The Style of the 1910’s:
The 1910 and 1920’s saw fashion start to emerge in a less formal style. Dresses started to utilize a style that did not require the women to be wearing a corset. Softer lines and looser clothing was used to be draped over a women’s figure rather than trying to make one’s body fit the clothing. While some conservative women would hold on to the corset for a few years, many modern women lost the corset in the beginning of the 1910’s. (Kass. 7)
As motoring became more prevalent in society, the clothing changed to meet this new trend. There was an increased demand for clothing that would not be affected by wind and dust. Women were embracing more freedom as sports like tennis and golf were opened to them. As a result, the need for looser clothing allowing more mobility came about. In addition to social changes, there were also political motivations behind changing styles. World War I started in the mid 1910’s and materials experienced a brief moment of rationing. Clothing designs became simpler in nature to reduce the amount of materials used. Women’s clothing experienced a dramatic change as skirt lengths decreased and trousers were considered fashionable to wear for working women. (Pendergast, 666)
Clothing for the Decade of the 1910’s:
Pictured above are residents of Mahwah during the 1910’s. Men’s fashion did not seem to change all that much from the 1900’s to the 1910’s. The man pictured above is wearing a “Slack Suit”. The material is of a simpler nature and style but other than that, the fashion of the times remained the same. The young girl has a much more noticeable change. Where as the 1900’s saw even children wearing traditionally extravagant clothing, this young girl is wearing a rather plain coat. This was the beginning of a pull away from the styles of the 1900’s and the simpler design would carry over into the 20’s.
The children of Mahwah began to dress simpler as well. On the top two photos we see how both outdoor and indoor styles became less extravagant. The outdoor jacket is of a plain material and lacks any real ornamentation aside from a few buttons on the exterior. The photo on the right shows a similar story. While it still retains a slightly lavish appearance, there is a strong lack of frills and draped extra fabric. This style is confirmed to be common among residents of Mahwah in the class photo on the bottom. Most of the children seen to be lacking any showy clothing and are embracing a simpler style. Also worth noting are the adults in the background have also begun to wear a simpler style. Most corsets have also been abandoned and replaced with an elastic version called a girdle in an effort to ration the steel frame.
This was a sit-down photo taken close to the turn of the century. Here one can see the change from the old style to the new one. The women on the right appears to be still wearing the loose extravagant style of the 1900’s. The fabric appears to be of expensive quality and design. The women on the left however is embracing a much simpler design. The fabric isn’t quite as layered and is of a much simpler quality. Even the children’s gown is of a much simpler texture and quality. Men’s fashion did not change all that much from the 1900’s to the 1910’s aside from the quality of the Slack Suit.