7/18/2008

Fashion of the week - Morning dresses, 1839

From World of fashion, 1839. The words under the picture says 'The Last & Newest Fashions 1839 Morning Dresses'.

World of fashion is one of many journals with fashion tips for the ladies in the 19th century. Considering the language and the time it is most likely an English magazine (and not American).

These day-dresses, or morning-dresses - it is more of a distinction of words than of difference in clothing, clearly shows the ideals of the upper classes in the 1830's. Long gone is the high waisted, unlaced silhouette found earlier in the century. The colours are bright and fancy, the waist really slim and the skirts really wide. It would be hard for any living woman to be as slim as seen in this picture, this was after all an ideal, but many did as much as they could to get as close as possible to it. The wide skirts accentuated the thinness of the waist even more. This was not dresses meant to be worn while working.

One thing worth noting with the fashion of this time is the low neck-line of the dresses. It would always be all right during the 19th century to show off a lot of skin around neck and chest in an almost remarkable way considering how everything was covered up at the time. But here the dresses show off comparatively much skin during the day too - if you do not count the yellow creation, but that being a coat should really not be taken into consideration. Perhaps the dresses of the 1830's were not as Victorian as we would like to imagine. Just ten years later things would be much more covered up - at least during the day.

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