Saturday, January 19, 2013

19 January 1913 “My new Project Redux and 1913 Fashion”

First off I want to start today by saying that when I began to consider my 1913 posts on Friday I was rather excited. The more I thought about it this week, I realized I would rather retain the focus on one year for the whole of the year. My posts may not be daily but will be at least 3-5 a week.

I will not be entirely immersing myself into 1913 as I need my car and the other restrictions would be too great for me at this time. But I shall be trying many recipes, crafts, sewing, cleaning and other notions from the time. The other wonderful part is that many books of this time and earlier are free of copyright so I can find them online and then of course share them with you by putting them in the library, which I am keeping from the Charm of notions page.

The links on the left will pages that will become the storehouse of my various posts. So we can refer to them again based on their topics. I feel this is the best way to move forward for me, as I feel I may continue to do other years each year and this will eventually build up an easy to follow catalog. I wish I had done this in my 1950’s blogs, but we learn from our past, don’t we?

I am excited to look back exactly 100 years ago and see how things have changed or in some ways, maybe stayed the same, who can see. We shall see what we uncover as the year progresses and I hope you wish to come along for the ride.

I have decided it makes sense to simply make over the blog for this year of 1913 but that way we can all stay where we are comfortable.
I am currently trying to recall how to log into my own Forum! I cannot access it so I cannot make anyone else an administrator and having no luck contacting the company who is hosting it. I will keep you posted about this. Thank you all and I hope you come along for 1913

Well, let’s begin today with something fun: Fashion.


vogue1913 The fashionable silhouette given us here on this 1913 Vogue shows the new slimming woman. The cinched in waist is disappearing and a smoother over all look is appearing.

upperclassphoto2 Of course, those ladies in the upper classes would don the latest styles rather quickly, as they were the trendsetters and the main customers of the Fashions houses of Paris, London, and New York.


These are wonderful examples of how the very artful fashion illustrations of that time looked in actual cloth on actual flesh.

fashionillustration2 The illustrations are romantic and rather decorative in themselves.

fashion14 Though the corset remained it became much more of an undergarment rather than a body shaper. Here we see there is no need to contort the woman’s shape into wasp-waist thin. In some outfits, bulky appears to be the goal. Rather a saving grace if one were allowed such fashion today. It almost became the decoration of the drape and clothes more so than the woman’s body.baggydress

1913coat In this fullness, too, we see the dropped waist making various appearances. Another look that we will see full time come 1920’s.

There was perhaps a looking back at the time as well. If we look to 100 years earlier, 1813, we certain similarities. The empire waist for one. On the left we have 1813 on the right 1913.


There is even a similarity in the hair being worn low on the sides but swept up and back away from the head. And the lower forehead being decorated with beads or bandeau. This will eventually lead to the tight fitting cloche hats of the 1920s.

On the left is 1813 on the right the use of feathers in 1913 and the bandeau and hair also 1913 but looking rather Regency. 

1813headfashion photoheadress


However, it would be wrong to thing that all ladies of all classes looked the same then, any more than all of us look like fashion magazines today. The middle classes in 1913 would have added a few changes here and there but overall would have still kept the lower waist and more Gibson Girl hair of the 1900’s.

Here we see some middle class ladies from 1913 who work in an office (a growing work face is burgeoning for our ladies, though the ladies of the lower classes have always worked). Over all their hair and dress is not much changed from five years earlier. Though the lady on the far right is already wearing a narrow skirt and her shirt is not given the forward blouse that was prevalent in the Edwardian period.


And of course the working classes appear not only 5 years out of date but of another century entirely. This photo of a farming family from 1913 could almost be mid Victorian. In fact their clothes almost look like the styles of the 1940’s, but of course there was not even photography yet. This photo is by famous photographer August Sander who was German. This photo and other’s are at the Tate and this link HERE will take you to more of his photos.


Here catalog outfits, ready made, show the more masculine look that sees to be the opposite of the light and free flowing empire waist look of the high fashion house neo-Regency look of this time. In many ways these suits are simply a female version of a man’s walking suite, or sport clothes. Ladies are now becoming more active in many sports once reserved for men.

fashioncatalog fashionillustration

Though the first World War is often given as the reason for ladies ankles to reappear do to the need for ladies to get around easier to work in munitions and the field, we see that fashion was toying with the idea already.  Though, again, middle class women, particularly older ladies, would most likely have kept their skirts to the floor until after WWI begins.hobbleskirtYet, these shorter ankle bearing clothes were most likely part of the ‘hobble skirt’ which showed more leg but restricted one’s ability to get about. The last gasp of pre World War attempts to show ladies of upper classes hadn’t need to move about too much. Something that forever changed after the War years.

Though I will not be wearing clothes and undergarments of the period as I did in my 1950’s projects, I would like to at least sew up a few skirts or dresses from this year. So, I shall see what I can find for patterns and maybe get my hand on an old treadle sewing machine, just for the fun of it.

I hope all who still read me will be glad that I am returning to the format of focusing on one year. I really feel it will be more interesting and fun overall.

Have a lovely day.

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