Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fashions for June 1877

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
View at source here
View at source here

Loretta reports:
As promised, here are more Victorian fashions, this time from a couple of decades later than last time.

“This season Fashion decrees that that dresses are to be narrower than ever; one gets into them how one can; Style consists in having the garment fit as closely as possible and to do so underclothing is reduced to almost nothing.”*

Our readers will probably take issue with “almost nothing,” (more on this topic here) since the fashionable woman of 1877 is wearing a chemise and/or camisole, drawers (or combination—combining drawers and chemise) crinoline, petticoat, corset, and maybe more underneath, but probably not a bustle … yet.  Our Victorian underwear experts are welcome to clarify what went on in what order.

Fashion place description source text is here, where you can enlarge further for easier reading.  I have not yet found a way to combine the two fashion plate pages without degrading the image, so you'll have to imagine the Fig. 3 dress in one piece.

*C. Willett Cunnington, English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century.
(To my frustration, the author is haphazard about attribution for the quotations; otherwise, being a nerd, I would of course provide the original source.)


Michelle Hamilton said...

Loretta, your description of the 1877 underclothing is slightly wrong. The crinoline, otherwise known as the hoopskirt, had been out of fashion for at least a decade. By 1877 it is the era of the bustle, though by this period the Natural Form had become fashionable. A fashionable lady would have worn combination underwear, corset, bustle, and petticoat(s). Compared to the number of petticoats, drawers, and chemises, a lady wore a decade earlier to the Victorian it was like wearing virtually nothing underneath. Check out Truly Victorian patterns to get a sense of the changing fashions of the crinoline and bustle eras. There were a number of fashion trends that changed the size and shape of the bustle during the bustle era.
Michelle L. Hamilton, author, "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House.

LorettaChase said...

Yes, Michele, I see I read too hastily. The book shows crinolines and crinolettes in the early 1870s, but thereafter speaks of petticoats and bustles. The chemise, combination, and camisole business is also confusing--doubtless because I haven't really studied undergarments of this period as closely as for the 1830s. Thank you for helping us make sense of all this!

Elinor Aspen said...

I covet that black dress. Maybe someday I'll have someone make one for me.

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