Western fashion saw significant changes in the 20th century, although these changes took time to manifest. Edwardian fashion and other late 19th-century patterns persisted into the decade from 1900–1909. In addition, these 1900s styles persisted right up until the start of World War I.
However, there were also subtle but significant changes toward more contemporary clothing during the 1900s. Check out some examples of Edwardian Era fashion to see what your ancestors would have worn in the beginning decade of the nineteenth century.
The Edwardian Era’s Clothing
The Edwardian era, named after British king Edward VII’s rule from 1901 to 1910, included 1900 to 1910. Rich people in the Edwardian era were recognized for their extravagance, elegance, and adherence to stringent social norms.
The Edwardian style from the late 1800s still influenced early 1900s fashion. Women still wore long skirts and corsets. Still, men wore suits. Hats, gloves, and, for ladies, frequently an umbrella made up a complete ensemble.
Edwardian clothing featured pricey materials and decorations and was lavish and formal. They preferred a distinguished, adult appearance.
Dressing appropriately for the situation was a defining characteristic of the Edwardian era. More people can now access a wider selection of outfits because of the introduction of department stores that sell ready-to-wear clothing.
Skilled home seamstresses may reproduce patterns that they couldn’t afford to buy.
What Clothes Wore Edwardian Women?
The stylish woman from the 1900s was dressed head to toe in fabric. Her figure was shaped like an S. The form was inspired by a corset that pushed a woman’s hips back and her chest forward, relieving pressure at the waistline.
1900s Dresses for Women
Women wore costumes or dresses made to look like suits. Luxurious and exquisite textiles like satin, silk, damask, or chiffon were preferred by those who could. Long-sleeved tops with high lace collars were typically embroidered elaborately and had loose-fitting blouses at the bodice.
Hemlines occasionally dragged in a small train and barely touched the ground. Working women frequently preferred adaptable two-piece clothes when they weren’t wearing uniforms or workwear.
Party attire includes lacey, delicate tea dresses and deeper-necked evening clothing.
At the start of the decade, dresses had fitted waistlines and flared hemlines. The curved bell shape began to loosen over time. By the decade’s close, suits with more straight lines were in style. French design company Paul Poiret produced loose, straight-lined dresses without corsets to protest against popular fashion.
This style gained a lot more traction in the 1920s. Women wore attire designed for these sports when playing tennis, riding a bike, or partaking in horseback riding. While working or having fun, women occasionally wore thick, button-down cardigan sweaters.
Hats and Hairstyles for Women
Dramatically big hats, such as wide-brimmed straw pinwheel or sailor hats, picture hats with a lot of embellishment, and wide, flat caps, are a hallmark of Edwardian clothing. For sports, smaller hats like straw boaters were common. Some women wore long, translucent veils over silk driving caps when they were driving.
Hairdos that could support large hats were necessary. The most common hairdo was a full pompadour, featuring hair loosely coiled or bunned up top. Women may have added braids, wigs, or other artificial hairstyles to add height and structure.
To achieve curly or frizzy edges, several ladies used hot curling irons. Another fashionable hairstyle was to tuck in fresh flowers, ornamental combs, or hatpins.
What Wore Men in the Early 1900s?
In the early 1900s, males often wore three-piece suits, jackets, pants, and waistcoats or vests with round-collared white shirts, bow ties, and derby or bowler hats, unless they were suited for manual labor.
Some men, particularly younger guys, spent the entire day in sack suits resembling modern work suits. Men who could buy it would select distinct outfits and accessories for use in the morning, during the day, and at night.
Even though some men had beards, the clean-shaven style was preferred. The famous 1900s fashion trend of a reasonably thick mustache with curled ends was also popular.
Men wore straw boaters or Panama hats to top off their cooler, slightly more laid-back linen or plaid suits during the summer. Men changed into the appropriate apparel for the game they were about to play, whether for baseball, tennis, golf, or a motorcycle.
What Did Kids Wear in the 1900s?
Crawling infants in the Edwardian era wore functional one-piece rompers. Otherwise, children’s fashion was a condensed version of adult fashion. Young girls wore black stockings, knee-length gowns frequently starched and embellished with lace, and either boots or shoes.
They wore hair ribbons, and better costumes might have featured hats. A pinafore outfit and blouse might be appropriate for playtime. Young boys typically wore knee-length shorts, tall, dark stockings, and long-sleeved shirts, occasionally with jackets.
The hemlines of dresses or pants gradually drew closer to the floor as kids aged.
It was a dream to dress in the Edwardian era. But what kind of clothing did your forefathers don in the early 1900s? Search for features in their attire that can allude to their ages, lifestyles, or tastes. Find out whether anyone has given information about your family or ask relatives for old family photos. Even photos from your family taken in the 1900s can be a fantastic resource for learning about Edwardian clothing.
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