Five WW1 era day dresses
We recently had some of our beautiful costume collection photographed professionally as part of the ‘Wor Life’ project. This uncovered some beautiful day dresses from the First World War era that haven’t been seen in some time and here I’ll show you five of them and explain how they fit into a wider narrative of fashion before, during and after the First World War.
1910-1915 – TWCMS : J18138
This two piece outfit from just before the war shows the fashion for high necked lace collars.
1910-1915 (c) – TWCMS : J18137
This beautifully detailed muslin dress shows the move toward V-neck collars with the neck left bare. The blouson bodice was used to create a fullness around the bust.
1916 – TWCMS : J18225
This going away outfit from 1916 shows the move away from S-shaped figures towards more tubular figures. It also demonstrates the shorter wider skirts and also military influences that had started coming through in 1915, with large hip-level pockets.
1916-1918 – TWCMS : K1833
This afternoon gown dating from 1916-1918, shows the widening of skirts after the restrictive hobble skirts of the previous seven years.
1917-1920 – TWCMS : J18226
This dress and jacket outfit from the later years of the war demonstrates the move towards simpler lines and decoration in clothing. This was in part due to the fact that middle and upper class women no longer had housemaids to help them get dressed as they were all employed doing war work. The outfit also demonstrates the influence of military styles with the large hip-level and buttoned pockets and belted fastening.