1900s in fashion

1900s in fashion

Fashion in the period throughout the years 1900-1909 in European and European-influenced and American women with the countries continued the period, as do women's broad hats and full "Gibson girl" hairstyles. A new, columnar silhouette introduced by the "couturiers" of Paris late in the decade signaled the approaching abandonment of the corset as an indispensable garment of fashionable women.

Women's fashions


With the decline of the bustle, sleeves began to increase in size and the 1830s silhouette of an hourglass shape became popular again. The fashionable silhouette in the early 1900s was that of a mature woman, with full low bust and curvy hips. The "health corset" of this period removed pressure from the abdomen and created an S-curve silhouette. [Laver, James: "The Concise History of Costume and Fashion", Abrams, 1979]

In 1897, Silhouette slimmed and elongated a considerable amount. Blouses and dresses were full in front and puffed into a "pigeon breast" or monobosom shape of the early 20th century that looked over the narrow waist, which sloped from back to front and was often accented with a sash or belt. Necklines were supported by very high boned collars. [vintage fashion guild]

Skirts brushed the floor, often with a train, even for day dresses, in mid-decade.

Around 1908, the fashion houses of Paris began to show a new silhouette, with a thicker waist, flatter bust, and narrower hips. By the end of the decade the most fashionable skirts cleared the floor and approached the ankle. The overall silhouette narrowed and straightened, beginning a trend that would continue into the years leading up to the Great War.

Lingerie dresses

Frothy washable day dresses of translucent linen or cotton, called "lingerie dresses", were worn in warm climates. These were trimmed lavishly with tiny pintucks, lace insertions, embroidery, and passementerie. Their origins lie in the artistic or aesthetic dress and the adoption of the uncorseted tea gown for wear outside the home.

portswear and tailored fashions

Unfussy, tailored clothes were worn for outdoor activities and traveling. The shirtwaist, a costume with a bodice or "waist" tailored like a man's shirt with a high collar, was adopted for informal daywear and became the uniform of working women. Wool or tweed suits called tailor-mades or (in French) "tailleurs" featured ankle-length skirts with matching jackets; ladies of fashion wore them with fox furs and huge hats. Two new styles of hats that became popular at the turn of the century is the automobile bonnet for riding and sailor's hat worn for tennis matches, bicycling and croquet [Fashion in History]

Rise of "haute couture"

:"See also main article" History of fashion design (1900s)This decade marked the full flowering of Parisian "haute couture" as the arbiter of styles and silhouettes for women of all classes. Designers sent fashion models or "mannequins" to the Longchamp races wearing the latest styles. [Laver: "Concise History of Costume and Fashion"] , and fashion photographs identified the creators of individual gowns. [Steele, Valerie: "Paris Fashion: A Cultural History", Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-1950-4465-7] In 1908, a new silhouette emerged from Callot Soeurs, Vionnet at the house of Doucet, and most importantly, Paul Poiret [Steele, Valerie: "The Corset", Yale University Press, 2001] . The styles were variously called "Merveilleuse", "Diréctoire", and "Empire" after the fashions of the turn of the nineteenth century, which they resembled in their narrow skirts and raised waistlines.

The new styles featured form-fitting gowns with high or undefined waists, or ankle-length skirts and long tunic-like jackets, and required a different "straight line" corset. The Paris correspondent for "Vogue" described this new look as "straighter and straighter ... less bust, less hips, and more waist...how slim, how graceful, how elegant...!" [Quoted in Steele, "The Corset', p. 146]

Hairstyles and hats

Huge, broadbrimmed hats were worn in mid-decade, trimmed with masses of feathers and occasionally complete stuffed birds, or decorated with ribbons and artificial flowers. Masses of wavy hair were fashionable, swept up to the top of the head (over horsehair pads called "rats" if necessary) and gathered into a knot. [Ashelford, Jane: "The Art of Dress".] Large hats were worn with evening wear.

By the end of the decade, hats had smaller drooping brims that shaded the face and deep crowns, and the overall top-heavy effect remained.

tyle Gallery 1900-1906

# wears a sheer patterned gown with fullness at the front waist over a soft sash. This dress might have been called a tea gown at this time (1900).
# for Summer 1901 shows sloped waistline, "pouter pigeon" front bodices, high necklines and large hats with ribbons.
# c. 1902 illustrates the "pouter pidgeon" blouse or shirtwaist and trumpet-skirt that was a mainstay of middle-class clothing.
# (or, more likely, top half of combinations), corset, and trumpet-shaped petticoat) of 1903-04.
# day-dress descended from the tea gown, worn with an oversized hat and gloves, 1904.
# wears an off-the-shoulder orange evening gown with long gloves, 1905.
#. The wide-brimmed hat is cocked up on one side. Elbow-length sleeves are worn with gloves.
# evening fashions of 1906 have short or three-quarter-length sleeves. Some ladies wear hats, and the gentlemen wear dinner jackets.

tyle Gallery 1907-1909

# of 1907 features a tailored jacket and matching ankle-length skirt with patch pockets.
# to keep clothes clean and wearers warm in open automobiles. They were worn with fashionable hats wrapped in veils, gloves, and often goggles, 1907.
# captures the fashionable combination of masses of wavy hair beneath a broad-brimmed hat.
# point the way to a new silhouette, with a high waist and narrow, ankle-length skirts, 1908.
# of fashions for 1908 shows dresses of a more conservative cut than the latest Paris modes, but waists are higher and the figure slimmer and more erect than in the first half of the decade.
# with pouter-pigeon cut, 1909.
# has a narrower silhouette. The bodice fits closer to the body, although the waist still slopes, and the hat has a deep crown.
# of 1909 show the new fitted, higher-waisted silhouette and are worn with huge hats.

Men's fashion

The long, lean, and athletic silhouette of the 1890s persisted. Hair was generally worn short. Beards were less pointed than before and moustaches were often curled.

Coats, waistcoats, and trousers

The sack coat or lounge coat continued to replace the frock coat for most informal and semi-formal occasions. Three-piece suits consisting of a sack coat with matching waistcoat (U.S. "vest") and trousers were worn, as were matching coat and waistcoat with contrasting trousers, or matching coat and trousers with contrasting waistcoat. Trousers were shorter than before, often had "turn-ups" or "cuffs", and were creased front and back using the new trouser press. [Laver, "Concise History of Costume and Fashion"]

Waistcoats fastened high on the chest. The usual style was single-breasted.

The blazer, a navy blue or brightly-colored or striped flannel coat cut like a sack coat with patch pockets and brass buttons, was worn for sports, sailing, and other casual activities.

The Norfolk jacket remained fashionable for shooting and rugged outdoor pursuits. It was made of sturdy tweed or similar fabric and featured paired box pleats over the chest and back, with a fabric belt. Worn with matching breeches or (U.S. knickerbockers), it became the "Norfolk suit", suitable for bicycling or golf with knee-length stockings and low shoes, or for hunting with sturdy boots or shoes with leather gaiters.

The cutaway morning coat was still worn for formal day occasions in Europe and major cities elsewhere, with striped trousers.

The most formal evening dress remained a dark tail coat and trousers with a dark or light waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with a winged collar. The less formal dinner jacket or tuxedo, which featured a shawl collar with silk or satin facings, now generally had a single button. Dinner jackets were appropriate formal wear when "dressing for dinner" at home or at a men's club. The dinner jacket was worn with a white shirt and a dark tie.

Knee-length topcoats and calf-length overcoats were worn in winter.

hirts and neckties

Formal dress shirt collars were turned over or pressed into "wings". Collars were overall very tall and stiffened. Dress shirts had stiff fronts, sometimes decorated with shirt studs and buttoned up the back. Striped shirts were popular for informal occasions.

The usual necktie was a narrow four-in-hand. Ascot ties were worn with formal day dress and white bow ties with evening dress.


Top hats remained a requirement for upper class formal wear; soft felt Homburgs or stiff bowler hats were worn with lounge or sack suits, and flat straw boaters were worn for casual occasions.

tyle gallery

# wears a fur-collared overcoat and a Homburg, 1900.
# of a topcoat (left, worn with a top hat and morning dress) and overcoat (right, worn with business dress and Homburg), December 1900.
# in a formal frock coat, 1903.
# of Theodore Roosevelt in a vividly patterned tie, light waistcoat, and dark coat, 1904. The very short hairstyle is typical of the period.
# consists of a cutaway morning coat, high-buttoned waistcoat, and creased fly-front trousers worn with a high-collared shirt, top hat, and gloves, 1906.
# wears a gray formal coat and a winged-collar shirt, 1907.

Children's fashion

Girls' fashion for this time period imitated older women of the same period. Girls wore dresses of knee length, with trimmings at the hem such as lace and embroidery similar to women's lingerie dresses. Normally, black shoes and woolen stockings went with the dress. Their hair was generally worn long and curly with decorations of ribbon. For play, bloomers and woolen jerseys were acceptable. [Stevenson, Pauline. "Edwardian Fashion". London: Ian Allan LTD., 1980.]

A new attempt was made to design garments that are more suitable for playing by designing girls' dresses with short sleeves. [Children's Costume History 1900-1910." Fashion Era. 2008. Fashion-era.com. 28 Apr 2008 .]

Young boys found comfort in Russian style blouses. [Children's Costume History 1900-1910." Fashion Era. 2008. Fashion-era.com. 28 Apr 2008 .]

Fashionable clothing for boys included sailor suits, consisting a shirt with a sailor collar and trousers or knickerbockers. For automobiling, boys wore a duster with knickerbockers, a flat cap, and goggles. ["Children's Fashions, 1860-1912: 1065 Costume Designs from "La Mode Illustrée". New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1994.]

ee also

*History of fashion design
*Edwardian era
*Belle Époque



*Arnold, Janet: "Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their Construction C.1860-1940", Wace 1966, Macmillan 1972. Revised metric edition, Drama Books 1977. ISBN 0-89676-027-8

*Ashelford, Jane: "The Art of Dress: Clothing and Society 1500-1914", Abrams, 1996. ISBN 0-8109-6317-5

*Laver, James: "The Concise History of Costume and Fashion", Abrams, 1979.

*Nunn, Joan: "Fashion in Costume, 1200-2000," 2nd edition, A & C Black (Publishers) Ltd; Chicago: New Amsterdam Books, 2000. (Excerpts online at [http://www.victorianweb.org The Victorian Web] )

*Steele, Valerie: "Paris Fashion: A Cultural History", Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-1950-4465-7

*Steele, Valerie: "The Corset", Yale University Press, 2001

External links

* [http://www.corsetsandcrinolines.com Corsets and Crinolines]
** [http://www.corsetsandcrinolines.com/timelinepix/1900/warn4.jpgS Bend Corset]

urviving clothing

* [http://web.missouri.edu/~umchestamwww/MHCTC/garment%20files/1993_17_3.htm Lingerie dress at the Missouri Historic Costume & Textile Collection]
* [http://dept.kent.edu/museum/exhibit/selhorst/sil1900.html Lingerie dresses at Kent State University]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fashion — For other uses, see Fashion (disambiguation). In Following the Fashion (1794), James Gillray caricatured a figure flattered by the short bodiced gowns then in fashion, contrasting it with an imitator whose figure is not flattered. Fashion, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Fashion show — A fashion show is an event put on by a fashion designer to showcase his or her upcoming line of clothing. In a typical fashion show, models walk the catwalk dressed in the clothing created by the designer. Occasionally, fashion shows take the… …   Wikipedia

  • Fashion photography —    Since the invention of photography in 1839, clothes have been depicted in portraits. However, it was not until the 1850s that French couture houses began using photographs to document their collections, starting with Parisian photographers in… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • 1900s in sociology — The following events related to sociology occurred in the 1900s.1900*Sigmund Freud s The Interpretation of Dreams is published. *Georg Simmel s The Philosophy of Money is published.1901*Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree s Poverty, A Study of Town Life is …   Wikipedia

  • History of Western fashion — Overview of fashion from The New Student s Reference Work, 1914 …   Wikipedia

  • Twentieth century in fashion — See= *1900s in fashion *1910s in fashion *1920s in fashion *1930 1945 in fashion *1945 1960 in fashion *1960s in fashion *1970s in fashion *1980s in fashion *1990s in fashion *History of fashion design …   Wikipedia

  • 1910s in fashion — Fashion in the years 1910 1919 is characterized by a rich and exotic opulence in the first half of the decade in contrast with the somber practicality of garments worn during the Great War. Men s trousers were worn cuffed to ankle length and… …   Wikipedia

  • History of fashion design — The first fashion designer who was not merely a dressmaker was (Charles Frederick Worth) (1826–1895). Before the former draper set up his maison couture fashion house in Paris, fashion creation and inspiration was handled by largely unknown… …   Wikipedia

  • 1930–1945 in fashion — Actress Mary Pickford with President Herbert Hoover, 1931 The most characteristic North American fashion trend from the 1930s to the end of World War II was attention at the shoulder, with butterfly sleeves and banjo sleeves, and exaggerated… …   Wikipedia

  • 1750–1795 in fashion — Portrait of John and Elizabeth Lloyd Cadwalader and their Daughter Anne by Charles Willson Peale, Philadelphia, 1772 Fashion in the period 1750–1795 in European and European influenced countries reached heights of fantasy and abundant… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.