Late Victorian Era Fashion Chit Chat - December 1875 Peterson's Magazine
We also give some of the newest styles of winter bonnets and hats; the very latest fashion of dressing the hair, and some patterns for infant dresses, cloaks, etc. The cloak is of white cashmere, button-holed on the edge, and braided with white silk braid. One of the caps is made of fine shirred muslin, lined with pink silk, edged with lace, and trimmed with pink ribbon. For very cold weather, a wadded cap should be worn under the muslin one. The other cap is made of fine, white cashmere; has a cape which is trimmed with white silk fringe and white braid. The front of the cap is finished with a quantity of small loops, made of narrow, white satin ribbon, put on very closely; a quillingof white lace around the face; bow of white ribbon on the left side. The bibs are made of white pique, edged with a white worked ruffle. One of the bibs is embroidered in spots.
We cannot add much to the very full descriptions of the newest styles of goods, etc., given in our November number. The colors are more definite, but not brighter than those worn a year ago; and the different varieties of woolen materials bewilder one. For street wear, the costume is generally composed of two, or even three, materials, but almost always of one color - that is the skirt and over-dress; while the jacket is often of a pretty contrasting color. For more elegant costumes, figured velvet will be largely used, in combination with heavy silk, but in innumerable and indescribable ways. In fact, the stylishness of dress now depends a great deal on the individual taste of the wearer, for the arrangement of color and material depends entirely on the fancy.
The Cuirass waist is very popular: and all waists, basques, etc., are made larger than formerly. The apron over-skirt, made quite long, retains its popularity. Under-skirts still have all the fullness at the back, and are tied back closer to the figure than ever, if possible, so that walking, as well as sitting, is a most trying business.
For Evening Dresses, two or three colors, as well as two or three materials, are used: for instance, gray and pink, blue and maize, or cream color, or salmon, light-green and pink, or light-green and straw, mauve and primrose, etc.
For evening wear the skirts of dresses are now frequently plaited entirely from waist downward, like the trains worn by abbesses; they open on one side over a simulated under-skirt, which is a complete contrast to the upper one. For example, a jade-colored silk dress (a whitish green, or sea-foam shade) will open over a breadth of muslin and white faille - a faille plaiting and a muslin plaiting arranged alternately - and the opening, which is at one side only, will be barred across with black velvet. The jade faille bodice will be a cuirass with a plaistron, half of white faille and half of muslin, inserted in the front, and edged with Valenciannes lace; black velvet bars likewise cross the bodice. The sleeves may be either black velvet trimmed with a white muslin plaiting and a bow of jade ribbon, or entirely of white muslin and Valenciennes lace, with a black velvet bow. The style of dress is quite novel, and the effect is most stylish; it is repeated in all colors, and in many different materials. When white muslin is used for this dress, the order is reversed. The Abbess train is muslin, and the simulated under-skirt, over which it opens, is flame-colored silk, the breadth being plaited its entire length. The muslin bodice is lined with flame-colored silk, and at the end of the sleeves there is a plaiting of flame silk.
For small evening parties, another charming style of dress is popular; the black is entirely covered with white muslin plaitings, alternating with pinked out silk flounces, either pale-blue, pink, or white. The bodice is of silk to match the flounces, and has large, square basques, with pockets; it is cut square in front, and edged with Valenciennes lace, but otherwise there is no trimming. Low dresses are likewise made in the same style.
White petticoats are made with a belt in front and a drawing-string at the back, and no placket hole. The short under-skirt, has a hem and six tucks, and the upper-skirt is usually trimmed with scanty, embroidered frills. The lowest frill should not be sewn at the edge of the skirt, but far enough above the edge to prevent the worked scallop touching the ground.
Trained skirts of white lawn, to be worn under full-dress trains, are now sufficiently handsome to serve as outer skirts of house dresses for morning or afternoon wear. These have Spanish flounces elaborately trimmed with insertion, and plaitings edged with Valenciennes lace. The novelty is to trim such skirts with open-worked insertion and edging in wheel and compass patterns.
Pockets Outside - As it is no longer possible to get the hands into the pocket inserted in the tied-back skirts, large pockets of all shapes and styles are worn, usually on one side only, sometimes on both sides. We give an illustration of one in the "Every-day" department.
For All Kinds of Wrappings, as we said last month, braids wrought with gold, silver, or steel, are much used, as well as for dresses. Feather trimming, lace, and fur, are used also; the two former principally on rich velvet wraps. The tendency is to have the wrap shorter at the back than in front, which is ungraceful.
Bonnets are, perhaps, a trifle smaller in the crown than those of last year, and set closer about the ears; but the wide aureole brim is still retained, covered with velvet, usually with one large rose and bud near the front. But some of the prettiest bonnets which we have seen have come from one of the best French houses, and are of gipsy shape in front, that is coming slightly more forward over the face than the aureole brim, and not so large; for most faces we think this the most becoming. Felt is now used quite as much as velvet, is less expensive, and goes quite as well with a woolen costume. The colors are beautiful, and the felt of a fine quality. These bonnets are of all the new shapes. The strings, which are attached to the bonnets, are not always tied over the ears, but are crossed at the back, and tied under the chin. All black lace strings are tied in this way.