Fashion In The 1910 Essay, Research Paper
North America in the 1910’s was a turning point in history. Historic events
include the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912 when more than 1500 people
lost their lives. The first moving assembly line began in 1914 and in 1915, the
one millionth Model T ($345) rolled off the assembly line. Other news events
included the initiation of the The National Park Service and Prohibition (1919).
Jim Thorpe, an American Indian, won gold medals at the Olympics (although his
medals were later taken away because he had played baseball for a salary earlier
in his career), the first parachute jump was made, and the Girl Scouts of
America were formed. North America became the most highly industrialized place
during this time. Tobacco was a big business, with immigrants to New York City
accounting for 25% of the tobacco purchasing. The mass production of cars
created a nationwide prosperity and resulted in one of the most profound social
changes in our history. Popular culture became a national product and pasttime.
All over the world people were dancing the new dance crazes, listening to jazz
tunes, and wearing new fashions. The Gibson Girl was it the last year of its
popularity. Women were begining to want to think more of comfort during the
1910s, although they quickly fell for the hobble skirt. Fabrics became lighter,
colors are brighter, and styles are looser. Rayon, a manufactured fiber, becomes
more popular in the 1920s for women’s clothing. This causes a decline in
cotton’s use. Lowered necklines became popular and sales of cold cream and lemon
extract escalate. The Tea Gown was worn ‘at home.’ The sack, the sheath,
oriental costumes, harem trousers, and the Hellenic tunic were all introduced.
These were important years for furs. Head gear was worn, for costume putposes.
Automobiling costume was needed to protect clothing from the dust of the dirt
roads because cars did not have windshields. A duster (long overcoat) was worn
with a visor and goggles. Women wore face veils. Once cars became more practical
transportation, special apparel was not needed. When the war began, fashion
design and export came to a standstill. "Made in America" fad began.
The suffragettes started a more comfortable fashion – no more hobble skirt – and
lots of pockets. Hemlines inched up. Since women were entering the work force
the clothes needed to be more comfortable and enable for easier movement. Some
women even wore trousers for war work. Visible changes in acceptable dress for
women paralleled changes in women’s social roles. Men,on the other hand, during
the 1910s, wore striped trousers, a morning coat and starched white shirt. A top
hat and frock coat were also worn. At home, informal lounge suits, tweed jackets
and striped blazers were popular with dinner jackets in the evening.
Duriing the 1910’s social problems flourished in the U.S. During the 1910s
labor unions continued to grow as the middle classes became more and more
unhappy. Unsafe working conditions were growing. A big example of that was the
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in which 145 female workers were killed.
Children were hired to work in factories, mills, and mines for long hours in
unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Though efforts to pass a federal law proved
unsuccessful, by the middle of this decade every state had passed a minimum age
law. A commission found that up to 20% of the children living in cities were
undernourished, education took second place to hunger and while children worked,
only one-third enrolled in elementary school and less than 10% graduated from
high school. Women were also striving for equality. The first suffrage parade
was held in 1910 – the 19th amendment finally ratified in 1919.
Altogether, a decade to remember.