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Photograph of Helen M. Slade, Class of 1894

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Photograph of Helen M. Slade, Class of 1894


Photograph of Helen M. Slade, Class of 1894 This portrait, like several others from the mid-1890s and beyond, pictures a Vassar student wearing an assertive, menswear-inspired ensemble, a style adopted largely by the so-called emancipated women at the turn of the century, in which the man’s suit, shirt, and tie are adapted to the fashionable feminine silhouette. A conscious rejection of the most feminine and impractical styles of dress, this choice represents a deliberate assertion of women’s independence. However, this choice still exists within a social framework that values the masculine over the feminine: using masculine styles to claim legitimacy for women reinforces the idea that only the masculine is legitimate. Courtesy of Archives & Special Collections Library, Vassar College (Student Photograph Collection, Folder 11.38)


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