By 1901 the bustle dress was reduced merely to a bustle pad, thus helping to elevate the hour glass figure to being the epitome of fashion.
The narrow skirt with bustle, combined with a tiny waist and high collar formed an ‘S’ shape figure. Women’s skirts now went to the opposite extreme of the Victorian period; at times so narrow they hindered movement. The skirt was fitted and narrow to the ankle where it fanned out like a flower.
For the upper classes Edwardian suits and dresses were incredibly elegant and sumptuous. Women wore enormous hats boasting magnificent decorations with outfits made from silk, satin, velvet and georgette.
By 1910 women’s clothes allowed more freedom of movement. Some skirts even allowed women to ride bicycles. The period is noted for women’s emancipation and the suffragette movement was reflected in the fashion of the day. For the first time since the regency period designers were creating women’s clothes to be worn without corsets.