Fashion Timeline

1805-1809 silk gown - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1800 to 1810

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The fashion canvas of the 18th century changed radically as the 19th century began and simpler, lighter brushstrokes were applied. Fashion in the first two decades mimicked classical Grecian drapery with its fluid lines. Bodices were minimal, cut to end under the bust thereby achieving a high waist that defined the silhouette. Necklines were predominantly low. Sleeves could be long or short. The fiddle-back bodice, with side, back and shoulder seams that were placed to


 1810 - 1814 silk dress with metallic trim - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1810 to 1820

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

From 1810 to 1820 dresses became slightly more structured with padded hems and firmer fabrics, such as twills and even some taffeta. Soft colors returned to fashion after a 10-year absence. Sleeves began to grow fuller at the shoulder and high waists endured throughout this period but lowered slightly as the years went by. Skirt hems widened ever so slightly. Fabric trimmings (often in the same fabric as the dress) were used extensively. Written by


 1820 - 1825 blue silk gown with Rouleau trim - Courtesy of antiquedress .com

Fashion Timeline : 1820 to 1830

Monday, September 13, 2010

As the Romantic era arrived, clothing became more complex and increasingly structured. The previous design simplicity was replaced with decorative excess. Horizontal hem treatments added focus to skirts. Wide lapels created shoulder emphasis and the sleeves and shoulders were further emphasized with extended wings. Surface ornamentation, color and print positively abounded. Three-dimensional effects in trimmings were achieved with padding. The waistline dropped much closer to its natural spot and was often accentuated by a wide


 1830 cotton dress - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1830 to 1840

Monday, September 03, 2012

In the 1830s, the first cross cut Gigot or Leg O’ mMtton sleeves appeared. The previous shoulder fullness dropped toward the elbow and sleeves became enormous. The waist resumed its natural position while necklines became very wide and bodice lines took on a highly distinctive V-shape. Ankle length skirts became quite full and needed several petticoats beneath for support. This produced the 19th century’s first version of an hourglass silhouette. As so often happens, when


1840s printed wool challis day dress - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1840 to 1850

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Gothic era arrived on the scene and fashion lines wilted into drooping ringlets and dragging skirts. Sleeves lost their fullness and became fitted; shoulders were extended below their natural line and skirt hems lowered to the floor. Generally necklines were worn high during the day and wide in the evening. The skirt became very domed in silhouette, requiring yet more petticoats to achieve the desired shape. Trimmings of tucks and pleats were used to


1855 day dress Flounced á Disposition - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1850 to 1860

Thursday, September 02, 2010

By 1855, the cage crinoline or hoop had swayed on to the scene and skirts expanded to their maximum size. Women were delighted to wear the cage as it provided relief from the weight of numerous petticoats and the plethora of undergarments that needed to be washed. The hoop was worn almost universally and could be seen on ladies, maids, the middle class and shop girls. Women working hard in fields and those scrubbing floors


1859 - 60 silk taffeta day dress - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1860 to 1870

Monday, January 07, 2013

So began the era of the skirt and it was to be 30 years before skirts were worn unhindered by support structures. The round hoop of 1860 evolved into an oval hoop by 1864. As the skirt developed, the back emphasis saw the creation of the first bustle, which had appeared by 1868. The big, soft, high and very draped bustle skirt enjoyed its popularity for 8 years. In the 1860s, the bodice waist became


1869 - 1870 brown silk moiré & velvet gown - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1870 to 1880

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the early 1870s the shoulders were allowed to return to the position nature intended. In 1876-78 the long line cuirass bodice appeared. This reached to the hips in all its molded, whale-boned glory. Day bodices had high necklines and fitted sleeves with pleated or ruffled cuffs at the wrists. The new look for evening was three-quarter length sleeves with a square neckline. In 1876, although the amount of skirt drapery remained constant (if not


 1880 French silk damask gown - Courtesy

Fashion Timeline : 1880 to 1890

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Popular demand brought back the bustle in 1883, but with changes. It was now worn at a lower placement with a narrower width. Dresses worn over this new frame were sturdier, being constructed in heavier fabrics such as velvet, satin and wool. Colors were darker with bottle green, deep wine, navy blue and black coming to the fore. Mercifully cotton and linen were used for summer. Drapery was harder and considerably more rigid than in


1898 blue & black striped wool dress - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1890 to 1900

Monday, September 06, 2010

In 1889 the bustle began to fade, possibly joined by its wearers! By 1891 just a tiny pad remained. The gathers at the back of the skirt remained until 1900. With the decline of the bustle, sleeves began to grow and the 1830s hourglass revival was well underway. Sleeves ballooned to proportions never seen before or indeed since – reaching their height in 1895-96. Leg O’ Mutton, Melon, Gigot and Balloon were a few of


1900 Brown and Cream Silk Dress  - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1900 to 1910

Sunday, June 03, 2012

As the Victorian era drew to its close, skirts for both day and evening were elongated at the back to form a train. The skirt’s silhouette was slim at the hip, achieved with pleating and smocking. Any fullness in the skirt was confined to below the knee. Decoration was applied using large and small tucks, hem ruffles, buttons and lace insertions. For day, ladies wore very high necks and the bosom was undefined with fullness


1910s burlesque bra - Courtesy of  poppysvintageclothing

Fashion Timeline : 1910 to 1920

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Shape and silhouette constantly evolved. More radical styles like the hobble skirt and the lampshade skirt each enjoyed their moment in the sun. The Edwardians became more playful and innovative, taking an interest in asymmetrical draping techniques. Considerably less boning was used in bodices and boning was now solely for supporting the shape as opposed to changing it. Suits were fashionable for daywear and walking was eased due to a really big fashion happening –


1920s silk & Point de Venice lace dress  - Courtesy of bctreasuretrove com

Fashion Timeline : 1920 to 1930

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

World War I ended and euphoria was the order of the day. Fashion responded by dropping waists to high hip levels and dresses became unfitted. While some gowns retained the design complexity of the Teens, the trend was toward Simplicity. Simple bodices, shaped using only a few tucks or shirring at the shoulders, or a little gather at the side seam reflected this new freedom. As the decade began hems lines perched above the ankle


 1930s satin crepe & sequins gown  -  Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1930 to 1940

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Great innovations in fashion were seen during the Depression despite the economic hardships of the time. The abbreviated, linear forms of the 1920s quickly gave way to sinuous shapes and longer hemlines. Waistlines returned to the natural position, while remaining relaxed in fit. Designers experimented with new cuts and new materials. For evening, the bias cut gown was favored (as created by Madeleine Vionnet) in silk velvet or silk satin. Synthetic fabrics such as rayon


1940s Adrian Original gabardine suit  - Courtesy of thespectrum

Fashion Timeline : 1940 to 1950

Monday, February 17, 2014

By the time the United States emerged from the Depression, Europe and much of Asia were already at war. Paris under Nazi occupation was a disaster for Haute Couture and one that gave great opportunity to the growing fashion industry in the United States. Women who were deprived of the latest fashions from Paris began to look to homegrown talent. Designers such as Norman Norell and Claire McCardell soon built a following. Mainbocher and Molyneux


 1950s Will Steinman dress  - Courtesy of pinkyagogo

Fashion Timeline : 1950 to 1960

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Dior’s 1947 New Look had symbolized a new hope and by the 1950s both the hope and the style were fully embraced. Hems fell and hems rose but the hourglass silhouette remained. In addition to the full skirt, slender pencil skirts were worn too. The emphasis on silhouette and form created a dependency on foundation garments – bullet bras, corselets, waist-cinchers and girdles pulled in, pushed out and persuaded while crinolines lifted and shaped full-circle


1960s screen print dress  - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1960 to 1970

Monday, August 30, 2010

The 1960s were greatly transitional. The decade opened with a continuation of the 1950s silhouette but ten years later the look was the virtual opposite. In the U.S. in 1961 John F. Kennedy took office as President, bringing with him a beautiful, young and fashion-inspiring wife as First Lady. Jackie Kennedy’s innate sense of style and dress soon made her ‘Queen’ of American fashion. The American designed short-jacketed sheath suits (at which U.S. based designer


1970s Gunne Sax dress -  Courtesy of vintagedevotion

Fashion Timeline : 1970 to 1980

Monday, March 17, 2014

The 1970s can be called Decade of Decadence, the ‘Me’ decade and the decade of excess and androgyny. Women emerged in the work place tenfold. Pantsuits, day wear, and separates with a sense of masculine style as echoed in the film ‘Annie Hall’ created a sensation with Diane Keaton wearing a fitted vest with a collared white shirt and men’s neckties. Skirts could be seen in a variety of lengths, mini midi or maxi! The


1980s asymmetrical dress  - Courtesy of

Fashion Timeline : 1980 to 1990

Friday, March 07, 2014

One word comes to mind when you think of the 1980s: BIG. Overconsumption, oversized and just plain over-the-top were cornerstone features in this decade of excess and materialism. It was a time of abundance, optimism and unabashed greed. Shoulder pads returned to fashion in a super-sized version, and the “power suit” reflected women’s emerging status in the workplace. The term “Yuppie” was coined as an acronym for the Young Urban Professional who was a career


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