Thursday, December 15, 2011


After years of confining tailored blouses women celebrated 1910 as the  year of the neck - a plunging reaction to the previous decade's decorous necklines.

Kate Winslet as Rose in Titanic.

 Evening Gowns circa 1910

The vixenish V was denounced by prudish preachers; doctors warned that the new low line would cause pneumonia.

But women loved the seductively low-cut bodices which flaunted bold shoulders, and went to great lengths to make sure their skin was smooth and creamy white.  A favorite beauty treatment was to sit for hours with clothes soaked in lemon juice wrapped around their necks.

In 1920, London surgeon Sir James Cantlie warned that insufficient clothing about the neck and throat of women was causing an increase in goiter.  As a less dire consequence, he asserted the underclothed would develop puffy necks.  And in 1921, Virginia passed a bill forbidding women from displaying more than three inches of their throats.


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