Category Archives: 1910s

A Uniform for the Old–A Lace Collar on a Black Dress

Last week’s photo reminded me that the black dress with a lace collar served as a kind of uniform for the old in the first half of the twentieth century.  The outfit combines two elements deemed necessary in any older … Continue reading

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What to Wear in Your Electric Car, 1915

Everything old is new again. Electric cars might seem to be the latest thing, but they were were already popular in the US a hundred years ago.  It turns out that some of the most enthusiastic drivers were well-off city … Continue reading

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The Styles of 1914

In the world of high fashion impracticality, the stylish silhouettes of 1914 look especially odd to contemporary eyes.  They included a long tunic that billowed around the hips with a very narrow skirt at the bottom. On her blog Witness … Continue reading

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Staging Fashion

Before the era of film, women went to the theater to discover how the latest looks would move on real women’s bodies. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there was a partnership between leading actresses and the fashion … Continue reading

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The Comedy of Clothes by Jessie Gillespie, 1914

The idea of “who wore it better,” so popular in supermarket magazines, is apparently nothing new.  Jessie Gillespie, an illustrator for the New York Tribune and the Washington DC Evening Star, published witty observations of current styles.  Above are her … Continue reading

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Nations Parade, July 4 1911

Here is an unusual Fourth of July parade picture showing older Chinese American women taking part in New York City.  The fascinating photo is in the on line collection of the Museum of the City of New York.  I went … Continue reading

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Georgia O’Keeffe in Pants

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was not only a famous artist, she was also a famous artist’s model.  Her career as a serious subject of photographs began when she took up with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who later became her husband.  It … Continue reading

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Portrait with Chair, ca. 1910

This dignified portrait of an older African American woman comes from the studio of the photographer Michael Francis Blake in Charleston, South Carolina. According to the records at Duke University, most of his customers were black.  The studio was apparently … Continue reading

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The Panama-Pacific Exhibition, Part Two: The Shirtwaist

  While some women dressed for the Panama Exhibit as if going to a party, others chose everyday wear. To the left of the fancy matrons in the middle of the photo are three older women wearing shirtwaist and skirt … Continue reading

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The Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, 1915—Part One: The Elegant Matron

This is a reposting from the early years of my blog. This panoramic photo comes from the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair, known as the Panama Pacific International Exhibition because it celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal.  My resourceful … Continue reading

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