The early Twentieth Century was a time of great upheaval in many ways. The first decade saw the Great War and this was followed by the economic boom and bust decade of the Twenties. Like many aspects of life, women’s fashion changed dramatically. With the men folk heading off to war, women were pulled in to the workplace, unlike before. Once the war ended, the rebuilding efforts led to a period of economic expansion and uprise. Women’s fashion reflected these changes in several ways. With women having begun performing more “male” job roles during the war and the return of the soldiers afterwards, there was a rejection of the female form in women’s fashion. Designs de-emphasized the curves of a womans body and didn’t compliment her in anyway. Bosoms were hidden beneath loose or draped bodices and the waist and hips were lost beneath pipe-lined sheath dresses. Even hairstyles became very short and boy’ish. These simple and plain fashions (if you can even call them that) did have one big plus for women of the middle and lower class, though. Their ability of home dress making made it possible for them to create and wear styles similar to those of the high fashion, well-to-do people.
I’ve returned to two of my favorite SecondLife vintage stores to pick two dresses that demonstrate the style of the times. Pictured below on the left is the Skirlaug dress in salmon from Ivalde. Nefaria Abel expertly captures the intent, with a very loose bodice design and sheath skirt. The addition of the draped cowl prim collar and a prim belt and skirt piece really help to minimize the body’s curves. The loose, puffy prim arm cuffs broaden the shoulders alot, too. All these elements combined produce the desired effect of straightening out the shape of a woman to that classic boyish form of the day. This dress is also available in beige, blue and yellow.
Even when heading out for a night on the town, women wore pipe-lined fashions. The flapper dress is probably the most associated with this era. Although it made use of fringe and headpieces, which added a bit of femininity, it was still a sheath design that minimized the waist and hips. The bodice, although not as loose fitting, often had fringe or draping to obscure the bosom. Skye Qi of Vintage clothing Reproductions does a wonderful job of portraying this style with her Flapper Frenzy in ruby (shown on right). It includes two prim fringes and a feathered headpiece, which was commonly added. The skirt has a long and short option. This ensemble also includes a set of vintage lingerie complete with a prim garter (pictured below). It is available in five colors: the ruby shown here, plus amethyst, cobalt, emerald and gold.
For hair, I used Berri 2 from Truth for the Skirlaug dress and managed to find a flapper hair style at a small shop called Kaiti Designs for the Flapper Frenzy outfit. The stockings are from No. 9 Nylons, shiny for Skirlaug and fishnet for Flapper Frenzy with shoes from Tesla. Jewelry visible is from Muse Fine Jewelry and Paper Couture.