I am a huge History fan and I have a certain fondness for the world war one era of 1914-1918, it basically came about while I like thousand’s other’s started researching my my family history which was not only enlightening but it also brought to the surface my adoration of past era’s especially this one. I love researching and learning about the clothe’s the life style’s and just the basic day to day family life and what they went through during that turbulent time and thought it would be fun to share with you all some little bit’s and bob’s that I found interesting. I’ll be doing a series so that I won’t be bombarding you all with my babbling all at once, I haven’t quite figured out how many part’s there is going to be. So part one is. . .
Ladies Fashion during 1914
In the 1900’s people, women especially covered up more especially women and young girl’s and it was thought quite decadent for women to even think about wearing trouser’s. . .Ooh the thought! They would always keep their leg’s covered, even to show an ankle was deemed scandalous and so they had to wear long dresses and skirt’s.
Clothes were made from natural material’s such as wool and linen, seeing as there were no zipper’s on the market yet and Velcro wasn’t even invented clothes were fastened by button’s hooks and laces. Shoe’s and boot’s were made from leather and were kept on their feet with laces or buttons other shoe’s around in 1914 were canvas slipper’s with rubber shoes also known as plimsoll’s which are still going strong today (who hasn’t got a pair of plimsoll’s for lounging around in?)
A well dressed woman would either wear on a day to day basis :
Dresses : Which had long puffed sleeves or a shorter sleeve that ended at the elbow, the collars and cuff’s were often fringed with lace, short sleeved evening dresses would have been worn with long gloves often white that reached the elbow.
Long Skirt’s : The skirt’s were more or less always dark (Blue, Black and Green) and they were worn with a long sleeved lacy white blouse.
Finished of with either little shoe’s or leather ankle boot’s ( High heeled shoe’s only become popular after 1918).
When going out they would wear a ankle length coat that came in tight at the waist so that it would accentuate that tiny waist with that they wore a big hat that was named the “cartwheel” because the brim was so wide and it would be decorated with piles of feather’s, artificial flower’s and fruit and it was also known for the more extravagant women to wear whole stuffed bird’s on their hat’s. People of all social classes usually wore hat’s when outside.
Woman wore their hair piled up high on the top’s of their head’s in a “bun” shape, some might wrap their hair around a small, stuffed cushion, known as a “rat” to make their bun look more luxuriant. A lot like the hair “Doughnut’s” that a lot of us wear today.
Poorer Families : During the war year’s the poorer women’s clothing became simpler in design and much more practical to wear and were often ragged, heavily darned and patched and their wardrobe’s would have consisted of a plain linen white blouse, ankle length plain skirt and usually with an apron tied around her shoulder’s to keep warm they would add a woolen shawl tied around their shoulder’s which would have been one that she would have knitted herself.