Thursday, February 11, 2021

Edwardian Shirtwaists with Black Lace Yokes

I have a particular fascination with Edwardian era (1901-1914) bodices and shirtwaists due to the seemingly limitless possibilities for design and ornamentation. How can one not marvel at meticulous lace insertion, sharply pressed pleats, and layers of frothy ruffles?

My interest in early 19th century shirtwaists (and to an extent, bodices, which differ from shirtwaists due to their structured, boned lining) has recently extended to casually cataloguing examples of these garments with yokes and/or collars of beige silk layered with contrasting black lace.

As usual, auction sites like eBay and Etsy are my first step in searching for original examples. For the most part, sellers post lots of photos of garment details, and there consistently seems to be a wide variety of these garments for sale on the internet at any given time. You can see more examples of Edwardian shirtwaists and bodices on my extensive Pinterest board, here.


Example 1:

In addition to the superbly textured bodice fabric covered in swirls of black silk appliques, this bodice has a prominent yoke and collar that illustrate the effect of black lace on beige silk. And the hot-pink velvet binding on the collar is certainly noteworthy as well!

Edwardian black bodice, sold on Ebay

Example 2:

Another bodice (with a structured, boned lining) featuring a bold black lace with an interestingly large motif. The sleeves and pigeon breasted front likely date this piece to 1901-1903. The front of the bodice and yoke fasten over the right shoulder!

Black wool gabardine bodice with boned foundation and pintucks, sold on Etsy

Example 3:

I'm not exactly sure on the date of this waist, but the lavender (?) and silver (?) lace yoke and collar overlay are lovely. This waist is lined, but not boned.

This interesting piece has notably elaborate sleeve cuffs that match the collar and yoke. Both are additionally trimmed with black seed beads and net frills. The elaborate sleeves and short garment length make me wonder if this piece was meant to be worn under a dress...


Photographic Examples from Portuguese Photography

I'm also interested in how popular garments styles from the 19th and early 20th centuries influenced Portuguese fashions!

Shirtwaists with black lace yoke overlays appear in examples of early 20th century Portuguese studio photography (I found these photos in this amazing online archive). This means that my finished shirtwaist is also appropriate for portraying a Portuguese middle class woman of the early 20th century!

Retrato de familia Meadela/Minho


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