Monday, June 22, 2015

Interesting Selections From Butterick Catalog of Fashion, 1900 - Part 1 - Ladies in Sports

Part 1 - Women in Sports

I thought I would share some interesting selections from Butterick's Catalog of Fashion from Spring of 1900, many years ago!  We're all mostly familiar with long dresses for day wear, evening gowns, and other iconic fashions of the era, but how about some of the lesser-known types of clothing?

Here is the cover.

Lets see what interesting things are inside!

Would you play golf in this?

Seen here we have a skirt touted as being for "Golf and General Outings"... the shorter length shows that this was a sporty skirt.

"Stormy Weather"

These skirts are suggested for "cycling, golfing, skating, stormy weather, etc.,"   I can't imagine doing any of those things in such a skirt, but I have gone hiking in a dress before...

"For Cycling, Golfing, Rinking, Stormy Weather, Etc."

Look at the changing times, though!  Here are some "knickerbockers" that are much more suited for sports.

Don't get them caught in the spokes!

These "Turkish Trousers" are more voluminous and perhaps slightly more feminine, suggested for cycling.

I'm glad I don't have to ride a horse in that get up.

Here's a selection of equestrian outfits, English and American styles, the "safety" of the American style is that it "is to be worn with trousers, breeches, tights, or knickerbockers," but I'm not sure if that's to make you less likely to be injured or less likely to expose yourself. :)

Little over-gaiters are pretty cute.

More equestrian wear.

Divided like pants, but you'd never know it.

These "Divided Cycling Skirts" are rather like gauchos or a modern split skirt, but only suggested for ages up to 16 years.

The ladies who wore these would be surprised to see what their grandchildren wore to the beach!
Probably the most interesting to me are these outfits for swimming, gymnastics and other sports.  The bathing suits include a skirt while the gymnastic costumes are more like pants.

Of course, all of these patterns are *extraordinarily rare!*

But, Pattern Patter Team members always have some antiques laying around!

Check out some of the antique patterns and reproductions available by CLICKING HERE.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where some work outfits will be featured.


  1. Great article, I have always been interested in this era and have made several costumes from antique patterns, while they are a learning curve they are so worth it. Thank you for posting!

  2. I love to see all these old clothing drawings! Thanks for the posting!

  3. Great blog post, Very interesting to see how skirts evolved into early "sportswear" in the early 20th century. Thanks for the info.

  4. Wonderful blog post! I do like the Turkish trousers - practical compared to the skirts - but I think one would likely go under in one of those bathing costumes - so much fabric!

  5. Fascinating article. Love seeing how women's clothing has evolved over the years. Personally, I don't see how women moved well at all in those skirts, and probably had on a corset, too. You've come a long way, baby! I'm probably one of the very few who remembers that commercial:)

  6. Interesting article. Glad we don't have to wear such things for sports anymore!

  7. Interesting article. Glad we don't have to wear such things for sports anymore!

  8. This is fascinating. It's really a part of the history of women's rights, too. Even the more progressive sportswear clothing was burdensome and effectively constrained women's activities and kept them in their defined roles. I'm so glad I can wear what I want. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  9. I can not imagine how you could be sporty wearing some of those outfits !!
    A great blog shedding some light on fashions 115 years ago !

  10. ....And I hated the dopey gym suit I had to wear in high-school
    Looking at those bloomers I see how lucky I was to be born a half century later.

  11. I'm ready for these bathing costumes to come back into fashion (please)
    Great blog - love seeing these pictures!

  12. Thank you everyone, I'm very glad you enjoyed sharing these with me!