Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fashion Forecast: July 1917

What was the well-dressed young woman wearing in July 1917?

A lot of interesting things, as it turns out: there are several new trends in this month’s women’s magazines. First, this from McCall’s Magazine: the first set of patterns for war service-related clothing that I’ve run across: two nurses’ uniforms and two outfits for outdoor work, overalls, and a shorter skirt with bloomers to wear underneath:

On a related note, in this month’s The Ladies’ World magazine is a two page spread on “the New Ready-Made Clothes.” This page features fashions from The Hamilton Garment Co., The Bradley Knitting Co., and The Betty Wales Dressmakers:

As always, The Delineator has some beautiful color prints. I like the pink dress on the right, with the tassel variation on the barrel-style skirt:

And here’s McCall’s color plate for July. A rather different artistic style from The Delineator, no?:

According to McCall’s, gingham was the rage, and checks and plaids do seem to be popular this month:

More bold geometrics in The Delineator:

This being July, we have to talk about bathing suits. Here’s The Delineator’s beachwear for the month. Note the girl's suit at left--not much different from Mom's:

McCall's bathing suits feature less busy designs:

And I suspect "seeking comfort in kimonos" is code for maternity wear (McCall's):

Finally, some teen fashions from The Delineator:

And also from The Delineator (I love the title at the top of the page!):

What do you think of July 1917's fashions?


Kell Andrews said...

Bloomers or not, these clothes look really comfortable... nice to see that change.

QNPoohBear said...

I can add some historical background to some of the fashions. Gardening was super "in" during WWI. Everyone had to do their part to feed the starving Americans and their Allies even before the U.S. entered the war. Many people had home gardens or community gardens. Read more at my exhibit: http://rifoodwars.tumblr.com/post/41324044981/agriculture-war-gardens

Kimonos were dressing gowns, meant to be worn in one's own room without a corset (more informal than a tea gown) and not in public. Imagine how good it must have felt to take off that corset and relax in a kimono. Kimono style fashions were very in during the Gilded Age. I've seen dresses with kimono sleeves and patterns for kimono robes. Even dolls have kimono robes


A little earlier than 1917 but you get the idea.