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Fashion Trends 1880s-1930s

Richly illustrated articles covering fashions from Paris, London, New York, and other cities highlight the many fashion trends that transpired over the five decades covered by the GG Archives. Styles included full, curvy silhouettes, long elegant dresses, broad hats, athletic / active wear, flappers, and lightweight dresses and wraps.

Fashions from Paris

Dubarry and D'Estrées Hats

Paris Fashions - November 1887

A glance at our illustrations reveals the style of promenade costumes and hats worn in Paris—for, truth to say, French women much affected stylish hats during this "demi-saison" (mid-season).

Evening Dress and Visiting Costume

Paris Fashions - December 1887

Greek, Directoire, and Imperial fashions are likely to be in high favor this winter. There is evidently at present a great tendency towards straight gowns with elongated panels, together with long Sappho robes clinging closely to the figure and enveloping it in their soft and graceful folds.

Mme. Sarah Bernhardt in "La Tosta" act ii

Paris Fashions - January 1888

Mrs. Johnstone describes in glorious detail, the art of Portrait Painting, Dress Styles, Tea Gowns, Evening Wear, Wedding and Bridesmaid Dresses, Hats, Bonnets, Fair Dressing and Accessories, fully illustrated with the extraordinary costumes worn by the Parisian opera star, Mme. Sarah Bernhardt during her performance of “La Tosca.”

Tea Gown and Walking Costume By Mme. Worth

Paris Fashions - February 1888

The Empire dresses could now only be worn for in-door evening toilettes, and it is probable that many women will reluctantly resign themselves to this sudden change in their style of dress.

Paris Fashions - March 1888

Short dresses are the order of the day and of the evening. All the dainty Parisiennes have adopted this fashion, which is the more remarkable, seeing that the French season has begun early with what we are pleased to call "serious festivities."

Black Lace Hat and Boa, Designed by Mme. Virot

Paris Fashions - April 1888

There are costumes appropriate for the varied claims of this round of pleasures: for morning visits, for in-door receptions, for five o'clock teas, for dinner, and for the opera. A medley of charming chiffons rises before my mind's eye, from which it is difficult to choose, and the artistic elegance of which it is next to impossible to describe.

Visiting Costumes

Paris Fashions - May 1888

The Maison Morin Blossier has excelled itself lately in turning out delicate creations. One dress for the beautiful Countess de Villeneuve - Albuquerque, in its shimmering of lilac satin and shot taffetas, gleaming with every shade of grey running into purple found on the wood-pigeon's breast, was one of its happiest designs.

Race-course Costumes, from the Maison Worth. Hats. from the Maison Virot.

Paris Fashions - June 1888

The leading dressmakers strike the keynote of fashion; our élégantes take it up and play upon it varied modulations. The response this season is a clash of brilliant and bizarre harmonies.

Race-course Hats from the Maison Virot.

Paris Fashions - July 1888

On all sides opportunities offer for the display of that taste in dress of which Paris is the fountain-head. The great houses are at work deep into the night, manufacturing original costumes for races, poetic dresses for the nightly balls, graceful wedding trousseaux, or splendid wardrobes for the leading actresses preparing to set forth on foreign tours.

Seaside Costumes, from the Maison Rodrigues.

Paris Fashions - August 1888

The choice of stuff, the bizarre arrangement of colors, the general harmony, the imprévu of the effect as a whole or in its details, are so many chances of expression in the art of dress.

Toilettes de Chateau, from the Maison Morin-Blossier. Hat, from the Maison Virot.

Paris Fashions - September 1888

These décolleté dresses are quite out of place for morning wear but are suitable for country-house dinner-parties. At these reunions, however, there must be no elaborate dress. The charm of the toilette de chateau is its pretty simplicity, its suggestion of differing from the elaborate town festive apparel.

Morning Costume from the Maison Morin-Blossier

Paris Fashions - October 1888

Autumn and spring are the favorite seasons for marriages. The wedding trousseaux of Mile de Brissac, who last August married the Due de Lorge, of Mile de Mailte, who married the Comte de Fleury, and those of other high-born damsels entering the state of wedlock, occupied the attention of all fashionable Paris.

Dress and Gossip of Paris

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip - November 1900

"We have done all we can," say the Paris dressmakers, "to make a decided change in the fashions this Autumn. Those who wish to be strictly à la mode must give away their last year's clothes; those who are less particular can find ways of arranging their old dresses without appearing ridiculous."

Dress and Gossip of Paris

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip - September 1902

Details vary from one week to another, and if the dressmaker sighs because everything is being worn, she has reason to be satisfied at the luxury and extravagance which women agree are necessary to fashionable dressing nowadays.

A New Creation - Dress from Paris (1903)

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip - July 1903

This year skirts are decidedly short and round. Parisian women and foreigners who get their clothes in Paris have at last adopted the truly short skirt which Americans have worn for several years.

Ladies' Costume

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip – August 1903

The danger, one might say, of the present fashions is too much similarity in general outline, owing to the extreme fulness of sleeves and skirts, the looseness of jackets and cloaks, and the large size of hats.

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip – August 1903

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip – October 1903

A dress which has created some notice at afternoon teas is made of blue chiffon, pale in tint; the form of the gown is princess, and the trimming is in large motifs of black Chantilly lace which simulate ostrich feathers.

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip – August 1903

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip – November 1903

A very beautiful dress is in mauve crepe de Chine. The skirt has five rows of shirring around the hips, four at the knees and four at the top of the full flounce, which finishes the dress. The particularly chic touch is that each row of shirring is outlined in small jet beads.

Newest Coat and Wrap Models from 1903

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip – December 1903

Among the newest fur coat or wrap models are the following: For the theatre and occasions where one needs only a slight extra wrap a charming cape design is made in chinchilla bordered with a ruché of passementerie that follows the scallops around the edge of the cape and the two long ends, which reach to the knees.

Fashionable Women in Paris 1904

Paris Dress Fashions and Gossip - February 1904

The feminine silhouette from looking like a flower inverted on its corolla, with a tiny calyx at the top and innumerable petals at the blossom’s edge, now begins to look more like that of our ancestors who so left their mark upon the styles in 1830.

Superb dinner gown fashioned of brocade in ivory tint

Paris Fashions November 1909

Even in the simple, old-fashioned dinner and evening gowns, copied from the 1830 modes, the changeable taffetas effects are preferred to brocades. There are lovely striped silks; but stripes, except as linings, while greatly admired, are passed over by the majority when selecting a costume.

Paris Dressmakers 1921 Fall Offerings

Paris Dressmakers' Fall Offerings - 1921

Cables from Economist’s Paris Office included summaries of the latest styles in Fall Dress Fashions from Paris dressmakers including Doeuillet, Doucet, Drécoll, Charlotte, Madeleine & Madeleine, Martial & Armand, Patou, and Premet.

Fashions from London

Plate 1: Reception Toilettes 433, 434, and 435

Observations on London Fashions 1885-01

January 1885 Fashion Plates feature a grand assortment of elegant Toilettes, Wrappers, Dinner Dresses, Visiting and Promenade Costumes, Morning and House, and Breakfast Gowns, and Junior Miss Fashions.

Plate 2: Dinner Dress, Dinner Toilette, and Young Lady's Dinner Dress

Observations on London Fashions 1885-02

Modistes in London, Paris and Vienna are evolving new modes of draping and otherwise arranging these works from the loom, in order to produce original effects in the style and shape of the garments which are to clothe the female in the ensuing season.

Plate 1: Promenade Costume, Vitite Mantle, and Visiting Toilette

Observations on London Fashions 1888-03

As will be seen by our plates, velvet or velveteen enters largely into the composition of costumes, and several elegant and ingenious modes are shown of using this always favorite material, which lends itself so graciously to the draping of folds and looks so satisfactory when used as a plain bodice, gilet, tablier, or under skirt.

Plate 2: Promenade and Afternoon Toilettes

Observations on London Fashions 1888-04

Blending of color and arrangements of drapery which harmonize, are in perfect keeping with a drawing-room or artistic boudoir, and can be worn with propriety in a carriage, are out of place on the promenade, or at a railway station, and on these occasions, it is the “quiet” dress, subdued in tone, and not remarkable in cut, which points out the lady.

Plate 2: Dinner Dresses

Observations on London Fashions 1888-05

Among the leading ideas in materials the foremost is stripes, which are seen in all varieties. Striped silks, woolens, velveteens, satins, brocket are all seen, and form most effective wear when tastefully combined with a plain material of the leading color.

Plate 1: Walking, Carriage, and Reception Dresses

Observations on London Fashions 1885-06

We have given on our plates for this month two or three instances of the judicious use of large-patterned materials, where a rich mauve broché with velvet flowers is arranged with a striking rich plainness of effect with velvet of a darker shade, a graceful lightening of the purple shadows being affected by the gold buckles and gold lining of sash.

Fashionable Furs

London Fashions November 1887

All kinds of materials will be worn this autumn and winter, rich brocaded silks, plain silks and velvets, striped silks, heavy matelassés in wonderful consolidation of color, which speak well for our artistic perceptions of tints, but woolens will be in the ascendant.

Costumes For Fancy Balls

London Fashions December 1887

Mrs. Johnstone writes about high fashion and in this article, articulates about fans and sachet, fur fashions, costumes for fancy balls, and evening dresses.

Girls Winter Costumes

London Fashions - January 1888

There are cycles in taste as regards dress, and very little uniformity in the rules that regulate them. Passing fashions from time to time have derived their inspiration from a beautiful queen like Marie Antoinette.

Ball Dresses

London Fashions - February 1888

Dress-designers take their inspirations from every imaginable source. She will call to her aid choice old prints, or, at all events, photographs of famous pictures, and books of costumes of all ages and all countries, taking a hint from one and another.

Spring Indoor And Promenade Costumes

London Fashions - March 1888

One of the most beautiful silks prepared for the spring Drawing Rooms of 1888 is of a design which bears the name of the Marquise de Pompadour; the reproduction of an historic silk; the shot ground is in cream and the revived pomme (a shade in fashion then), the best of all greens by candle-light.

Outdoor Costumes for Spring

London Fashions - April 1888

English women of our time take a prominent part in most of the social questions of the hour. That they do not exercise a more beneficial influence in matters appertaining to dress results from ignorance.

New Spring Mantles

London Fashions - May 1888

Indeed, there is nothing to complain of in the fact that Fashion has declared herself in favor of outdoor coverings, for the new mantles of the season are singularly elegant; and it would not be a satisfactory calculation to reckon how many lives have been sacrificed to inadequate clothing.

Promenade Costumes

London Fashions - June 1888

Time was when ladies did not wear hats in town; now young girls hardly sport anything else, and some married women only put on a bonnet when the occasion absolutely demands it. Doubtless it is on this account that so many are stringless, and so approach nearly to the hat.

Evening Gowns

London Fashions - July 1888

Violette Johnstone takes on culture and fashion in analyzing the latest July women's fashion.  From Evening Dresses and Gowns to Yachting Dresses, you'll find a superb summary of the best designs.

London Fashions - August 1888

The beautiful dress from Messrs. Jay, Regent Street, in our first illustration, demonstrates two or three notable points to be borne in mind in ordering new gowns.

Autumn Costumes

London Fashions - September 1888

Women who make their surroundings thus dainty are not likely to fail on the score of personal adornment, and the four in our engraving have selected their most suitable costumes at Mr. Peter Robinson's, Oxford Street.

Tailor-made Costumes for Autumn Wear.

London Fashions - October 1888

Tailor-made gowns find favor with Englishwomen at most periods of the year, but more especially when autumn is undeniably upon us. The illustrations of Messrs. Redfern's models indicate some of the principal novelties in style.

The Fashions of London: The Indispensable Blouse by Mrs. Aria, July 1903

London Fashions - November 1900

What are the new tales in the cloth costume? The amazing popularity of the three-quarter coat is worthy of comment, and this on a slim figure—and we all try to be slim figures nowadays by various aids of restoring and supporting corsets—is extremely becoming.

The Fashions of London: The Indispensable Blouse by Mrs. Aria, July 1903

London Fashions - September 1902

The most popular of all the dresses fit to grace the ordinary occasion has been the frock of foulard, the smallest designs being chosen for this, and white sharing with cream color and black the patronage of the multitude, and invariably beating the trimmings of cream lace with velvet ribbons.

Muslin Dress Fashions of London - June 1903

London Fashions - June 1903

Sashes and sash-like trimmings are features of many of the thin Summer gowns, and tasseled effects and trailing ends are employed wherever there is any excuse for them. Many of these are finished with pearl or metal ornaments, and even bunches of flowers are used for this purpose on dancing frocks.

The Fashions of London: The Indispensable Blouse by Mrs. Aria, July 1903

London Fashions - July 1903

The Indispensable Blouse

Coarse linen blouses with woven insertions of Irish lace or of the lace known as guipure d'art, hand embroidery being used between them, are amongst the extravagances; and how very pretty these look either in white with insertions and embroidery in ecru, or in pale-blue linen with white embroidery.

The Fashions of London: The Indispensable Blouse by Mrs. Aria, July 1903

London Fashions - August 1903

The box-pleated skirt is very much in vogue just now; it is usually set from a graduated yoke, the pleats themselves rather small at the top and fanning out at the base; they have somewhat of a doll-pen wiper suggestiveness but look well above well-shod feet.

Ladies Day costume in Sapphire Blue (Color Added for Emphasis)

London Fashions - October 1903

Very smart evening dresses—and I suppose one may suggest evening dresses in the full view of an early Autumn season —are made in a bright shade of sapphire blue, the chiffon of our many years' delight being again the idol of the hour.

London Fashions October 1903

London Fashions - November 1903

Velveteen, which in its earliest days was supposed to simulate velvet, now in the eyes of many exceeds it in charm, being more amenable to folds, less stiff, and generally making a more graceful appearance. I confess to a complete admiration for velveteen and would see much of it during the Autumn and Winter.

Fashionable Women of London 1904

London Fashions – February 1904

Embroidery is the keynote of our extravagance, and no material seems destined to escape its influence, the most luxurious having had their velvet frocks embroidered in silken traceries and fur motifs.

Fashions from New York

"1830" Skirt Updated for 1904

New York Fashions - February 1904

Since the skirt appears to have become the most important feature of a woman’s gown—the one that lends it tone and gives it the correct cachet— it is quite natural that it forms the chief topic in all discussions upon the fashions.

Fashions from London & Paris

Figure 6: Beautiful Wedding Gown from Konski's

London & Paris Fashions - May 1906

A charming wedding-gown sketched at 49, Conduit Street, is shown in fig. 6. It is in soft white duchesse satin, cut en princesse, with a short tunic effect of pearl and silver trimming.

Figure 1: Two Examples of Alpaca and Tussore Frocks

London & Paris Fashions - June 1906

Nothing could be more striking than the beautiful fashions displayed for this month, and a most interesting note is the absolute contrast in dress. Every historical period seems represented, but nothing is so definite as last season.

 

Fashions of Today

Autumn Street Toilette - Fashions for 1900

Today's Fashions - October 1900

Fanciful draped fronts and a stretched back draped at the top characterize a new bodice or blouse that may be made with high or low neck and with full-length or elbow sleeves. All-over lace and soft fabrics are suited for the development of this charming mode.

Ladies Afternoon Costume

Today's Fashions - November 1900

Extreme good style characterizes a basque-waist that has a whole smooth back and bloused fronts reversed at the top and opening over a full vest. The sleeves may be plain or in Garibaldi style. The mode suggests associations of fabrics.

Figure 111 G: Ladies' Coat and Skirt.

Today's Fashions - September 1902 - du Barry Coat

The du Barry coat is extremely modish and to tall, slight figures it is especially becoming. A dressy example made of taffeta, is stitched in tuck fashion at the inner or outer folds of the plaits.

A June Wedding in Grace Church, New York, 1903

Today's Fashions - June 1903

One of the most popular modes in shirt-waists, that will lend itself admirably to development in any of the mercerized or vesting fabrics, has two broad tucks in front and closes at the center of the back in lap or duchess style.

Fashions of Today - Summer Styles in Women's Fashion - July 1903

Today's Fashions - July 1903 - Summer Styles

In the Summer styles long, flowing lines, sloping shoulder effects, quaint collars and berthas are extremely picturesque, and never before have materials lent themselves with such grace to the fashionable modes.

Today’s Fashions – October 1903

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.

Today’s Fashions – November 1903

Today’s Fashions – November 1903

Sloping shoulders—in fact, the elimination of all shoulder lines—is a distinctive feature of the newest modes, and this is accomplished not only through the shaping of the garment but by the disposition of the trimming as well.

Today’s Fashions – December 1903

Today’s Fashions – December 1903

The sleeve is an important part of the Winter frock, and upon the manner in which it is fashioned the success of a gown largely depends. There was never a time when sleeves showed more diversity, and though certain general lines are imposed, there is infinite variety in detail.

Sketch 1 - Women's Fashions - World Of Dress - 1906

World of Dress Fashions - 1906

In this 1906 installment, Mrs. Aria (Eliza Davis) reviews the latest fashions for women that were worn in the early 1900s on board the First Saloon and possibly Second-Class sections of the transatlantic steamships.

Sketch 1: The World of Dress - Women's Fashions - 1907

World of Dress Fashions - 1907

The World of Dress, an article by Mrs. Aria that appeared in the 1907 edition of the Cunard Daily Bulletin Fashion & Pleasure Resort Supplement provides an excellent review of the latest in Women's fine fashions at the turn of the twentieth century.

Sketch 1 - The World of Dress - 1908

World of Dress Fashions - 1908

"We are waiting anxiously for the arrival of the Americans," have been the cheering words of the London purveyors of the frock luxurious during the recent " slump."

No. 11-4-1. A Handsome Beaded Costume

Spring Embroidery Fashions - 1911

Two things are very evident this season: first, the vast amount of hand embroidery which is being used and secondly, the preponderance of color. While color has been used to some extent heretofore, it has never been made such a conspicuous feature of summer embroideries.

Tea Gown or Afternoon Dress

Fashion Forecast for The Spring Season - January 1912

With each succeeding year, January is becoming more and more closely associated with Spring, not in the least owing to any change in climatic conditions, but to the fact that merchants and manufacturers begin to display their cotton materials as soon as their Christmas things are out of their windows.

Illustration 75 of Women's Vanguard of Fashion

The Vanguard of Fashion - 1912

The coming season promises much brilliancy of coloring, with a swing back of the pendulum to the period of Louis XV. and Louis XVI. and even earlier to that of the Directoire and the early years of last century.

Garment Fashions for Spring 1915

Spring Garment Fashions - 1915

Despite the fact that suit manufacturers and designers are depending largely upon their own ideas for the construction of their spring models, it is evident from the few models seen at the end of the year, that there will be quite as much diversity of style in the spring lines as has characterized the lines for the last three or more seasons.

Bordered tan pussy willow silk dress in attractive design.

Spring Clothing Fashions - 1915

There is a general harmony of style idea with regard to the new silhouette. This it is agreed will be the fuller skirt and a more gradual return to the normal waistline.

Evening Gown of Black Silvered Brocade, By Hickson

The Importance of Dress - March 1919

Dress has much to do with a first impression. That is why it is safe to say that the Patronesses of this magazine will be interested to read a little about the fashions that are de rigueur at the moment, and of the many new phases of dress that may be expected soon to follow.

Afternoon Gown in Blue and Silver Brocade by Callot

Flirtatious Fashions for Women - April 1919

The American woman rarely looks backward, but if she did this today, she would find that the extraordinary chaos which exists in fashions in this country and Paris has had its parallel in all stupendous wars.

Fall 1922 Hat Styles

Fall Clothing Styles Summary - 1922

A superb summary of styles for the Fall 1922 season from Dry Goods Economist covers Silhouettes, Sleeves, Suits, Coats, Furs, Skirts, Blouses, Fabrics, Millinery (Headwear), Children's Wear, Lingerie, Corsets, Gloves, Neckwear, Veils, Hosiery, Laces, Trimmings, Ribbons, Handkerchiefs, Bags (Purses), and Jewelry.

In The Path of the Fashion Purchaser

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories 1906

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories - 1906

There is subtle and convincing charm about the clothes at Jay's, of Regent Street. To this sartorial creed I will undertake to convert any woman, provided that she follows the course I lay down for her fashionable guidance, and earnestly investigate certain new gowns shown me this morning.

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories 1907

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories - 1907

Each well-known establishment has its specialty, its pronounced characteristics, and its exclusive clientele, so that the alert society woman familiar with her modern Babylon can guess which famous decorator is responsible for the success of a certain drawing-room or boudoir, and for which celebrated Maison de modes a hat or gown emanates.

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories 1908

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories - 1908

With the advent of what promises to be a more than usually brilliant season, the novelty-strewn path of the purchaser may easily develop into a royal road to success, social, sartorial, and diversely.

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories 1912

Shopping for Fashions & Accessories 1912

Shopping in London was a lot easier in 1912 with this synopsis of some of the more exquisite shops along with description of their specialty items. The Cunard Line created this annual report for publication in their magazine, the Cunard Daily Bulletin.

Other Fashion Pieces

Wedding Presents, Past and Present

Wedding Gifts, Past and Present

From the very earliest ages records have been handed down to us of the offerings made to the contracting parties by their relatives and friends, and of the gifts of enormous value claimed upon such occasions from their vassals, by sovereigns and feudal chiefs.

Historical Bonnets of Queen Victoria's Reign

History of Bonnets During Queen Victoria's Reign

At the first glance it might appear impossible for bonnets to have historical interest; but, if we investigate the subject with a little care, we shall find a decided history attaching itself to bonnets and hats, and one that also typifies the times.

Silk Velvet Wrap

Silk Fabrics in Fashion - 1916

Silk Fabrics which are most talked about in the silk market today are satins, taffetas, Georgettes and crepe de chine. But there are others.

In fact, no buyer of silks can go far wrong in his purchases during the present season.

Made in USA - Uncle Sam

Made in U.S.A. Movement - 1915

It is quite probable that this shortage will not be acutely felt until well along into the Spring, and will result from at least three causes, namely, the difficulty of securing labor abroad, impaired shipping facilities and scarcity of raw materials.

 

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Vintage Fashions Archives 1880s-1930s