Late Victorian Era Fashion Chit Chat - June 1880 Peterson's Magazine
It will be seen from our colored plate that most of the summer dresses are made short; in fact, some of the richest and most expensive imported ones are quite short; this is a most sensible fashion, especially for those who go to watering places, as trailing long skirts over soiled floors and piazzas is most uncomfortable.
The satteens, and other cotton materials that are called by more names than we can take space to record, are extremely beautiful this season, some of the handsomest being sold for sixty-five or seventy cents a yard, yet being no prettier in pattern than the much less expensive goods; but the coloring is wonderful, ebing of the richest Oriental style, reds, blues and yellows all harmoniously combined; it is this rich color that makes the expense. The satteens look like satin when first made up; but, of course, will rumple and loose their gloss in time. White will be much worn during the summer, especially thin, dotted and figured Swiss goods. For dressy occasions, embroideries and laces, with a good deal of gold thread in them, are plentifully used; but this should be applied carefully, in order to prevent a "stagy" appearance. This embroidery, when of real gold thread, is very expensive, and wears well; a common material tarnishes very soon, and soon becomes very common looking. Some of the new ribbons have the gold thread interwoven with bright-colored ones, and cost two dollars a yard, being not over three inches wide.
There is nothing new to say of the manner of making dresses, and our fashion plates give the very prettiest styles out; it will be noticed that all the dresses are close-clinging in front.
Mantles and all wraps are as various as the fancies of the wearer, only the general make is shorter, as is natural, than that of the winter; the loose-sleeved Aolena and visite will probably be preferred to a tighter-fitting wrap. as it is cooler and more easily put on.
Bonnets are worn either small or rather large, as may suit the fancy; many flowers as well as bright brocaded ribbons are employed as trimmings, and the flowers are nearly all large. Violets, pansies, large poppies and roses are very popular, and these are often mingled with buttercups, jinquils and other yellow flowers. The mixed straws are sought by those who want a serviceable bonnet; but they are not thought as elegant as a plain white or yellow straw, or a Tuscan one.
Hats are large, but not so enormous as the Gainsborough ones worn two or three years ago, and many young ladies prefer the turban shape.
The hair is worn very low on the neck by many, but some of the fashionable hair-dressers arrange it in a style that shows the back of the neck, and places the front hair higher, in plaits or a few puffs. The low style of hair-dressing suits admirably women with regular features, fine eyes, etc., but it is most unbecoming to round faces. This, however, we have often said before.