‘Trying to Make Do’
Author: Evalds, Valija
Source: Dress, Volume 38, Number 1, October 2012 , pp. 55-74(20)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:This paper examines the experience of Mabel Milham, a scholarship student from the class of 1900 at Smith College, particularly her struggle to dress as fashionably as her classmates. While her task was made easier by the simplifying influence of sportswear and the New Woman upon sartorial culture at women’s colleges, it was made more challenging by the expansion of social activities and the new infusion of privileged and society girls into the student population. Milham’s experience and her ultimate success reflect the ideals of democracy and meritocracy depicted in popular literature on women’s colleges in her era. But the intensity of her struggle also points to the limitations of that ideal.
Document Type: Original Article
Publication date: October 2012