Would these coats have kept you warm during the frigid temperatures much of the US experienced recently? Fall and Winter Catalogue No. 74 for the seasons of 1916-1917 by Bellas Hess & Co. illustrates several winter coats.
The coat shown below on the left is described as a “dressy and practical coat for winter wear.” Made of wool velour, the material is “warm enough for the coldest weather but is not burdensome in weight and will wear splendidly.” The collar is edged with brown Beaver Fur Cloth and can be worn in two ways. For not so cold days, the collar can be folded down as shown below. But on those really cold winter days, the collar can be “turned up and worn in high military effect” as shown in the small circular picture to the left of the model. This 45 inch long coat was available in navy blue, brown, or green. For an extra cost, it could be accessorized with a muff.
The catalog goes on to show several pages of Women’s winter coats including the coat shown below in the middle. This plaid winter coat was made of a woolen mixture with a cape collar. And just like the other coat, the collar of this one could be worn either high around the neck as shown below or folded down flat as seen in the circular illustration to the left of the model. Also 45 inches long, it came in either gray or brown “with contrasting threads woven through the material.”
Fall and Winter Catalogue No. 74 can be found in the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library. Take a look at Galaxy of Images for more pages from this catalog or look at a previous post highlighting Ladies’ suits, gowns, and hats.