1910s bridal fashion

Beautiful 1910s wedding fashion

Eleanor Clay Ford, on her wedding day in 1916

The first decade of this new century was an era defined by conflict. World War I loomed large, starting with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. While a truce was declared four years later, the impact of the war’s violent tragedies echoed for decades. This war was not the only upheaval, many empires collapsed and revolutions started during this time.

The Titanic sank in 1912, the Panama Canal was completed two years later, Prohibition started in 1919, and Einstein created the theory of General Relativity. For brides during the early 1900s, this was the age of radio, the start of jazz, the beginning of the Hollywood movie scene, and the Model T was the most popular thing on the road. So many innovations happened at this time, but also so much sadness. If you are drawn to this era, please check out our guide to 1910s bridal fashion and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

A dancing dress

The empire waist

1910s bridal fashion

Gowns during this time were mostly an empire silhouette (a waistline created right under the bust, free flowing from there), however natural waistline dresses were also popular. Whichever waistline you prefer, adding a sash with orange blossoms will lend an authentic feel. You’ll find a variety of necklines ranging from the modest high collar, to the rounded and v-neck styles.

It’s important to note that at the beginning of the decade, the style was all about length and constriction. Thin was in – the corset was a bride’s best friend. But by the middle of the 1910s, you will find hemlines rose and the skirt became more full. But what goes around, comes around and by the end of this era you’ll find long and lean looks (however, theses offered more movement than their earlier counterparts). The hobble skirt was also popular and would have many skirts draped over it creating a style known as the “harem” look.

Image from John Oxley Library

Formal studio wedding portrait, 1910

Dresses were very elaborate and detailed – white fabrics were draped with embroidered and sheer layers. Intricate beading was another common addition to the overall style of the gown. Bodices were crossed, sleeves were long, and trains were dramatic in their length. Common fabrics included silk, satin, chiffon, georgette, taffeta, and velvet.

When it comes to the 1910s color palette, the trend was toward rich and sumptuous colors. Think browns and pinks as you put together your color scheme. Bridesmaids followed the color theme and would often add large hats to complete their look. The groom kept it traditional with high collars, perfectly starched, and long coats over pressed slacks.

Completing the bride’s look, veils were long, tiered, and often matched the gown’s length. A bride’s bouquet was just as elaborate as the dress – grand and complete with streamers. Carrying a shower bouquet was the trademark of a beautiful bride.

Cause A Frockus would like to thank their tremendous resources: “Vintage Wedding: Simple Ideas for Creating a Romantic Vintage Wedding” by Daniela Turudich, “Style Me Vintage: An inspirational guide to styling the perfect vintage wedding” by Annabel Beeforth, and the people who post their images without restriction.

Replies for “1910s bridal fashion

  • Ellen Dial

    Wonderful piece!

    Love the photo of the newly minted Mrs Ford- she was very beautiful and her elegant wedding ensemble epitomizes the timbre of the times…


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