Fashion Through the Decades
The Monroe County Historical Society was fortunate to be able to present a program for the March 15th meeting of the Monroe Connections CEOs. The lesson for the group was “Fashion through the Decades,” which focused on fashion from 1920-1990. AmeriCorps Member V. Pontius brought a few items belonging to the Monroe County Historical Society for display. These date to about 1890 and are believed to have been donated by Hal Peterson.
These items are an excellent illustration of how the ladies would have one pattern and the dressmaker would be able to create a variety of items. The distinctive pattern of the pinking shears hint that these items had the same dressmaker. The items also illustrate how the ladies could decide where the “stays” or “bones” of the garment could be sewn into different places. The garments on display illustrated the different construction options used to create differing bodices from the same pattern.
In the first years of the 1890’s decade, the fashion was to have sleeves with a small vertical puff at the shoulder. The huge puffed sleeves that are often linked to this decade declined in fashion in 1895. Women tailored their outfits to have an hourglass shape. Around 1897, the designs began to slowly favor the straight-front corset.
Vernessa Pontius is the Preserve WV AmeriCorps member serving with the Monroe County Historical Society during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 program years.
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