What Real People Wore: Edwardian Inspiration

As you can tell by the title, we had a winner from the poll I gave a while back asking what you prefer for these posts where we talk about fashion in everyday.  More than 40% of you said you like the name as I originally chose it, so here it is!

Today I have some original images from a very unusual photo album.  This album has had photos ripped out, pasted over, cards pasted on top, and none in any rhyme or reason.  In example, here are a few little images from the album which show what I mean.  Is it a shame, or does it add to it’s romantic mystery?  I suppose a little bit of both!

You can click on the images for a somewhat larger image, in order to see more detail.

We have lovely Edwardian images today.  I would estimate these to be around 1905-1908, and the one with the children a bit later- probably 19-teens.

I admit, I do like Edwardian/Victorian photos of ladies with guns. Brings out my childhood “Annie Oakley” aspirations.  This image is really great, but I *love* the details of her outfit.  The original image was quite faded, but you can see the lovely pleats in her skirt and her bangle bracelet accessory.  In the close up I heightened the  contrast a bit so you can make out the lovely lace collar and neck frill, the gathers in the blouse, and the pointed belt.  I think something like this would be great fun to adapt to the coming 1910s blouse pattern.  Also notice how dark her hat is in comparison to her blouse and skirt.

This trio are out playing about.  I am in *love* with the ladies hats, especially the one on the left.

The same trio, climbing aboard equipment of some sort. Luckily this photo survived after having something pasted on top.  We can see what a gentleman he is, helping the ladies in their adventuring.

This image of a hunter with his prey, and a very curious dog. I have put this image side by side so you can see it as it is now (on left), and with some of the detail brought out (on the right).  I may be odd, but I find the freckled spots on the image to be somewhat romantic and dream-like in effect.  The gents should not be left out of these images, after all! I know nearly nothing about dating old cars, so perhaps someone with a bit of knowledge can shed some light on an approximate date for this photograph?

This is quite possibly one of my favorite photo of the bunch in terms of composition. I wonder if the child in front popped up by surprise, and I wonder if they’re all getting a good scolding by the lady in the apron!  I believe this photograph dates later than the others pictured here.

Hope these offer some fun inspiration for you!

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8 thoughts on “What Real People Wore: Edwardian Inspiration”

  1. I have some photos of this era I’d love to share with you. Email me and I’ll pass them along if you’re interested.

  2. These photos are fab, I should think that rather than photos being ‘pasted’ on top of each other, that loose photos have been left in the album for long periods of time and they have simply stuck together. The face of old photos often gets sticky due to the chemicals used to develop them. Someone may have tried to fix it by removing some and tearing them in the process. Wondering what was going on and whats happened since is part of their charm! X

    1. That is an very good thought! I will try to post a photo on the next post of this kind which shows a page where this is more common- some literally look like they were arranged and pasted on top of older materials. It is quite odd!

  3. What I find really fascinating about “real people” in the Edwardian era is the large differences in both lifestyle and dress, depending on your geographical location. I am currently reading an autobiography by a man who grew up around where I currently live in the teens and twenties of the 20th century and in the beginning of the book he talks a lot about his parents’ and grandparents’ lives – the things they told him in the evening by the hearth fire.

    They wore the traditional folk costumes and wooden shoes still in those days, the women hiding their hair in elaborate lace wimples and towers. Fashion simply didn’t exist. And that’s just the clothes side to it… they also did not yet speak the national language (i.e. French), and they were using a currency different from the national one (i.e. the Franc). We’re not terribly far from one of the ports the Titanic stopped at… in fact we’re kind of in the middle between all of the Titanic’s stops.

  4. I’ve read back a bit on your “what real people wore” feature and was surprised someone had got after you for not dating your photos. I have read some of your posts and I’m not getting the sense that you are presenting yourself as a teacher of history…mearly a buff. As such, a true scholar/student would know that they need to take your comments as mearly opinion, not gospel. If they have more knowledge than you have they can, perhaps help you by narrowing down your dating. I post cabinet cards on my blog and in my posts I say what dates I think the cards are from and why. Once, someone more knowlegable, narrowed my dates down some on one card. She did it in a classy way and I went away feeling happy that I knew more about my card and please with myself for at least being in the ballpark with my dates! I encourage you to keep going!

  5. I got rather a giggle out of the lady hunter – a pastel dress and lace yoke for tramping around in the wilderness! I’m firmly of the opinion that if you can walk in a long skirt, you can walk anywhere in a long skirt (you should see some of the places I’ve climbed in my medieval gown) but when I was target-shooting, the unwritten (and unspoken) rule was jeans, boots, flannel shirt – the women were apparently trying to look like the guys, probably because that long ago we did still have to demonstrate how practical we could be . . . .

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