Thursday, 23 April 2015

The New Fashions

From Mother and Home magazine, April 3rd 1915.


These Designs Show You Some of the Prettiest Points in Spring- Fashions. The Raglan Sleeve is Very Popular for the Plain Coat and Skirt, while for a Dainty Spring Frock there is Nothing Nicer than the New Hip-Yoke.


The war has brought about a great change in fashions.  All the styles are so much simpler than they used to be, and, personally, I think this is a change very much for the better.  The new wide skirt has become enormously popular, and with very good reason too, since it is womanly, modest, and, above all, extremely practical.

I would like to talk to you about the wide skirt, because, although it is so attractive, you need to know just how to put it on and how it should hang.  At present the most popular shape is the full circular skirt which is usually cut with a seam down the centre back.  With this type of skirt you have to be particularly careful that it does not dip on the hips, or at the back.
Other full skirts are arranged with much fulness at the waist.  This does not suit every figure, so that there is a very welcome alternative in the full skirt which is fitted to a hip-yoke.  The design for a frock on this page will show you just what I mean.
When you put on the new full skirt you should pull it well down in front, as nothing can look uglier than a skirt which runs up in front.
The new full skirts are made at various widths at the hem.  Just now the most popular width is about 2¾ yards [about 2.5 m.] round the bottom, though some are wider, others narrower, than this width.

The popularity of the full skirt has meant that the costume coats have become much shorter than those which we were wearing in the autumn.  Many of the new coats are cut with quite short basques finished with a neat belt at the waist.  Some of the more advanced designs are arranged as very short sacque shapes, almost like the old-fashioned bolero.

It is only to be expected that military fashions will be very popular this spring.  Many of the new coats and skirts are braided, and some are seen fitted with large pockets similar to those on the familiar khaki tunic.  High military collars are very popular, and many of the coats are arranged with tab fastenings, which are particularly attractive and smart.  Some of the new blouses and dresses are finished with sailor collars—so that the Navy is not forgotten!

Small hats continue to be very popular this spring.  The small sailor shapes are particularly suited to the new styles.  There is very little trimming employed, but flowers arranged in tiny wreaths, or sometimes as a mount, are popular.  Some hats are shown with quaint old-fashioned posies of tiny flowers fixed in the centre front.
One of the most practical designs in the new hats is the plain shape with fairly narrow brim, made of taffetas, and generally quite simply trimmed with ribbon and small sprays of flowers.  I am sure you will find this type of hat useful, as it does not get out of shape and will stand quite hard wear.
The new straws with a very bright shiny surface are very pretty, and they are wonderfully light too.
Some of the newest models are made of a combination of straw and silk, which is both smart and novel.

Sailor collar

"Just the plain, sailor collar such as sailors wear is very popular at present. It is often made of silk or satin, finished with gold or silver braidings."

[Mother and Home was a weekly magazine, costing 1d.  (a penny).  Readers could buy the patterns for the 'costume' (coat and skirt) and the dress. 

The full skirt was a radical change from the previous fashion for very narrow (and longer) skirts.  There were comments in the press about the extravagant use of fabric in war-time, but they seem to have had no effect on the fashion industry.   

I like the idea that a collar  "of silk or satin, finished with gold or silver braidings" was anything like the plain collar worn by sailors. ]

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