Both practical and pretty, girls' vintage dresses from 1915-1920 came in a variety of fabrics, bright colors, and styles that were designed to be more suitable for playing. Dresses at this time featured shorter skirts (at or above the knee) with waistlines that were loose and softly defined. The need for a vintage hat was done away with as large hair bows became fashionable. Younger girls wore shoes called “Mary Jane” with socks that were shortened to the ankle (anklets).
Image: A young girl poses in a daffodil yellow vintage party dress featuring short sleeves and fabric flower appliques.
The yellow party dress features a softly defined waistline with a side fabric sash, a great style used in vintage flower girl dresses in the early 20th century.
In October 1915, McCall’s magazine featured four dress designs for young girls. Each style is described below.
The dress on the left features a design for a plaid, gingham, or serge dress with a long sleeve under-blouse of linen. A binding of contrasting material for the jumper and belt is shown. Alternate views shown here illustrate the design as a one-piece dress vs. a jumper with blouse.
Next is a simple child’s empire dress suitable for crepe or voile. This dress features a higher waist and could be made with or without the peplum. The dress is shown with short puff sleeves. Alternate designs shown on the right have two styles of long sleeves.
The third girl's dress is made up in heavy linen with contrasting color for the deep collar and cuffs. An alternative design features a collar of the same material trimmed with a button or two in a bright color. Yet another design retains the same lines but adds a wide bow to the back and lace trimmings at the sleeve, neck and hemline. This style can be made up in organie and lace as flower girl dresses.
The last figure is wearing a dainty child’s jumper dress in flowered cretonne with a round collar blouse of a finer material. This dress features a wide bow to the back.