Before World War 1, there was a short period of time when fashion had its golden time. This time period was short but it was unique and graceful. This is called the titanic fashion. Titanic morning fashion was an important part of titanic fashion, especially the 1st class women’s morning dresses. Titanic fashion existed for only two years, from 1910 to 1912. Yet it has a very noticeable fashion history.
Titanic fashion mostly had focused on femininity and beauty. Titanic morning fashion trends were majorly influenced by the previous Edwardian fashion era, which is also known as the Belle Époque. But there were some definite changes which made this era unique. One of the major changes was the silhouette. The Edwardian era preferred an s curve corset that focused on the wearer’s large bosom and slim waist. But in the time of titanic, the corset became straight, simple, and natural.
Titanic Clothing Styles:
In titanic fashion, there were some visible differences among the fashion of 1st class women and 2nd or 3rd class women. For the 1st class and most of the 2nd class ticket bearer women, Titanic was not only a way to travel, but it was also a long and elegant party. They used to change their dresses three to four times a day according to the events. To keep their fashion top-notch, some of them kept their maid with them during the trip. If the day was not that eventful, they used to change their dresses at least three times a day anyway. On a normal uneventful day, they wore a simple dress for breakfast, tea gown for having tea and a fancy evening dress for evening parties. But the fashion of the 3rd class women was a little different.
So what was the style of the 1st class passenger women of the titanic?
Titanic dresses had a very detailed design. For the 1st class passengers, the dresses had to be one of a kind. They wore that with a matched shoe, used some other accessories like a hat, gloves, or scarf. For rich women, this was a place to show off their wealth.
This was the time when the feminine S-shaped silhouette started to fade away. During this time, the eastern fashion-inspired dresses and straighter, boyish silhouettes of the roaring 20s started to become popular among wealthy young women. But the wealthy mature women kept following the Edwardian fashion dresses-long blouses with bloated shoulders, full-length narrow sleeves, ruffled skirts, and petticoats. Those who were comparatively mature and followed the trend wore a similar dress with smaller hats and simple ornaments. Accessories were always their favorite. They preferred the richer fabrics while making their clothes and they liked to compliment the dress with exclusive jewelry and furs.
Along with the English Edwardian fashion, oriental influences started to raise its popularity in titanic clothing. Japanese kimono style dresses and their light silk fabric caught the attention of titanic women back then. In the Titanic movie, Rose was seen to wear these kimono-style dresses as day dresses most of the time. These dresses were very important material for the Rose Titanic costume. Typically the preferred colors were the light pastel colors but dark reds or Prussian blues were also used for titanic morning fashion.
Titanic morning fashion: 1st class women
As the ship was heading to the Northern Atlantic, the climate started to get colder. So for the morning, a tailored suit was the most suitable and comfortable choice for the 1st class passengers among all the titanic era dresses. These tailor-made suits are actually from the 1880s. They were made from wool, tweed, or face-cloth. They were typically a well-fitting costume consisting of a jacket, a hobble skirt, and a blouse.
So, what is a hobble skirt?
A hobble skirt is a long, ankle-length skirt that narrowed down at the hem. This narrow portion limited the movement of the wearer and make them uncomfortable. So they were merged with a flat pleat or slits to confirm the comfort of the wearer.
For the body, the blouse was worn first. This blouse sometimes had tucks, or sometimes ruffles, or both. They also had the Edwardian high collar fashion at first but with time the Quacker girl collar and peter pan neckline became more fashionable and won over the high collar fashion.
Over the blouse, they wore a fancy jacket. This jacket was long, extending to hip or sometimes till the knees. They had a loose and comfortable waist. They usually had darker colors like black, navy, or red.
So this is the dress that the titanic women usually wore in the morning time while having breakfast and for other morning events.
What about accessories?
After getting dressed for breakfast, now it’s time to choose the shoe and accessories. For the titanic ladies, this was the opportunity to show the taste of their elegance and wealth.
Titanic morning fashion: Shoes:
For shoes, they typically went for the lace-up leather boots as these shoes matched with the tailored suits best. Heels were not that a good option to go with the tailored suits. Those who were fashion-conscious might choose the leather boots with heels, others were just okay with the normal leather boots with laces. Black was the color commonly used while choosing boots with morning dress. But, men and women both usually went for regular Edwardian shoes to pair with their titanic morning fashion.
Wearing gloves was a tradition for both men and women. Any physical contact was inappropriate, so women used gloves commonly apart from mealtime, which made some kind of communication, like handshaking, conventional.
These gloves were long till the elbow and were very tight fitting. They had buttons so that they can be fastened with properly. These gloves were usually made from suede or leather and came in the color of brown or grey for outdoor activities and in white for indoors and summer. For long-sleeved day wears, wrist length gloves were acceptable. But with the evening wear they chose the elbow-length gloves as these dresses were usually short-sleeved. For the summertime, they used gloves made with lace and for colder months they used fur or leather made gloves. Although these gloves were very tight fitting and putting on these was time-consuming work, they changed gloves ¾ times a day because these gloves get dirty easily.
Titanic morning fashion: Hats
All women usually wore hats as it was a social etiquette. The hats they used were quite elegant. Titanic hats were usually big in size but those ones which were worn with the morning dresses were smaller and a little bit less fancy. However, they were made with fur or felt and had a detailed design with ostrich or aigrette feathers. Sometimes silk or velvet ribbons were used with the feathers. Hats with darker colors were more popular. Hats were a necessity then to complete the Titanic style dresses.
Titanic Coats and shawls:
As mentioned earlier, the Titanic was headed to the north. So the weather was getting colder. The passengers needed to be warm and fashionable at the same time. So, they took the help of coats and shawls without hampering their style. Fur was the most used and fashionable product that was used to make these coats or shawls. The coats were usually woolen, long, and had the full length extending till the knees. They came in a variety of colors.
They sometimes used ‘Coats and sets’, the set consisting of other necessary accessories that were worn with the coats like, hand muff or stole. These fur made dresses actually were the representation of how rich they were.
These coats were more popular with the morning dresses. For inside or warmer weather they used some lightweight coats. Kimono style coats and Asian prints became also very popular to wear with evening or night dresses.
Silk or velvet made shawls were worn when the weather got colder. These shawls were used both with the day or evening dresses. Titanic shawls were decorated with tassels or e beads. They often had embroidery designs which made them look fashionable.
Parasols were a unique necessity of titanic fashion. Like the Edwardian era, the titanic era also valued fair skin as a representation of higher social status and wealth. It indicated that the person was not a commoner and did not have to work outside in the sun. For this reason, everyone opted for fair skin. Parasol was always carried by the titanic era women when they traveled outside. This was not only for protection from the sunlight, but this was also a reflection of their social status. One colored parasol made from solid fabric was common, but some of them had designs of lace, beads, or ribbon.
So, this is how a titanic women’s closet would look like. The 1st class passengers were usually very fashion conscious. They always tried to look elegant and classy even if it’s breakfast time. They never missed the chance to show their social status and riches through their fashion!