Fashion of the week - Dresses of 1879

This is an example of dresses from the year of 1879. The picture is from the French magazine La mode illustrée and shows two women and a girl. One of the women is dressed in an evening dress, which you can just see the back of, while the other woman is dressed in more common day-wear and the little girl is wearing a coat, complete with cap and muff.

This is yet another example of how these fashion plates combine dresses shown in a way which can hardly be seen as a good example of how it would have acted out in reality.

The dresses, on the other hand, is more typical of the time, with a very slim and slender figure, following the silhouette of the wearer closely. The evening dress is in a light yellow colour and adorned with both ribbons and lace - evenings were not a time when you saved your money, if you had any to begin with.

The day-wear is more sombre, in a darker blue shade, and it looks like it could be meant to be in velvet (though basing such an assumption on just a drawing can be dangerous). Then there are a fringe in the same colour on the skirt - also indicating this really is a dress for the upper classes.

The little girl is wearing clothes which mimic the adult's, but with a much shorter skirt - as was the habit of the time, the length of the skirt was determined by the wearer's age and did not reach a full length until the wearer was deemed to be an adult herself.

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