Late Victorian Era Fashion Chit Chat - August 1889 Peterson's Magazine
At this season of the year, there is very little to chronicle that is new in the fashions. By June, all the newest modes are out, though there are some minor variations of the styles.
Skirts are made to have a plain straight effect, even if somewhat draped, as nearly all thin materials must be.
Bodices, however, are made in quite fantastic and often very ugly styles. Sometimes, one side of the bodice will be made of one material, fitting closely to the figure, the other side will be of a lighter, as soft silk or woolen goods, and gathered over the bust from the shoulder to the waist. This gathering or drapery is done according to the taste of the wearer. No style of bodice is absolutely fashionable - all styles are adopted, except the very plain severe ones so long popular, and these are sometimes seen in tailor-made traveling-dresses.
Evening-bodices have short puffed sleeves or draperies like half-handkerchiefs, which take the place of sleeves, or are full and puffed.
The Medici collar, which is a high ruff standing about the back of the neck, is worn with the Empire dress, and is becoming to tall slim figures.
Black net dresses have taken the place of black figured lace, to some degree.
Sashes are tied at the sides or at the back, as fancy may dictate, and are worn either wide or narrow.
Wraps of various shapes are seen, though usually they are short, and can be easily put on or off, as is necessary. The three capes, made of cloth, with long mantilla ends, are the newest.
Bonnets are small. Those trimmed with an Alsatian bow are the most generally becoming: this is a wide box which lies flat across the top of the bonnet.
Sailor-hats have only a band of ribbon around them; they are not generally becoming except to youthful faces.
Hats of black net, black straw, Leghorn, etc., are generally large and trimmed with a profusion of flowers; they are frequently dented in the most fantastic shapes, are often too large to be comfortable in a breeze, and are not becoming. Those made of transparent net on wire frames look the best, though not so useful as the straw ones.