Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Early 1910's Hairstyle - Inspiration and How To

I thought I'd do a quick post on the hairstyle that I wore with my early teens tea gown to High Tea at Vaucluse house (the post for this dress is coming soon!)

I looked to many photos for inspiration but ultimately settled on a hairstyle I'd seen on the character of Lady Cora in Downton Abbey. Hairstyles in the early teens tended to be very soft and tossled. Unlike some of the earlier Edwardian hairstyles  the emphasis was not on volume, rather hair tended to fall nicely around the face, framing it.

Here some historical inspiration images:



Unfortunately none of these images really give a good idea about what the back of the hair looked like, that's when I went to Downton for inspiration. You've got to give it to the designers and makeup people on the show - they're attention to detail and historical accuracy it very good! So I trust them as a reasonably reliable source.

Eventually I settled on a hairstyle that Cora wears in Season One, Episode One.

Excuse the grainy screenshot!

What You'll Need:

  • Pin curl clips or a curling iron
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair rat
  • Hair band, ribbon or beads
  • Hairspray

To do this hairstyle I pin-curled my hair the night before but you can curl your hair however you feel fit. In the morning I took it out and gave it a quick brush through and created a side part.

At the back I sectioned off the lower portion of my hair close to the base of the neck. I then wrapped this hair upwards around a hair rat of the same colour.

Then I sectioned off the two front sections of my hair that drape around the face. I pinned these out of the way for the moment. (I didn't really take any more photos and for this I'm sorry!).

I then took the string of white beads and wrapped this around my head twice securing it with bobby pins just above the hair rat (NOT at the base of my neck). 

The inspiration for the beading in the hair actually came from something Rose wears in Titanic. I didn't want a headband (although they seem to have been quite popular at the time) because I felt it may overwhelm the costume! However you could substitute the beading for a headband quite easily in this hairstyle.

With the leftover hair at the back of my head I look small sections of hair, rolled them and then pinned them into place. Make sure you hide the edge of the hair rat when doing this. With the remainder of the beading I tried to pin it in a swirl shape into the hair.

Then with the front two sections I teased them to created a bit of body to frame my face and then pinned them into the curls at the back of my head. Hairspray to hold. 

I'm not sure if the above instructions make sense without photos, but hopefully from ones of the finished product below you will understand what I mean!



And with the costume:

There were a few fly-aways but overall I'm happy with how it turned out considering I didn't have a lady's maid to help me do it!


  1. Very pretty! I've always wanted to know how to do more of the S1 hairstyles. Well done!

  2. That era, went back to Grecian (Greek) fashion and hairstyles. The beading and accessories in the hair matches the ancient Grecian styling. If you're still trying to look, might look at Greek statues.

    I restore vintage photographs and came across this information (I used to have long hair and tried to find ways to style it). I hope this was helpful :)