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Victoria's Kingdom Explains Australian Victorian Era Fashion in the 1900s

1900-1920s Australian Fashion Trends

Trends in the 1900s

Fashion for Women

In the early 1900’s clothes were a status symbol. In the upper classes of the Australian society, both men and women wore entirely different clothes from the working class, making it visible to which group they belonged to.

Most trends seen in the cities were very similar as those in the rest of the developed world. The only clothing that could be described as typically Australian was worn by country people.

Women used to have a pinched waist, a big bust with no cleavage (as this was considered vulgar) and a big rear end. Girls of three and four years were also made to wear crinolines skirt and petticoats. This S-shaped silhouette was extremely uncomfortable. The skirt fitted tightly over the waist and down to the knees, and then in a wave like line showing the petticoat. The problem with these skirts was that when walking the bottom of the dress would pick up rubbish as it dragged along the ground. Fashion colours became much more pale and also the fabrics changed to delicate, filmy silks and cashmere.

The most important accessory was the hat which was decorated with feathers, ribbons and sometimes even stuffed birds or small animals. The shoes were high-heeled and pointed out from beneath the skirt. Elaborate jewels provided additional glamour.

Fashion for Men

Middle class men were easily identified as they always dressed formally with top hats and morning suits.

The working man choose more practical clothes more practical. Even though Australian men did lose their image as ‘bush-ranger frontier’ and evolved into an urban society, rural clothing and lifestyle still showed the bush-ranger image.


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