Carol Dean, 1910 Design Development

Original Designs for 1902 OR 1910 depictions of same character:

Corsets & Undervests

General for Era

Summer Corset of 1901-3

Corset undervest

Corsets Specific to Character, Place, & Depiction

The 1909 corset was Edwardian, and had “curves” (waist cinching and angled bones).  Suddenly, in 1910, it switched to the very long shaping and smoothing corset without waist cinching.  These were very basic, plain, simple, cheap, and mass produced.  We believe Carolie Lockhart would have two corsets – one on the cutting edge of fashion for meetings and public appearances; and an older short and waist cincher for riding and working on the ranch.

This depiction centers around the corset – everything is designed to enhance the long smoothe line of 1910 as it changes out of 1909.  Further projects can focus on riding skirts and corsets; but not at this time.

The petticoat is right on the edge of fashion too with the long silhouette and dropped waist as 1910 headed into 1912 Titanic and 1915 with very long waists.  We have simplified the inserts and lace found on extant garments to that which a western woman might order from the catalog or even make herself.  We assume Caroline Lockhart did not do much sewing between running a ranch, a bar, the rodeo, the newspaper, and writing books.  We do know her early ensembles were not “tailor made”, but homemade by someone.  We bet Caroline found someone to sew for her as a barter (or blackmail?)

Authentic Photos & Reproduction underwear ensembles we are aiming for:

Extant Corsets

1905 Straight French and getting straighter
1909 straight an long under the bust, but still had some curves
1910 the French brought it waaay down over the hips, but the boning switched to straight up and down with a horizontal section so the legs could bend and lift up
1910 French again keeps simplifying and straightening to a vertical line. These changes happened within a year
This 1910 reproduction is what we are aiming for – the new model and shape but in a simple and plain form and structure
The 1910 corset we will reproduce does look different on different women. Our model Carol is very straight already while this woman obviously had big hips and a little waist and needed to keep some of her prior to 1910 boning support because her body had been changed by wearing a corset all her life
The simplest form of 1910 corset is a summer vented one, which modern women would probably like, but we are using all natural fabrics and not working in it, so we should be fine with a “daily wear” corset
By 1914 you can see how the corset evolved into what would eventually become a girdle and then the “Roaring 20’s” with no structure at all. This 1914 French model is quite representative of what we are aiming for, except for modesty, we are using a chemise and higher bust without a bust supporter (“brassiere”) that would have been worn with this

Drawers Pretty much the same as before – Basic

There were still not “panties”, and as petticoats became lighter and lesser, and corsets became less structured, they had to wear SOMETHING underneath.  Split drawers were still worn until women went into pants in the 1915’s, and they were pretty basic – less frilly than the Edwardians wore closer to 1900.

Extant Examples we used to build from:

Petticoats/Slips specific too

Petticoats were called slips now.  They replaced the corset cover which went over the corset and the combination of Edwardians that went under it – to give a smoothing line and very simple plain garment to go on top of everything.  Underneath, she still wore drawers and an undervest that were washable as the bottom layer.

In general, they were decorated with lace, cotton or silk, and very simple and vertical in silhouette:

The Edwardian type of short combination was still worn, but the high “flip” of the ruffles would only work until the gores and flares went out of the skirts

Chemise or corset cover (or blouse) with knickers would be worn
Advertisement shows the latest silhouette created by a simple yet still Edwardian “slip” – the former petticoat

Specific to the character is a “Slip”.  These extant examples were used to design this character’s:

Western Skirts

The western split skirt is obviously for western riding a horse astride, although many women, particularly the daughters of wealthy ranchers and European investors, still rode sidesaddle.  Caroline Lockhart rode astride, and there are photos of her in this type of skirt.  We could build this exactly as is, but have selected a “going to town” depiction for now.  This can be made at a future date to expand her wardrobe.

Eastern influenced Western Skirts with blouses

Edwardian day dresses western styling

Era 2 piece suits with blouse Western styling

Ideas for construction


Other fabric ideas & final selections continued on main page

Final sketches are on the main page.  They incorporate the discussions and analysis of the prior pages.  To summarize final decisions for this starting depiction:

  1.  “Going to Town” western interpretation of a suit Caroline would wear to a business meeting
  2. Western adaptation of undergarments – simplify and make possible to dress herself
  3. Able to ride a horse – maybe – the long corset will be difficult
  4. Focus on the corset of 1910 for the correct silhouette
  5. Next focus correct undergarments
  6. Suit will use fabrics and notions a woman in the west could get and have a woman in town make for her and/or what she could get from a catalog
  7. Everything would fit -but not necessarily be form fitting (e.g. comfortable)
  8. Be able to switch accessories for depiction
  9. Keep cost down – as Caroline would (means cottons and current fabrics – not silks and reproductions if possible)
  10. Use readily sourced western wear that indicates Cody and Wyoming
  11. Use authentic as they are easily found, but only durable and well fitting examples such as gloves, boots, spats, hats, jewelry
  12. Add some fun “twists” for personality – like the bulldogger rodeo tie or thin leather necktie a man would wear.


That reminds us of one interesting dilemma with this character undiscussed that needs to come out in the final design.  This is a woman who started the rodeo which still exists today, could run a bar and drink with any man, rode a horse and ran a ranch, wrote lewd books and didn’t care who knew, and ran multiple businesses.  She grew up in a brothel (or not..) and started out wearing the height of fashion as she came from the northeast.

The question for the interpreter to answer is – whey would she still want to dress in the highest possible fashion as a WOMAN (eg – keep her legs covered and Edwardian blousewaists, etc.) when she was basically living a man’s life without fear of condemnation for her ACTIONS?

In other words – why did Caroline Lockhart intentionally dress in high fashion of a woman, when she was living as a man?  We think the answer is in her childhood and younger days for which there is little information.  Our solution will be to include men’s accessories, comforts, and conveniences within the “trappings” of a 1910 woman.

You will note the final design DOES look an awful lot like men of the day – and we didn’t plan this – found these photos after the design was done and built:

1910 Cowboys dressed up and ready to go to town
1910 Collegiate men.. collars.. silhouette.. ties.. buttons.. so much similar to women’s traveling and western fashion of the day. Were men and women closing the gender gap in fashion?



Click here to go to Carol’s Lockhart main page with the finished project (next)

Click here to go to Carol’s Lockhart Historical Context page

Click here to go to Carol’s Lockhart Fashion History page

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