Here's an article about fashion from The Illustrated American ©1893. Followed by a detailed bodice on a lady.
A JUDICIOUS critic remarks "that there is almost as much art displayed in the putting on of a hat as in concocting the article itself." Indeed, unless a woman is prepared to take infinite pains in this matter, she should not even attempt to wear these tricky new shapes at all. Iiut they are very beguiling. For example, there is a wide felt hat of old pink, with the brim a trifle raised at the side, which, properly adjusted, frames the face delightfully. It was dressed with osprey and ostrich plumes, and a large velvet bow and buckle; but then, the shape is the principal thing.
A set of prett) bridesmaids' hats, now on exhibition, have wide brims of soft brown felt, the crowns of velvet in a rich shade of blue, with blue ospreys and brown ostrich feathers at one side. Soft felt brims, with velvet or cloth crowns of a contrasting shade, offer one of the smart novelties of the season. Some of the brims are cut up the back in two places, and the middle part curves upward like a high comb. The trimming is merely a wide spreading bow of ribbon with a full aigrette set up smartly in front.
The softly curving Gainsborough, with its crown of plumes and drooping feathers, is becoming to every face and continues to be exceedingly fashionable. A touch of color is frequently added, and always with good taste, in the shape of two or more deep crimson or petunia tinted velvet roses.
The boat shaped hat in felt, with a colored cloth crown and ostrich tips, is one of the successes of the season.
A bonnet of the Second Empire has a buckle in front made of turquoises and rubies, with square pointed ends standing well out at each side. The crown, of tomato velvet, is perfectly square.
A charming bonnet for an old lady is made of petunia colored velvet and the pretty velvet roses of the same shade that are so very fashionable. An elongated bow of red piece velvet formed another bonnet, that was longer in shape and suited to the hair dressed low on the neck. It had donkey ears of velvet standing up over the forehead and turning downward at the back.
The very best modes from the Medicis period will be adopted as time goes on, and even now some beautiful gowns are made after the epoch when Catharine ruled France. A costume of the time of Henri Trois is of a bold patterned yellow brocade, bordered with mousse mirroire velvet, edged with jet. The bodice is square, with an ample rape of velvet.
Velvet capes with narrow fur borderings are quite a feature of the season. They can be small and full, reaching just to the shoulder; or longer, hovering halfway between the hip and knee; or very long, almost touching the ground. Of velvet or cloth, with narrow fur binding, they are worn by day and night. Some are entirely of sable. In violet velvet, lined with silk just matching the sable trimming, these cloaks are most beautiful. This color is in vogue avjain, for dresses as well as millinery, and it combines with sable or beaver, the two paramount favorites of the day. Any woman who possesses sables is to be envied, for they are the acme of modishness and can be used tt> any extent.
Violet is so much the fashion of the moment that the shade is even used in veils which are powdered with graduated chenille dots, the largest being around the edge.
Quilted silk lea gowns, especially in old pink, with a trim^ ming of narrow fur, are cosy winter garments. Most of them have a Watteau back falling from the yoke. One recently prepared for a bride was in the palest shade of old pink satin, powdered with little flowers in a deeper shade, and had two widths of the same colored velvet, split in half, fastened to the front of the arm hole, and then apparently tossed over the shoulders and allowed to fall at the back down each side of the plait. The front was plain and straight, with a deep jabot of point lace from neck to waist.
The daintiest of petticoats are prepared for evening wear, such as white silk, with white, pale p.'.ik, blue or gold colored flounces, partially veiled with cream colored lace. This flouncing can be bought by the yard.