Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Clara's 1923 School Dress

Clara has a cute dress today for school. "School?" you say "... not for a few more weeks!" Nope. My children start school tomorrow! I can hardly believe how fast the summer has disappeared.

So in honor of the new school year, Clara has a nice, dropped waist dress with a cute hat and some comfortable shoes to wear. All suitable for the first day of school... in the 1920s, at least. The dress has stripes that add some class to the otherwise plain fashion design. In the 1920s, fashions began to have very straight, sometimes formless designs. Instead of fancy sewing and dress shapes emphasizing feminine attributes, designers relied on materials to show off. Amazing fabrics, ribbons, trims, and beads were used to decorate otherwise simple fashions.

Women bobbed their hair and wore fantastic hats. Although nothing like the huge contraptions from the earlier part of that century, the hats from the 20s are pretty classy. I have already blogged a little bit about the style of hat called a "cloche" in this post. Many times, these hats were worn jammed right over the eyebrows, sometimes at an angle. Clara's cloche matches the dress, having the same striped ribbon trim.

Clara's shoes are made of a soft canvas-type material, rather comfortable and plain, with a very low heel. They have a little braided trim to dress them up a bit.

The original dress was ivory with a gorgeous shade of coral pink (one of Allison's favorite colors) for the stripes. The original hat was a bronze-y brown. And the shoes were entirely ivory or perhaps originally white.

This outfit, unlike most of the ones I post, would actually work in real life. Coral, ivory, and brown... a nice combination. Most of the fashion pages I post have three elements that would look odd together in the original colors. This fashion ensemble happens to work together. Of course, you can't see that. Hmm. Oh well. I hope when you color the outfits, you kind of make the colors work together, and have a nice ensemble going instead of using the original colors I try to mention in the posts.

Just a side note here: Many of the shoes that have survived from the distant past are white, since they were wedding shoes worn for perhaps a day, then packed up with the wedding dress. So instead of being worn out and thrown away, wedding shoes have a much longer shelf life than most shoes that were worn everyday. So wedding shoes and party shoes tend to end up in fashion museums, while work shoes are scarcely to be found. Anyway...

Colors in the 1920s borrowed heavily from Asia, as did the designs and clothing patterns popular in the decade. Here are some colors from fashions in the 1920s:

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 22 (758k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will be available on this blog as long as I continue to post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (718k)

If you like my paper dolls enough to want to share with others, please email or post a link to my blog rather than sending or posting a copy of the paper dolls. Refer your friends so they can enjoy the free, printable paper dolls on my blog. Please do not post my artwork on your own sites, modify any of the files, or distribute them to others.


  1. Nice! I like those stripes! Happy back-to-school!

  2. I think we will print out the last few dresses and have some coloring days before my girls head back to school!

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