Year 1900-1904



Jacket Fitted, narrow shoulders, single-breasted, three button fastening, narrow cuff less sleaves, lapels, patch and flap pockets, small collars, narrow lapels, wool cloths, linen and cotton.
Waistcoat Fitted, single-breasted, collarless, high fastening, wool cloths, to match jackets, sometimes not worn.
Trousers Straight, narrow to hems, turn-ups, centre creases, wool cloths.
Shirt Stiff stand collar and cuffs, plain fronts, plain linen, later striped  cotton with attached collars.
Colour Dark colours as before, some lighter: cream, brown, grey.
Accessories Bowlers hats, boaters, homburgs, caps, bow ties, and neck ties, leather and cotton gloves, elastic sided boots, lace up  shoes, walking sticks.



1901: Sports and leisure wear. British. Touring. Two piece brown wool tweed suit: single-breasted jacket, high fastening, narrow lapels, box pleat from middle shoulder to waist, buttoned belt, stitched cuffs, button detail, hip level flap pockets, top stitched edges and detail; wide breeches, deep button cuffs. White shirt, wing collar. Narrow tie. Knee-high stockings. Brown leather ankle boots, pointed toes. Brown tweed cap. Leather gloves. Walking stick. (JP)







1900 Dre'coll    promenade gown with dotted net trim.   *  1900 Afternoon dress with heavy cotton lace trim.     *


  1900 Callot Soeurs dinner gown.   *  Paquin town dress. Raspberry taffeta      *


  1. A young girl, wearing a gown from about 1900. The fashionable features include a soft fronted over bodice which pouches over the belt, sleeves which are tight at the top and full at the wrist, and decorative bands on the bottom third of the skirt to accentuate the flared hem. She is about 16 years old because her dress does not yet reach the ground.


Comments By Kay Inverarity


10.     A Woman of about 1900 fashionably dressed in a dark coloured silk bodice and non-matching skirt of a heavier fabric. The yolk of the bodice is ruched and this ruching continues down the sleeves. Wide hats made of light materials such as chiffon or tulle supported on a wire frame were popular at this time. These confections gave the illusion of floating upon the fashionable bouffant hairstyles.

Comments By Kay Inverarity


14.   This woman wears a day outfit c1900. The skirt now fits closely over the hips and flairs from the knees. At this time decorative features on skirts were concentrated below knee level. The long parasol and hat are typical.

Comments By Kay Inverarity


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.