Wednesday, September 16, 2015

1898 Fashions

Today I've included the captions that went with these images from 1898. Typos and commas are the same as original source.

Evening Gown in black satin, arranged with transparent black lace splice over white silk, and trimmed with a full white net flounce patterned with black gauze ribbon. The skirt and bodice bordered with ruches of black net edged with narrow black satin ribbon. Chemisette and sleeves or transparent lace net.

Mantinee in "solar" accordion-pleated pink silk, hem-stitched.

Visiting Costume in dull olive green cloth and dark heliotrope velvet coat arranged with cream guider, a paler shade of green mirror velvet, miniature buttons, and a fine lace cravat.

Geranium cloth skating-gown, strapped with cloth, edged with chenille, and bordered with dark fur: vest and Toque of black antique satin.

Driving-wrap of sealskin and chinchilla, lined with brocade, fastened with antique turquoise clasps: Hat of white felt, bound and trimmed with black antique satin, black plumes and rosettes.

Flannel Dressing-gown with silk revers, trimmed with lace.

Evening Gown in mauve antique satin, arranged with the parent grey chenille fringe, and guider embroidered, and edged with chenille, draped with pale grey mousse, heavily encrusted with a design in steel and amethysts, with velvet shoulder straps.


  1. I've been following you for about a year - about mid-way through writing my first historical novel (the others have been contemporary mysteries.) Just a thank you for all the nifty information. Even when it's not from my time period or usable for my story your posts always get me in the mood!
    A question about today's you think an uppermiddle class widow would go to breakfast in a dressing gown or would she be fully dressed? Only her stepdaughter would be there.

    1. Hi Rosemary,
      I've been giving this a lot of thought and I apologize for the slow response. First, I did not locate anything specific in the historical publications of your time frame to answer the question. However, I don't believe the answer can be found in a historical publication. I believe the answer is in your character and her personality. If she's the uptight upper class person who would not leave their bedroom unless fully dressed, then your answer is no. However, if she's more relaxed with her family and going to breakfast in less formal attire, then the answer is yes. I believe what a character wears is in part a representation of who they are or who they are pretending to be, in other words, the image they want to represent to the world around them. Is she comfortable with her step-daughter? Is she trying to impress her step-daughter? Does her husband expect a certain social status even in the home? Those questions and more will help you decide what she's wearing and why. Have fun with it and your story.
      Thank you for following the blog.