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Womens dress Circa De Agostini Picture Library N Grifoni Bridgeman Images

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The Bustle Era: Women's Fashions of the 1870s and 1880s

Dolores's interest in fashion history dates from her teenage years when vintage apparel was widely available in thrift stores.

Women's clothing of the 1870s and 1880s was heavily trimmed, ornamental, and draped. The hourglass figure of the mid-19th century gave way to a longer, slimmer silhouette with narrow skirts. Emphasis on the back of the skirt grew from fabric gathered at the rear to the exaggerated, shelf-like bustle of the mid 1880s.

Background

During the 1870s and '80s the Industrial Revolution produced a concept of conspicuous consumption. Capitalism generated a new type of elite and class consciousness. While once status was based on royalty, nobility, and land ownership, a new social elite grew out of industry.

The Victorian concept of morality based on financial success tied self identity with consumption. As mass production increased the availability of products the producers of those goods needed new customers. Advertising, fashion magazines, and department store marketing enticed a materialistic culture to desire novelty, luxury, and ornamentation.

Architecture and interior design looked to historic periods for inspiration. Furniture and buildings reflected and mixed Gothic, Renaissance, Rococo, and Louis XVI styles.

Department stores lured shoppers with lavish displays, creating the concept of shopping as entertainment. Self identity merged with the consumption of increasingly ostentatious products. Combine these new social norms with the ideal of feminine status displayed by immobility and you have the basis for fashions of the Late Victorian era. Elite women did not work. A stiff, rigid posture underscored the lack of movement that separated the upper class from the working class.

Fashions of the period are easily gleaned from photographs, advertising, fashion magazines, and fashion plates. While portraiture and painting does not always reflect styles of the day, many artists depicted what women actually wore. The painter James Tissot depicted women in contemporary costume. August Renoir's paintings reflect the clothing worn by the middle and working class.

Dress of 1870-1878

  • Two-piece outfits featured a bodice and skirt. A bodice was a stiff, fitted jacket like garment usually supported with whalebone or steel. The bodice of this period featured a basque which extended below the waist and could reach the knees at the back.(See picture below)
  • Tight-fitting sleeves reached 3/4 length or to the wrist. Coat sleeves were fitted and ended in deep cuffs.
  • Sleeves were set higher that than earlier when drop shoulders restricted arm movement.
  • Skirts usually matched the bodice. Horizontal draping and overskirts required copious amounts of fabric. Overskirts were gathered at the back, supported by a bustle that was attached to a crinoline.
  • Many women kept two bodices for every skirt—one for day wear and one for evening. Evening bodices were often off the shoulder with very short or elbow-length sleeves edged with ruffles. Evening bodices also featured more decorative embellishments than for day wear.
  • Necklines came in V neck, rounded, or squared styles. More open necklines could be filled with a lace frill or chemisette. Low-neck bodices featured high necks at the back.

1878-1883

The bustle grew small with the introduction of the cuirass. Bodices featured a point below the waist in front and were fitted smoothly over the hips. The skirt grow a long, heavy train. Embellishments appeared low and at the back of the skirt. Narrow skirts made walking difficult, resulting in small, mincing steps. Some skirts featured horizontal draping created with hidden strings and hooks.

1883-1890

  • The bustle came back in a big way. A large, shelf-like protrusion at the rear was more exaggerated than the softly draped bustle of the 1870s. Trains mostly disappeared and hemlines ended a few inches above the floor.
  • Wrist-length sleeves remained tight. Small puffs developed at the top of the sleeve, a precursor to the balloon like leg-of-mutton sleeves of the 1890s.
  • The bodice remained closely fitted with short basques or polonaise styles. This was a longer coat like dress worn open over an underskirt.
  • Long, belted blouses hung to the hip.
  • High collars worn closely fitted were supported with whale bone and came attached to bodices, dresses, or jackets.

Historical Influences

Polonaise cut bodices and gowns recalled women's fashions of the 1700s. The bodice portion extended below the waistline and hung like a long, open robe or coat. Polonaise could appear as a gown that was cut away in the front, then drawn back over the hips. Some polonaise styles appeared quite gaudy with the under and over dress made of contrasting fabrics, or one printed and one plain fabric. Trim made of one portion decorated the other and vice versa. Some critics complained of the patchwork look and odd arrangement of trim.

Dolly Varden was a polonaise style named after a character in a Charles Dickens novel. Similar to 18th century styles, bright colors and floral patterns came in cotton, chintz, or muslin.

A princess line dress recalls medieval gowns. Full length pieces of fabric are joined to create a straight line without a defined waist. Form is created with darts. A princess dress worn a la polonaise with an overdress draped back towards the rear. Some featured a pattern or different colored front panel.

Tea Gown

Artists of the Aesthetic Movement often designed the clothing worn by their models. The movement, originating in the 1840s saw the mass production brought by the Industrial Revolution as dehumanizing and sought a simpler beauty based on craft and historic styles. The forms and designs introduced by these Pre-Raphaelite artists began to influence women's clothing. The tea gown, born of these softer designs was worn by women at home when they received friends for tea.

Tea gowns were worn without corsets. More comfortable than the standard day wear, tea gowns were loose and often featured loose flowing sleeves.They could be practical or decorated with lace and flounces for a soft, romantic look.

Sportswear

Women increasingly engaged in tennis, croquet, boating, riding, and golf. Tennis costumes were produced in soft knit fabrics called jersey, named after the famous actress, Lillie Langtry, the Jersey Lily (she was born on the British island of Jersey).

Though women did not engage in actual swimming, bathing was a popular summer activity. Bathing costumes consisted of bloomers worn with an overdress, black stockings, and bathing shoes. By the 1880s, bloomers shortened to the knee. By 1885, some bathing costumes were sleeveless.

Hair and Hats

In the 1870s, hair was worn parted at the center and pulled to the back of the head with some curls framing the face. Large braids or long curls hung down the back of the head.

As the silhouette slenderized, hair was worn closer to the head arranged in a tight bun with curls around the edges and at the nape of the neck.

When large configurations of curls hung at the back of the head, hats tilted up or set on front of the head. Some hats set back resting on a chignon.

The back of women's hair often mirrored the back of the skirt. The eruption of large, festooned bustles led women to wear scalpettes or frizzettes which were false hair pieces.

Hats of the period were heavily festooned with ruffles, lace, feathers, and flowers. The early 1880s saw beaded edging on the hat brim. Between 1884 and 1888, the Postilion hat featured a high, flat crown with a narrow brim that turned up on one side or at the back.

Some brims rose to an arched point in front in the late 1880s.

Hats were made of plush, felt, or velvet. Straw hats were popular in summer.

Footwear

While lower heels predominated mid century, heels rose in the 1870s. Shoes and boots sported high heels and pointed toes. Boots reached lower to mid calf. Winter boots were trimmed in fur. Women wore white boots in warmer weather.

Evening shoes or slippers made of white or cream colored leather or satin were sometimes decorated with ribbons or faux flowers.

Stockings matched one's outfit or shoes and could be embellished with embroidery or striped. In the 1870s white silk stocking patterned with tiny designs were popular. Black stockings predominated in the 1880s.

Accessories and Jewlry

  • Gloves were an important part of a woman's outfit. Long, elbow length or above the elbow length were worn for evening with short sleeves. Short wrist length gloves appeared with long sleeves.
  • Folding fans were a popular accessory of the era. Pretty lace or painted pictures decorated the fan that was supported on tortoise shell, wood, or ivory sticks.
  • Parasols protected women's skin from the sun. Many featured ornate handles and long points at the ends. Trimming ran around the edge of the fabric.
  • The elite wore brooches, hair combs, necklaces, rings, and bracelets adorned with diamonds, pearls, garnets,rubies, and emeralds set in gold. Less wealthy people wore pearls or garnets as well a faux gems.
  • Black jewelry made of jet or black onyx was popular and could be worn during mourning periods when garments were restricted to black following the death of a loved one.
  • Tortoise shell appeared as hair combs and was used to create pique in which the shell was inlaid with precious metal.
  • The discovery of vast amounts of silver led to the mass marketing of silver jewelry, affordable for the middle class.
  • Cameos, those lovely pieces of carved shell or coral, were abundant and worn by the upper and middle class.

Undergarments

Many layers of undergarments made getting dressed quite an ordeal. However, each piece was attractive in cut and fabric with tiny embellishments.

Corsets made of heavy, pieced and starched cambric offered support with bands made of whale baleen or steel . Corsets covered and lifted the lower bust. Tiny waists were emphasized by a flare at the hips. These uncomfortable undergarments accentuated an ideal figure and were viewed as an essential support for women. Dress reformers and health professionals reviled the corset and dangerous as well as unnatural. Exaggerated claims blamed this ubiquitous undergarment for miscarriage, cancer, epilepsy, and nervous hysteria.

Corset covers hid the stiff lines of the corset.

An underbodice was like a sheer, pretty undershirt that ended at the waist. Worn for warmth or modesty under a sheer dress or bodice, underbodices featured trim at the top which could be seen when wearing low necked bodices.

A chemisette was like a dickey. The sheer, lacy, delicate garment worn with a low necked bodice could change the look of an outfit. In those days women did not own as many garments as they do today so enjoyed slight changes to add variety to their wardrobes.

Drawers tied at the waist with legs ending below the knee. Edging at the bottom was simple, featuring lace, embroidery, or ribbons. Like the drawers of the past, drawers of the 1870s and 80s had an open crotch.

A combination was a shoulder to knee garment with legs worn under a dress instead of a chemise and drawers. Made of wool for winter, cotton or linen in summer, this garment proved less bulky than wearing several undergarments.

The bustle provided support for dresses and skirts that exaggerated the rear. Horizontal ruffles of stiffened material and horsehair pads tied around the waist. Bustles also appeared as long, spiraling coils worn horizontally, hoops sewn into cambric, or braided and netted wire. The Langtry bustle could collapse for ease when sitting.

Outerwear

Capes and cloaks of the mid 19th century gave way to coats and jackets. Jackets worn tight across the upper back could have a loose or tight front and ended just below the waist.

Coats worn knee length or longer were designed and cut to accommodate bustled skirts. Sleeves featured wide, turned back cuffs.

The pelisse was a robe like garment that fell 3/4 length or reached the floor. Often high waisted, the pelisse was trimmed with fur.

An ulster coat was a log, belted coat with a removable shoulder cape and hood.

Chesterfields were slender, tailored coasts similar to menswear. They featured small, velvet collars.

© 2017 Dolores Monet

Comments

Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on September 09, 2019:

Hi Katie - I am glad that you enjoyed my article. I have written articles on the history of fashion and often include historical perspectives on how clothing reflects the political and social mores of an era. But mostly it's about the clothes. You can see some of my other articles in the sidebar at the top right.

Katie Vandyck on September 07, 2019:

The first part of your article that describes the change in social hierarchies and the consequent concentration on identity as being defined by you HAVE rather than how well born you are, is as well expressed a description of how the Industrial Revolution brought about the curse of over-consumption as I've ever seen. Brilliant. Thank you Dolores. The rest of the article is very enjoyable too, and so helpful. Such good work. I found the part about Tissot and his realistic depiction of late 19th century women's clothing particularly useful. You written any other articles, or books? With best wishes, Katie

Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on June 30, 2017:

Peggy - love the old looks too but they were so uncomfortable. Of course the heavy clothing and fancy bustles were used more by the upper class. Women who did any kind of work had to wear clothing they could move in.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 29, 2017:

I love viewing paintings of that era but cannot imagine having to dress that way. It is interesting how fashions, architecture and interior design all seemed to blend.

You have assembled great photos to illustrate the fashions of that era. I'm happy that I do not have to worry about buying a collapsible Langtry bustle. Ha!

Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on May 05, 2017:

Hi Sweetie Pie - I love the old outfits too. They are so beautiful even when they seem ridiculous like the giant bustles. Thanks!

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on May 04, 2017:

I love looking at art and photos of fashion from that time, but would not want to wear it. Funny how the large derrière seems to be making a comeback, but now more via fitness and squats.

Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on May 02, 2017:

Hi Bill - well that's good because you'd probably look a bit silly in a bustle!

Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on May 01, 2017:

Hi Blond Logic - I am so glad to live in an era when you can pretty much wear what you want. Back then the servants and working people dressed more comfortably so they could move around. Corsets must have been like torture. Lead was used less in the 1870s and 80s as makeup was considered vulgar and only hints of color were achieved through the use of lip salves, many of which were homemade. Lead was used to whiten the face in the 1700s and earlier.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on April 25, 2017:

They are so elegant and elaborate.

With all that fabric and cinched in waist, I can see why fainting occurred more then than now.

Plus makeup with lead...

I wonder what history will say about the fashions of today.

Fabulous images and information.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 25, 2017:

What a charming hub, Dolores! I love the way you link in the historical and social details as well as the other fashions of hairstyles, shoes etc. It makes the whole thing so interesting.

How on earth did they ever sit down in those bustles? Someone else could sit on the one in that c1885 picture!

Fashion styles are always so intriguing and you always do them proud.

Ann

Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on April 25, 2017:

Hi FlourishAnyway - I used to have a black lace boned bodice from the late 1880s or early 90s. I was so skinny then that it actually fit. Sadly, it wandered off as do the things we have in our youth. Wish I still had it. Those boots sound awesome. Thanks!

Dolores Monet (author) from East Coast, United States on April 25, 2017:

Hi simplehappylife - me neither. They could not bend in those corsets. But at home they could wear a tea gown so they could actually move. Fake hair pieces have been around for ages! I love the boots too. Now those I could see wearing! Glad you enjoyed!

simplehappylife on April 24, 2017:

1. I'm so glad current customs don't require us to wear as many layers as these poor women had to wear. Imagine the Summers! LOL

2. I had no idea that fake hair pieces have been used for this long (other than wigs, of course). I truly thought that was a fad of our modern times.

3. I love those black boots. So pretty :)

Thanks for the fun read!

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 24, 2017:

I love the Victorian style of clothing. Not so much on all the hairstyles and I'd sure hate to wear one of those bathing suits, but this was a real treat of an article. I have a pair of antique lace-up black boots from the era and have often wished I had a lovely dress from this era to display in my home.

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The Dress

Kenneth Winston long sleeve dress in ivory. Dress is full of appliques and jewels. The top does have cups and an illusion covering underneath that can be removed.

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Model 1879 Officers Full Dress Frock Coat

Contributed by David L. Velleux

Model 1879 Officer's Frock Coat

A Model 1879 Officer's frock coat for a major general.

Please Visit our Home Page to learn more about the Spanish American War


General:

The Model 1879 Officers Full Dress frock coat was the coat worn by most United States officers during the Spanish American War.

The Coat:

The Model 1879 Officers Full Dress frock coat came in three different variations. The Model 1879 Company Grade Officers Frock coat was made of dark blue wool with 14 buttons sewn in two columns of seven, evenly spaced from neck to waist. Each button has the arms of the United States on its face with a letter for the corps of service in the middle of the shield on the eagle's chest (for example, an "I" for the Infantry, an "A" for artillery and a "C' for cavalry). If an officer was not assigned to the infantry, the cavalry or artillery branches, the button design could be just the plain Arms of the United States, to represent general services, or it may be very specialized, such as the design used for the Corps of Engineers. The tail flaps of the frock coat had pockets within each flap, with a button at the top and bottom of each flap.

The second variant, that for field grade officers, was identical to that used by the lower ranks, but had 18 buttons sewn in two columns of nine.

The third variant, that for general officers, was also basically identical, except the collar and cuffs were of dark blue velvet and the buttons were of the general service variety. The buttons were set in one of the following patterns indicating the wearer's rank:

     General - Two columns of twelve buttons, set in groups of four.

     Lieutenant General - Two columns of ten buttons, set in groups of three-four-three.

     Major General - Two columns of nine buttons, set in groups of three.

     Brigadier General - Two columns of eight buttons, set in pairs of two.

To indicate an officer's rank, shoulder knots were worn. The knots would have a velvet background in one of only four colors: white for Infantry, red for Artillery, yellow for Cavalry and black for all other officers. A gilt cord wrapped around the pad's outer edge three times and forms a double "figure eight" on the narrow end around the attachment post, which had the same design as the frock coat's buttons. The regiment number (such as a "1" for the 1st U.S. Infantry Regiment) would be embroidered in the pad's center. The rank insignia was embroidered on both sides of the regiment number. All second lieutenants had only the regiment number in the pad's center, while a colonel had only a silver eagle on the pad without a regiment number.

For a general officer, epaulets were worn. Epaulets are very ornately embroidered insignia worn on the shoulders, made of gold bullion thread with bullion fringe. Rank was indicated as follows on the epaulets:

     General - Two five-point stars on either side of the Arms of the United States

     Lieutenant General - Three five-point stars

     Major General - Two five-point stars

     Brigadier General - One five-point star


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Dress 1879

1870s in Western fashion

Costume and fashion of the 1870s

Bustles and elaborate drapery characterize evening dresses of the early 1870s. The gentleman wears evening dress. Detail of Too Earlyby James Tissot, 1873

1870s fashion in European and European-influenced clothing is characterized by a gradual return to a narrow silhouette after the full-skirted fashions of the 1850s and 1860s.

Women's fashions[edit]

Overview[edit]

By 1870, fullness in the skirt had moved to the rear, where elaborately draped overskirts were held in place by tapes and supported by a bustle. This fashion required an underskirt, which was heavily trimmed with pleats, flounces, rouching, and frills. This fashion was short-lived (though the bustle would return again in the mid-1880s), and was succeeded by a tight-fitting silhouette with fullness as low as the knees: the cuirassbodice, a form-fitting, long-waisted, boned bodice that reached below the hips, and the princess sheath dress. Sleeves were very tight fitting. Square necklines were common.

Day dresses had high necklines that were either closed, squared, or V-shaped. Sleeves of morning dresses were narrow throughout the period, with a tendency to flare slightly at the wrist early on. Women often draped overskirts to produce an apronlike effect from the front.

Evening gowns had low necklines and very short, off-the-shoulder sleeves, and were worn with short (later mid-length) gloves. Other characteristic fashions included a velvetribbon tied high around the neck and trailing behind for evening in a similar style to Georgian era fashion (the origin of the modern chokernecklace).

Tea gowns and artistic dress[edit]

Under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and other artistic reformers, the "anti-fashion" for Artistic dress with its "medieval" details and uncorseted lines continued through the 1870s. Newly fashionable tea gowns, an informal fashion for entertaining at home, combined Pre-Raphaelite influences with the loose sack-back styles of the 18th century.[2]

Leisure Dress[edit]

Leisure dress was becoming an important part of a woman's wardrobe. Seaside dress [3] in England had its own distinct characteristics but still followed the regular fashions of the day. Seaside dress was seen as more daring, frivolous, eccentric, and brighter. Even though the bustle was extremely cumbersome, it was still a part of seaside fashion.

Undergarments[edit]

With the narrower silhouette, emphasis was placed on the bust, waist and hips. A corset was used to help mold the body to the desired shape. This was achieved by making the corsets longer than before, and by constructing them from separate shaped pieces of fabric. To improve support, corsets were reinforced with many strips of whalebone, cording, or pieces of leather. Steam-molding, patented in 1868, helped hold the curvaceous contour.[4]

Skirts were supported by a hybrid of the bustle and crinoline or hooped petticoat sometimes called a "crinolette". The cage structure was attached around the waist and extended down to the ground, but only extended down the back of the wearer's legs. The crinolette itself was quickly superseded by the true bustle, which was sufficient for supporting the drapery and train at the back of the skirt.[5]

Hairstyles and headgear[edit]

In keeping with the vertical emphasis, hair was pulled back at the sides and worn in a high knot or cluster of ringlets, often with a fringe (bangs) over the forehead. False hair was commonly used. Bonnets were smaller to allow for the elaborately piled hairstyles and resembled hats except for their ribbons tied under the chin. Smallish hats, some with veils, were perched on top of the head, and brimmed straw hats were worn for outdoor wear in summer.

Wraps and Overcoats[edit]

The main kind of wrap that dominated in the 1870s were capes and jackets that had a back vent in order to make room for the bustle. Some examples are the pelisse and the paletot coat.[6]

Style gallery 1870–1874[edit]

  1. Walking dress of 1870 has a tiered and ruffled skirt back.
  2. 1870 fashion plate shows jacket-bodices with draped and trimmed skirts in back. Ruffles and pleated frills are characteristic trimmings of the 1870s.
  3. 1870s American bathing dress, with ankle length skirt, long pants, and long sleeves
  4. French morning dress of 1871 features a narrow red ribbon at the low neckline and a large matching bow with streamers at the back waist.
  5. Dolly Varden dresses of 1872 demonstrate the popular fashion of the early 1870s known as "Dolly Varden"
  6. Artistic dress of the early 1870s. Portrait of Mrs. Frances Leyland by Whistler.
  7. Outdoor dresses of 1874 feature overskirts caught up with buckled ribbons. Jacket-bodices have cuffs and high necklines. Small straw hats with flat crowns and long ribbons (similar to men's boaters) are worn tipped forward.
  8. Backview of a dress of 1874 shows the draping of the overskirt and the slight train on the underskirt. France.
  9. Dress of 1874 with draped overskirt and ruffled underskirt.

Style gallery 1874–1879[edit]

  1. Tight dresses with long trains of the mid-1870s are trimmed with pleated ruffles, bows, buttons, and braid, and are worn with hats with ribbon streamers.
  2. French evening gown is festooned with flowers and is worn with mid-length white gloves and a black neck ribbon. The high-knotted hairstyle is typical of the mid-1870s.
  3. Morning dress of c. 1875 has a trailing overskirt and is trimmed with a profusion of ruffles and ribbons. Hair is braided into a crown high on the head.
  4. Semi-sheer dresses of c. 1877 show back fullness beginning at hip-level rather than the waist as in 1874–5. The tight, princess-line dress on the right fits smoothly to the body from the shoulders to the lower hips.
  5. Evening gown of 1878 has a long train and a squared neckline. It is worn with opera-length gloves.
  6. Jacket and skirt costume of 1878 features a long train trimmed with pleated frills and ruching. Matching ruching trims the cuffs of the sleeves.
  7. Court gown of 1876 features a train, long white gloves and the three white ostrich feathers representing the Prince of Wales plumes in the hair.
  8. Hunting costume is made green wool, Scotland, c. 1878.

Caricature gallery[edit]

  1. Cartoon "Veto" by George du Maurier from Punch, satirizing the tight dress styles of the late 1870s.
  2. An extreme class contrast: "Young lady of fashion, 1871" vs. "London Dairywoman".
  3. From the Danish Punch, satirizing the general fashion in 1876
  4. Cartoon by George du Maurier from Punch, May 25, 1878, satirizing both impractical women's fashions and men's formal military uniforms.

Men's fashion[edit]

Paris fashion of 1878 features a coat with a contrasting collar, a waistcoat decorated with a watch chain, wide ascot tie, square-toed shoes, and a top hat.
Canadian legislator John Charles Rykert wears a narrow ribbon necktie and a collarless waistcoat. His coat has wide lapels. 1873.

Innovations in men's fashion of the 1870s included the acceptance of patterned or figured fabrics for shirts and the general replacement of neckties tied in bow knots with the four-in-hand and later the ascot tie.

Coats and trousers[edit]

Frock coats remained fashionable, but new shorter versions arose, distinguished from the sack coat by a waist seam.[clarification needed]Waistcoats (U.S. vests) were generally cut straight across the front and had collars and lapels, but collarless waistcoats were also worn.

Three-piece suits consisting of a high-buttoned sack coat with matching waistcoat and trousers, called ditto suits or (UK) lounge suits, grew in popularity; the sack coat might be cutaway so that only the top button could be fastened.

The cutaway morning coat was still worn for informal day occasions in Europe and major cities elsewhere. Frock coats were required for more formal daytime dress. Formal evening dress remained a dark tail coat and trousers. The coat now fastened lower on the chest and had wider lapels. A new fashion was a dark rather than white waistcoat. Evening wear was worn with a white bow tie and a shirt with the new winged collar.

Topcoats had wide lapels and deep cuffs, and often featured contrasting velvet collars. Furlined full-length overcoats were luxury items in the coldest climates.

Full-length trousers were worn for most occasions; tweed or woollen breeches were worn for hunting and hiking.

In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis began to sell the original copper-riveted blue jeans in San Francisco. These became popular with the local multitude of gold seekers, who wanted strong clothing with durable pockets.[7]

Shirts and neckties[edit]

The points of high upstanding shirt collars were increasingly pressed into "wings".

Necktie fashions included the four-in-hand and, toward the end of the decade, the ascot tie, a tie with wide wings and a narrow neckband, fastened with a jewel or stickpin. Ties knotted in a bow remained a conservative fashion, and a white bowtie was required with formal evening wear.

A narrow ribbon tie was an alternative for tropical climates, and was increasingly worn elsewhere, especially in the Americas.

Accessories[edit]

Top hats remained a requirement for upper class formal wear; bowlers and soft felt hats in a variety of shapes were worn for more casual occasions, and flat straw boaters were worn for yachting and other nautical pastimes.

Style gallery 1870–1875[edit]

  1. 1870s photo of President Rutherford B. Hayes. His coat and shawl-collared vest or waistcoat have covered buttons. Note functional buttonholes all the way up his coat lapel.
  2. Three-piece suit with frock coat, 1870s.
  3. Oliver Hazard Perry Morton wears a narrow string tie, 1870s.
  4. Gentleman in a railway carriage wears a dust-colored coat, trousers, and collar-less waistcoat with a dark red necktie. He wears a fur-lined overcoat and tan gloves. Britain, 1872.
  5. Plate from The Gazette of Fashion shows a fur-lined overcoat (left) and double-breasted topcoat (right) with braid trim and decorative topstitching, 1872. Checked trousers were quite fashionable.
  6. Photographer Mathew Brady wears a coat with braid trim on the collar and lapels over a matching waistcoat. His turned-down collar is worn over a four-in-hand necktie. 1875.

Style gallery 1875–1879[edit]

  1. Two-piece lounge suit of tartan wool twill buttons high in front. English lounge suits were typically worn with bowler hats. 1875-80, England, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, M.2010.33.9a-b.
  2. Major-General The Hon. James MacDonald is drawn by James Tissot in a slightly fitted, double-breasted topcoat with a diagonally positioned breast pocket and a contrasting collar. His shirt collar is pressed into flat wings and is worn with a wide, dark tie. He wears a top hat and gloves. 1876.
  3. 1879 photo of American lawman Bat Masterson wearing a three-piece suit and a bowler hat. His cutaway sack coat has a high front closure and is worn buttoned only at the top, over a vest or waistcoat cut straight across at the waist and decorated with a prominent watch chain.
  4. Vanity Fair sketch of 1879 shows Sir Albert Abdallah David Sassoon in "morning dress" (formal daywear): grey trousers, dark cutaway coat, white waistcoat, wing-collared shirt and dark tie.
  5. British statesman William Gladstone wears conservative clothing; his tall collar is still upstanding, and he wears his tie in a bow knot. 1879.

Necktie gallery[edit]

  • JohnMcLeod23.jpg
  • EricHarrington23.jpg
  • MatthewCrooksCameron23.jpg
  • SimonSCook23.jpg
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  • JamesCraig23.jpg
  • HerbertStoneMacDonald23.jpg
  • ArchibaldMcKellar23.jpg

1873 portraits of members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario illustrate the variety of fashionable neckwear (and facial hair).

Children's fashion[edit]

Infants continued to be dressed in flowing gowns, a style that continued into the early 20th century. Gender dress changes often did not occur until a child was five or six; however, in the later decades gender dress came much sooner. Girls' ages could be depicted often based on the length of their skirt. As the girls got older, they wore longer skirts. A four-year-old would wear her skirt slightly above knee length; ten to twelve at mid-knee; twelve to fifteen varied from below the knee to mid-calf; and by sixteen or seventeen, a girl's dress would be just above ankle length. The age of a boy could often be decided based on the length and type of trouser or how similar the attire was to that of a man's. Boys often dressed similar to adult males, as they too wore blazers and Norfolk jackets.

Much influence on the styles of children's dress came from artist Kate Greenaway, an illustrator of children's books. She strongly influenced styles of young girls' dress, as she often showed girls dressed in empire styles in her books. The idea of children's dress being taken from books is also found is styles such as the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit which was worn by the hero of a children's book published in 1885-86.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^For commentary on the clothes in this portrait, see Jane Ashelford, The Art of Dress
  2. ^At Home at Tea Time: Tea Gowns for Distinction and Comfort, 1870-1920, Kent State University Museum Exhibit, April to August 1997, Anne Bissonnette, Curator
  3. ^The Girls in Green: Women's Seaside Dress in England, 1850–1900, Deirdre Murphy, The Costume Society, Vol. 40, 2006
  4. ^Takeda and spilker (2010), p. 96
  5. ^Takeda and Spilker (2010), p. 99.
  6. ^Bigelow, Marybelle S. (1970). Fashion in History: Western Dress, Prehistoric to Present. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Burgess Publishing Company. pp. 271.
  7. ^http://www.uri.edu/personal/svon6141/history.htmArchived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine The History of Jeans

References[edit]

  • Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their Construction C.1860–1940, Wace 1966, Macmillan 1972. Revised metric edition, Drama Books 1977. ISBN 0-89676-027-8
  • Ashelford, Jane: The Art of Dress: Clothing and Society 1500–1914, Abrams, 1996. ISBN 0-8109-6317-5
  • Goldthorpe, Caroline: From Queen to Empress: Victorian Dress 1837–1877, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988, ISBN 0-87099-535-9 (full text available online from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Digital Collections)
  • Martin, Linda: "The Way We Wore, Fashion Illustrations of Children's Wear 1870- 1970", Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1978, ISBN 0-684-15655-5
  • Payne, Blanche: History of Costume from the Ancient Egyptians to the Twentieth Century, Harper & Row, 1965. No ISBN for this edition; ASIN B0006BMNFS
  • Steele, Valerie: Paris Fashion: A Cultural History, Oxford University Press, 1988; ISBN 0-19-504465-7
  • Takeda, Sharon Sadako, and Kaye Durland Spilker, Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 - 1915, LACMA/Prestel USA (2010), ISBN 978-3-7913-5062-2
  • Tortora, Phyllis. Eubank, Keith: "Survey of Historic Costume, A History of Western Dress", Fourth Edition. Fairchild Publications, Inc. 1989; ISBN 1-56367-345-2

External links[edit]

  • 1870s Fashion Plates of men, women, and children's fashion from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries
  • History of 1870s bustles
  • Victorian Women's fashion: 1870s
  • Victorian Women's Fashion, 1850-1900: Hairstyles
  • 1870s Men's Fashions – c. 1870 Men's Fashion Photos with Annotations
  • From Reforming Fashion, 1850-1914: Politics, Health, and Art, Ohio State University :
  • "19th Century Women's Fashion". Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  • Woman’s dress, 1870s, in the Staten Island Historical Society Online Collections Database
  • Girl’s dress, 1870s, in the Staten Island Historical Society Online Collections Database
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1870s_in_Western_fashion
100 Years of Girls' Clothing - Glamour

History of Fashion 1840 - 1900

1840s

Women

1840s fashion is characterised by low and sloping shoulders, a low pointed waist, and bell-shaped skirts that grew increasingly voluminous throughout the decade. Evening dresses were often off the shoulder. Hair was parted in the centre with ringlets at the side of the head, or styled with loops around the ears and pulled into a bun at the back of the head. Paisley or crochet shawls were fashionable accessories, as were linen caps with lace frills for indoor wear, and large bonnets for outdoors. Capes with large collars were fashionable.

Men

Very fashionable men sported low, tightly cinched waists, with rounded chests and flared frock-coats that gave them a rather hour-glass figure inspired by Prince Albert. They also wore tight trousers and waistcoats, with high upstanding collars and neckties tied around them. Hair was worn quite long, but swept to the sides. Moustaches and side-burns were popular.


1850s

Women

In the 1850s, women's skirts were domed and bell-shaped, supported by crinoline petticoats.They often featured deep flounces or tiers.Long bloomers and pantaloons trimmed with lace were popular.Tiered cape-jackets were fashionable, as were paisley patterned shawls.Deep bonnets were worn and hair was swept into buns or side coils from a centre parting.

Men

Men wore matching coats, waistcoats and trousers, with hairstyles characterised by large mutton-chop side-burns and moustaches, after the style set by Prince Albert.Shirts had high upstanding collars and were tied at the neck with large bow-ties.High fastening and tight fitting frock coats were also very fashionable; though a new style called the sack coat (a thigh-length, loosely fitted jacket) became popular.The bowler hat was invented around 1850, but was generally seen as a working class hat, while top-hats were favoured by the upper classes.


1860s

Women

1860s women's dress featured tight bodices with high necks and buttoned fronts. White lace was popular for collars and cuffs, as were low sloping shoulders that flared out into wide sleeves. The skirt continued to be full and bell-shaped until around 1865 when it began to lose its volume at the front and move its emphasis towards the back. Hair was worn with a centre parting tied into low chignons at the nape of the neck, with loops or ringlets covering the ears. Ornaments for evening wear included floral wreaths, ostrich feathers, pomegranate flowers, wheatears and butterflies.

Men

In the 1860s it was fashionable for men's coats and jackets to be single-breasted and semi-fitted, extending to the mid thigh. Waistcoats were often collarless and single-breasted, and trousers were occasionally cut from a narrow check cloth. High, starched collars were worn with cravats and neck-ties. Hair was parted from the centre and moderately waved. A particular hairstyle, known as 'Dundreary whiskers' or 'Piccadilly weepers', were long pendant side-whiskers worn with a full beard and drooping moustache.


1870s

Women

1870s women's fashion placed an emphasis on the back of the skirt, with long trains and fabric draped up into bustles with an abundance of flounces and ruching. The waist was lower in the 1870s than the 1860s, with an elongated and tight bodice and a flat fronted skirt. Low, square necklines were fashionable. Hair was dressed high at the back with complicated twists and rolls, falling to the shoulders, adorned with ribbons, bands and decorative combs. Hats were very small and tilted forward to the forehead. Later in the decade wider brimmed 'picture hats' were also worn, though still tilted forwards.

Men

Coats and jackets were semi-fitted and thigh-length. Generally, both jackets and waistcoats were buttoned high on the chest. Shirt collars were stiff and upstanding, with the tips turned down into wings. Hair was often worn parted in the centre, and most forms of facial hair were acceptable, though being clean shaven was rare.


1880s

Women

1880s women's dress featured tightly fitting bodices with very narrow sleeves and high necklines, often trimmed at the wrists with white frills or lace. At the beginning of the decade the emphasis was at the back of the skirt, featuring ruching, flouncing, and embellishments such as bows and thick, rich fabrics and trims. The middle of the decade saw a brief revival of the bustle, which was so exaggerated that the derriere protruded horizontally from the small of the back. By the end of the decade the bustle disappeared. Hair was worn in tight, close curls on the top of the head. Hats and caps were correspondingly small and neat, to fit on top of the hairstyle.

Men

For men, lounge suits were becoming increasingly popular. They were often quite slim, and jackets were worn open or partially undone to reveal the high buttoning waistcoat and watch-chain. Collars were stiff and high, with their tips turned over into wings. Neckties were either the knotted 'four in hand', or versions of the bow-tie tied around the collar.


1890s

Women

In the early part of the decade, women wore tight bodices with high collars and narrow sleeves, much as they had done in the previous decade. From about 1893 however, sleeves started expanding into a leg-of-mutton shape, which was tight at the lower arm and puffed out at the upper arm. Wide shoulders were fashionable and horizontal decoration on the bodice further exaggerated the line. Skirts were worn in a full-length, simple A-line. Masculine styles and tailoring were increasingly popular, and women sometimes sported a shirt collar and tie, particularly when playing golf or out walking. Hair was worn high on top of the head, in tight curls. Hats were small or wide with lots of trimming, but generally worn squarely on top of the head.

Men

The three-piece lounge suit was very popular and regularly worn from the 1890s onwards, and it became increasingly common to have creases at the front of the trousers. Frock coats were still worn, but generally by older or more conservative men. Collars were starched and high, with the tips pressed down into wings, though by the end of the century collars were more frequently turned down and worn with the modern long, knotted tie style. Hair was cut short and usually parted at the side. Heavy moustaches were common, and older men still sported beards. Some men now went clean-shaven.


Learn about the history of fashion from 1900 - 1970
Sours: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/h/history-of-fashion-1840-1900/

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