The Elegant Fashions of 1900-1909

The early 1900s continued the elegant silhouette of the 1890s. Collars were stiff and tall, and blouses were lacy and frilly and often paired with a separate skirt. The hair was inspired by full Gibson Girl hairstyles and it was fitted underneath a wide-brimmed hat. The S bend corset was popular among women, the S bend corset forced the chest forward and the hips backward. These corsets made women look confident and were a part of the New Woman Movement that saw interest in feminist ideals increase along with women’s independence.

 

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Fashion Plate from 1904 – Public Domain
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Elizabeth Wharton Drexel – Public Domain
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Illustration from Charles Dana Gibson, demonstrating the Gibson Girl Hairstyle – Public Domain

During this period the Bustle of the Victorian period decreased and was replaced with puffy sleeves that were similar to the sleeves of the 1830s. The S-bend of the corset imitated the previous bustle styles but it looked far more natural than the styles of the 1880s. Trains were also common with both day and night dresses.

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John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Miss Eden – Public Domain

Midway through the decade fashion houses in Paris started popularising a new silhouette. The waist was wider and the skirts which had previously had a long train were shortened to around the ankles. The waist was also brought up higher signaling the end of the domination of the corset. This transitional period also saw the continuation of the Gibson Girl Hairstyle and the fabulous wide-brimmed hats that brought the whole look together.

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The New Silhouette Shown in 1909 – Public Domain
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The New Silhouette which still has the Gibson Girl Hairstyle and the Wide-Brimmed Hats – Public Domain

Next In This Series: How to bring 1900s fashion into a Modern Wardrobe.

Featured Image – Public Domain

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