List of Contents
Introduction Page 2
England Page 3 to 7
Norway Page 9 to 12
Sweden Page 14 to 17
Denmark Page 19 to 23
Germany Page 25 to 28
The Netherlands Page 30 to 32
Hungary Page 34
Italy Page 36 to 41
Portugal Page 43 to 45
End Page 46
I am Monkey and I am interested in the fashion in
England and other countries.
I begin my trip in England and then move on to the
I have got a lot of information and pictures about
clothes in England.
Fashion has really changed from 1900 – 2005.
Shall we start?
‘Fashion’ in the early 1900’s
Upper and middle classes
Fashion was very important for the people that lived in the
early 1900’s. “La Belle Époque”, as it was called, lasted from
roughly 1890 until 1914. It was an age of extravagance and
style. Fashion adopted Art Nouveau and everything was worn
with an air of luxury.
Upper-class ladies clothes were supposed to make the
women seem mature, sophisticated and well bred. The ideal
outfit would present a flowing silhouette, with the skirts
over the ladies
behind them when
they walked. They
were made out of
soft, flowing fabrics,
which revealed the
figure. Full curves
and a low bosom
from having an
hourglass figure to
an ‘S-bend’ and tiny
belts and sashes of every kind. During winter, a more practical
outfit was worn in the form of a tailored dress or suit. The
dress had a walking length skirt, which swept just off the floor
to keep it out of the mud when going outside. The suit was
made up of a jacket, matching skirt and contrasting blouse.
Sport was just being discovered and so clothes had to be
easier to wear and play in. It also meant that for the first
time in a long period the ‘corset’, a piece of underwear that
made women thinner, was finally dropped from fashion.
Ladies at this time enjoyed many sports, including tennis, croquet, golf,
fencing, riding, cycling and, of course, motoring. The arrival of the
motorcar caused a new unique style of clothing to be developed. A long
duster coat and a motoring hat with a large veil were considered
essential for travelling in the open-top cars.
Men wore long slim trousers, slightly full at the top
and jackets with broad, padded shoulders. They
often dressed in waistcoats with lapels, as well as
two types of coat: a ‘morning’
coat and a ‘sac’ coat. When a
man was motoring; a cap with
goggles and a linen duster
Children from rich families
wore frocks that grew longer
as they grew older. Children in
this era were usually sensibly
dressed, with clothes made
out of a practical material that
looks pretty, but can be played
in. In addition, various
customs dressed siblings the
same and children in miniature versions of what
parents wore. Boys and girls were dressed nearly
identically up to about the age of 12.
Rich family portrait
All rich ladies
wore a hat. waistcoat
Boys wore breeches
Tapering because they looked
The younger daughter’s Mother wears trousers smart and they were
dress is shorter than the an s-bend also more suitable for
elder daughter’s dress corset and a the type of activities
because it is more suit. and playing that would
suitable for playing. turn them into good
This picture shows a family portrait of a rich family in the early 1900s.
The father is shown in the centre of the picture, he is the boss of the
family, and he also earns or owns the money and house. The wife is
dressed in the latest fashion and she is also wearing an s-bend corset
which gave her a fashionable figure. In Edwardian times it was common
to have 3-6 children, which now seems a lot. It would have meant a lot of
clothes and washing!
Lower and working class
Compared to the rich, the poor people of the
early 1900’s did not have fashions. For one main
reason: that they simply could not afford to buy
new clothes every month to follow fashions.
When a family had extra money, which was rare,
they had to buy food and pay rent, so having the
most up-to-date clothes was not the most
important thing on their minds.
The rich had the money and the time to go shopping and make
themselves look beautiful, therefore a lot can be said about the rich and
their fashion in Edwardian times. However, there is very little that can be
said about the poor and their fashion because of their money problems
and their lifestyle, which was not suitable for
Children wore hand-me-down clothes that
were usually passed from brother to sister
and from neighbour to neighbour. The
clothes they wore frequently had holes in
and were dirty, as there was little clean water
and soap or time to do the washing. A
possible image of a young girl and boy in the
early 1900’s could look like this:
For adults, their style of clothing was quite
similar. They often got their clothes second hand from richer families.
Nurse Gardener and the
Nanny gardener’s boy
This picture shows the servants who would have lived with a rich family
in the early 1900s to help to run their large homes. Most of the servants,
especially those who worked inside, would have had a uniform given to
them by the family so that they looked smarter. The gardener and his
boy might have worn their own clothes because they would get muddy
while they worked. Some of the women servants were still expected to
wear corsets; this was very uncomfortable for them when they were
working. Being a servant to a wealthy household was a good job for a
poor person because they got food, clothes and a bed to sleep on as
well as a small wage.
Now I’m going to the cold Norway
When I arrive I am going to meet
some families and go to some
shops to find out more about the
fashion in Norway.
Fashion around year 1900
Women have stopped using corset, so that
they can move more easily. Do you know
what a corset is?
This must be a man who is
going to a party. He even has
a top hat.
Do you think I would look smart in a top hat?
Look at these children. They must be rich. The girl has got a short dress
the boy wears knee breeches.
I think these children have never seen a monkey before!
“Bunad” is the Norwegian national costume. These days it has become a
Shoes for children
Do you know something? They have started making special shoes for
Both boys and girls wear the same type of shoes.
I saw these shoes in a shop in Bergen:
Ladies’ shoes: Mens’ shoes:
I am walking to Sweden
to find out about fashion
Maybe it looks like in
Let’s find out.
The monkey arrived in Norrköping at eight o’clock in the morning. He had
thought about trying some new clothes, so he went to a store. On his
way to the store he pasted a theater. When he looked into the window he
could see children acting, so he went inside.
- Hello! he shouted out.
- I was wondering if you would like to tell me where I could find some
- That depends on what you want, a little girl said.
- I don’t know, maybe you could show me what there is.
- Yes, of course. We could show you what we have in the play.
- Oh, thank you! I’ll go and sit down until you are ready. The children
walked backstage and changed their clothes. After a while a little boy
came out on the stage.
- Here you’ll see Anna in a traditional folk costume. She is wearing a
dress made of linen. Underneath she has a skirt and on top she has
an apron. She is also wearing a hat. This is ordinary clothing for daily
- Fascinating! the monkey shouted.
- Yes. And next out on the stage is Sven with his own clothing that he
wore when he came in with today. He’s wearing shirt, waistcoat,
trousers and a long coat. On his head he has a hat which his mother
made for him and gave him last Christmas. On his feet he’s wearing
socks and pair of shoes.
- I have never seen such beautiful clothes before, the monkey said.
- Well that’s the fashion these days.
- Don’t you think they look nice, monkey?
- Oh of course. They look very typical for the adults.
- Now we are going to show what the children are wearing. Here you
have Maria and Erik.
- Here you can see that the girls have a style that it is much like the
older women’s clothes. And the boy’s clothes are much more stylish
and have a taste of the military uniform. You can also see that it is a
little bit of sailor dress in the boy’s clothes. To separate clothes for
boys and girls, they have different colours. The boys have light blue
and the girl have pink colours.
- Now I can see the difference, the monkey said happily. I’m sorry but I
have to leave you now, because I have one more thing to do before I
go home again.
- Of course we understand you, it was a lot of fun to have you here, and
we hope that we will meet you again. Have a nice trip and good luck
with your life.
- Thanks my friends, I wish the same for you! Goodbye!
On the monkey’s way to the station, he heard some lovely music in the
When he began to look he saw a church. He thought that the music
came from the church. So he decided to go in there.
When he came in the church was full of people, and he wondered what
was going on. He sat down on a bench and suddenly he saw a couple in
the front of the church. There was also a priest who was talking to the
couple who were just getting married.
After the wedding the monkey wanted to have some pictures of them so
he took his camera and took some photographs of them. He looked at
his watch and saw that he was very late for the train, so he said goodbye
and thanks to everyone. When he got on the train he thought about all
the good times he had on this trip.
This is the picture of the couple that got married:
I am going to Denmark by
boat and I have heard that
Denmark is flat and small.
Maybe I can see the whole
country, but the most
interesting will be the
The word fashion has to do with personal style, clothing, design
Fashion changes with time. It can fit the shape or modify the figure.
To many people clothes is a way to show who you are. In the year
1900 rich people would use clothes and fashion to show their
status in society. Poor people would still mostly think of clothes as
something that should be practical and warm. But they would
change clothes for school and churchgoing.
RICH LADY IN 1900.
In the 19th century, women’s costumes were
made-up of a variety of parts that could be
combined in many ways. Ladies would wear a
dress or a skirt, and the upper part of the
body was covered by blouse. It might be of
fine silk or embroidered delicate fabric. Silk
was highly desired for its luxurious qualities
in Denmark. It seems to be high-class people
who wore beautifully embroidered and high
colour blouses with a full, yet closer fitting
skirt and hat.
THE RICH LADY IN AND OUTSIDE THE HOME.
In the home the ladies wore long dresses but not so fine as if they
were going out. The dresses they wore at home were normally in
dark colours. They could wear the dresses because they did not
have any kind of work, they had to do. They had to look pretty,
because they had to live up to their husband’s reputation. A rich
man looked for a wife, who knew about fashion and had class.
When they went out to dinner parties or out with some friends, they
had to look their best.
The women wore long colourful dresses, and a fine hat that
matched the dress. The hat was a symbol of status, and it
showed other people that they were rich, upper-class people.
The bigger the hats were, the more status they had. On the
picture you can see five different hats. They are especially
made in a special hat store for women. They are all very
expensive. If it was a really fine dinner they had to wear long silk
Underneath their dress the women would wear a corset. A corset
was a closefitting undergarment which was strapped onto the
upper body to support the waistline and the hips. It was a custom
that all fine women had to wear corset, because they had to look
very slim. So if you had a pot-belly a corset could help you. But the
corset was often so tight fitting that the women almost had trouble
breathing. But they wanted to look slim even though they had to
Different types of corsets worn by women.
CHILDREN IN THE CITY AROUND 1900.
In the 1900 children’s clothes was very
different than it is today. Girls were always
dressed in dresses, and the boys always in
pants and nice shirts.
In the rich families the boys had some very
fine trousers with a matching jacket and they
wore butterflies or ties. The girls had some
long, big and beautiful dresses. The girls often
had hats which would match their dresses.
The rich people´s clothes was of a much
better quality than the poor people´s.
When they went to school the children had to
wear some kind of school-uniform, it was very
At home it was allowed not to wear hats and butterflies or ties. But they
still had to look presentable, if guests or visitors might show up.
CHILDREN OUT IN THE COUNTRY IN 1900.
Out in the country they did not care much for fashion.
They had practical clothes, because they had to wear
clothes which they could work in. For example brown
trousers, an old shirt and heavy boots. And sometimes
they had hats on, mostly in the summertime, when they needed to
protect themselves from the sun. It was normal to wear old and dirty
clothes when you were a farmer´s boy or girl, because they had to be
able to work in it.
Almost all the clothes was handmade. The woman in the house was
often very good at sewing clothes, and if there was a big hole in the
clothes, they would not throw it out. No, they kept it and mended it until
the clothes was so ruined, that they could not use it anymore. The only
kind of fine clothes they had was the one suit which they wore, when
they went to church on Sundays. But it was not as fine as the rich
people´s church clothes.
A farmer with his two boys. Both boys wear
a hat as protection from the sun.
Pictures of fashion
Elegant evening wear.
A mother with her two daughters
are posing for the
It was very fashionable for boys to wear a
suit. Young boys would wear short
Little girl dressed as an adult.
Now I know all about the fashion in Denmark.
I’m on my way to Germany.
There was a person that told me
about the fashion in Germany.
I wonder what fashion is like
The clothes change and women don´t wear corsets any more. The skirts
are shorter and not so wide and they have wonderful hats.
The clothes are sporty, useful and elegant. They use make-up and the
hair is short.
Typical for men in the cities is the dark hat, the long coat and boots.
In the villages men wear simple clothes, because they don´t have much
In 1904 girls wear on special accasions wonderful dresses. The clothes
are long and have lots of bows and laces.
The small children wear simple clothes at home.
For the boys it is typical to wear a suit when there is a celebration. They
look like a sailor.
In their freetime they have simple shorts and a pullover or a shirt.
Now it’s time to move on
to the next country: The
They have shown me
some texts and pictures
about the fashion there.
Fashion in the Netherlands in 1900
In the countryside
and in the fishing
On Sunday, when
they all went to
church, they wore
their best clothes.
Mostly these best
region has it’s
Still the older
Dutch girls in
I am flying to Hungary to see the
cities. There is a great difference
between clothes in the Netherlands
Fashion At the beginning of the 20th century people in
Hungary liked wearing „Hungarian” clothes. These were
not exactly folk costumes, but the basic motives of our
folk dresses could be found on them. When there were
great national celebrations e.g. the 15th March the greatest national
holiday in Hungary (commemorating
the revolution and war of independence in 1848) it was
expected to wear these clothes. Patriotism was a central
issue, and that required this kind of appearance.
In villages men still wore the
traditional clothes which were
comfortable while working in the
fields or looking after animals.
In the towns and big cities clothes were more
„global”, you could probably see the same cut in
Budapest which was in, in Vienna.
My grandmother in the 1920s
I am going to a library in Italy and
search for fashion there.
The fashion in Italy is just a little bit
different from the rest of Europe.
I can tell that from the books.
In the first half of the last
century the gap between
social classes was very
deep. The poor and the rich
had completely different
lifestyles. And also living in
the countryside was quite
different from living in towns.
The way people used to
dress was a mirror of their
However there were some
basic rules followed by
everybody. For example women were expected to have long hair
fastened in buns. Trousers were not right for them,
only long skirts were considered proper. All men
used to wear a hat and on formal occasions they
wore a dark suit with a waistcoat and a pocket
watch. On these occasions also children were
expected to wear a jacket, sometimes in a military
style, and a pair of long trousers, while on week
days they used to wear shorts, even if it was cold in winter.
Most of the people who lived in Tuscany were poor farmers who could
not afford expensive clothes, so they wore very ordinary ones which
were always the same day after day and put on the fine outfit on
Sundays to go to church.
They had only one pair of black leather shoes for winter and clogs for
summer. When they needed mending they were taken to the cobbler.
Buying a new pair of shoes was seen as an important event which had to
be planned beforehand. Clothes were mended too. Holes were covered
with patches and the worn out material was put upside down and tailored
again. Every single item was handmade, even socks were knitted.
Nothing was ever thrown away, but shoes and clothes were handed
down from the eldest to the youngest members of the family.
Those who lived in the country used to wear hats made of straw or of
chequered cotton fabrics. Men belonging to the upper classes used
straw hats for everyday walks and silk-hats on special occasions.
Women who belonged to the rich families could afford very expensive
clothes, made of precious material in a
fashionable style. They had the
opportunity to wear them to go to the
theatre or to a party.
After the second world war things gradually
changed. Some families belonging to the
middle class could afford short holidays to
the mountains or to the seaside. At that time sportswear was at the very
beginning. It is interesting to see what a ski outfit looked like in the 30s,
and what swimming costumes looked like in the same period.
There was a widespread sense of public decency which prevented
people from being undressed, even if they were going to go for a swim or
they were relaxing on the beach.
I decided that it was
time to move on and
go to the last country:
Let’s go there and
check it out.
Fashion in Portugal
-The long skirts were very popular, because the ankles were not
supposed to be seen.
The corset had a main goal: make ladies’ waist look thinner. It also
helped the girls in their youth to look more elegant and it also
transformed their bodies.
-Long hair with elaborated hairstyles
The three main pieces of clothing were the jacket, the pants and the
waistcoat. Underneath, they used to wear a shirt and also a tie.
The hair was short and in the face exuberant mustaches, beards and
The hat was always present and their favourite was the top hat.
A family dressed for a party
Children and youngsters
I had much fun, it was
a great trip.
Now, I have learned
many things about
I hope you have
learned a lot too?!
My trip was very nice
but now it’s time for me
to say goodbye.