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A timeline history of Shoes and Fashion

The 1900's:
Baseball, HEALTH CORSETs & kewpie dolls
 

WHAT’S GOING ON? 
How on earth to ever describe the 1900’s? It’s not like some famous thing just jumps into your head like some other decades. Edwardian anyone? Croquette? A Room With A View? Seemed such a sweet era.  New ideas were brewing in the arts and sciences.  Teddy Roosevelt was president.  Edward the VII and Queen Alexandra were the glamorous rulers of England.
mucha



<Left: Detail. F. Champenois advertisement poster. Alphonse Mucha. c. 1900.






And no era is complete without some kind of war, hence The Russian Revolution.  And there was the first World Series. And there were a slew of great inventions: the model T being the finest, along with the vacuum cleaner, crayons, teddy bears, Popsicles, subways, the theory of relativity, the FBI and the Kewpie doll. And what would your life be like without singing “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” in the shower? Huh? Thought so. 

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WOMEN’S FASHIONS
Women’s fashion at the turn of the century was beautiful and romantic.  Until you hear the details.  Enter the S-bend health corset.  Yes, I said “health” corset, the oxymoron to beat all oxymorons. The health corset helped women to breathe more freely.  It was designed to support and raise the abdomen instead of compressing it and forcing it downwards, thereby removing pressure from the female organs which was customary with all corset’s prior.  Mmmm.  Sounds delightful.a room with a view




Right: A Room With A View. 1985. Directed by James Ivory.>

 


But I’m not done.  Not only did she have to endure NOT pressuring her female organs down by pressuring somewhere else, she wore a boned (only lightly, mind you. comfort city) bodice which was fastened up by hooks and eyes.  (because there is nothing like easy on, easy off hooks and eyes) Snazzy up the whole thing up with cascading lace and gathered fabric for added effect and she's good to go.  What?  Still too comfortable? How about a nice high collar made of scratchy lace that reached right up under the chin and twist it up into a series of (more) hooks and eyes and some wire. Don’t get me started on the monobossom. 
the s corset



<Left: The "S-curve" corset. 1906.









And now that her upper half is traumatized for life let’s move onto the bottom half. Skirts were trumpet bell shaped and as gentle flowing as a lily.  Wait, that wasn’t so bad, now was it?  Oh, I almost forgot. Toss on a HUGE hat.  With a big feather. 

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WOMEN’S SHOES

As usual, women’s legs were never shown and feet were only glimpsed once in a while when sitting down so stockings and hose weren’t high up on the fashion must haves. 
1900's boot




Right: Canadian black leather boot. 1900>







The wealthy women wore silk stockings in dark colors and handmade shoes and boots with pointed toes and a two or three inch heel.  Silk or fine kid was used for the dressy styles with buckles or bows as decoration and that completely matched their whole outfit. 

1900's silk shoes




<Left: Edwardian rhinestone beaded silk dress shoes. c. 1900.






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MEN’S FASHION

Men were pretty much gussied up all the time. Evening attire was worn at all formal occasions after seven o'clock and consisted of coats shaped at the waist with tails cut at an angle and full trousers or dinner jacket/tuxedo made of vicuna or dress cloth. 
1900's man




Right: Detail. F. Bisuits Lefevre Utile advertisment poster. Alphonse Mucha. 1900.>






Tuxedos were worn even in the summer at hotel hops, ordinary evening entertainments in the country and all other most fashionable watering holes.  Shirts were white, gold or pearl buttoned, collars attached or unattached and finished off with a big top hat or derby. 

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MEN’S SHOES:
As stated in the previous decade men's shoes basically remained the same with little variation throughout the many decades ahead. This decade is no exception. Colors expanded at bit to include brown and gray to go along with the must have black and toes came in a variety of styles including pointed, rounded and ovals.

For more images of 1900's shoes, please visit my Styles Gallery.

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~KBCreations. Copyright 2006

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