Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Gentleman and the Rogue + Edwardian Fashion

Hello! My name is J. K. Pendragon, and this post is to promote my new novel the Gentleman and the Rogue which comes out today at Less Than Three Press! It's an Edwardian action adventure spy steampunky noir … well, you can probably tell it's kind of a mishmash. If one or any of those genres interest you, please check it out!

I chose the Edwardian Era partly because the ideologies of the period fit well with the story, but mostly because the aesthetics of the time period were absolutely gorgeous! Especially the outfits, which is why I decided to make this article about Edwardian fashion, so if you decide to give my book a read, you can better imagine what the characters are wearing!

So without further ado, here is my far-from-comprehensive and questionably-researched post on Edwardian Fashion! (No really, I took a whole class on History of Fashion. Really.)

Men's Fashion

Men's fashion in the Edwardian Era was marked by a sharp square silhouette. Three-piece suits were the norm—pressed trousers, high-buttoned waistcoat and a jacket. Blazers or sack-coats were casual, whilst formal evening dress consisted of tailcoats with a white bow-tie and shirt. Collars were high, stiffened and folded into wings. Neckties were casual, bow-ties formal. Formal dress was also marked by a top hat and white buttoned spats. Winter dress included overcoats (ankle-length) and topcoats (knee-length). Hair was worn short, parted either in the middle or the side and combed flat over the head.

Edwardian men in formal-wear

Slightly more casual Edwardian menswear

Women's Fashion

Edwardian dresses are recognisable by their s-shaped silhouette—tapered waist and low full "pidgeon-breast". Sleeves gradually increased in size during this period, while hemlines rose from trailing on the floor to a scandalous ankle-length. Eventually the s-shape declined, replaced by a straight up-and-down silhouette that was considered very fashionable (unsurprising considering it meant that women were only able to take tiny, mincing steps in order to avoid ripping their skirt). But the real beauty in dresses of this period comes from the materials used in their construction and the beautiful oriental and art nouveau inspired designs. Lace, chiffon, crepe and charmeuse combined with embroidery and beading to create breathtaking designs.

A few examples of the gorgeous detail on Edwardian dresses.

Women also wore ridiculously huge hats large, ornate hats decorated with paraphernalia such as ribbons, feathers and sometimes even stuffed birds. Hair was swept up into a knot atop the head, and the "Gibson Girl" hairstyle—a messy bun with as much volume towards the front as possible was popular, especially in America.

And there you have it! Of course I could go into much greater detail, but the characters in The Gentleman and the Rogue all belong to the upper class, and for the upper class of the Edwardian Era, looks, fashion and money were everything! Which, of course, makes chasing after a masked rogue in the snow a dreadful nuisance. But it wouldn't be nearly as exciting otherwise, don't you think?

That's all for today! Please check out my new novel, The Gentleman and the Rogue!

J. K. Pendragon

Giveaway Info:

I'll be giving away a copy of The Gentleman and the Rogue at each stop on my blog tour! To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your email address. The winners will be chosen April 14th. If you're chosen, you'll be sent an email. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!


  1. Please count me in.


  2. There was a whole, environmental disaster dead bird on hat craze! I love this post. (Mmm, material culture.) Edwardian steampunk noir? Yes, pleeeeease. Thanks!
    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  3. Loved the blurb! Please count me in. Thanks!!!


  4. I'm always amazed at the workmanship of clothing from the past...even if it must have been uncomfortable to wear at times!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  5. Man, while I love the dresses, I'm kind of glad I'm not from this era. I don't think I could do the hair and the hats, they'd annoy the crap out of me. Thanks for the history lesson!


  6. I definitely agree about the wonderful aesthetics of the Edwardian Era. Thank you for the brief history lesson.


  7. Really enjoyed your fashion post. The fashions were very lovely. Loved the photos.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  8. Outfits very nice of the era.

  9. Please count me in.

  10. Love the era's fashion but I don't think it looks comfortable, especially in the hot Summer months. Please, count me in. Would love to read your story. :-)

  11. Great pictures. Count me in please.

  12. Please count me in

  13. Thanks for sharing the fashions. Makes me want to dive right into the book now.

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com


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