Just to give you an idea of the high cost of designer fashion at the turn of the century, here’s part of a newspaper advertisement for a clearance sale of imported French fashions at Wanamaker’s department store, New York City, May 1911.
The sale includes pieces by such noted designers as Paquin, Drécoll and Callot Soeurs (although the vast majority are by lesser designers). Most of the dresses are reduced from between 1/3 and 1/2 off their original prices. The reduced prices range from $73.50-$300 ($1,700-$7,000 adjusted for inflation). The original prices ranged between $110 and $600 ($2,550-$13,850 adjusted for inflation).