How to date your family photographs from fashion in the 1900s

It’s the daybreak of a brand new century in our weblog collection on courting previous images from style: the 1900s, also referred to as the Edwardian period.  

This decade noticed the arrival of the primary mass-marketed digital camera, referred to as ‘the Brownie’, which enabled the taking of much less formal, extra relaxed household images. This one from my household’s assortment, which was taken at Christmas 1901, is an efficient instance.

Christmas at Balham, 1901

You may additionally have come throughout some image postcards of relations from this period – because of Kodak introducing, in 1903, a digital camera designed for postcard-size movie. This meant anybody might take images and have them printed on postcards.

However color images will nonetheless be uncommon, regardless of the primary sensible color images course of (‘autochrome’) being developed on this decade. It produced color transparencies, however these might solely be seen by mirrored gentle, so weren’t very helpful. Analysis into different processes continued.

As for style, clothes started to be consumed at the next tempo, and that is the last decade during which the transition from buying tailor-made garments to purchasing them ready-made in outlets started.

Girls’s style

As seen within the {photograph} above, separates have been in style with ladies within the 1900s, with skirts fitted over the hip and fluted in direction of the hem. The S-bend corset was modern: it thrust the hips backwards and compelled the chest ahead, emphasised with puffed, frilly blouses that have been typically embellished with decorations equivalent to lace collars, buttons and broad ribbon ties.

The colors have been both pastels or the standard set of a white shirt and a black skirt. (It was round this time, in step with the combat for ladies’s rights, that some ladies additionally started to put on extra masculine garments, equivalent to shirts and ties and darker colors extra related to males and critical work.)

Modern ladies wore their hair in a centre parting, typically looped round pads and false hair to create a large ‘brim’ of hair across the hairline. This coiffure was worn underneath huge, broad-brim hats with low crowns, and adorned throughout with flowers, lace, ribbons and feathers.

Girls wore tea robes for social occasions at residence, but in addition for dinner events, because it was now thought-about socially acceptable to put on them outdoors the home. That they had a excessive collar, although decrease neckline for the night, with ruffles and lace on the sleeves and bust, and sometimes a mini-trail.

1900s female fashion


Males wore three-piece lounge fits with bowler hats or material caps, relying on their social standing. Jackets have been slender with small, excessive lapels. Most collars have been starched and upstanding, with the corners pointing downwards. Some males wore their collars turned down, with rounded edges and fashionable knotted ties.

Beards have been now reserved for primarily older males, and most younger males sported neat moustaches and brief hair.

Ladies and boys

Ladies wore knee-length attire with trimmings on the hem equivalent to lace and embroidery. Within the spring and summer time, they wore white cotton attire in mushy pastel colors in fundamental stripes or tiny florals.

They normally wore black sneakers or button-up boots, and woollen stockings, and kidskin or crochet gloves. Hair was typically worn lengthy and curly, with decorations of ribbon. For play, bloomers and woollen jerseys have been acceptable.

Modern clothes for boys included sailor fits, consisting of a shirt with a sailor collar, and trousers or knickerbockers. In addition they wore tunics or “Russian blouses” which allowed them to maneuver freely. Like younger women, boys typically wore lengthy stockings to cowl up the remainder of their legs.

Subsequent decade

Look out for our subsequent weblog on courting style from images within the 1910s – a decade of two halves: the primary, characterised by a wealthy and unique opulence; contrasting with the second, which was marked by the sombre practicality of clothes worn throughout WW1.