1913 Dresses

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, January 18, 1913:  Fixed some of my clothes today. Didn’t do much work because I didn’t feel very energetic.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I bet Grandma wasn’t very energetic fixing her clothes because she wished that she had new clothes.  Did Grandma dream of having the outfits featured in Ladies Home Journal?

For more hundred-year-old fashions, see Fashion a Hundred Years Ago.

1913-04-36.b

24 Responses

  1. Good for her. It’s those little jobs that never get done. I currently have a pair of pants hanging on my bedroom door knob that have needed hemming for two years…I just keep pressing the hem in place and wearing them…LOL

  2. Looking at these beautiful fashions I imagine my Grandmother wearing these styles the year after my dad was born… The hat on the left, in the top picture, is exactly the same style her sister, my Great Aunt Lucy, was photographed in at around 1912-1913 :-) … thanks Sheryl

  3. Sometimes I wish some of those old styles would return. And I’m “with” Grandma – avoid mending at all costs.

  4. I love those styles too, but imagine the upkeep! Ironing, pressing mending. It takes a lot of work to keep looking so spiffy?

  5. Ha! What a fun post for me…I love to find old patterns and ads from long ago with fashions of another era. I found some last year in an antique shop and I’m hoping to frame them and put them up in my sewing room. They are always fun to look at. :) Have a great weekend!

  6. All I can think of is Anne of Green Gables wanting puffy sleeves… I am sure Helena also thought of the latest fashion and wanted something that was not “practical”, but looking back I think all of their dresses were elegant even the everyday ones.

    • I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it, but you’re right– by today’s standards even everyday clothes a hundred years ago were elegant.

  7. Oh I promised myself i wouldnt jump over to the other blog…Im one of those crazy seamstress-wanna-bes who is convinced…well I could make that….

  8. …and I did it anyway. Thanks Sheryl, my to-do list just expanded. I really need these clothes. Lots of them

  9. Wonder what they wore for maternity clothes back then.

  10. Lovely clothing to be sure, but I have to wonder if the ladies above who want to wear this lovely clothes really want to wear the corset that was mandatory to make them look so ultra lean… ;)

    • There are lots of corset advertisements in the 1913 Ladies Home Journals, so women obviously still thought that corsets were important. Fortunately my sense is that people were starting to realize how bad they were–and that within a few years more women would quit wearing them.

  11. just been checking your blog out again. I follow so many that I lose track! I love genealogy though! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Like your grandmother’s journal entry and how cool that you even have them. I have some clothes waiting to be mended as well. Some things never change. :)

  13. Enjoying the diary and your comments. Fascinating dress styles and I see they used an unrealistic body shape back then too!

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