Here’s an elegant update to a classic style. This older woman wears all the components of the classic shirtwaist look–a white blouse and a dark skirt–that had been an American fashion standard for years. However, the fur trim added to the bottom of the skirt makes it fancy instead of everyday. Luxurious details also add to the look. The skirt appears to be a heavy silk and even the white blouse has a few surprises, like the little dangle we can see hanging from one sleeve.
I chose the mid 1910s as the probable date for this photo because of her skirt length and shoes. And do you think her hair is short? Or did she tuck her longer hair in the back, giving a short look to the front? This technique is described in detail on the blog Witness to Fashion. In either case, she might have been influenced by the trend for short hair initiated by Irene Castle in the mid teens.
For those of us who sew, this is a lesson on how to add special details to a basic look to create something entirely out of the ordinary.