Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage
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Recollections has assembled quite an extensive collection of Edwardian clothing that will see you dressed perfectly from boarding until you retire each night. For boarding, we like the Wool Frock Coat. Gentleman would always have worn a long-sleeved shirt like Ailstair , and it would always have been buttoned to the neck.
During the day, a bowler or top hat would have been worn outdoors. For evening wear, a cutaway tuxedo will do nicely. The shirt and vest would always be white, and worn with a bow tie at the neck. This dress would usually be skirt and jacket made up a matte fabric like wool or linen, and would be fairly tailored. As you can see, all of these dresses are perfect for looking well-dressed while traveling. The skirts would have been just an inch or so shorter than normal, to make them easier to walk in. The final touch to your ensemble would be a carpet bag, and Recollections will have new carpet bags available soon.
Lucky you! Your first full day on board would begin with breakfast, and you would wear a Morning Dress. Early in the day, dresses were permitted be a bit less fitted and more flowing. After breakfast you might want to have a promenade on the deck or along the boardwalk if you are on shore. Either gown is sure to turn heads! Remember whenever you are outside, you will want to be wearing gloves and a fabulous Edwardian hat!
Since you are an upper-class lady on a cruise, choose a hat with a very wide brim and lots of feathers. Recollections offers a large collection of Edwardian hats to choose from. Upper-class ladies always carried this practical accessory to keep the sun away from their fashionably pale complexions, and middle class ladies would rent one when they took a stroll out-of-doors. In the afternoon, of course you will want to have tea! This lovely tradition also demands a particular style of dress.
Depending on the event, you may also wear a hat to tea, and gloves as well. Gloves should be removed when eating, and then put on again before leaving the meal. Perhaps the most elegant dress, unless the evening includes a ball, will be your Dinner Gown. For dinner, you will not wear a hat, but should always have some type of ornament or feather in your hair.
Evening wear may be a bit more revealing than daywear so your gown may have shorter sleeves and the neckline may be lower — the better to show off a lovely necklace. After all those changes of clothing, you will be more than ready to take down your hair, unlace that corset, and slip into something comfortable for bed time. Wrist length gloves were acceptable with long sleeve dresses.
Fur-lined gloves were also used for warmth during the winter, and lace gloves were worn for their breathability in the summer. Although the task of putting on gloves was time-consuming, as they could take up to twenty minutes to put on due to the tight fit and rows of buttons, they still needed to be changed multiple times during the day since they quickly got dirty. Hats were also a part of social etiquette, and generally all women wore them.
Although the size and lavishness of hats had reached its peak in , they were still quite decorated and relatively big in Although the hats worn with the practical tailor-made suits were smaller and made of felt, women still often wore more elaborate hats with all outfits. Ostrich feathers were a popular trimming, but aigrette or birds-of-paradise plumage were also in use.
Along with the feathers, silk and velvet hat ribbon trimmings were also prevalent, typically in darker colors. Read more about Titanic Era Hat fashion. Shop titanic era inspired hats. Parasols were therefore important in maintaining the coveted porcelain complexion, and a lady always carried one with her while traveling outdoors.
Although they were functional, they also had to reflect the wealth of the carrier, and often came in fussy lace styles, although solid fabric ones were also available. Shop parasols. Once again, fur was quite fashionable during this time, and as the weather became colder as the Titanic headed north, passengers needed the warmth.
In order to show off wealth, some coats were three quarters or fully made of fur, but many also only had fur trim. The fur on the coats ranged from seal to lamb to chinchilla. Sets usually consisted of a stole and a hand muff, and these were made of the entire pelt of the animal meaning the heads and tails as well. These generous fur pieces left an even greater impression of wealth.
Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage by Grace Evans, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®
Lighter weight coats were worn inside or out in nicer weather. They were often silk or velvet in a cocoon shape and had a single large clasp as the low hip. Tassels often tipped the front ends. The kimono coat with large loose sleeves and Asian prints was very popular at this time as well. They were frequently worn over dinner gowns as passengers made their way to and from dinner. Lucile Lady Duff Gordon , c.
Rose, Titanic movie, caring a silk and embroidered fringe shawl. Before the weather became terribly cold, a silk embroidered shawl could be worn aboard as temperature gradually got cooler—both during the day and evening. Silk shawls or wraps were solid or patterned, decorated with tassels or a beaded fringe along the bottom. Shop shawls, wraps and kimono coats.
Day dress, , Plum silk with chemise detailing. Source Stickley museum. Contrary to lunch nowadays, lunch on the Titanic was quite a formal affair, consisting of at least three courses, lasting up to two hours. For lunch, women would change out of their practical tailor-made suits and into more formal dress. Along with having straighter silhouettes, these dresses had fairly high waistlines, V-shaped necklines that were sometimes crossed over, and elbow length sleeves.
Due to these more open necklines, the dresses were also worn with a separate upper chest covering, called chemisettes, or semi-transparent in-fills. Modesty was important for all daytime gatherings. Although skirts followed the trend of being narrower with pleats and slits to make them more comfortable, of course , they were decorated with tunic layers or asymmetrical draping, often including a small train.
These dresses were not in soft pastel colors, but rather in blues, dark reds, greens, and purples, with velvet being a popular fabric. A certain type of tea dress was worn during tea.
Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage [Read] Full Ebook
It was looser in fit, almost robe like, and worn without a corset gasp! In summer or for outdoor teas, a white tea dress made of lace or light cotton was expected.
Learn more about the history of tea gowns. Accessories worn with these dresses were simple brooches at the neck or on the bodice, or a long string of beads as a necklace. Lighter-weight shoes were to be worn with these outfits, typically being fabric-covered, having lower, Louis heels and high tongues. Hats were obviously worn as well, and they were similarly smaller, made of felt, and featured upturned brims with aigrette or osprey feathers.
Shop Edwardian inspired day, afternoon or tea dresses. Little girls wore lace tea dresses as well as sailor themed play clothes with white stockings and button up boots. Dinners on the Titanic were the peak of opulence on the journey, and the highly formal event meant that many first-class women wore a different dress each night. From the undergarments to the overskirts, every piece of the outfit was switched for more luxurious fabrics and styles—silk chemises instead of cotton, more elegant corsets, and silk stockings rather than wool. This one is purple and coral.
Like the dresses worn to lunch, the bodices of the gowns worn for dinner had a crossed-over style, and the lower necklines and shorter sleeves meant that semi-transparent tulle or silk chiffon were worn under for modesty. Waistlines still remained at the high Empire-style, and although skirts were still fairly straight, overskirts, draping and tunics often were layered on top. The styles were inspired by Grecian art and Asian costume.
Other decorations consisted of lace, embroidery, fabric flowers, and bows. Colors were much bolder than previous years, and although dresses in softer colors were still common, turquoise, gold, and rich reds, blues, and greens were gaining in popularity. The most opulent fabrics were silk satin, chiffon, gauze, velvet, and brocade. In , beading was added extensively all over some gowns or as a sheer layer over the main dress.
Sleeves were often short, exposing a bit of shoulder for young, single women. Necklines were also lower in a V, scoop or square neckline. Shop formal Titanic era inspired dresses. For the mature woman, she could wear these new revealing styles of dress but often preferred gowns in the style a few years earlier. For women who had grown up in earlier Victorian times, this style was closer to home.