Titanic Centennial

Ragtime Dance Weekend

featuring Richard Powers with Angela Amarillas

from the San Francisco Bay Area, California

Friday April 13-Sunday April 15, 2012

Boulder, Colorado

titanic titanic
passengerscapt smith


Home Schedule Ball Costumes


suggest we put this into a downloadable pdf once we settle on the text. And the stuff below may need to be reorganized/consolidated to make this page more readable as it's awfully long. I'm thinking we should separate into a Ladies'page and a Gentelemen's page? Also, I'm aware of a display issue with the header photos in Firefox on this page, which I will fix.

Costume photos - some on this page, and some in downloadable pdf . I scanned some period men's daywear and crews clothing from some of my Titanic books . I also think we need to list some salient links to other web sites rather than reproducing everything we find on the web here unless there is a reason to consolidate from several web sites. I have put in the one's Dorothy found, and will also look at my own bookmarks

2.Ball - Evening Costumes

3. Ball - Day Costumes

4. Ball - Crew Costumes

5.Costume Workshops

6. Optional costumes: Friday Molly Brown House tour, "A Night to Remember" and Sunday Tea

1. Workshop Dress and Dance Hall Etiquette

Casual, comfortable clothing for the workshops. As a courtesy to your partners, please bring one or more dry shirts to change into if you perspire profusely.

Please wear clean, non-marking, soft-sole (leather, not rubber) non-street shoes to protect the beautiful floor. Recommend low heels or flats for women. You want shoes that will turn easily.

Prevent allergic reactions: Please leave strong perfumes and after-shaves at home. Sensitive noses will thank you!!

There will be plenty of room to hang your ball wear in the coat room on Saturday during the workshops.

2. Ball - Evening Costumes

Both ladies and gentlemen of the Ragtime era would have been unfamiliar with jeans, shorts, t-shirts, polo shirts, tennis shoes, and other 21st century garb. Their comfort zone is described below, and we know you will be most comfortable recreating your outfit within these parameters Please note that this is a period costumed ball, and all attendees will be expected to participate in one of the many costume options offered. (Don't worry, our Costume Crew stands alert and ready to help you plan if needed!

Ball costume guidelines:

1) First Class Passengers: formal period wear 1910-1914

2) Steerage: period daywear 1910-1914

3) Crew: per the luxury lines of 1910-1914

Within these choices, there are a wide range of ways to accomplish a costume:

Money Time Sewing skills Nature of costume assembly
$ minimal zero to minimal Easily assembled thrift store components with minimal sewing
$ or $$ more time medium Thrift store components + partial sewing
$$ to $$$$ more time and/or $$$ advanced Sew authentic replica from scratch, or purchase an original gown



What characterizes the ladies' lovely evening gowns of the Ragtime era?

  • Skirt length: long - no more than a couple of inches off the floor
  • Sleeve length: they vary - sleeveless to elbow length to full length, with sleevelss to mid-length most common for evening
  • Waistline: raised waistline, usually 2-3" wide band - often a sash with ends that hang
  • Many designs included a peplum or other visual layers
  • Colors:- pastels to deep colors to jewel tones. The Ballet Russe came to Paris in 1909 and brought across bright colors, many with an Oriental flavor
  • Symmetry vs asymetry: both were typical
  • Fabrics:generally speaking, they were fabrics that would drape easily - silks, charmeuse, laces (get an opinion if you're not sure if the lace you're considering looks "old" enough
  • Hair styles: Hair was bobbed (short) or, more commonly, long and put up on top of the head
  • Hair ornaments: feathers combined with other decorations were common.
  • Jewelry: necklaces very common; pins in particular locations on the gown were also common
  • Gloves: long for formal; optional for semi-formal
  • Shoes/stockings: modern character shoes, or similar, will do nicely. Ladies would not have shown their bare legs, so they wore solid colored long stockings. (If you have troublesome feet, by all means, wear flat shoes!)

Titanic Fashion

Ladies Evening Dress: The Ragtime Era


How would a gentleman of the era dress for a formal ball?

  • Evening dress: typically black tails
  • Vests:
  • Shirt/collar:
  • Tie:
  • Spats:
  • ...

Men's Evening Dress: The Ragtime Era


3. Ball - Day Costumes


What would ladies day wear look like?

Edwardian Titanic Women's Clothing (not everything on this site is historically appropriate, so please check with Susie or Dorothy before adhering to theri advice)

Wikipedia: 1910's in Fashion

What would the gentleman's day wear be like?


men day wear

Edwardian Titanic Men's Clothing

Wikipedia: 1910's in Fashion


4. Ball - Crew

Ladies (Stewardess)



5. Costume Workshops

To learn how to easily create a lovely period costume from your closet and/or the thrift store, come to one of our Thrifty Costume workshops to be held:

Ladies: January

Gentlemen: [date(s)]

Need advice or have questions about your costuming? Contact Susan Reisser or Dorothy Vernon to sign up for a workshop or to get your questions answered.


6. Friday Molly Brown House tour, viewing of "A Night to Remember", Sunday Tea

Optional period costuming. Feel free to attend in modern clothing!

Molly Brown and her husband purchased their house in 1894, and the house is currently restored to 1910. With these general guidelines, if you do want to don period wear for these events, we suggest 1890's through teens day wear.


Historical note: TBD