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Bluffton women's fashions in 1906

Can't take our eyes off those hats with feathers, flowers, lace and ribbons.

It was 1906, the year of the San Francisco earthquake. Edwardian style of clothing was the rage. Six young Bluffton women pose for this summertime photograph.

They are: Front from left, Pearl Bogart Mann and Florence Wilson Hilty.

• Center from left, Loa Bame Bean, Jessie Worthington Bender and Ora Kimmel.

• At the very top, Zoe Lugibill Zehrbach.

In a historical context in addition to the earthquake, the average life expectance was 49 years. The Chicago White Sox won the World Series. Forty-five stars adorned the American flag with Oklahoma making 46 in 1907. Theodore Roosevelt was president.

More importantly, at least to the six models in this photo, was their clothing style.

We’ve borrowed this description from Vintage Victorian, Period fashions reference library, for 1905-06 women’s fashions.

  • Dresses are made of lightweight cloth in cotton, linen or silk, embroidered goods and lace insertion are heavily used; white is common but dresses can also be colored or patterned. Colored under-slips can seen coloring white dresses.

  • Bodices have a slightly wider shoulder line than the 1890s, and the Turn-of the-Century pigeon front is less pronounced.

  • Skirts are slightly trained the waist fits smoothly over the hips and very high neck.

  • Sleeves are slightly puffed and elbow length (long, fitted, cuffs were also worn), long leather gloves completely cover the arm. The ladies taking tea have removed their gloves.

  • Etiquette point: never wear gloves while eating or drinking.

  • Hats are not overly-large and shapes vary quite a bit. The styling is very feminine and decorated with feathers, flowers, lace, and ribbon. They are plopped on top of the head or perched at an angle.

  • The hair is a fairly full and wavy Gibson Girl Pompadour.

  • Parasols are fairly long-handled and large.

  • Jewelry: Simple necklaces and brooches are worn at the neck.


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