Women’s fashion has a long and colorful history, and in the 20th century, the newspapers caught it all! 1900s fashion saw subtle but important changes to modern dress styles. Every year, fashion designers launch new clothing lines, new fashion trends emerge and old fashion trends are discarded. Sometimes, old fashion trends are even brought back and marketed as new trends or used up due to nostalgia. Let’s get an overview of early 1900s fashion for ladies in this post.
Fashion of the Edwardian Era
The decade 1900–1910 was part of what is known in the Western world as the Edwardian era, related to the reign of the British monarch Edward VII (1901–1910). The Edwardian era was known for its extravagance, luxury, and strict social norms modeled by the wealthy.
Early 1900s fashion was still influenced by the Edwardian style from the late 1800s. Long skirts and corsets are still worn by women. Men continue to don suits. Hats, gloves, and, frequently, an umbrella for ladies, make up a full ensemble. Edwardian clothing is exceedingly elegant and has pricey materials and embellishments. They favor a commanding, adult appearance. The Edwardian era was characterized by the practice of dressing properly for the situation. More individuals now have access to a greater range of clothing because of the introduction of department shops that offer ready-to-wear clothing.
Who was the first prominent fashion designer?
Fashion designers are merely one aspect of fashion history. Charles Frederick Worth, however, is regarded as the first fashion designer. When clothing was still manufactured by unidentified tailors, he established the House of Worth, a fashion design studio in Paris. Given that he previously worked in a business selling costume accessories, Worth’s area of expertise is costume design. He is credited with creating the bra, a late nineteenth-century adornment for dresses and skirts.
Styles of Early 1900s Fashion for Ladies
The early 1900s saw a shift in women’s fashion from the ornate and heavily structured styles of the Victorian era to more practical and comfortable clothing. Here are some of the styles of early 1900s fashion for ladies:
Gibson Girl Style
The Gibson Girl style was named after the illustrations of Charles Dana Gibson, who was known for his portrayals of fashionable and independent women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The style was characterized by a high neckline, puffy sleeves, and a full skirt with a fitted waist, creating an hourglass silhouette that emphasized a slim waist and full bust. This style was popular from the 1890s to the early 1900s and was seen as a symbol of the “New Woman,” who was independent, educated, and fashionable.
In the early 1900s, the “S” shaped silhouette became popular, which was achieved by wearing a corset that pushed the bust forward and the hips back, creating a curved, sloping bustline and a tightly corseted waist. The skirts were also full, with a slight flare at the hem, which balanced the shape of the body. The S-shaped silhouette was popular from the late 1890s to the early 1910s, and it reflected a desire for a more natural, feminine look, in contrast to the stiff, structured garments of the Victorian era.
The Edwardian style, which was prominent from 1901 to 1910, was called after King Edward VII. A return to more refined and beautiful clothing with a focus on opulent materials and intricate decorations marked this time period. A long, straight skirt that reached the floor and a fitted bodice characterized the long, thin Edwardian form.
The result was a more extended, elegant appearance since the waistline was frequently lifted to just below the bust. Another distinguishing feature of Edwardian fashion was the high collar, which was frequently worn with a big, ornate hat. The higher classes loved the look, which expressed their desire for grandeur and sophistication. However, this style was not practical for everyday wear and was often reserved for special occasions.
Tea gowns were a popular style of dress worn during the early 1900s, particularly for afternoon tea and other social events. They were designed to be comfortable and relaxed and were often made from soft, lightweight fabrics such as silk or chiffon. The silhouette of tea gowns was typically loose and flowing, often with a fitted bodice and a flared skirt. They were often embellished with delicate embroidery, lace, or beading, adding to their overall elegance and femininity. Tea gowns were popular among the upper classes, who valued comfort and ease of movement, while still wanting to look fashionable and stylish.
In conclusion, the early 1900s was a time of transition in women’s fashion. It marked the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of a new, more relaxed and practical approach to clothing. Fabrics such as silk, cotton, wool, and linen were used to make a wide range of garments, from daywear to evening gowns. Lace and embroidery were popular embellishments, adding a delicate, feminine touch to clothing. As a result, the fashion of the early 1900s reflected the changing attitudes and values of the time, as women began to assert their independence and seek more practical and functional clothing.