Year 1890-1894




Jacket Semi-fitted, narrow shoulders, single-breasted, high fastening, small collar, narrow lapels, patch pockets, flap pockets, wool cloths, tweeds.
Waistcoat Fitted, single-breasted, collarless, high fastening, wool cloths, patterned velvet.
Trousers Narrow to hems; wool cloths.
Shirt Stiff stand collar and cuffs, turn down collars, plain fronts, linen and  cotton.
Colour Dark and subdued,  blue,  grey, brown, green, black popular.
Accessories Top hats, bowlers, homburgs, caps, cravats, bow ties, and neck ties, gloves, elastic sided boots, lace up  shoes, walking canes.



1890: Day wear. British. Double breasted coat, high fastening to under narrow lapels, breast pocket with silk handkerchief, cut away front skirts, saddle stitched edges. Tight black striped trousers. White shirt ,black cravat. Black silk top hat. Black boots, patent leather toecaps. Leather gloves. (JP)









1892, Worth tailored suit. This wool suit shows late 19th century influences. It has a velvet collar and is worn with  a  waistcoat and blouse with a stock and chitterling-like frill. The skirt has a kick pleat in the back to facilitate walking. A man's straw skimmer and a walking stick complete the ensemble.     * 1893 Worth evening gown. This elegant ball gown is of sky blue damask with a pattern of pink chrysanthemum  petals, and layers of embroidered lace tulle. A fine pair of shoulders and an ample bosom where among the requirements of an Edwardian beauty, who was referred  to as a "stunner."      *


1893, Worth Wool Cloak. This cloak has puffed oversleeves   and undersleeves with wide cuffs op Persian lamb that match the high collar and its revers. The bodice is embroidered with rows of jet that fall in loose loops  over the top of the skirt. The hat is of braid lace and feathers. *  1894, Bicycle dress (probably by Creed). Turkish trousers were introduced by the sport of bicycling, and are here seen with a short double breasted jacket. Both jacket and trousers are of velveteen and are worn with cloth gaiters to match. The fur and velveteen hat is topped by two peacock plumes.     *


1890 - 1910: Gored Skirt Era

Skirts: gored panels, with front and sides smooth across the hips. All fullness held at the CB (exception of soft materials in the 1900s where they are gathered all around).

In silhouette, the skirt was narrow in 1890, 1900 and 1910, but wide in 1895 and 1905.

In 1890s, skirt interlinings are heavy and stiff. In 1900s, the linings are lighter and separate from the main skirt.


Bodices: many seams and all boned through the 1890s. Some linings were separate, but they were complex with seams etc. while the outer fabric could be cut in one piece. The outer fabric was tucked or gathered to give it shape. Tailored garments would be cut with the lining, all seams showing. In 1900s the front bodice was pouched so that is hung over the waist. In 1890s the armholes were cut in deep, normal in the 1900s.

Wing like collar effects in the ‘90s and round yokes in 1900s. From 1905 the look becomes more vertical. High waists around 1907 to 1910. Bodices can fasten at the front with hooks and eyes, often only on the lining and concealed by the outer fabric. Buttons, often quite large in the 1890s and smaller in the 1900s. Most evening bodices fasten at the back. Snaps, or press studs, were invented in the 1890s but were not in common usage until the 1900s

Sleeves: 1890: tight with some vertical height at top. 1891-1892 they become "watermelon" shaped. 1893-1896 they become "basketball" shaped and very large. Sleeve collapses from 1897-1899, often with small puff at the head. Tight in 1900, with ruffle at the wrist. 1901-1903, lower sleeve grows in size. 1904, fullness on upper arm.

1904 - 1908, multi layers. 1907 -1910, sleeve becomes tight again.

Sleeves are lined throughout. Evening sleeves often have drapey ruffle at the elbow in the 1900s, and can be quite small in the 1890s.

Deborah V. McKeown 1997



Where marked (JP) the text is by John Peacock from his book Men's Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook, 1996 Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. Reproduced by kind permission of Thames & Hudson Ltd, London.

Where marked * Picture and notes are based on notes from Dover Publications.