Harry Selfridge may have chosen to build his now-legendary department store at the “unfashionable” end of Oxford Street, but once established his flagship offered the latest and most covetable styles to all comers. The early twentieth century was a fast-changing and tumultuous time for fashion, as evidenced by costume shifts from Season 1 to Season 2. Let’s take a look back at what the store’s team wore last season and make some guesses as to what they’ll be wearing when Season 3 premieres on March 29.
World War I looms as Season 2 begins. Although Mr. Selfridge still leans on over-the-top events and opulent displays to define his brand, fashion itself has shifted toward simpler shapes and designs.
In 1914, women’s dresses are still high-waisted but have become mostly columnar with hemlines that end at the ankles. Hip-length, A-line “lampshade” tunics are gaining popularity, as are fashionable but impractical “hobble” skirts that flare at the hips and taper at the ankle. Both Rose and Delphine can be seen sporting the new longer-line jackets that emerged during this time, too.
The sack coat, waist coat, trouser triad remained firmly in place for stylish men, though waist coats were designed to button slightly lower on the chest.
Season 3 kicks off in 1919 and the era of the flapper is dawning. Although the minimalist lines of the 20’s are just starting to take root, dropped waists, slim silhouettes, and higher hemlines are beginning to appear on stylish ladies in London and elsewhere. Hats have become simpler and smaller, draped and tapered skirts are still popular, and a fascination with all things Asian is influencing textiles and designs. Pared-down, scaled-back clothes were both chic and pragmatic: In the aftermath of the Great War, textile conservation was still of great importance.
Double-breasted coats gain popularity among the men, as do predecessors to the modern necktie. Just as women’s clothing began to slim down, so did men’s. Pant legs narrowed, shoulders were trimmed down, and the overall silhouette was more trim and fitted.
Which of these new style shifts will hit the wardrobes of your favorite characters? Tune in to tpt 2 on March 29 to find out!