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By about 1898, the sleeve had deflated and lost its significance. The neat sleeves on an end-of-the-decade dark green wool suit are notable, not for size, but for small epaulettes, trimmed in black and red to match the standing collar, and bands embellishing the asymmetrical jacket front opening. Fitting close over the hips, the gored skirt flares at the hemline, heralding the style to come in the first years of the next century.

By this time, more women now worked outside the home. Positions such as store clerks, telephonists, office clerks, secretaries, and typists were opening up (by now typewriters were common in business use). Steadily increasing female participation in outdoor activities such as lawn tennis, ball games, and bicycling contributed to demand for, and development of, appropriate, comfortable work and sporting attire. By 1900 Sears catalogue offered smart sensible suits with silk lined jackets.