The beginning of the 20th century was a confining time for many women, as short corsets with names like Adjusto and Reduso were employed to squeeze the female form—as seen from the side, anyway—into the shape of the letter S. The favored Gibson Girl look was very top-heavy, with big hair and hats up top, a padded bust above a narrow waist, and plenty of junk in the trunk.

Not all designers were so cruel. Paul Poiret created hobble skirts that could be worn with longer, more forgiving corsets. He eventually advocated that women drop their boned undergarments altogether in favor of bras. Ironically, Poiret’s hobble skirts got their name from the taper they came to at the ankles, which was often accentuated by a fetter that kept the ankles together and prevented more than small steps. By 1910 women were standing straighter than they had been at the beginning of the decade, but they could barely walk.

In the 1910s, trousers became acceptable in some circles, as sportswear for games such as tennis demanded freedom of movement. Still, the fashion trends were of two worlds, at once looking back to Edwardian excesses and forward to the Flapper era to come.

Once again, Poiret seemed to encompass both impulses, this time in his Minaret tunics, which combined hobble skirts with crinoline-reinforced lampshade-like dresses on top. Some women coordinated the color of their hair with the hues of these so-called tango frocks, be it green, red, or even blue.

The second decade of the 20th century is, of course, also remembered for World War I, as well as the flu epidemic of 1918, which took even more lives than the dreadful conflict. But women of means still wore coats trimmed at the collar, cuffs, and hem in fur, or waistless dresses with kimono-like sleeves. Tulle veils were favored beneath feathered felt hats, while tiered pinafore dresses revealed two-tone button-up boots.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

MyVintageVogue

MyVintageVogue

The history of 20th-century women’s fashion largely played out in the pages of magazines such as “Harper’s Ba… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

1960s Fashion and Textiles

1960s Fashion and Textiles

Put on your go-go boots and check out this wavy, groovy tribute to 1960s fashion and textiles, courtesy of the Vict… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

While primarily designed to steer buyers to online vintage clothing shops, this blog is chock full of interesting, … [read review or visit site]

Fashion-Era

Fashion-Era

Bursting at the seams with content, this site contains hundreds of pages of fashion and costume history, including … [read review or visit site]

The Antique Corset Gallery

The Antique Corset Gallery

Take a deep breath, and check out this sparse, simple, and beautifully designed site showcasing 250 years of corset… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Edwardian Linen Garden Party Dress With Handmade Irish Crocheted LaceVintage Antique Victorian Dress Estate Steampunk Gothic Edwardian Lace M Details1905 Edwardian White Lace & Whitework Embroidery Blouse,gibson Girl Waist, As IsVintage Edwardian Titanic Era Cream Embroidered Net Lace Wedding Gown Dress Fancy 1912 Edwardian French Lace Toque Hat W Ostrich Plumes & Glittering BroochAntique Victorian Edwardian Nightgown Chemise Long Dress Petticoat Crochet Vintage Antique 1900's Edwardian Blouse Hand Embroidered Top Dress White CottonAntique Edwardian Embroidered White Work Cotton Lace Lawn DressAntique Crocheted Irish Lace Bodice Early 1900s Satin Insertions Needs TlcOrig 1917 Edwardian Fashion Catalog,silk Dresses,lingerie,millinery,suits,colorAntique Edwardian Cream Silk Chiffon Embroidery Dress For Repair Or PatternAntique Edwardian Tea Dress Wedding Gown Embroidered Dotted Cotton BatisteMagnificent Antique Embroidered Lace Edwardian Ladies Sheer Ball Gown DressVintage 1910s Ivory Tulle With Satin Accents Wedding Dress Great DetailsVintage Antique Victorian Blouse Jacket Edwardian Ivory Cream Lace Old SteampunkAntique Vtg 1900's Edwardian Flapper Abbey Sheer Gauze Irish Lace Cotton DressAntique Edwardian White Cotton Slip Dress Bust 34" Length: 46"Vintage 1900s Edwardian Mourning Hat Spiderweb Hat Goth Hat Victorian HatAntique Edwardian White Cotton Embroidery Petticoat Slip SkirtAntique 1800's Prairie Farm Edwardian Day Dress Cotton Primitive Civil War Era?Edwardian Baby Blue Linen Full Length Embroidered Gown~vtg 1920's Lavishly Embroidered White Batiste Art Deco Flapper Slip-dress!~Antique Early 1900s Edwardian Chemise Slip Nightgown Lace & RibbonsAntique Victorian Edwardian Day Tea Lawn Batiste Cotton Dress Chantilly Lace Vintage Edwardian 1900 1910 Sheer Gauze White Embroidered Floral Ornate BlouseVintage Lingerie Underclothes Corsets Bustle Boudoir Fashion Book Female + MaleEdwardian Black Taffeta Dress. Victorian Fancy Net Lace Petticoat For Dress Or TrimWonderful Straw Hat, Tlc Wonderful Adornments.large & GreatEdwardian Wwi Black Dress Silk Blend French Lace Mourning Fragile Sold As Is!1914 Dressmaking Book ~ Techniques Instruction Lingerie Chemise Blouses SewingEdwardian Ivory/black Striped Silk Blouse M 40 Bust As IsPersian Lamb Fur Cape, Early 20th CenturySublime 1912 Eyelet & Lace Cotton DressRare Vintage 1914 Standard Mail Order Co Catalog Edwardian Fashion Corsets Hats Antique Edwardian Camisole Corset Cover Daisies & Lace Sexy Drapes On ShouldersEdwardian Bloomers, Pantaloons - Open Crotch, Cotton, EyeletAntique 1920's Black Ladies Flapper Step-in Undergarment Handmade Edwardian Period Ladies CorsetEdwardian Princess SlipEdwardian-20s White Cotton/navy Striped Petticoat 26 Waist As IsAntique Lingerie Underwear Women's White Shabby Cottage Chic Country Farm Girl Vintage Edwardian White Cotton Bloomers/pantaloons W/3 Tiers Of Lace On Legs Szs3 Vintage Fancy Cotton Embroidered Victorian SlipsAntique Victorian Chiffon Mourning Petticoat Gown Dress Black Sheer Velvet NiceAntique 1900's Victorian Edwardian Silk Damask Petticoat Dress Slip Draw SkirtAntique Ladies' Blouse Trim Ivory Ribbons Snail-wound Circles-lovely AdditionVintage Antique Ladies Blouse Beads Lace Reenactment Primitive Lace Victorian