Styling Tips for 1900s Women’s Fashion

If you’re someone who likes to experiment with fashion, then delving into the styles of the 1900s women’s fashion can be a great idea. The fashion industry has an extensive history of reimagining the styles of the past and presenting them in a contemporary way. However, attempting to nail the perfect vintage look is not always easy. From the correct materials to the right accessories, it’s important to understand the nuances of 1900s women’s fashion. In this article, we will be discussing styling tips for 1900s women’s fashion that can take you down memory lane while keeping your fashion game strong.

Styling Tips for 1900s Women's Fashion
Styling Tips for 1900s Women’s Fashion

The Fashion Trends of 1900s

If you’re fascinated by old fashion, then learning about the fashion of the 1900s is a must. Known as the Edwardian era, this decade was characterized by a shift from the Victorian era’s heavy clothing to lighter fabrics and looser silhouettes. Here are the fashion trends that defined the 1900s:

Bell-Shaped Skirts

Bell-shaped skirts were the iconic fashion trend of the 1900s. Women wore long skirts that flared out at the bottom to create a bell shape, often paired with a fitted waistcoat. The bell shape was achieved by layers of petticoats worn underneath the skirt, creating a voluminous effect. The skirts were made of lightweight fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen, and were often adorned with lace or embroidery.

Gibson Girl Hairstyles

The Gibson Girl was the iconic beauty of the 1900s, named after the illustrations created by artist Charles Dana Gibson. This look was achieved by wearing hair piled high on top of the head in a bouffant style, with long, loose curls cascading down the back. The Gibson Girl look was paired with a natural, fresh-faced makeup look, with a focus on rosy cheeks and stained lips.

Popular Accessories to Pair with Your 1900s Outfit

When it comes to fashion, it’s all in the details. Pairing the right accessories with your 1900s outfit can take your look from ordinary to outstanding. Here are some popular accessories to consider:


A parasol is not only a fashionable accessory, but it also serves a practical purpose. In the 1900s, it was considered unladylike to have a tan, so ladies would use their parasols to shield themselves from the sun. You can choose from a variety of colors and styles to complement your outfit. A lace parasol with intricate details would be perfect for a fancy occasion while a plain-colored parasol would be more suitable for everyday wear.


Gloves were another popular accessory for women in the 1900s. They were considered a must-have item in a lady’s wardrobe and were worn for both practical and fashion purposes. Gloves were used to keep hands warm in cold weather as well as to protect them from the sun. They also added elegance and sophistication to an outfit. A pair of elbow-length gloves in a neutral color such as beige or white would be a great addition to your 1900s look.

Lace Handkerchief

A lace handkerchief was a staple accessory for women in the 1900s. It was not only used to wipe away tears or to cover a sneeze, but it was also a fashion statement. A handkerchief with intricate lace details would add a touch of elegance to your outfit. You can keep it in your purse or tuck it in your sleeve for easy access.

How to Style Your Hair in Various 1900s Hairstyles

The 1900s were about glamour, with hairstyles being no exception. Women back then spent a lot of time on their hair and these iconic hairstyles are still celebrated and recreated today. Here are some tips on how to achieve the most popular 1900s hairstyles.

The Pompadour

The Pompadour was a high hairstyle with plenty of volume at the top and tight curls at the back. To get this look, start by backcombing the hair at the crown of your head, then smooth the top of your hair over this. Use bobby pins to keep it in place. Curl the remaining hair at the back and pin it. Finish off by using hairspray to fix the style in place.

The Low Chignon

The Low Chignon is a classic look that’s easy to achieve. For those with long hair, make a low ponytail and twist it around itself, securing it with bobby pins. If you have shorter hair that won’t make it into a full bun, create a low ponytail and then place the end of the ponytail under itself to form the bun. Take out a few strands of hair at the front to soften the look. Finish it off with a light misting of hairspray.

The Marcel Wave

The Marcel Wave is a hairstyle that was popular throughout the 1900s. It’s characterized by deep, defined waves that look like a series of “s” shapes. To get this look, start by using a waving/crimping iron to create deep waves in your hair. If you don’t have this iron, curl your hair with thin tongs and then, once the hair is cool, use your fingers to separate each curl into smaller curls. Hold these curls in place using setting lotion and hairspray, remove the clips and brush your hair through to give it a wavy appearance.

Materials and Colors of 1900s Fashion

1900s fashion was influenced by the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements. The styles were feminine, with the use of luxurious materials such as silk, lace, and velvet. The color palette was also soft and delicate with pale and pastel hues.

Popular Fabrics

Silk was the most popular fabric during this period. It was used to create delicate, flowing dresses that emphasized a woman’s curves. Synthetic fabrics, such as rayon and viscose, were also introduced during this time, but they were not as widely used as silk. Lace was also a popular detail that added a touch of elegance and femininity to dresses and blouses.

Color Palette

The color palette of 1900s fashion was soft and delicate, with pastel shades of pink, blue, yellow and green being popular choices. The colors were often muted or subdued, creating a gentle and refined look. Black, navy blue, and white were also common colors used in both day and evening wear.

Patterns and Prints

Floral patterns were the most popular during this period. The Art Nouveau movement heavily influenced the use of flowers and natural motifs in fashion. Simple geometric shapes were also used, but they were not as prevalent as floral patterns. Prints were often small and delicate, adding a touch of femininity to the overall look.


  • Hats: Wide-brimmed hats, bonnets, and small hats were popular accessories during this period. They were often adorned with feathers, flowers, and ribbons to add a touch of whimsy and elegance to the outfit.
  • Gloves: Women wore gloves as a fashion accessory during the day and evening. They were made of silk or cotton and often matched the color of the dress.
  • Jewelry: Pearls were the preferred choice of jewelry during this period. They were often worn as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Brooches and hair accessories were also popular.

Where to Shop for 1900s-Inspired Clothing

If you’re looking to channel the elegant and feminine style of the 1900s in your wardrobe, there are plenty of places to find vintage or vintage-inspired clothing and accessories. From brick-and-mortar boutiques to online retailers, you can easily recreate the fashion of the time in your own modern way.

Online Retailers

One of the easiest ways to find 1900s-inspired clothing is to search online retailers. They offer a wide variety of clothing and accessories from various eras, including the 1900s. Some popular online stores to check out include:

  • The House of Foxy: This UK-based online store specializes in vintage-inspired clothing, including many pieces inspired by the 1900s. Their collection includes dresses, blouses, skirts, and accessories, and they offer worldwide shipping.
  • ModCloth: Known for their retro and vintage-inspired pieces, ModCloth has many styles from the early 1900s. They carry clothing in a variety of sizes, including plus sizes, and also offer shoes, accessories, and home decor.
  • This online store is a great resource for vintage clothing from various decades, including the 1900s. They offer both original pieces and reproductions, and their collection includes dresses, skirts, blouses, and more.

Brick-and-Mortar Stores

If you prefer to shop in-person, there are also many vintage and antique stores that carry 1900s-inspired clothing. These shops often have one-of-a-kind pieces and can be a great place to find unique items. Some stores to check out include:

  • Antique Alley: Located in Kansas City, Missouri, this store specializes in clothing, jewelry, and accessories from the 1800s to the 1960s. They have a wide variety of 1900s pieces, including dresses, hats, and purses.
  • The Way We Wore: This Los Angeles-based shop carries high-end vintage and antique clothing and accessories. They have a large selection of clothing from the 1900s, including dresses, lingerie, and accessories.
  • Second Time Around: With locations across the United States, Second Time Around is a popular consignment store that sells gently used designer and vintage clothing. They often have 1900s-inspired pieces available, including dresses and blouses.

In addition to online and in-person retailers, don’t forget to check out local thrift stores and flea markets. They can be a great source for vintage or vintage-inspired pieces, often at very affordable prices.

Style Tips for Incorporating 1900s Fashion into Your Everyday Wardrobe

If you’re someone who loves vintage fashion, you might be wondering how to incorporate 1900s fashion into your modern wardrobe. Luckily, it’s easier than you might think. From statement pieces to subtle touches of vintage flair, there are plenty of ways to bring the 1900s into your daily outfits.


If you want to make a statement with your outfit, a 1900s-inspired dress is a great option. Look for dresses with high collars, lace detailing, and oversized buttons. A long flowing skirt with a cinched waist is the hallmark of 1900s fashion. Consider adding a cape or shawl to complete the look.


Hats were an essential accessory in the 1900s, and adding one to your outfit instantly adds a touch of vintage charm. Wide-brimmed hats in neutral colors like beige, gray, and navy are a great choice and will match almost any outfit. If you’re feeling bold, try a hat with a feather or floral embellishment.


1900s jewelry was all about intricate details and adornments. Look for brooches, necklaces, and earrings with pearls, crystals, and cameos. Metalwork was also popular during this time, so don’t be afraid to mix gold and silver elements.


Shoes are the perfect way to incorporate a subtle touch of vintage into your outfit. Look for lace-up boots, Mary Janes, and T-strap pumps. Shoes with a low heel or wedge were popular during the 1900s, but if you prefer higher heels, try pairing them with a flowing skirt for balance.


The 1900s were all about intricate hairstyles. If you have long hair, try braiding it and coiling it into a bun on the top of your head. If you have short hair, try curling it and pinning it back with barrettes or combs. Don’t forget to add a hat or hair accessory to complete the look.


One easy way to incorporate 1900s fashion into your everyday wardrobe is through accessories. Look for belts, scarves, and handbags with vintage-inspired detailing like buckles, fringe, or beading. These small touches can instantly elevate any outfit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Answers
What were popular fabrics for 1900s women’s clothing? Popular fabrics during that time period included cotton, silk, wool, and linen.
What were popular colors for 1900s women’s clothing? Pastel colors, such as light pink and baby blue, as well as muted earthy tones, like olive green and burnt sienna, were popular during this era.
What types of accessories were popular for 1900s women’s fashion? Accessories such as hats, gloves, parasols, and handbags were commonly worn by women during this time period.
What was the silhouette of women’s clothing in the 1900s? The silhouette of women’s clothing during the 1900s was a slim, elongated figure with a defined waistline and a long, flowing skirt.
What hairstyles were popular for women in the 1900s? Hairstyles varied throughout the decade, but many women wore their hair in a Gibson Girl style, with the hair piled high on the head and curled tendrils framing the face.
What influence did the feminist movement have on 1900s women’s fashion? The feminist movement had a significant influence on 1900s women’s fashion, as women began to dress in less restrictive clothing and sought more comfortable garments that allowed them to move freely.

Thank You for Exploring 1900s Women’s Fashion with Us!

We hope this article has given you some insight into the fascinating world of 1900s women’s fashion. From the flowing, elegant silhouettes to the charming accessories, there is much to appreciate about the styles of the past. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit our site for more fashion insights in the future!

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