Clothing in America 1900-1914

During in the early 20th century, Victorian styles were still popular among Americans. Women following this trend wore many buttons, buckles, and layers of clothing. Some women even wore clothing that they could not dress or undress themselves in. Not only did some women need assistance to get dressed, but the clothes women wore were also hard to move around in, making it hard to perform daily chores.

During these times, undergarments were not made to be comfortable, but to absorb sweat, body odor, and sometimes to hide a woman’s body. Other than fancy Victorian styles, in the early 1900s, some average families continued to wear clothes handmade by the mother. This long-lived tradition of homemade clothing was soon to come to an end, because starting around 1910, more people started to buy fitted clothing from a tailor or pre-made clothes. Men wore heavy suits, usually a dark color, with a hat, or derbie made of either silk or straw. Women wore skirts that touched the ground, along with many decorations.

This image is of Teddy Roosevelt representing a common style during the early 1900s. Like all fancy-dressed men back in these days, he is wearing a dark-colored and heavy suit, along with a pocket watch, which was a popular accessory. His clothing in this picture is well-fitting, and looks like its been fitted by a tailor, which was common among men in these days, since people started to buy pre-made clothes, over hand-making them.

Although styles at this time were similar to styles the century before, this was the beginning of a new way of dressing, because Victorian style was dying out, and people began to wear more comfortable, and casual clothing. People lost interest in dress codes, and the traditional “man in suit” was now some men wearing suits and others wearing casual clothing that fit their work. This was somewhat the beginning of modern clothing.



-Grady Kinnoin


About gradyk

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One Response to Clothing in America 1900-1914

  1. mlmuntz says:

    “During in the early 20th century”–awkward!
    overall good vocab and nice explanation of the picture.

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