Period Fashions Reference Library

Fashions of the 1890's:
Day Dress

Miscellaneous fashion plates
no descriptions available (click on picture for larger view)

Contemporary Descriptions of Ladies' Day Dress
arranged chronologically

Figure 1- This consists of a ladies' jacket, vest and skirt. The jacket pattern, which is No. 8424 is in thirteen sizes for ladies from twenty-eight to forty-six inches, bust measure. The vest pattern, which is No. 8408 is in thirteen sizes for ladies from twenty-eight to forty-six inches, bust measure. The skirt pattern, which is No. 4825, is in nine sizes for ladies from twenty to thirty-six inches, waist measure. Each of the patterns is shown in several views on its accompanying label.


Figure 1: Ladies' Toilette.

There is a youthful and dressy air about this toilette which shows green and white pique in combination with fancy silk, gilt buttons and a belt giving a pretty decorative touch. The Eton jacket has a ripple peplum at the back, where it follows the lines of the figure with perfect accuracy, and the fronts are straight at the bottom, though they may be pointed, if preferred. It is fitted by single bust darts, under-arm and side-back gores and the back is seamless at the center. The fronts open all the way down and are reversed in long tapering lapels that are faced with the white pique and form notches with the ends of a rolling collar of white pique. The one-seam leg-o-mutton sleeves flare above the elbow and fit closely below. Between the jacket fronts is revealed a silk vest with jabot blouse-front.
The vest is closed at the back and is a style highly commended for wear with Eton jackets. It has a jabot blouse front arranged on a lining front fitted by single bust darts, and the fullness at the lower edge droops in French style over the belt. The seven-gored skirt is made up with the front-gore forming a flaring box-plait in the much-admired Consuelo style, and presents the fashionable ripples at the sides and also at the back.
The Eton jacket looks chic over a vest or shirt-waist of silk, dimity, lawn or mull and is sufficiently dressy for afternoon wear at seaside resorts or for informal occasions when elaborate dress is not required. Russian crash, duck, grass linen, serge, mohair and flannel are popular materials from which it may be fashioned and the skirt will usually match the jacket. The vest is generally of silk, chiffon, lace or mull, or of printed sheer crepe, which at present is very fashionable in Persian and Dresden color schemes.
A very stylish toilette was copied from this in lustrous silver-grey mohair with changeable yellow silk vest, the decoration being a fancy belt of French gilt and small gilt buttons. Another duplicate of the toilette was of golden-brown serge, which was chosen for its serviceableness and appropriateness for traveling and seaside wear. A tan-colored silk vest was associated with the brown serge. A third toilette was made up in navy-blue seaside canvas with a vest of cream-white silk mull. Fastidious women will be cautious to select for the vest the most becoming color; frequently a remnant of inexpensive material will answer admirably. Washable fabrics are available, but soft and beautifying are vests of fluffy lace net, chiffon, also embroidered mousseline de soie and spangled net.
The hat of yellow straw is stylishly trimmed with feathers, flowers and fancy pins.

July 1896, The Delineator.

Figure 2- This illustrates a Ladies' Costume. The pattern which is No. 8440, is in thirteen sizes for ladies from twenty-eight to forty-six inches, bust measure.


Figure 2: Ladies' Costume.

This dainty costume is pictured made of flowered taffeta, with moire taffeta ribbon for the sash-ties; the arrangement of the decoration, which consists of moire taffeta ribbon, lace edging and lace ruching, gives it an air of youthfulness and grace that is highly pleasing. The waist is made over a fitted lining and the graceful full fronts droop slightly in French style at the center. The closing is made invisibly at the center of the front. Sash-ties of ribbon tacked over the under-arm seams are crossed in front and tied at the back in a large bow with long ends. The coat-shaped sleeves have large flaring puffs above the elbow and are decorated at the wrists with a frill of lace edging. The standing collar is covered with a ribbon stock.
The seven-gored skirt is gathered at the back, flares broadly at the front, and presents deep flute folds at the sides and back. A ruche of lace trims the bottom of the skirt.
For dress occasions, fetes, receptions, weddings and the like, the costume is appropriate and it is also suitable for visiting and church wear. It may be duplicated in plain or fancy silk, crepon, veiling, grenadine and many semi-transparent fabrics; lace, ribbon or spangled or embroidered net bands will adorn it simply or elaborately. Summer silks such as foulard, Shanghai and Habutai silks will make up charmingly in this style, which is possessed of a refreshing simplicity. A very lovely costume of sea-green taffeta shot with pink was made in this style to wear at a dressy Summer resort and to do duty later in the season as an afternoon and evening home costume. Refined costumes will also be patterned from it in silky-surfaced crepon, Japanese crepe, etamine, challis and many diaphanous textures. Open-meshed canvas textiles in the current colors, lend themselves favorably to the mode, and when mounted on changeable silk linings the attractive effect is heightened. There is a decided leaning toward the different and distinct shades of green and violet, and heliotrope shown this season. The greens range from the palest water tints to deep, rich moss and myrtle shades, all the varying tones displayed in nature being charmingly reproduced by art. The lettuce, willow and golden-green and brown shades are very beautiful, also the reseda and dove-grey. For sultry Summer wear tints of this kind are cool in appearance, pleasing to the eye and have much to commend them.
The hat has a poke-brim and a high crown contrasting in straw and color, while ribbon, and a profusion of flowers are massed to give it a beautiful effect.

July 1896, The Delineator.

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