Titanic

The wreck of the Titanic in 1912 was a memorable and sobering event that marks the period from 1900 to 1915.  Fueled by the inventive and optimistic energy of the turn of the century, this was an exciting time of change.  The turn of the century saw a movement to end the stodginess of the Victorian Age.  Mass production--mainly done in sweatshops--and mail order catalogues that were accessible to almost everyone allowed fashion to change more quickly.  Women's figures were still manipulated by corsets.  Favoring a more slim figure, women dressed to disguise their bust and hips.  Suits modeled after men's styles rose in popularity.  Very straight, narrow skirts were worn with blouses and jackets.  The trend for narrowed hems continued until many women had difficulty walking and often bound their legs to avoid ripping their skirt.  Because of this, they were called "hobble skirts".  To offset the slim body lines, large hats were worn.  Ostrich farms boomed fueled by the feather fascination.  Men's clothing, however, changed little.  The "modern" style of coat was emerging as the dominant male clothing item, although the longer cutaway style of the previous century was still seen.  A clearly defined line existed between work and leisure clothing.  Work suits tended to be more conservative, in more somber colors and styles.  Play clothes, on the other hand, were striped, checked, and often bright colored.  The adventurous optimism that held sway in the early Twentieth Century was soon swallowed by the dark cloud of war.  World War I broke out in 1914 ending the time known as the Belle Epoch and the carnage seen during the next years would forever change the face of the world.