Vintage style: The sweeping popularity of ribbons (1906)

Original publication: Los Angeles Herald Date: May 6, 1906
Categories: 1900s, Beauty & fashion, Drawings & illustrations, For women
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sweeping popularity of ribbons

The ribbon girl has arrived in all her glory.

1906-Sweeping popularity of ribbons

It is some years since the ribbon epidemic has been assigned a “star” role in the world of fashion such as it is destined to play this summer, when every niche of the feminine wardrobe will be made more alluring by its presence.

Turn where you will in the shops, on promenade thoroughfares or at smart functions, and the Ribbon Girl is very sure to loom on your horizon. But one does not tire of ribbons, even though a surplus is in evidence, for the reason that they are so attractively employed and for such novel purposes, not to mention their loveliness in color and design.

We may safely attribute the sweeping vogue of ribbons to the revived picturesque styles of La Pompadour, Marie Antoinette, Empress Eugene and other queens of fashion, who employed misty florals in silks, brocaded velvets and narrow Dresden posey ribbons such as were never used before. And the summer girl will do her bravest to eclipse all past records in manipulating ribbons to deck her dainty and bewitching person.

In the meantime we shall learn how the ribbon wizard transforms yards of it that seem to grow with magical beauty into all sorts of pretty things dear to the heart of womankind.

Some typical patterns

It is a difficult matter to sum up all the alluring designs that abound on shop counters, since every kind known to the mind of man is apparently given a place.

However, there is one never failing rule; when it has a flower on it you are all right. Florals show to best advantage on the wide sash ribbon with shot or moire backgrounds. The designs are all blurry, misty affairs that merely suggest outlines and colors. Large splashy designs are much liked while roses are good, orchids, violets, lilacs, sweet peas, lilies of the valley and pansy patterns, arranged in bunches, sprays, wreaths, are making strong headway. Narrow satin borders of color on wide ribbons enliven them. Black and gun metal backgrounds are very good for misty florals.

Wonderful artistic effects are produced in the satin brocaded ribbons, and the price per yard is the equivalent to the cost of a very palatable dinner. Many quaint posey patterns are shown, such as our grandmothers wore.

Stunning plaided and striped ribbon are great favorites. There is marked preference for black and white stripes or one of color, alternating with black, as is shown on the French sailor in the sketch. Hairline, stripes of color on white grounds, and vice versa, are also attractive. Blocked effects are good, especially where a neat embroidered figure occupies the plain block. Plaided ribbons suggest every Scottish clan, and many others the bonniest daughters never dreamed of. Plaided ribbons are attractive on small hats. Young girls are also using them for hair ribbons.

(Article continues below)

Moire patterns are much favored, both in plain colors and those with florals. Shot effects appear among all sorts of ribbons, as they are supple and easily manipulated, as are all the season’s ribbons.

>> Click here to see a larger version of the main illustration!

Millinery without ribbons

Of ribbons in millinery parlance, there is much to say.

t least three-fourths of the hats have the inevitable trimming of ribbon, and the smartest advance models straight from the hands of expert Parisian milliners ardently proclaim its triumph.

Bows are nothing this summer if not large, aggressive affairs. Some are wired and stand upright like a sentinel, others laid flat on the brim next to the crown, the loops being of graduating length, and are not infrequently caught with a buckle of black enamel and gilt or one of carved mother-of-pearl.

Ribbons are for the most part laid in narrow folds about low crowns, but for those of more ambitious proportion they almost completely conceal it. One imported hat with high crown was trimmed with floral ribbon that was put into a series of vertical gathers, placed two inches apart.

Either plain ribbon, such as chiffon taffeta, shot or glace qualities, blurry florals, with or without colored satin borders, chic stripe effects that are already somewhat monotonous, are all employed. Two shades of the same color or ombre ribbons produce some very happy results on hats in combination with just the right shade of flowers.

The bandeaus of ribbon-trimmed hats are massed with them, put on in a succession of loops, one large bow for several small ones. Wired loops, three inches long, are put under the short brim of some small hats, and stand out from the head in the same fashion as brush-like aigrettes, accentuating that elongated effect that is an essential part of empire fashions.

Large imposing rosettes of wide ribbon make dashing decorations, caught in the center with a decorative center; jet en cabochon is smart for this purpose. Several of the rosettes are massed together on one side of the hat, like two sun flowers with tilted quills adjusted behind them, so as to relieve the certain flatness that is sure death to fashion this summer.

Another idea is to employ narrow ribbons about two inches wide so that they form a succession of overlapping rose petals. This treatment is always carried out in a fan-like effect, directly in front or slightly to one side of the crown. Realistic roses of plain colored satin ribbon combined with rose buds or maiden hair fern, form a most attractive decoration. These roses show to good advantage either on small hats with large beehive crowns of the larger hats of leghorn or the dainty lingerie type.

Ribbons are very effective on black hats, and for these plain ribbon, two or more shades of the same color, are especially good. There is one advantage in this idea; when soiled, others may take their place and the hat is as good as new, as it will not show the soil.

Bow ties of ribbon, carried under the chin and tying on the left side under the ear, is an old-time, picturesque fashion that the summer girl will not be long in adopting.

Ribbons on clothing

Ribbons have their place on summer frocks and blouses, that are made all the more attractive by the dash they give these garments. Floral ribbons are fetchingly employed this summer for blouses made of alternate bands of ribbon and wide Valenciennes lace. The sketch given in the corner shows a blouse of this description, with a line of black connecting the two bands of lace, thus introducing distinctive chic.

1906-popularity of ribbonsThe chemisette of insertion and small revers finish the throat. Dainty Dresden ribbon, half an inch wide, alternating with two-inch lace, produces an indescribably charming effect. These narrow ribbons are likewise drawn through lace, are gathered into rosettes with long ends for the front of the blouses and at the elbows.

A charming waist of filet net was inlet with four-inch ribbon in floral pattern, to form a deep, square yoke; the cuffs on the sleeve, the collar and girdle were also of ribbon.

Bows of ribbon, the stiff, perky kind, have lost none of their vogue, but are best when of velvet. Large corsage bows of silk and satin ribbon are employed on the front of many gowns, especially the princess. Bands of flowered ribbon were successfully employed on an ivory white silk voile, the bands being three in number and of graduating width; the fagoting stitch was the means of connecting the ribbon to the skirt. The same idea would be attractive on a net frock.

A much-ruffled skirt of cream batiste was finished by bands of Dresden ribbon put on the very edge of each ruffle. Little rosettes were put upon the ruffles, alternately.

Ribbon accessories captivating

One of the most graceful accessories and at the same time economical one is a shoulder scarf, of flowered ribbon with long stole ends and edgings of lace, that are worn over white or plain colored summer frocks. One of the sketches shows this idea developed in one of the dashing, blurry floral patterns used for sashes and girdles. The bretelles are quite wide, fold over on one side and drop well over the shoulders. The same effect is produced in front as in back, where it is caught with a dull silver buckle. Valenciennes lace is employed as a finish on the edge.

Black, instead of white or colored backgrounds, is the very acme of chic and unusual in flowery patterns.

A tall princess girdle is also shown to which are attached ribbon bretelles. The girdle is well boned and “sprung” to fit the figure.

Coatees and Empire boleros of lace and ribbon are immensely smart. A little Eton shaped affair is shown of black velvet and yellow lace. The sleeves do not reach the elbow. Colored velvets are similarly called into play.

Parasoldom is overflowing with ribbon effects that are lavishly employed as deep or narrow borders on pale colored silks and linens. Ruffles of ribbon are also seen, and some tiny widths are used as a part of the Empire garlands and other motifs now so fashionable. Bows on the handle are very good.


Help us keep Click Americana going and growing -- with more articles and other good vintage stuff -- by getting copies of some of our books, shown below and in the Myria shop! This small business thanks you. :-)

(Article continues below)


Source publication: Los Angeles Herald

Publication date: May 6, 1906


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in 1906, accessories, clothing, fashion, hats, parasols, princesses
The Wonder Years’ Jason Hervey for Levi’s Youthwear (1979)

He's 63 pounds of raw courage, held together by Levi's Jeans. Jason Hervey, Age 7. Los Angeles, California. He's tough...

Close