Edwardian Fashion – The Gibson Girl

Sharing is caring!

Camille Clifford

Edwardian Fashion – The Gibson Girl

The Gibson Girl – became the first 20th century standard of female beauty and style, named after Charles Dana Gibson, a Life Magazine illustrator whose fanciful illustrations inadvertently created a new idealized style of Edwardian Fashion. American women in particular, tried to emulate this look through the early Edwardian era up to the beginning of the First World War. The Gibson Girl was defined as an emancipated post Victorian era woman, who wore daringly tight corsets to create an hourglass figure.She wore her hair long, and pulled it back into an updo bouffant or pompadour style. Read about the Real Gibson Girls – the amazing women who served as muses to Charles Gibson for his sketches.

Gibson Girl
Gibson Girls

Edwardian Corsets

Corset Evolution

The wished for waist size was about 18 inches, which was attained by corsetry and much pain, cutting up to 6 inches off your natural waist size – not to mention blood supply !

Corsets were typical of the period and women wore them daily, often gradually tightening the waist cords over a period of time until she achieved her desired waist size.Camille Clifford, an actress was famous for her waist size, which closely resembled Gibsons illustrations, but it was Gibsons wife, Irene Langhorne, who is generally regarded to be the original Gibson Girl. To learn everything you need to know about Edwardian figure, we defer to the excellent Fashion Era.

Irene Langhorne – The First Gibson Girl ?

Gallery of Gibson Girl sketches .

The Gibson Girl Silhouette

Gone were the bustles on the arms, Edwardian dresses were now cut to slenderize the silhouette, thin sleeves,large hips, large bust separated by an impossibly thin waist. The new straight front corsets created what was termed the S-bend, which pushed the bum back and the bosom forward.Add to that mix, the latest fashionable parasol and you were ready for the public!

Edwardian Dress – 1902

The Gibson Girl Hairstyle

The Gibson Roll or Gibson Tuck is still often seen in movies like Titanic, or any period drama from Edwardian days, in particular – Downton Abbey and the original Upstairs Downstairs. Just watching either of these two dramas will give you all the Edwardian style ideas you need. Have a look at this charming film from YouTubes Aaron1912 called Edwardian Girls and then check out how to Roll your hair like a Gibson Girl.

The Gibson girl, was essentially an american icon, and was applied to young women generally. She was known as ‘ the new woman’ – she worked independently from men, and was usually politically active, seeking the womens vote.

Downton Abbey

In the 1948 Vogue Magazine published an interesting retrospective on Charles Dana Gibson with a recreation of his illustration from The Weaker Sex. as photographed by Horst

That’s all !
© Glamourdaze 2011

Sharing is caring!


  1. This will be the style of my wedding next year, cant wait to look for my dress now that I’ve seen your info!

  2. An excellent piece of research. I paint Edwardian type ladies and will place a link to this post on my blog. Regards, Marie Theron.

  3. I love this post, it's particularly great to see that video of the gibson girls' hairstyles and hats! Thank you. :)

  4. Great overview; thanks. The illustration of the evolution of corsets is scary. It does remind me not to be depressed when vintage clothes don't fit my waist – at least I can breathe properly!