Woman's black straw summer hat
Isabelle Blixt Parker wore this black straw hat during the war years. She served as a music therapist for wounded soldiers at Fort Snelling. Using music and musical instruments, Parker helped with the rehabilitation of soldiers suffering physical and mental issues after returning home from World War I. Later in her life, she was an accompanist for the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Women have worn hats out of fashion and necessity for centuries. In the years just before World War I, women's hats were ornate and large, often held in place by long hatpins. By World War I, however, hats became simpler. Fancy hats were often seen as unpatriotic, as if the person wearing the hat thought more about herself than the war effort.