WWI Hello Girl Summer uniform

This cotton sateen uniform is inspired by the summer uniforms worn by the Hello Girls during WWI.

(Ugh! Still working on that stand and fold collar! I am going to master it yet!)

For this uniform, I selected a cotton/poly blend (65/35) as 100% cotton sateen tends to lose its luster after a single washing. And because I wanted this uniform to retain as much luster as possible, I chose a blend over all natural. Sometimes you have to compromise! Plus, the weight of this cotton satin was absolutely ideal for this piece. (Modern all natural cotton sateen tends to be rather thin. Think sheets! Or lining in this case!) Amazingly this cotton satin has the feel of silk satin! It was really lovely to work with. (Note- cotton satin and cotton sateen are interchangeable terms).

The buttons are reproduction brass eagles and lack the years of bronzing their antique counterparts have. I like to leave the patina on antique brass so the brightness of these reproductions were the way to go on this uniform. The jacket is fully lined in a 100% cotton sateen.

Original WWI cotton sateen summer uniform (image courtesy Ebay)

The Hello Girl uniform was officially known as a US Signal Corp Uniform and was issued to women working overseas as bilingual translators on the European front. The Hello Girls were some of the first women to officially enter into military service and were issued 2 uniforms- 1 winter uniform of wool and 1 summer uniform of cotton sateen.

While issued uniforms by the US Army and commissioned to work on base, the Hello Girls were viewed as civilian contractors and were never offered a pension or any military benefits. It was not until the late 1970s that the US gov’t acknowledged these women’s service and contributions to our country during WWI.

Fore more information about our WWI era uniforms or any of our custom order garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com