Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage
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The ship was a microcosm of post-Edwardian society, in which everyone belonged to a particular class and dressed accordingly. The luxurious attire of the ladies in first class, the cream of European and American society, was changed several times a day, while the more sober and conservative clothes of the men of all ranks subtly conveyed their status, and children were dressed to enhance their social standing.
We also visit the families below deck, dressed in second-hand or homemade clothes, heading for a new life in a country free of repressive class distinction. Stories and records of individual passengers and crew members are woven into the narrative to give an engaging account of what life was really like on board the world’s most famous ocean liner.
Helen Walton Bishop claimed to have lost property worth about $20,000. The jewellery consisted of a platinum chain with a diamond plaque, a pearl necklace with an emerald drop, sixteen rings set with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds, a string of pearls, a string of corals and two or three pairs of emerald and pearl earrings.36 Charlotte Drake Cardeza’s jewellery included items from the prestigious firm Tiffany & Co.: a Burma ruby and diamond ring worth $14,000 and a pink 7-carat diamond valued at
occasions such as informal parties or day trips, also wore patterned or plain bow ties. Wool socks were worn for day, black, brown or another muted tone, according to the colour of the suit. However, once again, members of the younger or faster set were branching out into brighter colours and patterns. The 1913 catalogue for the Army and Navy stores contains a variety of options for men’s socks, including hand-knitted ones made from cashmere or merino wool.56 In order to present a neat
kept wooden lasts for regular clients. Most of the men of First Class would have paid particular attention to the smartness of their appearance, and the cleanliness of shoes was crucial to this. They had to be immaculately clean and shiny, an effect achieved through the services of one’s valet or one of the ship’s stewards. Unlike the Norfolk jacket, which was worn for sport and outdoor pursuits, the lounge suit jacket was not belted at the waist. Although double-breasted jackets were also worn
Unsatisfied’. 33Judith B. Geller, Titanic, Women and Children First (Yeovil: Patrick Stevens, 1998), 83. 34Judith B. Geller, Titanic, Women and Children First (Yeovil: Patrick Stevens, 1998), 66. 35John Maxtone-Graham (ed.), Titanic Survivor: The Memoirs of Violet Jessop, Stewardess (Sutton, 1998), 211. 36The Dowagiac Daily News (January 1912), quoted in Judith B. Geller, Titanic, Women and Children First (Yeovil: Patrick Stevens, 1998), 42-3. 37John P. Eaton and Charles A. Haas, Titanic:
1,400 Chinchilla coat, Irish lace. New York 6,000 Chinchilla stole. Ungar, Carlsbad 1,400 Silver fox stole. New York 2,350 Ermine stole Muff. Dresden 180 Fur gloves for auto 3 Long white moth bag for ermine coat 1.5 1 Pink Paradise 75 1 Elephant’s breath Paradise 80 2 Pink Paradise 125 1 Black aigrette 100 1 Light blue aigrette 80 Small breast of Paradise 20 White ostrich feather, 20” long 35 Bunch of 13 white feathers 42 Long grey and white ostrich feather 50 5 white ostrich feathers 120 2