Sunday, March 11, 2012

Godey's Lady's Book - January 1875

This is the first in a hopefully long series of posts of issues of Godey's Lady's Book.  I will try to include all the fashion plates, their descriptions and the description of the latest styles from Paris and New York.  Truly fantastic!  I hope everyone enjoys looking at them and maybe some of you will find them useful for research as well.  Immense and eternal thanks to the Providence Athenaeum for working to scan these from their amazing collection.

Thanks to the Providence Athenaeum


Figure 1 - House dress of black silk, made with one skirt.  The side breadths are trimmed with kilt plaiting from the waist, with bands of silk crossing them, bound with silk of the new cardinal red; puff in the back of the skirt; jacket bodice, trimmed to correspond; open sleeves, with puffs on top.
Figure 2 - House dress, made of two shades of green silk.  The underskirt is trimmed with narrow ruffles; the polonaise fastens over at one side, and is trimmed with a ruffle and band; the neck is cut surplice; open sleeves, with puffs at top of arm.
Figure 3 - Evening dress of pink and white silk, made court train.  The front breadth is formed of apron and ruffle of white silk embroidered, trimmed with wreaths of foliage laid in ruches of lace; low corsage, with bertha to correspond.
Figure 4 - Dinner dress of two shades of purple and lilac silk.  The underskirt is of the darkest silk, trimmed with one ruffle, piped with the lighter at both top and bottom; three narrow folds head it at the top; apron overskirt of the lighter silk, with two box-plaited ruches for trimming; long pointed basque waist of the darker silk, cut surplice; coat sleeves, trimmed to correspond.  Sash in the back.
Figure 5 - Walking dress of two shades of brown silk.  The underskirt is of the two shades of silk, the ruffles and plantings being of the lighter; the jacket waist is deep on the sides and front, and is trimmed with the lighter silk; coat sleeves, with cuffs.  Bonnet of the two shades of velvet, trimmed with a long feather.
Figure 6 - Dress for child of four years.  Dark blue silk blue poplin dress and cloak, trimmed with Duchesse lace.  Blue velvet hat, trimmed with white and blue feather.

Providence Athenaeum


First Side
Figure 1 - Walking dress of brown Cashmere.  The underskirt is trimmed with folds on the front breadth, the back breadths with three ruffles; the overskirt and jacket bodice are simply stitched.  Bonnet of brown felt, trimmed with flowers and velvet.
Figure 2 - Morning dress of dark blue and gray striped Cashmere, trimmed with pointed bands of blue silk up the front.
Figure 3 - Walking dress of black silk.  The front breadth is trimmed with one deep ruffle.  headed with diagonal puffs; lengthwise puffs down the sides, fastened with ribbon bows; long overskirt in the back.  Black cloth jacket, with revers and cuffs of black velvet.
Figure 4 and 6 - Front and back view of house dress of black Cashmere, made with polonaise and underskirt, trimmed with side-plaited ruffles.
Figure 5 and 7 - Front and back view of house dress of navy blue serge.  The back breadth is trimmed with three ruffles; the apron overskirt with three narrower ones; jacket bodice, trimmed to correspond.
Figure 8 - Dinner dress of two shades of lilac silk.  The underskirt is of the darker shade, and is plain; the apron overskirt and bodice are of lighter, and can be trimmed with either white or black lace, to suit the taste of the wearer.
Figure 9 - Walking dress of brown silk and camel's hair.  The underskirt is of the silk of a dark shade, trimmed with one deep ruffle and puffs; the overskirt and basque is of the camel's hair, trimmed on the front with velvet bands, and cuffs and collar to correspond.  Brown felt hat, trimmed with velvet.
Figure 10 - House dress of gray and black striped poplin, trimmed with ruffles of the same; sleeveless basque of black velvet.
Figure 11 - Walking dress of black silk.   The front breadth is trimmed with ruffles, the back breadths are plain; jacket with revers, and flaring cuffs of black velvet.  Black velvet hat, trimmed with bird, and lace veil to fasten around the throat.

Providence Athenaeum

Second Side
Figure 1 - Dress for girl of seven years, made with underskirt and polonaise.  The underskirt is of gray Cashmere; the polonaise of blue, trimmed with fringe and a band of silk.  Hat of gray felt, trimmed with blue velvet.
Figure 2 - Dress for girl of six years, made of two shades of brown serge.  The dress is made of the lighter shade, trimmed with ruffles and revers of the darker.
Figure 3 - Suit for boy of eight years, made with Knickerbocker pants, and blouse fastened with a belt.
Figure 4 - Dress for girl of ten years, made of two shades of green.  The underskirt is of silk; the polonaise, which is long in front, is of Cashmere, trimmed with bands and small points of silk.
Figure 5 - Suit for boy of five years, made of black velvet, and trimmed with silk braid and buttons.
Figure 6 - Walking dress for girl of six, made of navy blue Cashmere.  The underskirt is trimmed with one ruffle, edged with three rows of narrow velvet; the overskirt and basque are trimmed with the velvet alone.  Blue felt hat, trimmed with velvet and wing.
Figure 7 - Bonnet of blue velvet, trimmed with flowers, ribbon, and feather.
Figure 8 - Hat of gray felt, trimmed with black velvet, feather and jet ornament.
Figure 9 - Bonnet of black velvet, trimmed with jet and leaves, silk, and colored wing.
Figure 10 - Hat of dark navy blue felt, trimmed with velvet and steel ornament.
Figure 11 - Evening coiffure, formed of plaits and short curls over the forehead.
Figure 12 - Linen apron, with bib and pocket, for girl of ten years, trimmed with a ruffle, edged with lace.
Figure 13 - White muslin fichu, trimmed with plantings of the same.
Figure 14 - Fashionable linen collar, and undersleeve to match
Figure 15 - Gentleman's silk cravat, made of black silk, spotted with crimson.
Figure 16 - Velvet bracelet, to match necklet.
Figure 17 - Black velvet necklet, with bow and long ends.
Figure 18 - Mantle of black velvet, trimmed with jet galloon and lace.
Figure 19 - Fichu of black and white lace, with Marguerites through the centre.
Figure 20 - Ladies' fashionable kid walking boot.
Figure 21 - Fashionable linen cuff, edged with lace.
Figure 22 - Breton collarette of black velvet, with silver ornaments across.
Figure 23 - Ladies' cloth sacque, trimmed with jet braid, buttons, and jet and silk fringe.
Figures 24 and 25 - Girl's cross-over fichu and tablier.  This style of garment, made in woolen materials, will be much worn by girls from seven to fourteen years of age.  Our model is made of blue serge flannel, and is trimmed with a blue woolen fringe, with a fancy heading streaked with color.  The tablier is draped at the sides, sewn to a waistband, and fastens at the back.  The fichu roses over the chest, and the end turns back with a revers.
Figure 26 - Black velvet bodice, trimmed with blue jet ornaments and feather trimming.
FIgures 27 and 28 - Front and back view of dark blue cloth dress, braided, for child of three years.
Figures 29 and 30 - Front and back view of dress for girl of eight years of age, made of brown diagonal serge.  The underskirt is trimmed with two ruffs; the overskirt and jacket bodice is trimmed with narrow piping folds.
Figure 31 - Fashionable kid boot, buttoned, and stitched with white.
Figure 32 - Evening coiffure, composed of braids and puffs, with a bow of ribbon and a rose at the right side.
Figures 33 and 34 - Front and back view of black velvet sleeveless polonaise, embroidered with jet and silk, and trimmed with lace.

The chitchat was the section where the fashion editor recounted the latest fashions, seen on the streets of New York and Philadelphia, or the showrooms of the finest purveyors in those cities, or direct from correspondents in Paris.  I will include the beginning, the remainder is accessible through the text images below.


On Fashions for January
We do not think we can better commence our greeting to our readers of 1875, than by speaking of some of the many beautiful novelties in jewelry seen, and which would be particularly beautiful and appropriate as gifts at this season, merely, however, warning our readers that, unfortunately, like all beautiful articles, they are not within the reach of all.  Accompanying a superb necklace, in which the diamonds were graduated in size, was a pendant of heart-shaped diamonds surrounding a heart-shaped emerald; from this was suspended a similar shaped large emerald set in diamonds.  With this magnificent and costly ornament were ear-rings to correspond.  Enamelled in gold, in brilliant colors, are setts for pendant and ear-rings of Medicis portraits.  The high, full ruffs, jewels, and headdress of those days are exquisitely painted.  The new styles of necklaces are oblong squares of yellow, finely-pierced gold; connected by slender bars between each one, hang red gold balls cut in diamond facets.  The ear-rings, in corresponding gold, are made like stars, and attached to this set is a massive cross of pierced gold, set with red gold studs.  Another equally massive style is of interlocked bars of red gold.  New watch chains are in slender links of gold, caught together by lovely large pearls and bars of tinted gold.  We have also seen Leontine watch, with square chatelaine chains, bars, slides, and locket, superbly enriched with flowers in gold of four colors.

Providence Athenaeum

Providence Athenaeum


  1. Taylor this is great! I want them all! I can only imagine how beautiful they were. Only the finest clothes today are made any where near as well as these pieces.
    I am currently having a serious Victorian obsession. Take a look at MJ Collection show online and also LV. I want SILK SILK SILK!!!

  2. That is awesome!! Thank you so much, Suzi! I thought you might enjoy it. I've got a lot of 1875 and also many months from 1864 that I'm going to post. It is such great stuff!! Thanks to the Athenaeum! They are amazing! Will check out MJ and LV