Women’s Fashion Through the Decades: 1910s


Brook Vitovsky, Features Editor

In the 1910s, many big events occurred from the women’s suffrage movement to the start and end of WWI. Many of these events changed the clothing style and a new trend called Orientalism was starting to become popular.

By the beginning of 1910 and throughout to 1919, women’s fashion became less “uptight” and began to have more flow and comfort. And, in 1913, a women’s suffrage movement occurred. The National Museum of American History reported that many women used their clothing to express the message they wanted to get across, by wearing white clothing, along with purple and yellow.

 Corsets were still being worn but instead of constricting the waist, like the Edwardian corsets, it was made to slim a women’s waist without constricting. Then in 1917, when the U.S. joined WWI, the U.S. War Industries asked women to stop buying them so they could save metal for production. But even with this, some women still wore the corsets. As explained by Bellatory.com, corsets were “obliterated” by Paul Poiret.

Poiret also popularized Orientalism, creating a new fashion trend. According to the Fashion-Era, Poiret designed glowing lampshade tunics and turbans with beaded embellishment, also adding fur since it was a symbol of Orientalism. Many of his inspirations came from the ballets of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe. Ching Cheng, from So I Research, commented that “All these oriental fantasies and lively colours earned him the description, ‘Pasha Paris’.” Poiret’s designs gave a mystical addition to the decade.

As the fashion in 1910 shifted away from the Edwardian era, the clothing became more lively and colorful, leading into the glorious 20s.