Girls’ fashion of the 1910s was a replica of women’s fashion of the same age. Knee-length outfits were worn mostly, with a trimmed hemline such as embroidery or lace works, similar to women’s lingerie styles of the age. Usually, girls wore black shoes or button-up boots along with woolen stockings. They also paired their outfits with crochet gloves or kidskin ones. Most girls kept long hair and enhanced their looks with decorative accessories. Designers of the Edwardian era tried to bring a change in the way people dressed, especially after the first world war came to an end. An effort was made to make dresses more flexible and comfortable. The Edwardian era prominently saw the replacement of Victorian bonnets with hats. Hats became a staple addition, whenever girls went out.
There’s nothing negative about the fashion trends of the 1910s, especially when it comes to girl’s clothing. Let’s explore each of the various outfits that were popularly worn by teen-age girls during the Edwardian era:
Teenage school-going girls had to strictly follow the school uniform. Schools had extremely strict rules, which everyone had to follow. Each school had different rules about hem length, hairstyles, and shoes. If anyone defied any rule, the student was met with severe punishments. In those times, even Guardian was called by school authorities. Until as late as the 1960s, girls in schools weren’t allowed to wear pants. Strictly, dresses and skirts had to be below the knee. Tops should be decent. Also, wearing jewellery inside the school premises was prohibited.
The clothes had to be long enough to keep the skin covered as much as possible. For schools, girls were required to wear loafers and saddle shoes. As we already said, different schools had different dress codes and rules and girls looked like professional, formal women much different from the carefree reckless teenagers they turned on weekends.
Blouses and long skirts were commonly worn. The skirts had to be strictly below knee length. But as time progressed, the length kept shortening. The skirts were in two different styles. They were either straight pencil cut ones or layered. Both styles were equally popular and girls wore them alternatively. It needs to be mentioned at skirts were of varying colours, solid or patterned, and made up of different materials for winter and spring. Initially in the 1910s, plaid pleated skirts were popular bur gradually the style faded away. However, throughout the decade, the plaid pattern was extremely common. The poodle skirt was the most famous type of skirt smon6 teenage girls.
Skirts in those days were made up of quilted cotton, wool, and other heavier cotton material that didn’t wrinkle. Every girl could customise the length or the style of her skirt. Most girls wore a single petticoat to their schools and several petticoats while going to parties, dances, or gatherings. To enhance the fullness of the skirts, some girls even wax ironed or stretched the skirts. It was extremely difficult to maintain the fluffiness and crinolines at the same time. Often girls had to face an embarrassing situation when the skirts flew up or went up when girls didn’t sit properly.
Mostly skirts could be worn without attaching a belt. But some girls added a broad belt, to enhance their look. The adding of the belt served another purpose though, it helped the blouses from going up. Belts were mostly black or white coloured. Also, the belts helped girls define their narrow waistlines, thus making them appear sizzling at parties and dances.
Girls paired button-down blouses with skirts, sometimes adding a belt to them. The blouses were perfectly pressed and maintained. During the daytime, girls had to make sure the blouses are properly tucked in under their skirt. Generally, girls wore white blouses because they could be matched with skirts of any colour. Blouses were available in a variety of collar designs. Most popular of all styles was the rounded Peter Pan collar type. The blouses were sometimes plain, while sometimes trimmed in sleeves and laces.
Often they had decorative stitchings. Some blouses were embellished with pintucks, minor ruffles, contrasting bows, and buttons. Full sleeved blouses were decorated with dots, floral prints, or geometric patterns. They were rarely white. The plaid full sleeve blouses looked like men’s casual shirts. However, these long sleeve blouses were worn on weekends. No matter what type of blouses you are wearing, every blouse had buttons, which went up to the top of their neck. The society in the 1910s left no scope to show immodesty.
Apart from blouses, finely knitted short sleeve sweater tops gained popularity during this age. The sweater tops were simple and comfortable to be worn and quickly replaced the light blouses. They were diversely coloured using pastels and decorated with beadworks or embroideries around the neckline. Sweater tops had either round or high necklines. They were short in length, enough to be tucked inside a skirt, but a more casual look than a formal one.
During winters, girls wore these sweater tops on top of full sleeve blouses. A popular variety of cardigans during the Edwardian era was the varsity sweater. They were generally white coloured with solid patterns. Another expensive sweater of the era was the fuzzy angora rabbit hair sweater. They were classy and gave a chic look. Apart from blouses and skirts, tying a neck scarf was also the trend in those days. The most common colours of scarfs found were pink, yellow, and white. These were the perfect addition to add a splash of colour to their look.
In short, teenage girls wore loose simple outfits mostly made up of linen or cotton. Sometimes velvet coats were also worn but on special occasions. With the increasing age of the girls, the length of their dresses kept becoming shorter. Throughout the decade, patterned fabrics, peter pan collars, and embroidery works were famous.