The Prairie ReviewTop Picks

Fashion Icons of the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Edition

Walnut Grove, Minn.-Welcome back to Fashion Icons of the Prairie, the column where we break down the style of the fashionable folks of Walnut Grove and the surrounding areas and identify what exactly makes their style iconic. This week we take a look at the one and only Laura Ingalls! 

Laura Ingalls’ Fashion: The Basics

We know what you’re thinking–braids, duh. And it’s true, Laura is easily identifiable by her braids and demonstrates a commitment to the style way too long. In fact, her commitment to braids rivals Isaiah Edwards’ commitment to his dirty old hat! As we’ll see when we break down her fashion, though, there’s a lot more to Laura’s style than her trademark braids. Let’s take a look at Laura’s style and break down what makes it so classic!

Laura Dresses for the Job She Wants, Not the Job She Has. 

We’ve already touched on the braids and her seemingly unwavering commitment to them. The astute observer, however, will notice that you can tell a lot about Laura depending on her hairstyle. I know what you’re thinking: what hairstyle? There’s only, like, one! But in fact, her commitment to the braids makes it even more stark when she departs. Noteworthily, her tendency to depart from her braids coincides with her romantic aspirations.. Remember when she liked Jimmy Hill and wore her hair mostly down with just a bit pulled back in her Sunday ribbons? She was going for a kiss that time. Then when she and Almanzo are courting, we catch Laura with her hair completely down, just preceding their engagement. If we had a remembrance book, we would write about every time Laura didn’t wear braids.

She’s Resourceful. Why spend money on figure enhancing undergarments when there are plenty of apples around? Bonus: if you get hungry on your three mile walk home, you are already packing snacks.

Laura Knows All You  Need Is Love…Uh, That Is, A Few Key Pieces. Raised with a limited budget, Laura knows how to stretch things and make them last. She isn’t afraid to wear one dress every single day for her first teaching assignment, and not only does this save money, but it makes her easily recognizable. If you listen closely in the background while she was in Minneapolis writing that book, you can hear a passerby mutter something about how that was his teacher in Currie still wearing the same dress as she did back then.

Laura Knows How to Make Old Items New Again

Remember that hat Laura had with the weird bouquet thing in front and the long ribbons in the back? She wore it a lot around the time she her and Almanzo courted and became engaged. Well, what should resurface a couple of years later but that exactly hat, this time cocked jauntily to the side. Laura knows that it’s not just about WHAT accessories you are wearing, but HOW you wear them.