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Underwear in 1912

This discussion on "Underwear in 1912" is in the Edwardian Fashion section; Hi Tad (Welcome back!)- I am sure people think about underwear more than they would ...

      
   
  1. #21
    Senior Member
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    Hi Tad (Welcome back!)-
    I am sure people think about underwear more than they would like to admit. But coming from a female perspective, I think the women deserve a lot of credit for all of the daily hassles of wearing a corset and petticoat that were very restrictive and uncomfortable. Surely most of men's undergarments were much more wearable?

    I say "Hat's Off" to all the Ladies!

  2. #22
    Alyson Jones
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    Underwear in 1912? Did men wear those long leggings as underwear?and did women have bras back in 1912?or was the corset considerd a bra?

    Women i think back in 1912 went though hell with there dress code,think men had it so much easier.

  3. #23
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    Certainly most men wore what we now call 'long johns'. Boxer shorts and briefs didn't make much progress before the 1930s. You can find pictures dating from ancient times which feature women wearing garments very like bras, but the modern version functioning as a support garment dates from the early years of the 20th century and would have been in common use by 1912.

    (No, Monica, this comes from reading, not personal experience!)

  4. #24
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    You think you only have to worry about Monica? :-D

  5. #25
    George L. Lorton
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    This 1912 lass is proud of her natural beauty. Indeed, why worry about underwear when one has such a lovely hat!
    It was all about the hats indeed. My Mother's Grandmother had about 20 of 'em and she was 19 in 1912. My Mom spent an afternoon in 1958 with her Grandmother trying them on. I've asked and she says that most of them were only 10 years or younger in age at the time which places them in the late 40's to 50's. No vintage unfortunately. Of course G-Grandma like many children of Swedish Immigrants was a domestic in 1912 so she probably couldn't have afforded a fancy hat in 1912 anyways. She might of made her own though.

  6. #26
    Alyson Jones
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    George, it seems that women today have not changed since you're grand mother's days [1912] of owning 20 pairs of hats. These days women own 20 pairs of shoes or 20 pairs of jeans!Some things never change.

  7. #27
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    >Of course G-Grandma like many children of Swedish Immigrants was a domestic in 1912 so she probably couldn't have afforded a fancy hat in 1912 anyways. She might of made her own though.


    Oh, I beg to differ, partially, George. Hats were actually quite cheap then - and started getting that way when they, like ready-made clothes, were starting to be mass-produced. Even if she couldn't afford a ready-made, she could have cobbled together her own fancy hat. I've read and seen cases of women not only at the turn of the twentieth-century being notoriously frugal in their re-use of material from dresses and bodies and trims from hats, but cases can be found going far back into the nineteenth and even eighteenth century. Once say an 1880s bustle dress that was VERY fancily trimmed, in your typical mid-1880s form, that was actually a remade crinolined dress from the mid 1860s - the original bolero jacket from the ensemble had not been altered and was still being worn with the 1880s version. The look produced was... unique. But they did the same with hats, and if they didn't have the trims cannibalized from other hats, a lot of women, as can be seen in many extant examples, made their own trims - from various things. Once I saw an 1840s gypsy widebrim (it's a plain, wide-brimmed VERY finely woven straw hat that was worn for casual wear for strolling the grounds, picnic outings, etc - but not for any formal use.) that was trimmed with daisies made from crepe paper, using acorns as the centers. I thought it was really cool.


    So yeah, even women who didn't have much means could actually afford a relatively fancy hat - even if they had to spend some time on it making it themselves. And your Grandma sounds like my mom - she probably has dozens upon dozens of hats and she wears them every day (not all at the same time, mind you) 1940s/1950s does have some decent vintage on them now, anything from before then can actually be pretty difficult to come by, when one is shopping antique stores and stuff.



    Back on topic: I once had a couple of items from the 1891 Queen Anne I'm trying to help get restored have an overnight stay in my house once, as they had been left in a nightstand loaned from the family that was returned to them. When I was handed the bag, by the great-granddaughter of the man who built the house, I asked what was in it.

    "Underwear."

    "Underwear?"

    "Great-Grandpa's underwear?"

    "Really?"


    I opened the bag, and digging past the VERY beautiful, albiet somewhat faded rust-orange 1891 parlor drapes, was a foxed and worn looking pair of long-johns with shell buttons fastening the fly. They were probably 1910s or '20s, and were actually pretty neat. Very lightweight too, which would make sense for Florida. Unfortunately, I didn't photograph them while they stayed overnight in the house before they went off to storage.


    Florida, due to its climate, produced hit-or-miss cases of edwardian-underwear-wearing. Either you wore it, or you didn't. Such was your choice, and there really was no in-between, because it was humid, and hot for most of the year, with only a brief reprieve in December and January - so wearing woollen long-johns, even in summerweight, would have been... uncomfortable... even past or before summer.


    Same went for swimming. That part of Florida being in relative isolation until the 1920s, except for the area around the FEC which came through in 1895, you could have the beach to yourself (partly because getting there was a chore in itself, crossing swamps and lagoons.) Either you had something to wear to go in the water, or you didn't. Some people actually bathed out there, and in the lagoons.


    So really, it depends on where you are, who you are and what exact area you're in that determines what you wore in that time, and even today.

  8. #28
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    I have a copy of EVERYDAY FASHIONS 1909 to 1920 AS PICTURED IN SEARS CATALOG. Basically the book is reprints of pages from Sears catalogs during those years. In 1912, Sears featured nine gorgeous hats decorated with velvets, laces, ribbons, feathers, and all sorts of elegant do-dads. Price: $2.98 each. Comparably, women's every day dresses started at $2.75 for a calico, $7.95 for a velveteen, and $13.75 for a taffeta.

    The following year, 1913, similarly styled hats ran from $3.65 to $4.65. Children's fancy hats were around $1.19. Dresses were advertised from $7.48 for an embroidered net overdress to $16.50 for a silk charmeuse and $22.50 for a silk crepe.

    Fast forward to 1915 and prices fell to $2.48 to $3.98. Dresses dropped to $3.98 for a combination crepe, $4.95 for a washable silk, and $6.98 for an embroidered cotton voile.

    I'm no expert in what that would translate in today's prices, but I know there are many here who could put it in perspective. Someone may also be able to explain the variances in the economy that drove the prices up and down in such a short time.

  9. #29
    George L. Lorton
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    Thank you for your input Alyson and Brandon. You convinced me. Although I can't find any photo's of G-Grandma wearing a hat from her younger teenage early married days. She might of been raised to take her hat off when her photo's was being taken. My other hat mad Grandma did pose in a hat. Both are below. Both loved hats but only one wore them in photo's

    One Teacher wore hats for Pics

    One Parlour Maid did not.
    They both were the same in every photo I've seen taken of them in their youth. One with a hat and one with out.

    Also World War I might of had something to do with the economy, Kyrila.

  10. #30
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    I had considered the possibility of WW1 being a factor, however this is an American catalog and America didn't enter the war until 1917. In fact, as the catalogs carry on into 1920, it is interesting to see how women's dresses change from frilly, bright and gay fashions prior to 1917, once you enter the pages for 1917 to 1918 (when the armistice was signed) the catalog featured "mourning dresses."

 

 
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