The Edwardian Motoring Girl

The Edwardian Motoring Girl Duster Car Coat Face Mask Veil Automobile Dog Historical Fashion

‘This season’s auto girl is a bewitching creature. She has discarded the clumsy leather coat and disfiguring face mask and in their place for short rides she wears a fetching silken wrap and a filmy veil of shaded chiffon. […] she nowadays spends quite as much time selecting her motor headgear as she does her garden party hat. […]

If she is a very fashionable young person, her motor wardrobe is a large one. She has costumes for long tours, raincoats and dust coats, silken motor wraps to slip over fluffy organdie frocks, to say nothing of hats and caps and veils in great variety.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1904)

Related: How To Dress In The Edwardian Era

Edwardian Car Coat

Long & Loose Coat

‘The first mission of the touring coat, whatever its material or design, is that it be long enough to practically cover the frock, and so roomy that one may experience no difficulty in getting into it hurriedly, if necessary. If only one coat is to be taken on the trip it should be of a color that is practical and a material that is dust-proof, warm enough for moderate weather and not so thick as to prove burdensome should the sun shine too warmly.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Made Of Silk Taffeta & Rubberized Taffeta

‘For the southern part of England, any portion of France and most sections of the United States during the spring season, the mohair, taffeta and satin coats […] will be found most comfortable.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

‘In addition to taffeta silk, mohair Sicilienne is used for motor wraps as well as rough-woven pongee, the new rubberized taffeta, which is silk on the outside and thin rubber on the inside, and the very novel material, waterproof Scotch linen.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Detachable Capes

‘To offset the difficulty of being burdened with an exceedingly heavy coat, many women order those having attachable capes in three sections of varying lengths’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908).

Related: Edwardian Blue Wool Coat With Cape

Hem Lined With Haircloth

‘A new idea in the coat of taffeta or pongee is to interline the bottom of the garment for a few inches with a strip of the lightweight princess haircloth, so that the coat will have the proper flare at the bottom.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1904)

Kid Jacket For Short Tours

‘On a short tour, she leaves her silk coat at home and wears in its place an entire costume of soft kid, or glazed leather made in skirt and coat style, with a kid hood to match. […] The kid comes in an assortment of attractive colors such as bottle green, deep wine color, brown, fawn and dark blue. The kid Norfolk jackets are extremely attractive and are made to fit the figure as perfectly as if they were cloth tailor-made jackets.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1904)

Related: How To Make An Edwardian Leather Belt

White Serge Coats For Spring

‘White serge motor coats are considered exceedingly smart […] They fit smoothly and […] almost outline the figure after the manner of Empire garments. Their fronts are single-breasted, and close with three large silver buttons […] and they have wide turnover collars with notched revers. […] While these coats are not rainproof, they do not readily gather dust. In sunshiny weather they look wonderfully chic and are quite warm enough for spring use if worn with the useful sweater.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Related: The Edwardian Summer Girl

Fur-Lined Wool Coat For Cold Weather

‘If the tour is to include Scotland, a fur-lined long coat will be an absolute necessity, and while its outer side will, of course, be waterproof, it should be of some material like English cheviot or a plain-faced cloth that it may do duty, if necessary, for a street or a general traveling wrap.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Heavy Cord Chains

‘It is quite possible to dress up a rather simple motoring coat without going to a great deal of trouble and expense. One method is to close the fronts of a rubberized crepe de chine, taffeta or pongee with attachable chains formed of large links made from heavy cord covered with silk matching the garment, and joining them to huge buttons made of similar materials, or of round balls of colored crystal in the tints of […] amethyst, garnet or topaz. In the case of white mohair or serge coats […] these highly ornamental buttons are joined by gold or silver chains’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908).

Two Fashionable Silk Motoring Coats

‘A smart motor coat […] is made of black moneybak taffeta. The garment hangs full and straight back and front […] with three drooping capes. The neck is collarless and finished with a narrow stole of champagne-color taffeta […] Narrow bands of silk trim the front of the coat with a leather button in its shiny frame at each end of each strap. The sleeves are very full below the elbow and are finished with cuffs shaped in a long point and made of the champagne-color silk’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1904).

‘An exceedingly pretty garment […] is a rubberized garment of white and black checked taffeta, modelled on ulster lines, its double-breasted fronts closing with self-covered large buttons […]  trimmed with wide straps […] patch pockets […] loose sleeves, gathered into roomy arm-size.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Edwardian Motoring Clothes

Driving Dress

‘The frock to be worn beneath the motoring coat deserves quite as much thought as the outergarment, in that it will be in evidence at the inns where luncheons are taken and should therefore be pretty and becoming, although not of a character to show the wear and tear of travel. Large pattern black taffeta looks very smart’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908).

Related: Victorian & Edwardian Travel Clothes


‘The sweater is gradually developing into a really natty and becoming garment, and one which should never be left behind when preparing for a motoring tour’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908).

Related: The Edwardian Sweater Girl + 25 Free Edwardian Sweater Patterns

Noncrushable Lingerie

‘Fine linen and lace lingerie should have no place in the motorist’s box, as it takes up altogether too much room, musses readily and cannot be hastily laundered. All underwear should be soft like silk, like China or pongee, trimmed simply with the narrowest of fine lace edging or outlined about the neck and sleeves with feather stitching. Such garments are easily rolled and pushed into odd corners, and if washed out the last thing at night will be perfectly dry by morning.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Related: Dressing The 1900s Woman – Edwardian Lingerie

Edwardian Motoring Accessories

Motoring Cap

‘The rule to be observed in selecting a motor hat is to have it as small as can be becomingly worn […] Some of the nattiest of the recently designed motor caps have straw or chip brims and crowns of material like the coat, the band trimmings of kid, leather or satin harmonizing with the coat trimmings. The flat turban is still exceedingly popular’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908).

‘Motor headgear nowadays boasts many really attractive novelties. There are silk caps and cloth caps made to order to match the coats […] There are rubberized taffeta toques which the most drenching showers cannot harm, and there are straw hats in Tam o’Shanter shapes and shortback sailor shapes, prettily trimmed and made with silk curtains at the back.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1904)

Washable Motor Veils Made Of Embroidered Chiffon & Net

‘If the tour is to be a protracted one it is not only advisable for the fair motorist to provide herself with a generous supply of veils but with fabrics which will withstand water. One of these is the washable chiffon cloth veiling which comes in lengths of a yard and a half to three yards, and has hemstitched edges.

Related: How To Hemstitch By Hand

Another is the white and pale tinted Russian net, which, when made up with embroidered net borders, gives the wearer a bridelike appearance. They are almost as elaborate as the more costly veils of silk chiffon with hand-embroidered floral borders and ends, which, however, are considered none too handsome to be worn with a practical cape coat or rubberized mohair or satin.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Veil Gathered On A Cord

‘A cord in the upper hem of the chiffon or net veil shapes it to the brim of the hat. The bottom is shirred with another hem run with ribbon, and this is tied in a big bow which falls in long loops and ends well down onto the skirt. […] As the days grow warmer […] substitute chiffon for the English mesh nets. These let in more air and are exceedingly becoming to the complexion, especially in white. The browns are good, too; they preserve the cuticle from sunburn more than those of any other color.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

Matching Accessories

‘When the coat is worn with a belt it’s a fad of the motor girl to wear a belt exactly like the one she wears about her waist on her hat or cap, and […] cuffs […]

If she wears a dark-blue silk coat with a touch of apple green in the trimming she is sure to have the silk curtain, which is so essential a part of her motor hat, dark blue, while the hat itself is the same shade, and the rosette or wing that trims it is apple green […] she will have the big safety pin which fastens her hat of gold or gilt set with a blue and green peacock-eye stone’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1904).

Related: Jewelry In The Edwardian Era

Washable Leather Gauntlet Gloves

‘The fair motorist who intends to take her turn at the wheel will do well to provide herself with a pair of the new flexible wrist gauntlet gloves with an extension cuff measuring fully six inches from the base of the thumb to the stitched edge. It is secured at the wrist by a strap and fastener […] Another type of glove […] is the washable white and natural tone chamois, which is to be had in mousquetaire and button styles, and may be as readily washed as is a pocket handkerchief.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1908)

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