Fashion Decades



The ladies of Europe, usually wealthy aristocrats, had continued the style of the 1890's, the tall collars and broad hats and "Gibson Girls" hairstyles and S-corsets.  During that same time, women were introduced to a new silhouette and abandonment of their corsets. Women of that time dressed for every occasion, a morning dress, afternoon, a dinner dress, and so on. 

The fashionable silhouette in the early 1900's was that of  elegance, grace, poise and best of all, confidence. Parisian fashion houses started a new trend in 1908, a thicker waist, narrower hips and a flattering bust.
 By 1910, a survey was taken at a New York private school for girls and found that girls were spending on average $565 ($13,062 today) on clothing a year, not including undergarments.    

Haute Couture
Designers used to send models or mannequins to long champ races in order to show off the latest fashions. This decade opened the doors to Parisian Haute Couture. Callot Soeurs, Vionnet at the house of Doucet and also Paul Poiret were popular designers in Europe and were slowly making their way to America. Their fashions were called Merveilleuse, Directoire, and Empire after the fashion turn of the early 1900's which resembled in their narrow skirts and raised waistlines. The style featured form-fitting gowns, ankle length skirts and long tunic-style jackets requiring straight-line corsets. A critic for  Vogue describes the style; 
          "Straighter and straighter...less bust, smaller hips and more slim, how graceful, how elegant!" 
Men's Fashion

  For men, trends didn't change periodically. The three piece suits consisting of a sack coat with matching coat, trousers, and a contrasting waistcoat. The trousers were shorter than before, and often had "turn-ups" or "cuffs" and were creased from back to front using a trouser press.

TThe blazer, navy or brightly-colored even stripped flannel were cut like a sack coat with patch pockets and brass buttons, worn for sailing, sports, and other casual activities.

For evenings, a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark or light waistcoat, commonly worn with a white bow tie and shirts with a winged collar. The less formal Tuxedo or dinner jackets were worn as well, usually to men's clubs or at home. The dinner jacket adorned with a white shirt and a dark tie.

Knee length topcoats or calf-length coats were carried in the winter. 

The upper-class male wore a soft hat, Homburgs, or stiff Bowlers. Most were worn with lounge or sack suits and flat straw boaters were worn on more casual occasions. 

For men's footwear ankle boots toe caps, or lace up boots, in black, gray or brown were for everyday wear. The basic Oxford was introduced in the Edwardian era. 

The fashions in the early 1900's were much simpler for men than for women. Men changed jackets when arriving from work to home, whereas women would change out from outing attire and into comfortable home dresses. Designers were slowly becoming recognized throughout Europe and the America's. From "Gibson Girl" hairstyles and high collars, and waistcoats and bowlers things have changed dramatically over the years.

x -theCollector 

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