Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Summer Fashion

To continue the discussion of summer fashion in 1864, below is a costume meant to be the height of fashion for a seaside resort from Godey's Lady's Book.

The caption reads:
The petticoat is of buff alpaca, trimmed on the edge of the skirt with a ruffle, bound with black velvet.  Above this are two bands of black silk, with narrow bars of black velvet between.  The dress skirt is of the ordinary length, of the same material as the petticoat, and trimmed in the same style.  It is looped up at intervals by straps of black silk, which are sewed into the petticoat.  The jacket is in the style of the Gards-Francaise.  It is faced with black silk, and trimmed with straps of black velvet.  Postilion hat of black straw, trimmed with a velvet feather.
And if you think the dress looks like it might be a little warm for summer time, you are probably right.  But Godey's has a solution for that, too!  Dress "shields" or ladies' "shields".  They are still around today, but in 1864 they were the newest thing.

The New Dress "Shields."  --  Ladies who perspire freely, and thus so soon destroy light silk, and other dresses, by discoloring them under the arms, will find complete protection using our light and convenient "Shields," made of a new material, and perfectly adapted to their use.  They can be applied in an instant, are taken in and out without any trouble, and add no encumbrance, which can be inconvenient or disagreeable to the most fastidious.
Problem solved.

Thanks as always to the incredible Providence Athenaeum!

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