Shirt waist or blouse? When did women stop wearing shirt waists? After all, that is a term I use in many of my historical romances. Should I be calling the shirts actually blouses?
It's a hard question, As I started my research, I came to quickly see that the terms are interchangeable. Until the 1920s, stores advertised most every shirt or blouse as a shirt waist or simply a "waist".
|Notice the single word "waist" to |
describe these shirts and blouses.
|Notice her shirt waist.|
But what about the shirt waist? Buttoned up the front and looking like a man's shirt, it became a symbol at the beginning of the twentieth century for the freedom of women. It was especially associated with women in the workforce. Because women were ideally suited (it was believed) to operated typewriters, the way was opened for many young ladies to move to cities and find jobs somewhere other than merely a garment factory.