For centuries the traditional Scottish knitted bonnet had been worn by both sexes for practical purposes.On occasions it strayed south of the border as an informal fashion item.
In the twentieth century the Tam, although worn by all ages, became the province of girls in their mid-teens.
During the Great War Ladies football teams were formed by munitions factories. In every team photograph I have seen every member is wearing
a Tam O' Shanter; it was part of the kit. However it was not until the nineteen-twenties the Tam appears in studio photographs.
Made popular by silent film stars such as Clara Bow, it is not seen on older women.
With the obvious advantage it could be hand knitted from patterns available at the time or bought very cheaply; younger girls with their bobbed hair claimed it as their own.
The Tam was a young person's fun item as the photographs below illustrate.
Bear in mind that at this time the school leaving age was fourteen.