Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Featured in Drapers: 100 years ago this week

In the first of a four-part series where we will look back at what Drapers was reporting on 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago, we take you back to our October 30 issue in 1915.

In 1915 while World War One was being waged throughout Europe, Drapers was already 28-years-old. Then published at 154-156 Cheapside in London, the magazine’s cover did not look as we know it today, instead it featured advertising from British suppliers.

Drapers 1915

Drapers, October 30, 1915

The first five pages were given over to advertising – all British companies back then – before launching straight into the news pages, with the top story being ‘The Christmas Bazaars’. This reported on drapers (or drapery stores, then a large part of Drapers readership) preparing for the Christmas trade and in particular the need for wholesalers to fill gaps in supply formerly met by “enemy” suppliers. The second news story, entitled ‘”Nataional Economy” Stupidities’ decryed the Parliamentary War Savings Committee’s suggestion that all citizens should be prepared to put half their incomes towards “the prosecution of the war”. The then Drapers team didn’t hold back, calling it a “manifest absurdity” and noting that “the stupid suggestions of which were killed by just ridicule”.

Drapers 1915 3

Drapers’ lead story in 1915 urged retailers to prepare for the Christmas rush

The product pages, entitled ‘The Fashion Market’, depicted the latest trends via illustrations. These included lace blouses, rough weather coats, and the bonnet cabriolet (pictured). The shorter skirt is described as “correct for dinner but too short for dancing”, and Drapers criticses the look by suggesting that it appears as “an overskirt with the foundation skirt accidentally omitted”, though no length is actually indicated. Chocolate brown is also described as “fast becoming a fashionable shade”, and indoor fur collars are also said to be on trend.

Drapers 1915 4

Rich shades of chocolate, in-door furs, and lace blouses were what women wanted in 1915.

As a sign of the times, the advertising pages were full of British manufacturers, including from our once famous silk trade.

Drapers 1915 5

Drapers advertising pages were packed full of British suppliers in 1915, with everything from lace to wool.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.