Tuesday, October 27, 2009


After posting the Muskrat piece it occurred to me that I goofed up the part describing proper Ladies Auxiliary attire. I offer my humble apology. I should have realized that no real lady wants to wear a moth-eaten, old coonskin cap. Ladies of good upbringing and refinement prefer traditional straw hats with flowers.

A net on the hat is a nice touch.

Fur pieces and pearls are welcome additions if you happen to have them. Phony fur is OK, even preferable, since nobody wants to think of an animal actually dying for this.

Here's some hats (above and below) that work okay. All the women in my house left for a vacation back East, so I'm stuck with modelling them myself.

Aaaah, the traditional lone sunflower (above) on a straw hat.

Here's a hat that's a bit racy, but still okay. Maybe it belonged to a wicked city woman, or a widow who was looking for a second husband.

Easter baskets (above) make great hats.

More acceptable hats (above): pretty "out there," but still good for The Ladies Auxiliary.

Unacceptable hats: too minimal, too tasteful and too understated. They don't give testimony to the pride a woman feels for being a member of the Muskrat Ladies Auxiliary.

Also unacceptable: too avant garde. The Ladies Auxiliary is already cutting edge. Farther than the edge is...chaos...what can I say?

So what is the preferred attire for a member of The Royal Order of the Muskrat Ladies Auxiliary? It's what club women wore in the golden age of women's clubs, circa 1900 - 1960. Dressing this way doesn't limit Auxiliary women's full participation in Muskrat discussions and activities.

I thought you might find it interesting to see what club women were like in 1953. Here's a commercial showing several club women assembled for a washing machine demonstration. The range of women in the room is amazing. At one end is Betty Furness, who comes off as a super intelligent star ship captain, and at the other is a woman who sounds just like Aunt Bea. The commercial only lasts for a minute or two...just skip the rest.


Kali Fontecchio said...

You look lovely in your sunflower hat.

When I was a kid, you could tell the gender of my cartoons characters I would draw based on whether they had a hat with a flower sticking out. If they did not have a hat with a flower then they were a man.

Vincent Waller said...

Lovely :)

Jenny said...

Nothing wrong with coonskn caps for any gender. What's wrong with your conception of female attire is NO epaulets! I mean, t shirts?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Jenny: It has to do with the old club tradition. Men dress the way old male club members used to dress, and women dress the way old womens club members used to dress.

Kali, Vincent: Thanks!

talkingtj said...

fez, fez, fez, fez, remember the immortal words of steely dan, "youre never gonna do it without your fez on!" females in fez's, naked females in fez hats? dare i dream so bold?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Talking: The fez is the attire worn by our rival,the Fraternal Order of the Moose (FOP), and is therefore inappropriate. Even so, I have to admit that it is a nice design for a hat.

Patrick McMicheal said...

Ya Know, It's just a shame women don't wear hats anymore!
I was watching the 3 stooges the other day and noticed EVERY man at the (boxing) fight was wearing a hat!
When did all this hat business end?

Vincent Waller said...

Agitators on trial.

Jennifer said...

I guess my authentic French beret won't work. :(

I think I'll have to make a couple of trips to the second-hand shop to find one of those 60s "ladies garden club members" hats.

Anonymous said...

You know, I always wonder how you obtain your props & costumes.

Speaking of which, I've placed an order for a coonskin cap, which should be arriving sometime in November.

And finally, I did a post about little old you on my blog. I hope you like it.

From an aspiring animator/ cartoonist

Anonymous said...

What do you think of Damien Hirst Eddie? I think he's a pompous hack.

Brubaker said...

Hey Eddie! Are you excited about that Mighty Mouse DVD?

Out of curiosity which episodes did you direct on? I know you directed "Witch Tricks", but what else?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Bruce: You make me look good! Thanks!

Anon: I'm no fan of Hirst's. I can't believe somebody paid 7 million for the shark!

Brubaker: I only really directed Witch Tricks. I deliberately let a second film go through undirected so I could spend more time on a subsequent film, but I was fired for letting not directing the second film (even though it has my name on it) and therefore never got to do more than development on the third film.

Bruce: Props and costumes? They're mostly household items supplimented by a couple of things from the Halloween store or my kid's box of old toys. I made the epaulets out of cardboard.

Jenny: I thought you collect old dresses and accesseries. I'd have guessed this would be a walk in the park for you.

Craig said...

The Biddy-Brigade in the agitating commercial was jaw-dropping. (Are you a fan of Man Men and Betty Draper?)

Whit said...

Patrick McMichael: American men wore fedoras roughly up until just after John F. Kennedy was elected president. With his youthful charisma, JFK popularized NOT wearing a hat of any sort. It caught on and it stayed caught on. The hat business just hasn't been the same since.

Jenny s/a above said...

Yeah, I collect vintage women's everythings in clothes, but it's way too easy as a uniform-and boring to boot.
I bought my coonskin cap at Disneyland about a dozen years ago and if you think for one minute I'm going to not wear it and dress as Bea Benadaret instead you've got another think coming, U.E.! I can wear an old dress and gloves & a tasteless hat any day(you forgot the gloves btw), but one only has the optimum chance to pull out the coonskin a couple of times in a life.
I'd think you of all people should appreciate cross-dressing for special occasions, my god! ; )

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

jenny: Haw! Hey, if it was up to me I'd okay it. It's kinda funny. The thing is, it's not up to me. It's for the ladies in the Auxiliary to decide, and they detest coonskin caps.

Why not follow the Auxiliary dress code to start, then do a Lucy Ricardo and try to infiltrate? Or think of how Madeline Kahn or Imogene Coco would handle this.

Craig: I never heard of the show til you mentioned it. I just looked it up and saw a couple of clips. They didn't grab me, but i'll go back and see if i can find a whole episode to watch.

Craig said...

Didn't grab you? I'm shocked. SHOCKED! Madison Avenue Advertising Agency, 1962. The dark side of the Dick Van Dyke era.
Try this: The lead guy, Don Draper, having a difficult time in his home life, has to pitch a new campaign to Kodak. . .

Anonymous said...

Eddie, I love the show Mad Men, but I don't think you would. If you do watch it, try the first five episodes. That's how long it takes for it to really get going.

Jenny: My milk came out my nose when I read "dress like Bea Benaderet." Godammit!