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DATES:1900 - 1910



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Edwardian Costume

This is the new century and this time period covers the fifteen years before the war. Up until about 1910 women pretty much stayed the same-- women were wearing corsets that were making the hips. But between 1910-1914 radical changes occurred in the styles. Hats, hair, sleeves, waists, skirts and postures were changed. The decade of could be said that the difference of men and women of then and now is the grooming. Men’s hair was rougher, not so close clipped nor so sleekly brushed. Theatrical pictures of the time show that even on stage, a woman could appear in a wrinkled dress without criticism.

Man’s appearance before the War differed from that in the preceding decades because he was less formal and more boxed up. His costume looks uncomfortable but it seemed elegant and easy. His hair was pared in the middle or brushed from the side across his temples in an elegant swoop. His collars were cruelly high and his trousers were turned up in cuffs that were short enough to show his ankles.

Almost every young woman had a pompadour poised over her forehead from about 1900-1908. From about 1906-1910 women puffed their hair all around because the knot was on top and the middle part was very popular as well. In 1910 to 1913 the pompadour was flattened in the front and built out in back with puffs and bobbing ringlets. In 1911-1912 some women reverted to the pompadour which was waved to dip in an elegant curve over one temple and topped by a cluster of curls. By 1914 the coiffure had grow much smaller. If it were parted down the middle it was drawn over the ears and coiled low in the nape; if it were brushed back from the forehead, it was pulled out to cover the tips of the ears and drawn to a knot at the back.

Colors of this period are for men: black and white for evening, dark blue and white for summer afternoons; black, dark blue, gray, and gray and white mixture, blue or gray with white pin-stripes, and brown for city costumes. In the summer men could wear white, ecru or sliver-gray. Street costumes for women were subdued in color. From 1900 to 1910 a woman might wear white, black, black and white, navy-blue or steel-gray. Tints like baby-blue, shell-pink, maize, and orchid were popular for evening and broadcloth suits. In 1912 a great change occurred in the pallet for dress designers. Women could wear Russian pink, orange, jade, cerise and bright blue in ballrooms. Silks printed in big peasantry patterns of the same startling hues were made into blouses to wear with suits.

Notable Edwardian Costume Elements
Trumpet Skirt  
Bishop Sleeves  
S-curve Silhouette  
Pouter Pigeon  
Useful Web sites with more Edwardian Fashion information


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