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A Fashionable Journey: Exploring 1900s Fashion

CEO Tinh Phung
A.M. Kleeman, Wijnhandel Amsterdam (source: Wikimedia) Hey there, fashion enthusiasts! Let's take a trip back in time to explore the captivating world of 1900s fashion. As we enter a new century, we witness the transition...

A Fashionable History: 1900s Edition A.M. Kleeman, Wijnhandel Amsterdam (source: Wikimedia)

Hey there, fashion enthusiasts! Let's take a trip back in time to explore the captivating world of 1900s fashion. As we enter a new century, we witness the transition from the Victorian era's strict styles to the still-constricting but evolving Edwardian period.

In my previous article, I highlighted the extravagant nature of 1900s Edwardian fashion. Paris, the fashion capital of the world, was at the forefront of this era's trends. Corsets were still a must-have for ladies, and opulence played a vital role in every ensemble. While some 1900s styles may seem out of place today, others remain surprisingly wearable. But first, let's delve into the sartorial history of this fascinating decade.

1900s Fashion Overview

Fashion wasn't just a passing interest for the wealthy ladies of the 1900s; it was practically a hobby. If you were an Edwardian woman, you would have had three or four outfit changes per day. You'd start with a morning dress, a simple yet elegant high-collared blouse and long skirt, perfect for errands and friendly visits. Then, you'd switch to an afternoon dress for entertaining guests, followed by a relaxed and lacy tea dress. Finally, for any soirées on your agenda, you'd slip into an evening gown, typically adorned with ruffles, embroidery, layers, or all of the above.

Gloves and hats were essential for any outdoor activities. Wide-brimmed hats adorned with feathers, ribbons, and flowers were particularly popular in the early 1900s. And, of course, we can't forget about the iconic corsets that defined the era. The 'S' curve silhouette came to life with the help of the 'health corset,' which pushed the chest forward and encouraged a slight bend in the back. Bustles on the back of dresses further emphasized this distinctive look, while additional ruffles and embellishments on the bust created a charming pigeon-like appearance.

The ideal fashion aesthetic of the decade was epitomized by artist Dana Gibson's iconic 'Gibson Girl,' who represented the perfect fusion of beauty , sophistication, and impeccable style. Although independent and confident, she embodied refinement and elegance in every aspect of her attire.

Outfits Inspired by 1900s Fashion

The 1900s may not have been a time of radical change, but it certainly was a time of great fashion. With the need for multiple outfit changes each day, creativity was the key to making a fashion statement. Let's draw some inspiration from this era's unique styles.

While these outfits adhere to the typical progression of 1900s fashion, they also incorporate the distinct look required for each time of day. Whether you're attending a glamorous evening soiree, enjoying a comfortable tea break, or running morning errands, there's something for everyone.

Outfit #1: Belle of the Ball

A Fashionable History: 1900s Edition Products: Top, Jeans, Shoes, Purse, Earrings, Choker

In the early 1900s, Paris was the epitome of haute couture, attracting European and American ladies who could afford to make biannual trips for custom-made clothing. This was also the illustrious era of La Belle Epoque, where fashion became increasingly opulent and lavish.

Surprisingly, evening looks during this time often featured low-cut or off-the-shoulder designs, accentuating the chest area. For a more toned-down version of this opulent style, opt for a simple peasant blouse paired with casual high-waisted jeans. Complement the look with ankle boots—a popular choice of the 1900s, offering comfort without sacrificing style.

To add a touch of glamour reminiscent of the era's evening gowns, accessorize with a sparkly choker, matching flower earrings, and a pale pink purse to hold your essentials as you dance the night away.

Outfit #2: Two for Tea

Products: Dress, Hat, Earrings, Purse, Shoes

The most relaxed and casual look of the 1900s can be found in tea dresses—an essential part of a lady's wardrobe, worn at home between the afternoon and evening, providing a momentary respite from the confines of corsets. Typically white and adorned with lace and ribbons, tea dresses exuded elegance and comfort.

To capture the essence of this era, opt for a white dress paired with sandals. Add a sun hat—a modern twist on the ornately decorated wide-brim hats of the 1900s. For a summery vibe, accessorize with a floral purse and earrings. This outfit is too cute to be confined indoors; take it for a spin and showcase your refined style.

Outfit #3: Gibson Girl Meets World

A Fashionable History: 1900s Edition Products: Top, Skirt, Shoes, Hat, Purse, Earrings

While this look draws inspiration from Gibson Girl drawings, rest assured you don't need impeccable hair or a petite waist to rock it. This ensemble combines simplicity and sophistication, making you feel stylish and confident.

Morning dresses of the era were often structured and straightforward. Stay true to that aesthetic with a high-collared blouse paired with a high-waisted skirt. As summer approaches, opt for a shorter skirt and a sleeveless top to beat the heat, and don't forget to don a wide-brim hat for some sun protection. Complete the look with heels or sandals, depending on your preference. Add a pop of color to counter the sometimes subdued morning looks with a mint crossbody bag and adorable cat earrings.

More Styles by the Decade

Interested in exploring fashion from other decades? Check out my other posts on '90s fashion, '80s fashion, '70s fashion, '60s fashion, '50s fashion, '40s fashion, '30s fashion, '20s fashion, and '10s fashion for even more inspiration!

What's Your Take on 1900s Fashion?

Planning to incorporate 1900s style into your look this year? Are there any fashion trends from the 1900s that you think I should have included? Share your favorite look from this era in the comments below—we'd love to hear from you!