Dress ca. 1880
From the Digitalt Museum
Evening dress, 1900-01
From the Digitalt Museum
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Dress, 1879, British
According to the donor, this dress was worn by her mother on her wedding day in 1879. It could have been her ‘going away’ ensemble, or it could have been the dress she wore for the actual ceremony. Because weddings in those days took place in the morning, daywear with long sleeves and high necks was the acceptable style. For her wedding a woman often selected a coloured dress that would serve as a ‘best dress’ for years to come. By 1880 the skirt was quite slender in profile, often with an overskirt swathed in front, gathered over the bustle at the back and falling into a train. The horizontal bands of applied frills and ruching on the skirt are typical decoration for this period. The bodice is tight-fitting and designed to suggest a jacket.
For her wedding a woman often selected a coloured dress that would serve as a ‘best dress’ for years to come.
Why don’t people do this anymore?! Fuck a “wear it once” dress.
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Wedding Dress, 1879, French
More fabulous non-white wedding wear.
From the Museum of London
Worth dress ca. 1890
From Vintage Textile
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I.W. Caley’s Wedding Dress, 1875, American
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Ellen Seppings wore this dress when she married Josiah Pratt Clowes in England.
In the 1870s, the style of skirts changed from a full-bell shape to the half-bell shape, creating a flatter, smoother effect in the front and moving fullness towards the back, using the bustle.
The tradition of using orange blossoms came to the West from China through the ancient Silk Road. During the Crusades, the custom was brought from the East to Spain and then to the rest of Europe.
The orange blossom is a symbol of fertility because it is one of the few trees that blooms and bears fruit at the same time.
I love the silhouette on this.
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Wedding Dress, 1874, American
Chicago History Museum
Here’s todays PSA that wedding dresses were not always universally white.
Day dress ca. 1877 from “Impressionism and Fashion” at the Musee d’Orsay via nuescha
Abraham & Straus mourning cape, 185-1900
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Evening dress of silk brocade, ca 1841-46, Sudley House
See some bigger images here.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fun fact! The fedora was originally a woman’s hat. The legendary Victorian actress Sarah Bernhardt first wore the hat in a play called Fédora where she played the role of Princess Fédora. The hat was immediately a hit, and soon fashionable ladies everywhere were wearing Fédora hats. It wasn’t until later in the 20th century that the style made its way onto men’s heads. Something to keep in mind every time you see some douchebag MRA in a fedora complaining about how bitches never date nice guys like him.
Il Penseroso by Sir John Everett Millais
Evening gowns of the 1860s
The top middle one is from that Phantom of the Opera movie. It’s not period.
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I spotted these brassy cufflinks at a business called MySuit near Herald Square.
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