• J.E Stanway

Edwardian Styles Are Making a Comeback (Again)

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

This article is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by SHEIN

Those of you who grew up in the '70s may remember Laura Ashley Prairie Dresses. Those of us who didn't have been treated to a resurgence in their popularity as clothing lines like SHEIN and H&M bring the styles of the '70s back to life.

Much of those styles, in their cuts and sleeve tucks especially, owe their look to the clothing of the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras. Puffed sleeves, lace collars, ruffles, and frills - all of these things popularized by the early 1900s are now alive and well for the third time over the last century, the second time as a revival. In other words, every generation since these styles first became popular has had the chance to see them in full swing - except without a corset this time.

I first noticed this rise in popularity when I was browsing through SHEIN's website at the beginning of the summer. As an old soul and lover of all vintage fashion, I was more than a little happy to find such dainty and flouncy dresses available, and there are a couple in particular that I think my fellow Cottagecore Creatures will be delighted to look into.

The Muslin Summer Dress

SHEIN Drawstring Waist Schiffy Ruffle Trim Swiss Dot Dress

This was the first dress that caught my eye during my browsing session. It instantly reminded me of the muslin dresses Winnie Foster wears in Tuck Everlasting as well as the MANY summer dresses shown in episodes of Road to Avonlea.

The inspiration for this Swiss Dot dress is clearly motivated by early Edwardian fashions (circa 1903-1908 approx). This can be seen by the looseness in the waistline, the v-shaped ruffle along the front as well as the high neck collar. Any girl who purchases this will instantly feel like running through grass fields and reading E.M Forester novels.

Anne-Approved Puffed Sleeves

SHEIN Frill Detail Lantern Sleeve Polka Dot Pleated Dress

Puffed sleeves were at their peak of popularity in the 1890s-1900s. As the years went by, the puffs deflated slightly into a size far more practical, but they didn't really fade in popularity until around the first world war (only to appear again in the 1930s).

When I discovered this Lantern Sleeve dress on SHEIN's website, it instantly made me think of the brown dress Rachel Lynde sews for Anne in the first Anne Of Green Gables novel. This is a fashion reappearance that I'm probably most excited about, as puffed sleeves are flattering on everyone and can add style to even the plainest dress. My fellow AOGG fans will surely be pleased to hear about this dress, and, hopefully, it won't be long before we can all wear one to a summer picnic!

Buttoned Scoop Neck and Cuffs

Contrast Panel Striped Frill Trim A-line Dress

This neckline is probably one of my favorite vintage fashions. With the right panel of lace and a pair of buttons, a person could take their plain white blouse from homely to stately. The white cuffs also set off the shape of the sleeve on this style of dress, making it pop out to everyone who will see it.

In the old days, a dress of this style would most likely be a strap sleeve jumper with a white blouse underneath. This style of dress was quite popular for women of industry, such as teachers and secretaries. In fact, this particular dress reminds me of an outfit worn by Kellie Martin in the Christy TV series, which is based in 1912. Any Edwardian enthusiast who owns this dress will feel as independent a thinker as they come, or as Christy once said:

"more teacherly this way."

Though some of these Edwardian/'70s revival dresses come off a little tacky (modern fashion industry problems), these particular styles are beautiful, feminine, and perfect for every lover of vintage fashion! If you're looking for something a little more old-fashioned, I highly recommend checking out the rest of SHEIN's bohemian dress line.

Click here to see more of what they have to offer!

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