The Girl's Own Annual

Louisa Amelia Jane Vintage Fashion Store

1911 Snapshot Girl's Own Annual

This fabulous book arrived in yesterday's mail and joins four others I have in this series.

the girls own annual 1911

The Girl's Own Annual is not for children, as I mistakenly assumed from the title, but a magazine for older teen girls and young single women. It's a treasure trove of fashion illustrations, ladies wear, beauty advice, needlework patterns and edifying articles as well as "moral" fiction. It is edited by Flora Klickmann, whose needlework books I also collect, and about whom I have blogged before.

The Edwardian period is my personal favorite for vintage clothing - beautiful, feminine garments, often handmade with outstanding workmanship, like these gorgeous lacy bloomers.

Edwardian bloomers

edwardian bloomers

Chemisette / Guimpe

Firstly, I learned that a chemisette was also known as a "guimpe." See my recent blog post mentioning chemisettes.

Here are some charming suggestions for guimpes which a young woman may choose to make:


For those who don't know, a guimpe, or chemisette, was an insert to be worn underneath a low necked dress for modesty. Chemisettes are usually open at the side seams. These guimpes appear to have side seams stitched, and all have high collars, so maybe that was the difference. A young girl or woman could choose whether she preferred lace insertion, embroidery or tucks.

Women were trained to be proficient in needlework from their early childhood and their accomplishments are amazing to modern women. I have a school workbook which sets out lessons for children, and most women these days would struggle to cope with the lessons for eight year olds.

needlework lessons for children

If I'm ever lucky enough to find one of those short over blouses, centre and centre left, I will now know what they are.

Garments for girls

Here are some pretty garments for girls to make:


No doubt they mean older, teenaged girls, but you see what I mean.

1911 beauty advice

Beauty advice was also included and is often fascinating, including how to style your hair.

Here are step by step instructions for creating a soft pompadour or Psyche knot.

Who needs Youtube?

soft pompadour

psyche knot

Oh alright then . . .

The finished result - very Grecian, hence the reference to Psyche.

Ladies' Hats for motoring

From the sublime to the ridiculous, I was amused by these suggested hats for motoring. Remember that cars in 1911 were all open topped, so were breezy all year round and must have been an ordeal in winter. Better than taking ages in a horse and cart, or horse drawn omnibus. Not only breezy, but dirty and dusty. I have seen numerous patterns for motoring dusters, a jacket worn over one's clothes to protect them from dirt.

motor coats and hoods 1900s

You could see these hats as an evolutionary stage between the bonnet and the beanie.

Here is the motor coat

From the amusing to the poignant. I was touched to see this delightful series of portraits of the children of the Russian royal family. They were executed six years later along with their parents during the Russian Revolution.

russian tsar children

Anastasia, the subject of much speculation and legend as to whether or not she may have survived, is shown top left. She was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1956 movie.

Edwardian hats and bridal veils

And of course, some wonderful Edwardian fashions. I was particularly taken by the hats and the bridal veils.

edwardian hatsedwardian bridal veils

This is my oldest fashion magazine so far.

I can write it all off as research.

Louisa Amelia Jane Vintage Fashion Store


  • Joanne Thompson

    There are no publication dates in the books. To date them, I firstly looked at the fashions, which tells me roughly early or late 1910s, early or late 1920s. I also looked for historical events mentioned, such as the portraits of the Romanovs, which puts this book before their deaths in 1918 and before the Russian Revolution. You can actually work it out from the ages of the children with some research. It also seemed to be before World War 1. I then checked National Library and State Library sites for copies of these books, where experts have dated them. It’s been a while since I looked at this, but I seem to remember these compilations were published twice a year. I have five of these and the volumes are numbered, so I just slotted them in numerically on the timeline between the known facts.

  • Meredith

    Hi how did you find the date the book was published?
    I have recently come across two Annuals when going through some of my Grandmothers belongings. She was born 1898.
    Thank you,

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