Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fashion Forecast: May 1917

So I got hold of a beautiful copy of the May 1917 edition of The Delineator, a magazine published by Butterick, now best known for their sewing patterns. Well, you know that their magazine would have to have gorgeous fashion pages—over twenty of them!--and you’re right. So I thought it was time to have some slightly more recent Fashion Forecasts, which will continue through the summer months. Enjoy!!

The fashion section begins with a look at the latest Paris fashions, with the headline, “Fleet-Footed are the Fashions that Defy the U-Boats”. Designers mentioned include Georgette, Marthe Wingrove, Magraine-Lacroix, Laferriere, and Parry.

One thing you’ll notice that differs from the 19th century prints that I post is that dresses are usually not labeled “Morning Dress” or “Walking Dress” or what have you. What started with this issue of The Delineator was individual breakdowns of the cost of making each pattern, including estimated cost of fabric, trim, findings and patterns, as a result of expected belt-tightening with the newly entered war. The dres at left has a total cost of $4.94, and the dress at right costs a mere $3.37:

Silhouettes are interesting in this year: though many of the dresses shown still have waists, the general lines are hinting at the coming “vertical”, straight look of the twenties. Busts are still low, an echo of the previous decade:

Parasols and creative millinery were definitely in:

Separates—blouses and skirts, or two piece suits—were also in vogue:

What I found especially interesting is that there was a separate section of clothes intended especially for teens, though that exact term is not used. Still, the pattern descriptions are for 16- and 17- and 18-year-olds--a definite change from 19th century fashion:

The biggest difference I can see between these teen clothes and the more grown-up patterns is that the hemlines seem to be a trifle shorter:

More "teen" fashions:

Children's clothing is also included, both for girls...:

And for boys:

What do you think of May 1917's fashions?


Faith E. Hough said...

The fine print on the boys' page! "Mother says to count to ten before you hit a fellow." I love these glimpses into the past; thanks for hunting them down and posting!

Marissa Doyle said...

You're welcome, Faith! It's enormous fun for me to post these.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

I love this! I didn't know that teens were considered separately at that point.

Marissa Doyle said...

It was just starting to occur, Lynn--it's a concept that seemed to slowly come in with the century till it was firmly entrenched by the 40s.

QNPoohBear said...

I just love The Delineator. My tastes run more to pre-war fashions but I love the children's clothes. I saw teen fashions in the 1904-1906 issues too. They were known as Misses.That's the in-between stage after childhood before coming out. The magazine was geared towards middle class housewives. The Fortune 400 were still buying from well-known couturiers until after the war. I also noticed an influence of military style fashions. (I almost did my online exhibit on clothing instead of food).