In the early 1900’s, the gored trumpet shaped skirts of the 1890’s remained. One change is to the shape of the bodice. The corset worn with this type of dress is straight in the front. This causes the hips to tilt backwards creating the fashionable “Grecian Bend” shape of this period. There is a lot of fullness in the bust, resulting in a “pigeon breasted” shape (the mono-bosom). Obviously, this is not very good for your back! The ladies below have it totally going on, but most live women during this period do not look nearly so extreme.


Hats continue to be big and covered with decoration. Some fascinating fashion accessories from this period are the hat pins. They are HUGE. They used to fend off muggers with them! Over the first two decades of the 19th century the hats being to shrink. I don’t know this for certain, but speaking from experience, this may be because of the increasing need to fit into cars, elevators, phone booths, and other confined spaces recognizable to the modern person. Also at this time women began to work in the outside world as secretaries, teachers, and nurses more frequently. It also became fashionable to exercise. None of these things are easy to do in an extreme costume.

Hairdos from this period are big and poofy. How do you do this? Rats. Not the kind with the naked little tails, but the kind that look like a mesh sponge. They can be obtained shaped like a sausage or a bun. To create the “Gibson Girl” hairdo, you use one bun and two sausages, wrapping your hair around these devices. It is nearly impossible to drive in this type of get-up and even getting in a car is a delicate operation

Charles D Gibson gave his name to this era. He was a fashion illustrator who captured the public imagination with his drawings of free spirited, “modern” young women in these styles of clothing.