Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Women’s Fashion

Well I honestly feel we shorted you ladies with the last style post, so this is an attempt to give a better overview. In Bloomers and Women's Fashion we made the argument for the right of women to wear PLO’s (Pant like Objects) in the sporting realm. Today is fashion trends in general.


This is the era of Orientalism and the Art Nouveau (New Art) movement. It is important to remember that Orientalism did not only look to the Far East (Japan and China) but also into the Middle East (Egypt in particular). These movements idealized a long, thin, fluid, and almost cat like quality for the fashionable woman.  The archetypal look seems to be a long skirt (sometimes a long underskirt and a shorter over skirt) paired with a long tunic. Early in the era you see belted high waist lines that are reminiscent of an empire waist or maybe the Japanese Kimono.

This waist line dropped over the decade ending near the natural waistline. At the same time the hemline started to rise. The tunics seem to lengthen, everything seems to fill out a little and the waistline is less defined. 

World War I greatly changed the look of women’s fashion. Whether it was from cloth and money being diverted to the war effort or the fact that women were asked to take a more active life, but fashion started to stress function. Hemlines rose, suits were tailored, outfits simplified, and colors muted.


Oh, the roaring twenties!  While many women kept the practicality of the WWI suit, and sensible shoes, the classic image is that of the flapper. Though the true flapper was probably quite rare, there was defiantly a divide between mature women and that of the youth culture. Long gone were the days of the high waist that rode just below the breast, the new trend was to go for a flat chested boyish look.

Hemlines shorted even more and were often pleated to allow for a sportier lifestyle.  Blouses and dresses were cut very straight to ascent this “boyish” look. This is also the era were the sporty sweater/skirt outfit became popular at the tennis courts and other outdoor events. The only part that flowed was the hemline around the now visible knees!

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