Edwardian Era Fashion

Good morning! Did you have a good weekend? Score any estate sale finds perhaps?!

Just one-half of Lise + Katina here today, “Lise” if you will. As you might have noticed from our About page, the history and personal stories behind the vintage pieces that we stock are what drives me.  Whenever possible I like to know who owned our vintage loves and what significance they had to that person – but even if I don’t have a link to the original owner, I often do quite a bit of research about the era in which the piece was made. History shapes fashion more than we may sometimes realize, and there are plenty of stories to explain the reasoning behind dress cuts, popular colors, materials used, and so on. Fashion history is definitely something I can geek out over for hours at a time! :)

Take this brooch, for example. (Click the picture to view it in our shop, with more photos)

Edwardian Antique Snowflake Brooch

This is a rhinestone brooch from the Edwardian period. We can place its date between about 1900 and 1915 by the clasp and hinge, and also by the settings and style. There is plenty to be read out there about Edwardian fashion history, so I won’t go on about that, but I will say that it was a lovely time for jewelry – the transition between the romantic Victorian styles and the over-the-top luxury of the 1920’s. Small brooches like this were often worn at the collar of the high- necked blouses which were popular at the time.

I’m very excited to have a photo to share with you that is close to me, as an example!

1902 Edwardian StyleClick image to view full-size

This is a photo of one line of my husband’s family, circa roughly 1902. Among the fantastic examples of the fashions of the time (Look at those shirts on the younger boys!!), we can pick out two women wearing small brooches like this one. Lula, in the back is wearing a round brooch, more similar to ours, and Lydia, in front wears a rhinestone sea star. I love the care and attention to detail that was put into getting each member of the family ready for their portrait. This was a pioneer family, just beginning, at this time, to have access to the luxuries of the civilized world. Small paste jewels such as these must have been a token of the triumph they would have felt having been a part of creating a community strong enough to settle the land to a point where towns could be built and shops could be opened!

It absolutely amazes me that we can look at a picture like this, taken more than 100 years ago, of these women who lived such a different life, and that we may pin on our own jackets today a brooch that someone like them would have worn and treasured.

We’d love to hear: What do you think about the history behind your vintage pieces? Do you own any with special stories behind them? Feel free to post in the comments or send us an email!

– Lise + Katina

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