Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fashion Forecast: October 1917

This will, alas, be the last 1917 fashion report, as the research for my story didn’t really need to go much past early autumn of that year. I’ll miss watching the clothes evolve, though—fashion changed much more quickly in 1917 than it did in 1817.

So what was the well-dressed young woman wearing in October 1917, according to The Delineator?

“PARIS STRAIGHTENS OUT THE LINES IN ITS NEW FASHION OFFENSIVE" is the headline for a page of designs from French houses (including one from Chanel, at far right.) Though the barrel skirt still appears, more hints of the coming twenties are apparent, though busts are still visible.


Coats and suits in darker, quieter hues are the big thing in this issue, as is appropriate for fall wear. Details remain subdued as well, with groups of pleats on skirts seeming to be en vogue.


Dresses too are simply adorned. Large collars in both self and contrasting colors and lapels are the big thing, as are tiered skirts. Fabrics mentioned include charmeuse, satin, silk crepe, serge, chiffon, and gabardine--while the styles are simpler, most of the fabrics are still very feminine and luxurious.


Is it just me, or do those very high collars on coats look uncomfortable?


Skirts and shirt-waists remain popular...


And look! Nursing couture!


Clothes for teen girls...not very different from the "older fashions, are they?


More teen fashions...note the girl at far left, with her knitting!


Clothes for younger girls:


More clothes for girls...and check out the mother-daughter pajamas at lower right!


Clothes for small boys, with a few of them decidedly resembling "Campbell Soup Kids!":

What do you think of October 1917's fashions?

3 comments:

mfantaliswrites said...

Better than bustles and hoop skirts, but not quite the coming twenties. The eye of the storm, perhaps? How lucky you are to have such great information available for your research!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...


I'm loving the large hats. Especially that orange one that resembles an albatross and UFO.

Marissa Doyle said...

Eye of the storm is a good way of expressing it, when you think of the extreme contrast between, say, 1902 and 1922!

And yes, some of the hats are awesome, though there's one that looks kind of like a long cloth bag worn on the head and knotted into a long, up-standing tail that is just plain silly.