Saturday, 27 June 2009

World War I Era - Dressing the Part (3)

The coming of war was fatal to the corset. By the time the U.S. entered the war in 1917 three years of wartime scarcity in Europe had already taken its toll on women’s fashion. Ostentatious displays of wealth seemed unpatriotic. "Voluntary dressing" was widely adopted by most women wherein they donated the steel stays of their corsets to be used for battleship construction, wore garments of cheap and informal fabrics, and avoided excesses of any kind. Dress was simplified to reflect the sobriety of the time.

Functional, practical clothing was the order of the day as middle-class women took up farming and factory labor. Overalls and trousers were no longer quite so shocking when worn in the workplace. Skirts were baggy, short, and thin to facilitate movement and to conserve material. The notion of casual, everyday clothing came about for the woman whose identity was no longer that of a "parlor ornament," but that of a vital contributor to the preservation of the country and its ideals.

***Fonte de informacao.: PBS

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