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American Fashion 1865-1910

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K Bergeron

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of American Fashion 1865-1910

American Fashion

In contrast to the conservative style of the '50s, the 1860s allowed women to be more outgoing in their dress, thanks to the coming Victorian Era, giving skirts and bodices more surface decoration. Fashions of the time were greatly influenced by Queen Victoria and Empress Eugenie. Many American women couldn't afford pricey European dresses, but were constantly editing their own homemade garbs to keep up with the trends.The big alteration of the 1860s was the change in the shape of women's skirts, from gored material to hoops, as women's clothing continued to progress toward a slim fitting, high waisted, large busted phenomena.
In the early 1860s the skirts were still quite full, using hoops, layers and a sewing technique called goring to throw out skirts at the bottom, while allowing the wearer to maintain a small waist.
By the mid-1860s, the skirts were becoming flatter and slimmer in front with a full back. Oval hoops, that allowed material to gather in the rear and flattened the front of the dress, became popular.
Trending in 1865 were walking skirts. In order to keep long skirts from dragging on the ground when walking, cords were hooked at intervals to the inside of the skirt. The skirt could then be raised to the desired height, and the cords tied around the waist.
The jockey waist was common in the 1860s, with two points extending from the bodice past the waistline. During the second half of the decade, dresses with high, small waists became the thing to wear. Most bodices of the 1860s fastened down the front, with buttons growing increasingly large as the decade progressed. Small, white collars of lace or linen closed at the neck with a brooch, which also tended to become larger toward the later end of the decade. Dresses became much more ornamental, with patterns, vibrant colors, tassels, trim, lace, extra fabric accents, and other decorations.
Jockey Waist
Shortwaisted Dress
Lace Collar
Even daily dresses were outfitted with various colors and accents.
During this decade, reform dress made an appearance. In protest against the male controlled fashion codes, many women traded their traditional long, tightly corseted dresses for shorter, more naturally waisted dresses...
with trousers.
Gored dress
Full, layered skirt
Large hoop skirt
Walking Skirts
The general shape and outline of dresses changed significantly during the 1870s, and the bustle (a rump enlarging feature) was most distinguishing piece of the new fashion. This high structure at the back of the skirt derived from the 1860s trend of flat fronts with material gathering in the back. The extravagance that characterized the Victorian era continued with fanciful trends as skirts and bodices continued to add ruffles, trim, lace, frills, a number of different materials, and a variety of deep colors.

By 1873, bustles were set very high. Later, bustles were lower, and by 1877, the bustle had practically disappeared. Even after it was no longer in fashion, dresses were still gathered and in the back, and later the bustles were reappeared, made by wire, padding and/or gathered fabric.
During the 1870s, skirts were much narrower and close fitting than they had been in the past. Early in the decade skirts were full at the hem, with an over skirt draped like an apron to the front, with a flounced, frilly array of petticoats and skirts peeking out from the bottom. Throughout the decade, small trains on dresses became increasingly popular.

1860s Men's Fashion
Close fitting style
Full hem, fancy frills and a train seen here
Tail coats or long coats were common gentleman's clothing during the period. During this time, wide elaborate cravats, a band or scarf tied around the neck (similar to a tie) were very popular. Toward the end of the decade, high cut, notch collared vests were also in fashion
And then there's this guy who looks like Svec...
(Matthew Brady 1861)
Meanwhile Teddy Roosevelt has...
Graduated from college, enrolled in and dropped out of law school, entered politics, served in the National Guard, had a baby with his first wife who tragically died in child birth, established two cattle ranches, written 7 books, taken a second wife, and had two more children with the sequel.
A sleeker looking skirt with a flounced bottom and a frilly lace apron.
Through out the decade form fitting, high waisted (also known as shortwaisted) bodices continued to become increasingly popular.
During the next decade, the form of the skirt changed again, with new arrangements of drapes and pleats, along with the revival of the bustle. Both skirts and bodices continued to gain a lot of trim and frill, and the styles remained very lively and outgoing.
At the same time, clothes were being designed for women who were now entering the work force, and becoming increasingly interested in the outdoors.
By 1880, the skirt was very narrow, and the back of the dress had only slight padding. Typically women wore narrow skirts, with material gathered in the back, while frills, layers and adornments could be found on every woman's garb.
Around 1887, the bustle flattened considerably and incited a trends of drooping sets of deep folds down the back. This new style caused the skirt to hang straight from the hips. At this time, the overskirt was often pleated into a seam high on one side at the front and draped diagonally across the body to a low set of hips, creating a swooping effect across the dress.
Jerseys (high-necked wool sweaters worn tightly over the skirt, that hugged the hips and had shorter, tighter sleeves) became a popular bodice in the 1880s. The short corset reappeared in 1886, and increasingly shorter basque bodices (bodices with a tight fit and a sharp flare over the hips) were worn from 1883 to 1886. Bodices were usually high, accentuating a curvaceous form, with a very high-standing collar.

By 1888, many daytime and walking dresses featured long, box-pleated skirts that hung straight, and the cross body drapes rose to a band of folds high across the stomach. By the end of the decade, a very narrow skirt was popular. In some cases the material of the skirt was tied at the back of the legs, making walking very hard. The puff sleeve and crop sleeve also came into style in 1887, in stark contrast to the usual long tight fitting sleeve.

1880s Men's Fashion
1870s Men's Fashion
1890s Men's Fashion
1900s Men's Fashion
1910s Men's Fashion
Meanwhile, Teddy Roosevelt has....
In this decade the sack suit came in to fashion, but frock coats were still common day clothes. It was also popular for gentleman to pair mismatched separates, particularly light brown trousers with a black coat. The most popular trends of the time was the slim cravat with a small bow tie, and, more importantly, the hair. Short, flat and oiled, the style was usually paired with various arrangements of facial hair. Most commonly a full mustache, though some still had full beards or long oiled walrus mustaches.

The most popular style for men was the closely tailored sack suit, with a wing tip collar. Also popular was the four n hand ties, the various colors of suits and fabrics, along with the introduction of a closer fitting clothing with a narrower lapel. Varying shapes of hats were also coming back into style.

Styles of the 1890s were much plainer, and far more practical than the preceding decade. Gaining more freedom in their dress, many women began sporting the shirtwaist, or blouse and shirt. Walking skirts now were designed to touch ground level, and many women began wearing reform clothing for outdoor activities, most commonly biking.
In the early 1890s, the dominant skirt shape was the swooping tulip of bell form, which was snug and smooth over the hips and flared dramatically to a wide hem. The shape reappeared in the late 1890s.
In contrast to the extravagance of previous decades, the trim and frills were typically concentrated on the bodice, with fancy colars or ties. By 1898 the bodice trim had began extending into the skirt with lace and scallops sewn diagonally.
Corsets were looser in the 1890s, as the shirtwaist came into fashion, with blouses being made in various colors, stripes, or simple white. Narrow in the shoulders, with a loose, pleated front, these overshirts were usually paired with dark skirts. The tops had high, stiff collars to start, but bust line was very low by 1898.

Sleeves changed several times during the decade, playing a huge role in style. In 1890 the sleeves had tight arms, with a high vertical puff on the shoulder. By 1992, Leg-o'-mutton (or gigot) sleeves had taken over, extending the puff down the upper arm. From 1890 to 1895, sleeves were drooping, but by 1996 the sleeve extended horizontally from the shoulder and gracefully down the arm, without drooping. In 1898 the sleeves were becoming tighter with a small, ball shaped puff high on the arm. The one constant style was the full bishop sleeve, which remained popular, though not a stylish.
leg o mutton sleeve dress
The popular fashion of the day for gentleman typically featured news caps or high top Derby hats, with a high button coat left open to display a stylish waistcoat. Sharply pressed wool suits with narrow lapels were typical, with individuality being shown wiht the choice of shirt collar and neck tie. Styles such as the high stand collar, wing tip collar and the rounded banker collar mad e a comeback. By the mid-1890s the four in hand was the most popular knot for neck ties. Also notable is the change in sportswear.
Women's clothing in the 1900s was very extravagant in every way, and characterized by the introduction of the disfiguring "S-shaped" corset figure. Bell shaped skirts, that tightly hugged the hips and flared at the ground were very popular, and hats of all kinds could be seen. Various style blouses continued to be seen, along with less restrictive clothing that allowed women to participate in one of the favorite activities of the time, cycling.
The confining "S-shaped" corset was designed in 1900 by Mme. Gaches-Sarraute who studied medicine, and took a special interest in the effects of ill designed corsets. She created the new "Health Corset" removed pressure from the waist and diaphragm, but unfortunately resulted in thrusting the bosom foreword and hip back. Therefore, women ended up waddling about in the disfiguring devices with their long, heavy. lavish skirts and puffy adorned blouses.

The blouse was an important part of the early 1900s wardrobe and came in an infinite variety of heavily frilled styles. The blouse typically puffed forward over the waist.
In 1908 a revolutionary look came into style, featuring tailored suits, blouses and skirts. Women, especially American women, abandoned most of the frill and lace worn in the past and embraced the sleeker "New Women" look. While they embraced tailored clothing however, the damaging S-shaped corset was still worn.
Cycling was still a popular pastime for women during the early 1900s. Blouses and skirts, layered over tight corsets, were worn for relaxing bike rides.
Early 1900s men's fashion, know as the Edwardian Era (after Queen Victoria's successor, King Edward VII), changed style immensely. Clothing was dictated by both time of day and event- morning coats until noon, lounge suits until 6pm, then evening clothes depending on the occasion. Overcoats for winter, top coats for outdoors, Norfolk Jackets for shooting, sack coats for formal affairs, lounge coats for semi formal, dinner jackets for the gentleman's club, waist coats for formal day affairs, with a cut away morning coat- coats of every kind!
Trousers were shorter in length than previous years, tighter and tailored with a crease in the front and back, along with a bottom cuff. Also popular were shirts that buttoned in the back, rather than the front and shirts with stripes. As with women, hats of all kinds were fashionable and continued to be worn by most every gentleman near and far.

served as Police Commissioner, received national attention for his reform efforts, served as Secretary of he Navy, elected governor of New York, Elected vice president, and become the 26th president of the United States just to name a few of his recent accomplishments.
Women's clothing changed dramatically in 1908 and the styles carried over into the 1910s. The stand out style of the decade, lasting until 1918, was the reshaped corset, which was given a far more natural look. The frills and flounces of past years were almost totally gone, replaced by a smooth, sleek upscale look, but becoming boyish and masculine by the end of the era.
With the new corset, the hobble skirt quickly and remained the height of fashion until 1915. It was then replaced a fuller skirt cut just above the ankles. The V-neck was the most common neckline from 1915 to 1920.
A fuller skirt was typically worn for causal, out door activities.
By 1918, clothes were becoming straighter and curves were disappearing under the hard lines. The boyish look of the 1920s began to evolve during the late years of the 1910s.
The unnatural, disfiguring S-shape was replaced by a looser waist with a straight line.
In a matter of 45 year the must have style went from this...
...to this! What a change!
American style of the 1910s was much more relaxed. crisp, high collared shirts were typical, and short, well groomed hair completed the crisp, clean look. The lounge suit was also a trendy style, with long, double breasted jackets and pants with turned cuffs. Differing hat styles and walking sticks were common.
http://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/clothing_and_hair/1850s_clothing_women.php http://www.historicaltimekeepers.org/Fashion-Research/Fashion.aspx
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