Fashion of the week - Ladies in daywear, 1857

This picture of two ladies and a girl is from the French Magazine Magasin des Demoiselles, from 1857. They are all wearing day wear, or morning dresses - the dresses worn until it was time for the upper classes to change for the evening, something that was done every day and not just for parties and fancy dinners.

The dresses are typical of the time, as can be seen in both other pictures from fashion magazines but also contemporary paintings and portraits. The silhouette was slim, the waist really narrow - and of course exagerated in a picture like this which had as main focus to show the idea of contemporary fashion and not always showed how it would look like in reality. The skirts were really wide and round. The shoulders were not marked, instead the next focus was on the lower part of the sleeves, which were really full. You can see the white sticking out from under the dress-sleeves. This does not mean that these women wore blouses under the dresses, these parts could actually be taken off and were just extra sleeves - which was less bulky and easier to wash.

The dresses of the day were generally speaking darker than the evening wear, here represented by dark blue and dark grey.

The girl is dressed in a mini-version of the others clothing, the waist is narrow - just like grown up, the girls were generally wearing some sort of corset, though most of the time not as tightly laced - and the skirt is wide. Since she is still a little girl the skirt does not go all the way down.

All three wear bonnets over the head that has a hair-do that is really flat and non-intrusive.

1 comment:

Jodi Moore said...