Monday, 10 August 2015

Fashions in Skirts

From the Illustrated London News, 7th August, 1915.


THERE has never been in my recollection a season in which the dress described and depicted as "fashionable" was so little to be seen in real life as is the case this year.  Hardly one woman in thousands even attempts to look like a current fashion-plate at present, and only restrained and quiet styles are worn even by rich Society ladies.  This is easily to be understood.  .... the actual dress worn represents now partly the lack of money and partly how we all feel the seriousness of life at present.

However, some new clothes are indispensable, and by degrees change comes about.  Fuller skirts are thoroughly establishing themselves; and to buy, at however low a price, a narrow skirt, unless it can be taken into wear and disposed of immediately, is most short-sighted and unwise.  Very full skirts are as inconvenient as the absurdly tight ones that some women have been wearing, and such a moderate fullness and slight swirl as is now usually made—inordinately wide ones being really not seen—is most sensible.  Especially will it be desirable to retain but a slight increase of fullness in the new autumn skirts, when the heavier fabrics proper to the coming colder weather have also weight of their own which it is detrimental to health to increase by unnecessary fullness of cut. ...


Some skirts are to be cut on the umbrella or circular principle; others have a fitted hip-yoke, with a fuller portion put on below it; and, yet again, fine, soft, and pliable materials in fine wool or silk and wool are conveniently fitted to the hips by several rows of gauging, the material thence falling loosely at its own will.

A reliable forecast is of the use of fur rather largely for trimmings this autumn.  Basques in some form are to be fashionable, and short skirts will remain in use.  The combination of a certain degree of full "flare" and shortness of the skirts is an indication that petticoats are to be worn, naturally fairly close-fitting; taffetas and satin are the best materials, and the make need not be at all elaborate, since the short skirt is, of course, never held up to show the under-skirt. ...


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