September 1904- The New Coats and Wraps

I have another lovely page from the Ladies Home Journal. This one from September, 1904. If you didn’t see it already, check out the prior post for more detailed description of the autumn fashions for the year 1904.

The most interesting part of the cuts of these clothes and the silhouettes of the hats to me are the way they’re reminiscing about idealized 18th century styles. In the early 1900s the 18th century came and went in terms of inspiration. In the early 1900s you’ll see the idealized fashion’s past with wigs but S-Curve corsets in illustrations in magazines. Again the late 1910s to early 1920s we have a resurgence of this interest. Since the 18th century is a common favorite with costumers, some will appreciate how that hundred years also influenced fashions of eras we not call historical- like the earlier part of the 1900s.


The new coats may be said to arrange themselves in three separate classes: First, the coats from twenty-four to twenty-seven inches in length, which are rarely dressy coats, but may be worn on all occasions, except with one’s very best frocks. They are made of the plainer, more substantial materials, such as the fine-twilled meltons, the smooth kerseys and the covert cloths; and are cut with fitted but not necessarily plain seamed backs; the fronts are semi-fitting, though not quite so loose as the semi-fitting coats of last year were; they are broad on the shoulders and the sleeves are put in to accentuate the broad-shouldered effect. Stitching, buttons and bands are the only trimmings used upon them. The second is the long three-quarter coat, with the length graded according to the height of the wearer; this model is developed in the Scotch and Irish rough-faced goods and in the smaller checked and double-faced materials; sometimes it is loose in cut, and occasionally plaited. Coats made after this second model are invariably double-breasted and have wide, loose, bell-shaped sleeves plaited into the armholes. The third coat is our old friend the bolero, which this year is quite as much worn as ever.

Wrap of Broadcloth

T?his wrap would prove useful for both street and evening wear. It is simply made, with no trimming except rows of stitching. The wrap is cut circular with full leg-of-mutton sleeves with stitched cuffs. The cape is also cut circular and starts from a small, square yoke made of stitched bands of the cloth.

A New Style Bolero

This bolero, with its small, fancy vest, has a deep, plain shoulder yoke. It has a side-plaited back, the three side plaits being stitched to form a box-plait effect. The sleeves are cut in two pieces, have overlapped stitched seams, with plaits at the armholes, and also from the elbows to the wrists.

The New Redingote

The cut, stitched plaits over the hips insure perfect smoothness in the skirt of the coat, which may be of broadcloth, twilled melton or covert cloth. The collar, cuffs, and belt are faced with velvet. A coat of this shape would be useful for every-day wear if made of a fine black cloth.

(Note- this is one of the “throwback” styles I referenced earlier. The redingote originated from “riding coat” and between this and the tricorn has a distinctly 18th century feel.)


This model, being extremely simple, might be developed in the rougher, more serviceable materials, or in heavy tweed or serge. It has double-breasted semi-fitting fronts, with a tight-fitting coat back. May be made of cloth, tweed, or velvet, with collar and cuffs faced with velvet or moire. The sleeves have a cluster of plaits at the elbows.


Broadcloth, kersey or melton cloth may be used for this jacket, which is made with a plain coat back and a military effect in front. The three-piece sleeves have lapped, stitched seams. A coat made after this model would be pretty for a young girl if developed in dark blue cloth and braided in back.

And from the ads:

Please notice the accentuated behind. Women of this era wore small bustle pads to help achieve this curved shape. Fitted upper skirts were meant to accentuate curves. This petticoat example is obviously for selling purposes- as in “look how curvy you can look with this petticoat.” Ads promised idealized perfection for as long as we have had ads.

The other ad to highlight is one for Ferris Waists. They made undergarments for children and women (and maybe men? I don’t remember). The purpose of these varied, depending on the style. Some were aids for posture. Some were to hold up skirts or hose. This one advertises how “eyelet-tabs for hose supporters won’t rip out.” Hose supporters being the elastic strips that connected to the stockings. These were an important part of children’s undergarments, and, as I have seen from surviving examples, buttons are almost always hanging off and have been repaired over, and over, and over again. It’s saying “Hey moms, check this out. Double tape means less mending!”

That’s it for now! Hope you enjoy these fashions!

3 Comments on September 1904- The New Coats and Wraps

  1. Isabella
    September 14, 2020 at 2:31 am (4 years ago)

    Very interesting, I love to see fashion revivals from different eras!

  2. witness2fashion
    September 16, 2020 at 10:35 am (4 years ago)

    Lovely details. I wonder what caused the “miitary” influence in 1904… Boer war was over… Any guesses?

  3. Quinn
    October 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm (4 years ago)

    That petticoat shape! It certainly needs a lot of padding to achieve a look like that… :)

    It’s fun to see these. Thank you for sharing!


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.