Irish-American Fashion: Annie Moore

Annie Moore, the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island.

Annie Moore, the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island.

Annie Moore was 17 when she came to America. She came from Cork, Ireland, and traveled to America on a ship called Nevada with her two brothers. She arrived at Ellis Island on January 1, 1892, the day the facility opened, and she was the very first person to pass through it.

Above is a statue of Moore and her brothers in Cobh, Ireland, where she departed from. There is a very similar statue of her at Ellis Island, this time alone, her hand on her hat and clutching her valise. Both statues are by Irish sculptor Jeanne Rhynhart, and they are products of her imagination. We don’t know what Moore looked like when she arrived, although there is speculation that this is a photo of her:

Is this her? Maybe.

Is this her? Maybe.

It is Rhynhart’s version we will be recreating here, because there’s a real stylishness to it.Let’s start with the hat. It’s a sporty little thing, a sort of broad-rimmed cloche, here’s my recommendation for a modern variation:

1. Lucky Bonnet Rain Hat from Arisha Hatters, $65.

Perfect for inclement weather and long boat rides.

Perfect for inclement weather and long boat rides.

Next we have Annie’s jacket, which is a big-shoulder, neat-looking coat with a cinched waist. I’m of the opinionn that you can’t go wrong with Burberry here, if you’re willing to indulge the expense. My recommendation:

2. Wool Cashmere Trench Coat with Rabbit Topcollar, Burberry, $2,195

Perfect for a trip from Ireland to New York!

Perfect for a trip from Ireland to New York!

In the sculpture, Annie seems to have a rather demure, unflashy skirt on. But we can’t see if there is a pattern or not, and, since the ensemble has been just tones and colors up until now, this is a good place for a plaid tartan:

3. Vintage 1970s Blue Tartan Skirt, Pretty Bones Jefferson, $34.

Preppy!

Preppy!

And finally, boots. Appropriate for her sea voyage, Annie has some laced boots on, and let’s go for another splash of color here with a brown pair:

4. Lace Up Boots, Jeffrey Campbell Warfield, $218.

A bit old-fashioned as well!

A bit old-fashioned as well!

Finally, there is a vital accessory we must include: Annie’s not moving to America without her valise. Let’s give her a lovely leather model:

5. Shop Side Pocket Duffel, Saddleback Leather, $655.

Now we're ready to travel!

Now we’re ready to travel!

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Max Sparber

Max Sparber is a playwright, journalist, and history detective in Omaha, Nebraska.