“Mod” Look Comes to La Crosse

Caroline Morris

Catalog Number: 2001.025.06

© La Crosse County Historical Society

© La Crosse County Historical Society

“Women’s hats may be coming back,” wrote Isadore Barmash for the New York Times in 1967.  For two decades, women had been buying fewer hats as bouffant hairstyles made them harder to wear.  But the “mod” look of the mid-1960s demanded cheerful, fashion-forward head apparel, as well as fresh new colors.  In February 1967, Mrs. Arthur Weideman of Lucille’s Fashions in Oshkosh predicted that “color’s the thing,” and the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern reported that the Oshkosh Spring Style Show was a “riot of hot pinks, orange, yellow, green and blue.”

Color was also “the thing” in 1967 at Herberger’s Department store in La Crosse, which had just opened at 426 Main Street.  This hat, purchased by Mrs. Willa Gowlland of La Crosse for $12.00, has the hallmarks of the era: an unconventional shape, bright orange trim and netting, and cheerful yellow tulips on top.  The cone-shaped, woven, white hat was designed to perch atop teased “beehive” hair, and one imagines its wearer would have looked equally at home on the streets of London or La Crosse.

This article was originally published in the La Crosse Tribune on May 23, 2015. 

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