When it comes to choosing an innovation that affected fashion during this time, we have a long list to choose from. New inventions, new fabrics, new media -- how do I choose? I finally settled on the automobile as the innovation, and decided to make a motoring coat or automobile duster. In the early 1900s, owning an automobile was a huge mark of status. Unfortunately for drivers and passengers, autos were open, roofless, windowless vehicles, so a drive could leave one pretty grimy from flying dust. To protect their clothes, they would wear a long, loose coat appropriately called a "duster". Eyes were protected with goggles, and a good snug hat covered the head. Women tied down their hats with veils that could be pulled over the face. Just arriving in a motoring coat told everyone "I own a car!!!" Of course, as the years rolled on and Henry Ford produced a car almost everyone could afford, motoring coats lost their glamour. But not their usefulness. Even with enclosed cars, a good duster came in handy for keeping the clothes tidy.
I'm going with a combination of these styles:
|Linen motoring coat, c.1910-15.|
|Linen motoring coat by Worth, pre-1910|
Now take note that dusters are usually dust-colored. I am strictly limited to the fabric I have on hand, being pretty well broke when it comes to stuff besides food and gas for my car (yes, folks, I own an automobile!). I have a great stockpile of fabric from years of stashing, and several good-sized pieces of linen. Linen's the fabric for a duster, but I need a lot of it for a long-sleeved, ankle-length garment. Therefore, my duster is going to be black. I know -- every speck of dust from here to Timbuktu will show up on my black duster. But it will be cool, perhaps even steampunk (Challenge #20 - Alternate Universe). I just googled steampunk long coat and whuddayaknow?! - they're all black!