1900-1909 Edwardian Fashion Timeline

1900-1909 Edwardian Fashion Timeline

The Edwardian era covers the short reign of King Edward VII and lasted from 1901 to 1910. It was an era of luxury with elegant dresses, expensive fabrics and trimmings. Even lingerie was lavishly trimmed with rows of lace for the first time in history! Moreover, Edwardian fashion was characterized by the new S-bend corset, the pouter pigeon shape, high collars and hats. While high collars and hats remained popular throughout the era, the pouter pigeon shape decreased over the years.

Dresses were always two-piece garments in the early Edwardian era consisting of a skirt and matching bodice which were separate at the waist. Only since the middle of the Edwardian era, one-piece dresses became available. The first one-piece dresses were known as suspender bodices and jumper skirts in the Edwardian era.

There was also a change of sleeve in the Edwardian era: Early Edwardian close-fitting sleeves evolved into bishop sleeves, which were close at the shoulders and wide at the wrists. While the mid and late Edwardian era saw a return of the 1890s leg-o-mutton sleeves which were wide at the shoulders and close at the wrists.

And even if Edwardian skirts look similar, the skirt silhouettes also changed: At the beginning of the Edwardian era, skirts were close at the hips and knees with a wide flounce below the knees. Such skirts were called trumpet or tulip skirts. In the middle of the Edwardian era, circular skirts were fashionable, while in the late Edwardian era skirts became narrower.

 

Edwardian Fashion – Dating Edwardian Photographs & Dresses

Look For These 12 Details When Dating Antique Edwardian Clothes

Sleeves

  • bishop sleeves: 1901-1903/4
  • leg-o-mutton sleeves: 1905-1908
  • short sleeves (even in winter): 1906

Skirts

  • tulip skirts (close at the hips and knees with a flounce at the bottom): 1900-1903
  • circular skirts & pleated skirts: since 1904
  • pleated skits: especially 1904-1909
  • narrow skirts: since 1909

Dresses

  • especially frilly, fluffy summer dresses: 1903 & 1905
  • suspender bodice (skirts with straps over the shoulders): 1905/6
  • one-piece (jumper) dresses: since 1907

Lace & Embroidery

  • early Edwardian era: delicate, dainty embroidery and lace
  • late Edwardian era: rather coarse lace, mixed lace and bold embroidery patterns

Related: How To Dress In The Edwardian Era

 

4 Things To Remember When Dating Antique Edwardian Photographs

  • clothes were sometimes worn for more than a year – especially expensive silk dresses and hand-sewn lace dresses
  • tailored wool skirts and dresses were worn for 5 or 10 years, so they’re not good to date photographs
  • clothes were refashioned: e.g. bishop sleeves were cut off and turned into leg-o-mutton sleeves
  • shirtwaists (blouses) and accessories, such as hats, are great to date photographs. Even less well-off women and working women bought (or remodeled) a new hat each season.

Related: How To Dress For Business In The Edwardian Era

 

Edwardian Fashion Timeline

1900 fashion plate - 1901-9 edwardian fashion change1900

Bodice

Skirt

  • circular skirts, one-piece to five-gored skirts
  • close at the top
  • slight flare at the bottom, about 3 yards wide
  • skirts with inverted box-plait in the back seam or the new habit back (how to sew a habit back (1911 source)
  • kick-pleats in the front side seams
  • sweep or round length; instep or shorter length for shopping, touring or sports

Evening Gown

  • Empire evening gowns

Accessories

Hat

Hairstyle

 

1901 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1901

  • pouter pigeon shape begins (with dipped waist)
  • vertical tucked shirtwaists
  • sleeves with decoration at the wrists
  • skirts with more flare at the bottom
  • hats with bent brims

Bodice

  • pouter pigeon shape begins
  • slightly or decided dipped waist
  • shirtwaist with vertical clusters of tucks
  • jacket-style bodices with simulation vest piece or bodices in square yoke style:
  • ‘Frequently this trimming forms a short bolero that terminates above or just below the bust.’ (source)
  • close fitting sleeves with decorations at the wrist
  • back closure remains popular in shirtwaist and dressy bodices (source)
  • bodice back drawn down
  • bodices with fitted lining
  • cloth dresses in ‘Louis treize style’ with wide collars and revers
  • Irish lace trimming is popular on dresses, coats and hats

Skirt

Coat

  • short coats and jacket in the same or a different material and color as the skirt
  • double-breasted jackets with dart-fitted fronts
  • bell sleeves
  • Norfolk effects in shirt-waists as well as jackets are one of the most important features of the season’s styles’, such as box pleats on the front and back (source)
  • in winter: fur Empire coats with satin lining, chiffon frills and Irish lace trimming: sable, chinchilla and ermine fur is especially popular (source)

Evening Gown

  • straight-front effect
  • ‘skirts fit close to the figure, but have a great deal of flare below the knees‘ (source)
  • evening bodices with low square, low round or high neck
  • short, elbow-length or long sleeves
  • ball gowns of thin materials, such as net, gauze, chiffon, or sequin-embroidered lisse, lace, soft silk and brocaded satins, but stiff brocades are no longer worn as ball gowns
  • white and pastel colors
  • artificial flowers ‘are much used both for hair ornaments and as trimming on the gown […] [some with] the dewdrop effect of rhinestones or diamonds.’ (source); evening gowns with ‘the picturesque fichu, deep frills of lace on the sleeves and lace-robed fronts […] garlanded with chiffon roses amid leaves embroidered in green ribbon […] revival […] of passementerie trimmings, […] silken tassels’ (source)

Accessories

  • long pearl necklaces worn with afternoon and evening dresses
  • ‘The newest neck chains are very massive and much ornamented, while the curiously fine, almost threadlike chains, glittering with tiny diamonds set in platinum, are much worn and very beautiful. Gems of all kinds are literally draped over the shoulders of evening bodices’ (source)
  • ‘The Fox boa in white, and gray and in black continues to be seen about the neck of fashionable women’ (source)

Hat

Hairstyle

Related: Authentic Edwardian Pompadour Hairstyle Tutorial

 

1902 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1902

  • bishop sleeves
  • bodices with bayadère tucks (horizontal tucks)
  • hats turned up on one side

Bodice

  • pouter pigeon shape with dipped waist
  • two-piece costumes with wool jacket and skirt
  • tucks en bayadère (horizontal tucks) & pintucks are popular (source)
  • dropped shoulder effect with high, round Dutch or 1830s low neck style: A chief characteristic of the new waists and bodices is the drop-shoulder effect, achieved either by the shaping of the garment or by the disposition of the trimming. […] with high or round neck’ (source), lace collars ‘so large as to look almost like a cape’, summer gowns with fichu bodices (source)
  • slot-seam effects
  • bishop sleeves: ‘wide and ample at the wrist and tight-fitting at the shoulder’ (source), sleeves with epaulettes
  • long and elbow-length sleeves (source)
  • yellow, orange and intense blue are ‘a fad; [but] they are not becoming and have nothing but novelty to recommend them’ (source)
  • shirtwaist with or without body lining and with front closure with buttons and buttonholes or eyelets and studs (source)

Skirt

  • still narrow at the hips and full at the hem (source), width at the hem: 4 1/8 – 5 3/8 yards: ‘There is one model to which Dame Fashion is faithful. The plain, close-fitting skirt with the foot flounce. True, she varies the flounce and makes it a Spanish ruffle, deeper in the back, or she points it along the top, or she side plaits it, or she takes it and sets a fluffy ruffle under it. But on all the new gowns you will see this volante, or on so many of them.’ (source)
  • tunic skirt with flounced frou-frou effect (source and fashion plate)
  • five-gored, seven-gored and nine-gored skirt with or without circular flounce: the ‘nine-gored flare skirt in frou-frou effect at the lower edge […] closely fitted to the knee […] in habit style or with an inverted box-plait at the back […] is known as the eel-skin or mermaid skirt (source)
  • skirt box-plait left free or stitched down in habit style (source)

Coat

  • kimono coat with bishop or flowing sleeves: ‘They fall below the knees, are collarless, have immense sleeves caught in at the wrists, and are held together in front by long twisted silk cords, which tie and have tasseled ends.’ (source)
  • ‘Monte Carlo coat […] in three-quarter or hip length, […] its distinguishing characteristics are the drop-shoulder yoke and an Ascot stock […] the smartest design for the coat to be worn with walking skirts is the loose or box Norfolk mode, with stitched straps and belt of the material’ (source), Louis XV coats (source),
  • military-style coats in dark blue with gold buttons (source)
  • ‘the fronts roll back in revers’, trimmed with ‘stitched straps’ (source)
  • ‘made in all colors, scarlet, mignonette, green, champagne, putty, brown bread which is one of the favorite tints, not Boston brown bread but the more delicate Graham’, black and white (source)
  • trimmed simple – ‘the most attractive’ – with just some guipure at the neck, or elaborate with Irish lace strips. (source)

Evening Gown

  • ‘The princesse style is much used, with a broad belt, however, pointed in front and round at the back’ (source)
  •  black and white lace dresses lined with chiffon over satin, chiffon and brocade evening dresses – brocade evening gowns can later be refashioned into a petticoat (source): ‘There never was a greater display than at present of white lace dresses of every description for afternoon and evening wear. Irish lace, English embroidery, Chantilly mixed with Cluny are worn in abundance and in a profusion which sends us to hunt through the forgotten heirlooms lest there be a dozen odd bits of as many sorts with which we can make at least a bodice!’ (source)

Accessories

  • lace mitts are worn with ‘elbow sleeve dresses’ (source)
  • white kid accessories (source): white kid gauntlets ‘lined with coloured kid, undoubtedly chic, new, and, alas, most expensive’, ‘White kid shoes worn with stockings to match the colour of the dress […] and the most elegant of all foot gear at present is undoubtedly the gray Suede shoe which is worn with stockings in a shade of gray to match’ (source)
  • long pearl necklaces worn with evening gowns
  • twin pins for the ‘front and back of the stock’ (source)

Hat

  • hats no longer flat but turn up on one side with flat crowns
  • less black hats
  • hats are decorated with ombre plumes, fruit gardens, and white lace like a wedding veil which is ‘mal porte except for those who do not leave their carriages in an afternoon promenade’ (source), hats with picturesque ‘pendant drapery over the hair at the back, […] made either in chiffon, or in lace, or in ribbon’ (source)

Related: Edwardian Easter Hats

Hairstyle

 

1903 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1903

Bodice

  • ‘Gibson’ shaped bodice with pouching front drooping over the belt: ‘waist as big and easy as it can be made without having a baggy effect’ (source)
  • the French curve instead of the extreme dip: ‘the hips are slender, the bust raised a trifle more than it has been, and the belt […] has decidedly lost the extreme dip effect in front (source)
  • soft materials (source): sheer cotton materials, such as dotted Swiss, for summer, and soft wool fabric for winter
  • ‘romantic and elegant’ style (source)
  • vertical tucked bodices
  • full, soft flowing and wide bishop sleeves but still tight at the shoulder
  • drooping collars; ‘Every means of broadening and increasing the drooping effect of the shoulders is sought’ (source)
  • two-piece costume (worn in winter with fleece-lined cotton shirtwaist)
  • shirtwaist with large buttons
  • shirtwaists with or without fitted linings

Skirt

  • long skirts
  • fits closely at the top with wide flare at the bottom: 4 1/25 1/2 yards, even tailored skirts flare at the bottom
  • skirts with tucks, pleats, ruffles, or plain: ‘have the skirt fit as tightly as possible, and still, by means of side and box plaits, preserve the impression that it is a full skirt’ (source)
  • seven-gored, and nine-gored wool skirts trimmed with taffeta with or without tucks (source), skirts with hip yokes
  • skirts with box pleat at the back or habit back

Evening Gown

  • ‘The skirts of ball gowns are being made shorter’, hems have ‘gone out of fashion’ (source)
  • some ball gowns have now ‘only a strap across the shoulder’ (source)
  • evening gowns with high or low waists; some wear long princess line dresses without trimmings
  • white and pastel colors are still fashionable, but also bright green or bright red
  • ‘of late there has been so little difference made between the materials used for the different seasons’: so velvet and satin are worn in summer, and lace and thin materials in winter, ‘Flowered muslins, batiste, and crêpe de chine gowns are in fashion again for evening wear (source)

Accessories

  • small fans worn with evening gowns
  • fine, white lace mitts or ‘coarse renaissance lace [mitts] dyed to match the color of the costume’ (source)
  • boas: ‘the boa is now the mark of the pretty girl, and you do not catch her out without it’ (source)
  • stock-collars, cuffs and belts with tabs (source)

Hat

  • hats with flat crowns (source)
  • projecting front hats – ‘called the “Woffington” poke’ – ‘made with a conspicuously short back, as all the new hats are […] The trimming is principally massed at the back […] Under the poke close up to the hair a chou of soft ribbon may be tucked, or perhaps two linked wreaths of forget-me-nots, or any dainty small flower.’ (source)
  • simple trimmed hats, trimmed with flowers and grasses
  • hat veils matching the color of the hat (source)

Hairstyle

  • soft pompadour hairstyle with chignon high on the head or at the back of the head

 

1904 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1904

  • pleated skirts, kimono-style boleros
  • drop shoulder
  • sleeve width increases: bishop or leg-o-mutton sleeves
  • bodices usually with back closures and fitted linings

Bodice

  • bodices with bayadere tucks (horizontal tucks), draped in surplice style (source), or with fichu trimmings (source)
  • bodice back either bloused or drawn down
  • back closures are preferred, even for shirtwaists
  •  wide bishop or leg-o-mutton sleeves, long or three-quarter length
  • deep yokes with ‘drop shoulders’
  • kimono boleros: ‘a smart cape coat know as the Samurai jacket […] jacket and sleeves are in one […] A collar facing, extending over the shoulders in epaulette style’
  • epaulette caps (source and fashion plate)
  • dressy gowns: shirred or trimmed with puffed bands
  • new dress materials are flowered chiffon and brocades ‘in single tones and in contrasting colours; waist round for day wear, dipped for evening wear; button trimmings: suede-covered buttons, jewel-like buttons, canvas buttons with cross stitch embroidery (source)

Skirt

  • circular and gored skirts with or without circular flounce;
  • yoke skirts
  • pleated skirts: ‘kilted modes are very popular for general wear’; the new kilt plaiting ‘is formed of thirteen gored sections and arranged in a plait at each seam and in the middle of each gore […] Tuck-stitching to any desired yoke depth holds them in position, and below they fall free to the lower edge, where a pretty effect is produced in walking’ (source)
  • skirt width at the hem: 3 7/8 – 5 1/4 yards (source) or even more: ‘The woman whose gown does not measure eight yards about the hem of her skirt is our of style – dowdy.’ (source)
  • skirts shorter than the year before (source)

Coat

  • coats in various length: ‘The fitted coat is much favored and is equally popular in seven-eighths, regulation and short three-quarter and long hip lengths’
  • bishop or leg-o-mutton sleeves (source)
  • fur mantelets & long coats trimmed with fur (source)

Evening Gown

Accessories

  • belt buckles (now round or oval) are worn at the back and the belt ‘is fastened in front with a small clasp’ (source)
  • The newest fur boas are no longer flat, but round […] a novelty are the little eiderdown boas only about three-quarters of a yard long, worn close around the neck
  • laced boots out of fashion (source)
  • granny shawls (source)

Hat

  • small for street, big for dressy wear (source)
  • variety of hats: tricorne hats, turbans, toques, Louis XVI and Directoire hats with strings tied under the chin, turned up brims, high crowns: ‘the high crown is considerably modified in some models by folds and bands of ribbon or tulle puffings […] A favorite shape is the medium-sized capeline with slightly drooping brim and high crown’ (source), ‘This season’s close-fitting hats have brims projecting in front and rather low crowns. These hats to be worn properly are not tilted, but placed squarely on the head.’ (source)
  • vivid colors: pink, red orange, bottle green and mauve, hats trimmed with flowers, flower garlands and plumes, velvet leaves and fruits, paradise feathers are the ‘season’s most fashionable hat trimming’ (source)

Hairstyle

 

1905 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1905

  • feminine afternoon and house dresses, but masculine street dresses with stiffer skirts
  • short, but wide leg-o-mutton and puff sleeves
  • wide skirts
  • hats with upturned brims worn high on the head

Bodice

  • suspender costume’ with bands over the shoulders
  • small waists
  • shirred or tucked bodices, ‘Draped effects are stylish in all garments, including coats.’ (source)
  • bodice closures at the back, side-front or front, dressier bodices close in the back
  • bodice back bloused or drawn down (source)
  • shirtwaist dresses without bodice lining, draped bodices with foundation lining, evening bodices still with foundation lining
  • shorter sleeves: ‘sleeves, if not short, at least an inch or two above the wrist’
  • wide leg-o-mutton sleeves and full puff elbow-length sleeves: ‘Last year the sleeves were large and bulging at the wrist; this year they are big and loose at the shoulder, down to the elbow’ (source), ‘The sleeves are immense’ (source);
  • tea jackets: ‘suitable for many occasions’ (source)
  • severe street dresses, but fancy trimmed house dresses with rose garlands and lace ruffles, dresses with chenille trimmings and velvet appliques (source)
  • V-necklines, shawl collars, a chemisette may fill the neckline

Skirt

  • wide skirts, width from 5 to over 6 yards at the hem, but the width more ‘regulated’
  • skirts with many gores are ‘perfectly smooth at the hips’ with a wide flare at the bottom: ‘In spite of the popular liking for very full skirts, the more closely fitted modes still hold their own with well-dressed women’ (source)
  • circular to fifteen-gored skirts
  • ‘umbrella’ or ‘ripple’ skirt: a fifteen-gored skirt with deep yoke, ‘the gores gradually widen to produce the graceful ripple effect’ (source)
  • stiffer skirts: ‘Skirts are stiffer, and the fullness is beginning to fall more regularly, as though wishing to get back into the godets of the past’ (source)
  • double-skirt effects: ‘The tunic skirt is back again […] The graceful flounce skirts are very popular once more’ (source and fashion plate)
  • tucked, pleated and flounced skirts: ‘All tastes are catered to this season in skirt modes, plain and trimmed, fitted and full, and shirred or plaited or tucked designs sharing equal favor’
  • Some of the prettiest of the season’s skirts are made with tuck-plaits‘ (source); ‘the back seam being closed all the way down’: so the opening must be on the front left (source); pattern for a pleated skirt

Coat

  • double-breasted, three-quarter or short three-quarter length coats
  • short, wide leg-o-mutton sleeves ‘plaited or gathered into the armhole’
  • coats with added skirts are very stylish’ (source)
  • redingote coats

Evening Gown

  • ‘there will be a great number of black nettings over white, and more tulle than chiffon gowns’; jet embroidery on dinner and theater gowns (source)

Accessories

  • longer gloves and undersleeves
  • normal-sized muffs and fans;
  • Boas are no longer worn because of the wide leg-o-mutton sleeves
  • bracelets are worn to cover the bare wrists (because of the short sleeves): ‘The chain bracelets set with stones are no longer fashionable. Heavy circles of jade, gold bands with a solitaire or with a fancy setting of stones, even the old flat gold bands, are much worn.’ (source)

Hat

  • hats  worn high on the head (no longer ‘drooping, sweeping hats’ because of the wide sleeves) and often turned up at the side or back: ‘Whimsically upturned brims characterize the hats of the moment […] Hats of the Colonial order remain favorites’ (source)
  • hats in brilliant hues, often two or mode shades combined in straw hats (source)
  • lace veils are ‘more fashionable than ever. Large patterns on a net or maline ground are more popular than bordered veils. […] Chiffon veils remain popular, and both plain and dotted effects are shown’ (source)
  • peacock feather and natural-colored uncurled ostrich plumes hat trimmings (source)

Hairstyle

 

1906 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1906

  • empire line dresses
  • short leg-o-mutton sleeves (even in winter!)
  • wide gored and tucked skirts

Bodice

Skirt

  • smooth over the hips with a flare at the bottom, skirt width 5 – 6 5/8 yards at the hem (source)
  • pleated skirts with flaring gores: ‘The entirely circular skirt has been superseded by the plaited or tucked skirt, cut straight, with many separate and flaring gores.’ (source), shirred skirts

Coat

  • long Empire line coats but without a high waistline
  • three-quarter sleeves, therefore undersleeves are worn in cold weather which are attached to the coat sleeve ‘by means of loops and buttons or with patent fasteners’ (source)

Evening Gown

  • high-waisted Empire line gowns with foundation linings: ‘The belt-line of the modern Empire gown is considerably higher than nature indicates; the skirt is fuller and more graceful than the one from which it takes its name, and the long lines that fall from the softly draped bust are decidedly more chaste.’ (source)
  • shirred waists

Hat

  • The shapes are smaller, on the average, than they have been’; diversity in hat styles: hats with high or low crown, turned-up brims, small toques etc’ (source)
  • The new morning hat is a bit severe, […] ribbons tied in stiff bows and loops, quills and wings are its chief ornaments. […] The cache-peigne [trimming under the brim at the back or the side] is somewhat lower than last season, but it continues strong enough to tilt the hat to a becoming angle.’ (source)

Hairstyle

  • ‘Hair ornaments this season are extremely light and airy’: gauze wings, marabou feathers, tiny rose wreaths and French flowers with diamond dew drops (source)

 

1907 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1907

Bodice

Skirt

  • circular skirts
  • narrower skirts, skirt width at bottom 4 1/2 – 5 1/4 yards)
  • side pleated skirts, pleated skirts ‘as popular as ever’, ‘ Dart-tucks may be used if a fitted effect is desired over the hips’ (source)

Coat

Hat

  • hats begin to get bigger: Hats are ‘of such a size that when posed smartly on the elaborately coiffed head the edge of the back brim touches the shoulders. […] The short front sailor has without warning turned itself about and the huge ribbon bow of soft ribbon loops which once weighted the wide back brim is now smartly wired or corded and posed on the centre front of the crown, the wide loops almost covering the wide front brim.’ (source)
  • ‘hats began to shorten their front projection and to lengthen the rear […] the latest millinery creations sit flatter on the head and they tilt down in the back instead of up’ (source)

Hairstyle

  • pompadour hairstyles
  • puffs are worn rather than curls, and ‘the back is fluffed out and made almost as wide as the front’ (source)

Related: 1907 Pinless Pompadour Hairstyle Tutorial

 

1908 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1908

Bodice

Skirt

Related: My 1908 Tailored Wool Skirt – Edwardian Circular Skirt

Coat

  • semi-fitting style
  • sleeves ‘in new close-fitting style’ (source)

Evening Gown

Accessories

  • shoes, hosiery, gloves and handkerchief borders ‘in harmony with the gown. Attention to minor details of this kind adds little to the expense.’ (source)
  • large fans worn with evening gowns

Hat

Hairstyle

 

1909 fashion plate - 1900-9 edwardian fashion change1909

Bodice

  • elegant simplicity in dresses
  • high waistlines & empire dresses with princess lines and semi-princess style
  • high collars or collars in round dutch style, sailor collars and shawl collars
  • narrow leg-o-mutton, rather tight-fitting sleeves, ‘decided fancy […] for full-length sleeves’ even for summer dresses;
  • bodice and coats with panel front;
  • some dresses are made without a lining

Skirt

Coat

Evening Gown

  • ‘What a pity that the train seems to be vanishing! There is no more graceful and womanly and statuesque part of the dinner and the reception gown than the falling length of satin or crepe de chine or airy chiffon weighted down into heavy folds.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1909)

Accessories

Hat

Hairstyle

 

More Edwardian Fashion History

 

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