Researching 1912 Clothes and Making or Faking Them

Should you find yourself in need of information about clothing in 1912, you can find solace and inspiration here, with my guide to the fashions and everyday clothes of the era. Thanks to Downton Abbey and the centennial hubbub going on for both the sinking of the Titanic and statehood for Arizona and New Mexico, 1912 is a currently a big hit for costumers and period piece enthusiasts, so there’s an incredible amount of information out there in the mists of the internet. I’ve been collecting period images, photos of extant garments, pictures of reproductions, digitized period texts, patterns, and tutorials for over a year now, and there’s so much excellent material that I want to share the wealth. So I’m organizing all my links and notes and bits of research, and putting it all here to hopefully provide a guide for people researching clothes around 1912.

Since I will be doing 1912 living history in (slightly belated) honor of New Mexico’s statehood centenary next spring, I’ll be using these resources myself. Methinks I might as well make them easy to poke through for everyone else. It’s astonishing just how much great costuming information the internet holds, and just how hard it is to find what you’re looking for, when you’re looking for it! This page is here to serve as an index for 1912-clothing-related posts full of links.

Researching 1912 Clothes and Making or Faking Them

General History of the Period

Overview of Clothing circa 1912

Women’s Clothing, including:

  • Overview of Women’s Clothing, circa 1912
  • General Resources for Women’s Clothing c 1912
  • How to Fake 1912 Women’s Clothing on the Cheap
  • Trends & Changing Fashions
  • Day Dresses
  • Separates (skirts, blouses, shirtwaists, jackets)
  • Formalwear (dinner dresses, evening gowns)
  • Shoes & Hosiery
  • Hats & Other Millinery
  • Outerwear
  • Accessories & Jewelry
  • Corsets & Brassieres
  • Undergarments
  • Hair & Cosmetics
  • {Nightwear}
  • {Sportswear}
  • Working Clothes (farming, heavy labor, servants)
  • High Fashion/Haute Couture
  • The Realities of Buying, Making, & Wearing Clothes
  • Dressmaking Manuals & Guides (see also Sewing in 1912)

Men’s Clothing, including:

  • Overview of Men’s Clothing, circa 1912
  • General Resources for Men’s Clothing c 1912
  • How to Fake 1912 Men’s Clothing on the Cheap
  • History of Menswear & Tailoring
  • Suits (daywear)
  • Formalwear (morning dress, tuxedo/dinner jackets, tails)
  • {Shoes & Hosiery}
  • Hats & Outerwear
  • Undergarments
  • {Nightwear}
  • {Sportswear}
  • Working Clothes (farming, heavy labor, servants)
  • {The Realities of Buying, Making, & Wearing Clothes}
  • Tailoring Manuals & Guides (see also Sewing in 1912)

Clothing in New Mexico & the Southwest, including:

  • Image Resources for Clothing in the Southwest
  • NM Newspaper Articles About and Advertisements for Clothing
  • Hispanic/Latino Clothing in the Southwest circa 1912
  • Native American Clothing in the Southwest circa 1912
  • Clothing in the Southwest in Other/Various Time Periods

Sewing in 1912

  • Dressmaking & Ladies’ Tailoring Manuals from c 1912
  • Tailoring Manuals from c 1912 (contents entirely/primarily for men)
  • Miscellaneous Manuals on Sewing, Mending, and Laundering

Note: if it has an asterisk*, there is a tutorial, how-to, or pattern on the other side of the link.

If there are any suggestions about material to add, please email me at ava dot trimble at g mail dot com. I hope to continue adding to these link collections.

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