Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fashions for October 1919

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Loretta reports:

Well, this was an odd situation. I downloaded the relevant issue of the Delineator, in order to show you the images in as large and clear a format as I could. Unfortunately, following up the day after, I couldn’t find Vol 95, for July-December 1919, online. That’s why you are not getting the captions taking you to the source. If it comes back from the ether soon, I’ll update.

Meanwhile I invite you to enjoy these early 20th century fashions, which show how much women’s dress changed from the look I showed you for 1905, last month. We’re moving away from that S curve of earlier decades to the slimmed down, straight silhouette foreshadowing the fashions we associate with the roaring twenties and its boyish look.

Fashion plates from The Delineator, Volume, 95, October 1919.

Please click on images to enlarge.


Ann said...

What perfect timing! I was just in the throes of hunting for a suitable hat type to wear to a historical costume event this week -- a suffragette from my grandmother's day, when "we dressed in our good street clothes to throw rotten eggs at the Mayor." (Actually they wrote a lot of letters to legislators, who invariably responded by explaining that there was no space available in the current legislative session, but to try again next year.)

Susan Bailey said...

These fashions must have caused an uproar! Wow, what a difference between then and 1905. Was there something that happened in the world that caused such a change (perhaps The Great War)? Women must have gone nuts over the freedom these new fashions allowed for them, just to move!

Regencyresearcher said...

What comes around goes around in the world of fashion. These 1919 fashions have much in common with those of the early 1800's and the regency. The main difference between them is that the 1919 fashions want to pretend women had no breasts while the 19th century ones made sure everyone knew they did. I don't understand fashion nor who is/was it who decided what every one should be wearing.

Anonymous said...

Everyone always assumes that women welcomed the "freedom" of the 1920s clothes, just as they all must have loved the 1810s. I think that's seeing things through modern eyes and our own ideas of what's comfortable. I'm betting there were plenty of women who hated these clothes - women who were proud of their small waists and hourglass figures, or who liked the security that a corset offered. If you'd worn a corset since childhood, it wouldn't seem confining - it would seem natural. These clothes are pretty lumpy. If you look at photographs of women from the era, these clothes aren't very becoming to anyone but the very slender. I also bet a lot of women didn't enjoy the attention that the shorter skirts must have brought from men, who probably behaved just as badly at this new glimpse of leg as they do at booty shorts today.

Jan Ostrom said...

Hi, I am wondering if anyone can point me to resources for accessing this same era of fashion in America, particularly the American South, such as Alabama, Georgia?
Thanks, Jan

LorettaChase said...

For those wondering about support:
The pages of the Delineator show undergarments. Though Vol. 95 still seems to be lost in the ether, you can look at 1917 here:
Jan O, these fashions are for the U.S., and I think you are relatively safe in assuming southern women in general dressed more or less as did those in the NE, midwest, etc. I assume that, as is the case today, there would be particular regional takes on fashion, and climate would certainly play a role, but I doubt women in the south would dress in a radically different manner. Still, as has always been the case, not all women would copy the latest look.
Susan Bailey, WWI did play a part. I was frustrated, trying to find October fashions a bit closer to 1905, so we could better see the transition. If anybody knows of other early 1900s fashion sources (in English, preferably), please let us know.

witness2fashion said...

I hope you'll excuse me for mentioning my own blog, but I have access to bound copies of Delineator and frequently write about fashions from 1917 and 1918. Corsets for 1917 were pictured here; https://witness2fashion.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/nine-kinds-of-ideal-figure-1917/
and here https://witness2fashion.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/golf-and-corsets-1917/
Some Butterick fashions for 1917 (in color) can be seen here: https://witness2fashion.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/butterick-fashions-for-august-1917/
and you can find a series of articles about 1920's corsets, bust binders, rolled stockings, etc. by selecting the Corsets & Corselettes category or using the search box. This particular article shows some 1910s to 1920s transitions. https://witness2fashion.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/how-to-look-thinner-in-the-1920s-part-1-wear-a-corset-or-corselette/
Again -- I hope you'll excuse me for blowing my own horn, but you asked!

Unknown said...

While I admire the boyishly slim figures of the models in the 1920s, I personally prefer the earlier silhouettes. Of course this is because I know that all my curves and lumps would have looked awful in the straight-as-a-stick styles!

Liz said...

What perfect timing. Only this morning I put up a 1914 framed photo of my grandmother in her "come out" garb for her presentation at Government House in Ottawa before the Governor General, the Queen's (or at that time, the King's) representative here in Canada. White dress, of course, very simple, with a filmy sort of shawl over her shoulders joined in front with a rose. Hair also extremely simple, and the only jewellery is a necklace. A very different look from what would have been worn a decade earlier, I think. Very Downton Abbey. Very virginal!

Unknown said...

WW1 is regarded is regarded as the single most defining reason for the changes in women's fashion. Women took on many roles previously fulfilled by men who had enlisted in the forces. Working in factories and essential services demanded practical clothing which often reflected modified styling based on military tailoring - jackets with belts and plainer fabrics with subdued colours. Simplified pattern shapes and a slimmer silhouette. The years of austerity and the enormous loss of life as a result of the war made people conscious of expressing extravagant or showy fashion. This is a fascinating period of social history.

AuntieNan said...

Yeah, as I understand it, there were shortages of fabric, notions, and styling ideas, just as in the American South during the Civil War, mostly owing to the need for materials for the war effort, and the pressure put on shipping by the German submarines. France had supplied so much in the way of style direction before 1914, so there was quite a need for American designers to lead the way. Somewhere on the web is some pretty ugly photo of Psul Poiret's fashions (which required one to be as uncorseted as possible underneath) on some ladies of a certain age. Kind of the same discomfort I remember my Mom talking about in the early 1970s when skirts were above the knee. She was 50 then. I can't imagine wearing a mid-thigh skirt now!!! Thanks for this post. I found some Delineator images from 1913 which were a huge help in costuming a show set in that year!
All the best,
Nancy N

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