017. This spring exhibit encompasses the specific time period of the baby boomers from 1946-1965 when hats and fashion accessories blossomed and then subsequently began to fade as casual lifestyles came into play.

Rise of Consumerism & Fashion

The end of World War II ushered in an era of social change in America.  Soldiers returned home, married and started families.  The era of austerity, and rationing was over and the age of the consumer spending shifted into high gear.  Besides the consumption explosion of home goods, an era of glamor and fashion emerged.

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Media via pictured magazines and newly acquired television sets, delivered an image of the ideal woman, perfectly quaffed, groomed and dressed.  Women were encouraged to follow Emily Post’s manners and style guides each time they left the house.  Hats and gloves were required wear and proudly worn.  Hats, in all types of styles and materials, were designed for shopping, meetings, church and evening wear.  

Through the years, Lucille Ball, Barbara Billingsley, Donna Reid, and Jackie Kennedy perpetuated the new culture of convenience and fashion until Camelot ended in 1965.

The Sparta Historical Society is located at The Van Kirk Homestead Museum at 336 Main Street (Rte. 517, use Middle School Driveway), Sparta. It will reopen Sunday, April 9th with our new Spring Exhibition on “A New Era:  Women, Their Hats, and Social Change” and will be open every second and fourth Sunday through June 25th from 1-4 pm with 2PM talk. Further details or group reservations, call 973-726-0883 or Email: spartahistoricalsocnj@gmail.com.