Women’s Fashions 1800s

Animal Fads and Fashions in the 18th and 19th Century

It seems as if animals have always had some effect on fashion. Beavers were all the rage in the 17th century to the point they became decimated in Europe and paved the way for North America to become the premier supplier of beaver pelts. But it was not just beavers that consumers wanted. Other animals…

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Victorian Fad of False or Artificial Calves

Victorians embraced many unusual fads. For instance, besides adopting the famous stooping fashion of the Grecian Bend, some Victorian women adopted Alexandra of Denmark’s limp and were even willing to wear mismatched shoes to achieve it. Men likewise adopted a strange fashion. It was an S-shaped posture known as the Roman Fall. But there was…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for March 1881

Great attention was devoted to sleeves in 1881, and fashion dictated that they needed to change from the tight plain top. This did not mean, however, that the old sleeve styles were no longer fashionable. They were fashionable but they appeared a little larger and a little fuller at the top. Examples of some of…

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Hat Fashions for September 1880

Flower bonnets were all the rage in 1880, but a handsome feather was also “fashionable and stylish, and when gracefully and tastefully arranged, … always becoming.” Yet, feathers were not particularly cheap. The nineteenth century fashion magazine, The Delineator, noted:

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Women’s Dress Fashions for August 1881

Important changes in fashion were seen in August of 1881. First, one of the most important changes was women’s taste in semi-masculine attire. The desire for it had apparently died out. According to one writer, “No lady now thinks dressing, even for the country, in such a style that she might be mistaken for her…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for October 1881

New fashions for 1881 were paying tribute to older fashions. For instance, the fuller back in skirt fashions was said to be “presaging a return to the old crinoline, but the progress…towards that once favorite style, is a slow one, and it is more probably the English ladies, with their usual good taste, will rest…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for April 1881

France was prosperous by 1881, and it was shown in the well-dressed people strolling the boulevards and by the fact women no longer worn the somber colors that had prevailed for so long. Besides the change in color, there were other changes. Hoods had been replaced by deep collars that were pointed at the back,…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for October 1897

By October of 1897, the autumn or fall season was advanced enough to require heavy fabrics, with the dominant fabrics for this time of year being velvet, broadcloth, drap d’ete (a thin wool or blended summer fabric with a twill weave), cheviot, and camel’s-hair. Coats were worn somewhat longer than they had been, on the…

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The Bicycle and Fashions for Fall 1898

Bicycling was a popular pastime in the late 1800s, so much so, it ushered in the “bicycle craze,” a craze that was in full swing in Europe and North America by the 1890s. The original bicycling problems that were related to the penny-farthing — comfort, safety, speed, and steering — were essentially resolved by the…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for September 1898

There were numerous toilette styles that were popular in September 1898. One popular toilette was the carriage toilette, which was similar to the traveling toilette. The carriage toilette was typically worn when traveling in a carriage, coach, or on a train. It was practical, hid any accumulated dirt, and allowed ease of movement so as…

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