Monday, August 3, 2015

Fashions for August 1921

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 1921 dresses
Loretta reports:

For a little change of pace, I thought we’d look at fashion of the early 20th century. Color images have not been easy to find. This set comes from the Delineator, which basically sold Butterick patterns.

If you’re reading or writing books set in the Downton Abbey era, you will probably enjoy taking a more extensive look at the magazine online. It includes illustrations for undergarments, which can be extremely important in historical romance.

Meanwhile, I believe the descriptions of the dresses will make more sense to those who sew than they do to me. I do not understand the bit about the waist closing on the shoulder.
dress description

August 1821 dresses rear view

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Mantelli said...

I suspect the "waist" in question is a synonym here for "blouse" or "too".

Ann said...

"Waist" was used at this time to describe the upper half of women's dresses, or a blouse. Think "shirtwaist" dress.

Amy Pilgrim said...

They're telling you the dress slips on over your head and closes at the shoulder. Most older style dresses of this era are straight, with no gathers, especially at the waist. This one gathers (albeit slightly) to the dropped waistband, and it then goes on over your head and buttons at the shoulder. I can't recall off hand, but I don't think zippers had been universally accepted as garment closures at this point.

Cynthia Lambert said...

Ann Sharp is absolutely correct. A "waist" was a blouse, or shirtwaist. Remember the horrible fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in NYC where women had to jump to their deaths to escape the burning building?

Anonymous said...

Everyone else has explained this nicely. I just wanted to add, that before this era, often there were two "waists" to go with one skirt, one a daytime look and the other for evening. The waist and skirt often attached with hook and eye fasteners.

I believe zippers would have been extremely uncommon, if not unheard of, in women's clothing at this time. "Slide" fasteners as they were often referred to, became popular in high end clothing in the thirties, but weren't really common until the forties, if I remember correctly. I seem to recall Schiaperelli using zippers as a design feature in the thirties.

I love fashion history and these illustrations are awfully pretty, thanks for posting!


LorettaChase said...

Many thanks for the explanations. It all makes sense now! Our readers are the best.

Anonymous said...

I like that some of these go up to a 46" bust -- not just for the willowiest young ladies!

Annette said...

Question! My grandmother mentioned this about the styles of 1920's were comfortable, yet, lacked support from underwear?
I noticed in 1950, she wore this style while at home because of comfort. Of course the underwear:bra and pants were a better support at this period than the 1920's.

AuntieNan said...

My dad always chuckled when watching the old movie, spirit of St. Louis with jimmy Stewart, about the Lindbergh flight from NY to Paris, which occurred in 1927. He always said "Nance -- look at that bomber jacket! They didn't have zippers on them in 1927" of course he knew this because he was a strapping lad of 6 then.

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