Tricornes and Gaydar

It must have been tough to be a sapphist back before…oh wait, it’s still difficult to tell which ladies like the ladies.

Unlike gay men, who have the bandana in the back pocket or an earring in the right ear, lesbians don’t have any such visible sign.  Sure, asymmetrical rumpled hair is a hint, as is the ubiquitous wifebeater (tank tops, for all you PCers).  But those are not clear signs, since they abound in straight girl style as well.

I’m getting off on a tangent.  The point of this post is to introduce my next mini-project, which is to comb my book collection for images of 1910s-1940s women in tricorne hats.

My beloved mentor at MCNY has a theory that the Tricorne was an early sign that the wearer had sapphic leanings, or at the very least was enough of a bohémien to consider a little experimentation.

To start, this fashion photograph from Harper’s Bazaar, Dec 1939.  This era was a time of notoriously wacky hats, but I intend to be thorough in my search so I am posting it even though I don’t think  the photographer, Francois Kollar, had any intention of making a lesbian statement.

Harpers Bazaar, December 1939