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Readers of my Dressmakers series will come upon strange words dealing with apparel. The endnotes of Vixen in Velvet include a list of fabrics mentioned in the story. But other fashion terms might leave readers scratching their heads. I, too, scratch my head, and study books and search online, sometimes to no avail. Then I summon help from the Milliners, Mantuamakers, and Tailors of Colonial Williamsburg.
Since the pelerine appears frequently in 19th century ladies’ attire, it seems like a good item for discussion and illustration.
According to Merriam Webster, it’s “a woman's narrow cape made of fabric or fur and usually with long ends hanging down in front .”
Well, that’s not enlightening, and I beg to differ regarding “narrow.”
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Those of you who click on the caption to view the dresses at Google Books will notice that the image is black & white. I have no idea why this is. I downloaded the PDF from this edition, and I have more color images than appear online.
You may also notice that the woman on the right, who is wearing a ball dress, according to the description, is wearing a style of hat one would not normally associate with evening wear. The magazine shows a couple of these, so it doesn’t seem to be a mistake—but I find it odd to imagine a lady dancing, wearing this.
Next week, please look for a post on the topic, What to Put on Your Head for a Party.
As always, please click on the images to enlarge. Clicking on captions will take you to the magazine page at Google Books.