Today’s Fashions – October 1903
The short skirt is more popular than ever, and, indeed, it is so generally adopted for morning wear that a skirt long enough to be held up is conspicuous.
One of the most important items in the success of this skirt, as well as the long skirts, is the petticoat worn beneath it; it must be made with sufficient flare and "bouffantry" to give the desired fulness to the bottom of the gown.
The flare at the hem continues to grow; the skirt must stand out well about the feet, and to accomplish this effect a narrow featherbone is sometimes inserted in the head of the flounce of the petticoat or drop skirt, giving a faint suggestion of the hoop skirts our grandmothers wore.
Hither cloth or soft wool goods may be attractively made up in a new design of five-gored shaping that forms thirteen box plaits.
A hip yoke in fanciful lower outline would add a becoming note to a well-proportioned figure. The double and triple skirts gain in favor. An example worthy of note has three plain circular flounces, the upper one being deeper than the other two.
A distinctive touch may be achieved by introducing a front-gore that extends in a hip yoke. In rich satin-faced cloth or velvet this design would develop charmingly. Lace might be used for the panel front and yoke, with narrow bands let in or applied on each flounce.
There is seemingly no end to the variety of the season's coat designs, and a smart mode is known as the "guard's” coat. A triple cape-collar and flowing sleeves ate interesting features.
A belt or back strap may be added, if desired, and the length depends upon individual taste, provision being made for full three-quarter or short three-quarter style.
Covert cloth, cheviot and the rain-proof fabrics are particularly adapted to this style of garment, though richer materials may be used, and trimming added. For those to whom tailor styles are becoming, there is a smart coat made in double-breasted frock style, the touch of novelty being achieved in the shawl collar.
The sleeves of the shirt-waist pure and simple show no variation in style from year to year; fulness may accumulate at the top of bodice sleeves, but the shirt sleeve is a shirt sleeve always.
Box and side plaits, stitched bands and buttons may all enter into the decoration of this tailored garment, but its general outline remains the same.
The popularity of mercerized fabrics, some of which are almost beautiful enough for a dressy bodice, has made the shirt waist more in demand than ever, and the Autumn wardrobe will include a good supply.
A deep pointed yoke of creamy lace outlined with three bias folds of silk, is the distinctive feature of a charming little semi-dress bodice made of taffeta; clusters of tiny tucks give additional grace, and the sleeves have becoming shaping, being tucked at the upper part, with fulness at the elbow, and deep lace cuffs provide a pretty finish.
About the most comfortable of the myriad negligees are those fashioned in the picturesque kimono style, but to achieve the required charm, they must be made of materials that fall loosely, and in colors that are becoming.
The soft, inexpensive woolens, such as albatross, cashmere, crepe, etc., are very effective when trimmed with the Oriental silks, or even ribbon in harmonizing shades.
An especially dainty model known as the Nightingale, may be of one or two-piece shaping. The effect of lying the fronts and the sleeves with dainty little ribbons is a happy suggestion.
There is no limit to the use of all-over lace and bandings, and more than ever this season may the odds and ends be utilized. A drop yoke and bolero of lace are distinguishing features of an attractive silk waist.
Sleeve caps and cuffs are also made of the lace. For evening wear the yoke is omitted, and the sleeves are formed of the lace cap with a deep frill of silk.
There is a quaint suggestion of the olden times in a skirt of voile, made with a very deep yoke, to which is attached a circular lower part that may be shirred, tuck-plaited or gathered.
A band of applique lace gives a pleasing finish. The graceful flare around the bottom of this skirt is quite in accord with Fashion's latest demands.
Undoubtedly the white corduroy coat-and-skirt suit that formed a part of the ultra-fashionable late Summer wardrobe will be worn until the cold weather comes in earnest, and there is no more suitable skirt design than one of five-gored flare shaping in correct walking length, with a facing around the bottom, and a hip yoke.
“Fashions of To-day” in The Delineator: An Illustrated Magazine of Literature and Fashion, Paris-London-New York-Toronto: The Butterick Publishing Co., Ltd., Vol. LXII, No. 4, October 1903 p. 499.