Clothing: 1910 - 1920
By 1910 trams and public toilets had increased
women's access to Dunedin's public spaces.
There was a quicker transmission of European
fashions through improved communications.
The large hats of Edwardian England, for
example, were soon copied in Dunedin after
examples arrived by steam ship. Most children's
clothes were still home-made. There was
a slow evolution towards informality.
The long dark dresses gave way to separates
of bodice or blouse and skirts (ankle-length
still), often in lighter colours. Long trousers
were a sign of adulthood for boys, coinciding
with the move from school to work
at the end of Standard Six. The lounge
suit had become a practical multi-purpose
work wardrobe for men. They wore it
everywhere, in the garden and at leisure,
as well as to work. Hats acted as a marker
of class status for men. The 'bowler'
or 'bun' hat was for those with some pretensions,
while the peaked cap generally indicated
a 'working man'.
silk dress, circa 1911, with silver couched
embroidery and crocheted baubles has elements
of the oriental style, which became popular
from about 1908. The dress was made by dressmakers
at "The Polytechnic" in Oamaru.
(Otago Settlers Museum Collection)
is a World War One era lightweight, almost
hobble-skirted evening dress, with machine
embroidered net bodice, bead and sequin
trim, and self fabric rosettes. It
belonged to May Andrew who died in 1917,
aged 18, of a 'broken heart' according to
family stories, after her fiancé
was killed at the war. (Otago Settlers Museum
silk and lace petticoat for the straighter
dress styles that became fashionable from
1911 onwards. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)
cotton bloomers, with closed crotch seam
and buttoned flap at the back were an everyday
item of women's clothing about 1910. Front
view. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)
back view of the cotton bloomers. (Otago
Settlers Museum Collection)
1920 to 1930]