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Costume for Women in Edwardian Period (1900-1908)

Costume for Women in Edwardian Period (1900-1908)

Ishita Saha
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh
Email: ishitasaha2012@hotmail.com



Influence of Fashion in 1900:

In European and European-influenced countries continued the long elegant lines of the 1890s. Tall, stiff collars characterized the period, as do women’s board hats and full ‘Gibson Girl’ hairstyle. A new columnar silhouette introduced by the countries of Paris late in the decade signaled the approaching abandonment of the corset as an indispensable garment of fashionable women.Influence of Fashion in 1900

Costume for Women in 1900-1908:

1900-1908 Edwardian styles or styles with emphasis on an S-shaped silhouette.

Fashion Components are:

  1. Undergarments.
  2. Daytime Dress.
  3. Skirts.
  4. Tailor made.
  5. Separate blouses and skirts.
  6. Tea Gowns.
  7. Evening Dress.
  8. Outdoor Garments.
  9. Hair and headdress.
  10. Footwear.
  11. Accessories and
  12. Jewelry.

The descriptions of those components are given in below-

Undergarments:- There were no radical changes from those of the 1890s. Freely, decorative petticoats and drawers continued to be popular, many had ruffles around the bottom and were edge with lace. Pink or blue ribbon threaded through was a popular trim for all kinds of underclothing. It is important costume for women.


Daytime Dresses:- Dresses were generally one –piece, with bodice and skirts sewn together at the waist line, although some dresses were princess- line as well.

Daytime dress
Fig:-Daytime dress.

Silhouette:- The shape of dresses seemed to be baed on an S-shaped curve. Typical dresses had high bond collars full, pouched bodice and skirts that were flat in front and emphasized a rounded hipline in the back. After hanging the hips, skirts flared out to a trumpet shape at the bottom.

Silhouette dress
Fig:-Silhouette dress.

Fabrics:- Much decorated clothing are required soft fabrics. Decorations included tucking, pleating, lace in sections, bands of applied fabric, lace, and embroidery.


Bodice:- Often quite complicated in construction, bodice had a full-bosomed cut that was almost universal. Most closed with hooks and eyes or hooks or bars.

Fig:- Bodice.

Necklines:- High bond collars predominated, others were squire cut, V-shaped, or sailor collars. Frilly jabots were often placed at the neck.

Neckline for Women in 1900-1908

Sleeves:- In the 1st half of the decade sleeves were generally long, either closes fitting or bishop style. In the last half of the decade sleeves were shorter. Other styles included-

  • Sleeves wide at the end and finished with ruffles or attached under sleeves.
  • Kimono styles sleeves.
    Sleeves for Women in 1900-1908

Skirts:- The shape was achieved by going, with skirts close-fitted to the knee in front, then full an flared to the hem. Some had back pleats. Lengths varied some ended several inches off the ground, others had trains.

Skirts for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Skirts.

Tailor- made:- Thus were an important item of clothing for women. Jackets varied in length from waist to below the hip. Shorter jackets were generally fitted, long jackets were sometimes loose and sacque-like. Many imitated the cut of men’s jackets.

Tailor made jacket for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:-Tailor made.

Tea Gowns:– Soft, more unfitted dresses were worn in the late after-noon by more affluent woman.

Tea Gowns for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Tea Gowns.

Evening Dresses:- Evening dresses followed the same silhouette as daytime dresses.

  • Necklines: For evening necklines were generally low and square, round, or V-shaped. Some had lace and sheer fabrics fichus at the neck.
  • Sleeves: Ruffled decorative sleeves covered the upper part of the arm.
  • Skirts:- Evening gown skirts were full, extended to the floor and were made from soft fabric.
    Evening Dress for Women in 1900-1908
    Fig:- Evening Dress.

Outdoor Garments:- Outdoor garments consisted chiefly of cloaks and caps with high-standing collars and wide revers, and coats which were fitted or unfitted and made in many different lengths. Some cloaks were also loose fitted.

Outdoor Garments for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Outdoor Garments.

Hair and Headdress:-

Hair:-Arranged full and loose around the face, hair was pulled into a chignon or bun at the back of the neck. An important style, the pompadour, had hair built high in front and sides around the face.

Hair styles for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Hair styles.

Hats:- Large in scale, styles included brimless toques and large-brimmed picture hats. Decoration was lavish with artificial flowers, lace, feathers and bird wings.

Hats for Women in 1900-1908

Hair Ornaments:- Worn for evening, thus ornaments included feathers, jeweled combs and small skullcaps of pearls called “ Juliet Caps”, after the heroine of Romeo and Juliet.

Hair Ornaments for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Hair Ornaments.

Footwear:Footwear are given in below-

Stockings:– Generally stockings were worn in daytime and silk for formal wear.

Stockings for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Stockings.

Shoes:- Shoes had pointed toes, long slender lines, and heels about two to two and a half inches high curved in the so-called “Luis” style.

Shoe for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Shoe.

Boots:- Boots were less fashionable then shoes, but when worn were high and buttoned or laced to close.

Boots for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Boot.

Accessories:- Among the important accessories were-

  • Large, flats muffs.
  • Decorative lace or silk parasols trimmed with fringe or lace.
  • Leather daytime hand bags or beaded evening bags.
  • Long folding fabric fans.
  • Ruffles ribbons or cravats worn around the neck.
    Accessories for Women in 1900-1908
    Fig:- Accessories.

Jewelry:- Available in all qualities and prices, types of jewelry included: claps, brooches, pendent, necklaces, chains and long necklaces. Pendent or single stone earrings, jewelry was often made in the art Nouveau style.

Jewelry for Women in 1900-1908
Fig:- Jewelry.



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    1908 costumes; Period Costumes 1900;

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