The Fabulous Aunt Millie and Her Fashions

Every year, I spend the month of August digitizing our family archives, and then, when I have worked hard for a month, I reward myself with Aunt Millie’s photographs!

Millie lived in Juneau, Alaska, for most of her life.  Her photos are curled and crinkled from sitting out in hot garages.  They have been pulled off their photo album pages after going through a flood, so all the pictures that were originally grouped together were just randomly tossed in a box.  There are hardly any captions or dates.  But Millie’s personality sparkles through them, and I love to look at her fashion creations and make guesses about her adventures.

I have scanned over 500 of her photos, and I bet I have 400 more to go.  Once I realized that she posed in the same location many times, I was hoping I would be able to consult fashion history books to figure out what year these were taken, but I have not been able to do that.  I do think they are all very late 1920s, and early 1930s.  Here I arranged them by season.

Simple summer frock with trimming details.

woman in long cotton dress, 1930s

Long summer dress with trimming details on skirt.

woman in flouncy summer outfit, 1930s

Flouncy summer outfit.

woman in formal dress, Alaska, 1930s

Formal dress with a posy on the sash.

woman in cotton ensemble with kimono-style jacket, 1930s
Summer ensemble with jacket.
woman in pale coat with fur trim, Alaska, 1930s

Pale ensemble with fur trim. This one may be from the 1920s.

Woman in suit with handbag and cap, 1930s

The perfect outfit for school or work — or maybe an audition?

woman in striped jacket, Alaska, 1930s

A short, striped jacket.

group of young adults in Alaska, 1935

The striped jacket goes out to play. This photo was dated Spring 1935.

woman in long coat and boots, Alaska, 1930s

Long belted coat with classy boots.

woman in belted coat and boots, Alaska, 1930s

Same coat, same day, but the boots look different to me.

woman in coat and hat, Alaska, 1930s

Classic coat with ankle boots.

woman in dress with caped sleeves, Alaska, 1930s

The best dress ever.

woman in coat with accessories, 1930s

A complete ensemble — dress, coat, hat, scarf, bag, gloves, and heels.

woman and sailor, Alaska, 1930s

Oh wait — one more “accessory” will perfect the ensemble!

woman in double-breasted coat, Alaska, 1930s

Double-breasted coat with belt and deep revers.

Besides the photos, I also have boxes of the buttons and ribbons that Millie bought, right up into the 1980s (with her labeled receipts!), so I think she probably made a lot of these outfits herself.  She was a tiny woman and I think she chose great fabrics and designs to suit her height.  I love how she expressed so many facets of her personality in her fashions, and I think she would be happy to be sharing them with all of you!