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Fashion Plates of the Victorian Era

Excerpted from Godey’s Lady’s Book Harper’s Weekly Petersen’s Magazine


Fashion Plates of the Victorian Era by John Rigdon

1st Printing – NOV 2009 1/0/12/0

© 2009. John Rigdon. All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without the express written consent of the copyright holder.

Published by: Yesterday’s Emporium 5705 Sullivan Point Drive Powder Springs, GA 30127 EMAIL: Tel. (803) 661-3102


“In 1828, a “magazine of elegant literature was cast, doubtingly, upon the uncertain stream of public favor. It was a novel enterprise at the time, and few thought it would outlive the first year of its nativity. It soon became apparent, however, that its management was in the hands of one who knew the want of the time, and had the tact and taste required for its supply.” This book contains fashion plates from Godey’s Magazine as well as selections from other magazines of the Victorian Era.

Contents Wedding Gowns Color Fashion Plates Bonnets, Headware, and Millinery Capes, Chemisettes, & Etc. Children’s Fashion


I prefer simplicity to every thing else, but there are women who don’t believe in the value of a dress unless it is loaded with trimming. Now what is becoming to one person is hideous when worn by another. I study to make the best out of the subject given me, as, unfortunately, we can’t have people made to order, can we? If I had my way, all women should be slight, graceful, and pretty. Then dressing them would be an artistic pleasure. A dress should never overpower the wearer. It should merely be an appropriate frame for a charming picture, bringing out the beauties of the picture, but never distracting attention from it. So few women understand this. When I meet ladies who know that dressing is an art, I take very great satisfaction in having them as patrons.

Harper’s Magazine - December 1877


Beautiful Bridal Gown Trimmed in Fur

Another Beautiful Bridal Gown


Godey’s Lady’s Book Wedding Gowns March 1850


Godey’s Lady’s Book Gowns For A Bridal Reception February 1857 Bride’s Dress.—Pure white silk, the skirt full and wide; the front breadth is arranged, en tablier, with rows of rich lace. The corsage is trimmed to correspond with it, and the sleeves have deep fulls of the same. Point lace veil, which can afterwards be worn as a scarf, fastened on each side by bouquets of white jassamine and orange flowers. First Bridesmaid.—Dress of white tarleton. There are two slirts, looped by oleander blossoms, with their pointed leaves dropping below. Coronal of the same for the hair. Bride’s Sister.—Dress of white satin, with sprays of ivy. Garland of the same, arranged as a cache peigne. Guest.—Dress of rose-colored silk, with the skirt in four deep flounces. Each breadth is separated by a flat black velvet galloon, edged with black guipere, as are the flounces; pointed bodice, with Grecian drapery across the bust, confined by knots of lace, ribbon, and velvet. Headdress, a band of rose-colored ribbon, knotted behind, with long streamers.


Godey’s Lady’s Book September 1850

Godey’s Lady’s Book March 1857

Godey’s Lady’s Book April 1850


Figure 1st.—Opera dress, of light silk or ture satin, low in the neck, short sleeves, and

ornamented over the skirt by a triple puffing of the material, with knots of ribbon of the same color. Cloak of pin satin, surrounded by ribbon quillings and a deep flounce of black lace; a similar trimming finishes the broad loose sleeves. A graceful hood of black lace over pink silk, fastened lightly under the chin. White kid gloves and a fan complete the costume. Figure 2d.—Dress of a convalescent.— Robe of white-spotted or embroidered cambric, with a deep flounce. Dressing-gown of white or any light-colored cashmere, with a rich embroidery surrounding it, lined with rose-colored mantus silk, closely quilted. A cord confines it at the waist. The full cambric sleeves are displayed at the wrist. A pretty morning-cap of white-spotted India muslin is relieved by knots of green ribbon. Embroidered slippers, ornamented by a small rosette upon the instep, ease the feet. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS.—An opera dress should be arranged more for contrast with a crowd, than with reference to the individual taste. It is not as if the wearer would be moving from room to room; she remains fixed in one position and under a brilliant light. Hence, pure white will not do for the dress circle; there must be something to relieve its plainness. Opera cloaks, if made of white satin or cashmere, should have a colored lining, made so as to be displayed. Ermine and sable were much used the past season as a trimming. Hoods for evening parties should be made of some light material that will not crush the hair when once arranged. Those knit or crotchet of worsted are apt to do this, though they are very comfortable in winter. Dressing-gowns of printed flannel, cashmere, or chintz of a cashmere pattern, are still much worn. No lady should be without one, both for comfort and convenience. They are almost indispensable for the sick-room or in traveling. The one given in the plate is an admirable pattern. They may be lined throughout with silk. A very pretty dressing-gown can be made by any lady of good taste and a little ingenuity. Embroidered slippers, now so fashionable for a morning dress, are also cheap as well as comfortable. Some very pretty ones are made of plain cloth, bound with a ribbon that contrasts in color; with rosettes of the same.


Godey’s Lady’s Book 1863


Godey’s Lady’s Book 1863

Godey Peterson 1866 Feminine champagne silk is the basis for the construction of this gown. The bodice has a very becoming neckline with poufed sleeves that sit off of the shoulder. Organza fabric is gathered over the bust line adding additional elegance to the pattern. Contrasting brown velvet or satin adds interest as well as elegance to the the bodice and the over skirt. Matching organza is created into a stunning over skirt and gently gathered. Embellishments such as Venice lace, handmade flowers or embroidered Bavarian crystals are added to the bottom of the over skirt. Simply Magnificent!! A classic pattern from the 1800’s with many extra elements that bring the design into a category on its own, truly one of a kind.


Godey’s Lady’s Book November 1855


Victorian Bustle Gown 1869 Gold and Ivory Extravagant Walking Ensemble A beautiful example of the early bustle era. A soft silhouette that exudes good taste and elegance! A form fitting bodice with lace accents and quarter length sleeves. The bodice closes in the front with buttons and is accented by lace and satin trim. A smaller bustled over skirt stands out beautifully with a bow adorning the back. An additional over skirt adds extra elegance with a slight train. Stunning details are created with laces, trims and bows. Suggested fabrics would be determined by the event you plan to attend. Silks, Satins and brocades always are gorgeous. The design would also be lovely in a polished cotton.


Southern Belle Dress Gown This gown is simply breathtaking and would be a gown remembered by all who see it! The design shown is made out of watered silk with heavy lace emblishments and black bow accents. The bodice closes in the back and is boned and lined. The wide lace sash across the bodice has hand sewn Austrian crystals throughout the design ...lace inserts, tucks and pleating. Under-slee is of ves will be of a contrasting shade of ivory.


Godey’s Lady’s Book October 1855

Evening Ball Gown Black Lace An exquisite, romantic and feminine design, incredible!! The entire gown is covered with gathered lace and lace overlay on silk. The bodice is be boned and lined for your support and comfort


Southern Belle Picnic Dress An old fashioned picnic barbecue was

much anticipated ...a social event to reconnect with neighbors and make new friends...And, a perfect opportunity to wear a new dress!! A full skirt and bodice with quarter length sleeves would be lovely made with Black brocade satin or dupioni silk . Equally pretty made with a cotton chintz as a walking or day dress. The design shown is in a lovely print with shades of plum, gray and black. A beautiful design that would be perfect sewn in the many variety of patterns and shades that a brocade offers.


Blue White Civil War Gown 1863 This dress is a striking combination of color and design. Perfect for visiting and tea or accepting an invitation for a lawn luncheon. Graceful panels drape in the back in blue and white. Dropped sleeves sit slightly off the shoulder line...very fashionable for 1863. Each long sleeve is adorned with rolls of gathered trim and lace...extra elegance that puts this gown in a class of its own. The gown buttons down the front and has a collar fashioned from lace. The skirt closure is in the back and is concealed with a bow.





Victorian Grace in Lavender and Lace This elegant and romantic gown presents a stunning presence. The bodice sits slightly off the shoulder and is accented by lace, silks and trims. Silk trim fabric stands out against fabric and becomes narrow as it curves to the waistline . . It is especially becoming with the contrast of fabrics and textures.


La Mode ladies Magazine from Paris 1863 A beautiful drape in the bodice makes this a unique and historically accurate design. This exquisite gown design includes full skirt, bodice and hat. Beautifully made with silks but truly gorgeous in cotton and chintzs.


Blue and Black Satin Gown 1869

Could anything be prettier than the pleats...tucks and intricate drapes that make this gown one of a kind. Incredibly feminine and perfect for sharing poetry or listening to a violin. Victorian design that subtly begins to introduce the changes into the the bustle era.


Gone With The Wind Reminscient of another era... Beautiful layers fashioned into a gown that reflects the very heart of southern plantation fashon. The creative elements of this design will remind you of the classic movie Gone With The Wind. Gathered layers... antique style lace and stains come together in the perfect 1800’s day dress or evening attire. Ideal for window shopping and lunch . . . or a romantic picnic on a boat. Yards of lace and ruffles describe an age of elegance and the well dressed woman of the day. Lavish black satin ribbons accent the design ... Quarter length sleeves are heavily adorned with additional lace and ruffles. Antique styled lace undersleeves complete the ensemble. The bodice closes in the back with hook and eyes.

The Visiting Dress


Forest Green Dinner Gown 1862 The wardrobe for a well bred woman required changing gowns several times a day. The deep forest green gown would be a dream to slip into for dinner and entertaining prominent guests of the day. A truly stunning ensemble with a full skirt and elegant bodice . The bodice has a square neckline and fashionable split sleeves.

1860’s Gardening Ensemble in Pink and White What is it about pink and white that always draws the eye? The softness of the colors and the crispness of the over skirt appeals to the feminine nature. This dress is a striking combination of what the well dressed woman might be found wearing while attending the duties that a home required. A detailed white bodice with dropped sleeves. A extra full skirt with a sheer over skirt....perfect for adding lace inserts at the hemline and lace touches throughout the gown!


1866 Elegance in Blue and White The combination of two magnificent over skirts in contrasting fabrics is stunning. The bodice buttons down the front with a square neckline and is accented with a lace insert. The sleeves are especially pretty adorned with a ruffle. Additional lace and gathered ruffles accent the ensemble. Soft... Feminine... Intriguing. A perfect ball gown with abundant accents.




Victorian Era Walking Dress Extraordinary !!! A design that only can be described as resplendent! Gorgeous displayed in a red wool or velvet. Equally beautiful in a deep navy . An 1800 design that evokes images of walks in a park and dining afterwards. Beautiful as seen in the deep red but also lovely in other shades.


Southern Belle Sunflower Barbeque Gown 1863 A picture of summer gardens...picnics by the lake...and southern barbeques...The design depicted in the 1863 Godey’s Lady’s Magazine is feminine and flattering...but the touch of something special lies in the gorgeous fabric that has a garden of sunflowers scattered across it. The bodice to this design sits slightly off the shoulder with gathered sleeves hidden underneath. A lovely draped collar has delicate lace accentuating it. The bodice closes in the back with hook and eyes. The skirt has two layers that are heavily gathered to add fullness. A beautiful sash ties and adds length to the design.


For The Morning Call

The Almeda


Godey’s Lady’s Book February 1850 The Confidant ‘Alas, they had been friends in youth,/But whispering tongues will poison truth.’





Godey’s Lady’s Book January 1855

Godey’s Lady’s Book - August 1864


The Nest at Home Godey’s Lady’s Book January 1850

Figure 3.– Black-spotted tulle over a pink silk slip. Double skirt, and a triple berthe cape. The hair is arranged very simply, with a wreath of pansies and drooping green foliage. A tasteful and simple costume. Figure 4.– Dress of rich white silk, the second skirt open at the right side, and fastened by a graceful festooning of crimson velvet leaves and Roman pearls. The hair is in Grecian braids, nod the wreath is of crimson velvet leaves, with festoons of Roman pearls to match the skirt. This is a novel and pleasing style. The long sharp boddice is the mark of a Parisian evening dress.


Garden or Opera Hood



The morning caps, Nos. 3 and 4, are We give another cape this month, still different from those last presented. very simple and graceful. No. 3 is suitable It is of lace, and is suitable for a dinner for the evening toilet of a middle-aged dress, or for a small evening company. lady. The ribbon may, of course, be that color which best suits the wearer.

No. 2 is a collar a la Vandyke. It is of guipure lace, and fastened with a knot of ribbons. Neck ribbons are a distinguishing peculiarity of this season, They are worn of very bright colors, usually embroidered, and are tied close to the throat. The square flat knot, usually called a “sailor’s tie,” is most fashionable. Threequarters of a yard only is needed for this; otherwise, the ends would be too long. As it is tied loosely, it does not crease the ribbon, as might be supposed. Cuffs of the same, plaited closely to the wrist and widening in a kind of ruffle around the arm, are much worn. They are very convenient, as they do not soil so soon as muslin or linen. One yard-will make a pair.

No. 5 is a quiet, plain headdress. A simple band of rich lace, which may be fastened at each side either with ribbons or ornamental hair-pins. Many ladies who have a fine braid of hair, prefer this to covering it with a cap.


Figure 1.– Walking-dress and mantilla, of heavy green silk. The trimming is double folds of the same silk, and buttons to match. The white bonnet of drawn ribbon and lace, completes one of the most tasteful costumes of the season. Figure 2.– Dress of claret-colored brocade silk, made plain and full. A sacque of velvet, the same shade, with satin cording and buttons. The lacing on the side is one of the chief novelties in shape. Bonnet of green velvet, with a small plume.


CHILDREN’S COSTUMES FOR FANCY PARTIES. THE expediency of children’s parties is a question not yet set at rest by the magazines and journals devoted to nursery tactics; but as, in the mean time, children will enjoy themselves after this fashion, and there are mothers indulgent enough to gratify them, we give a plate of some of the prettiest costumes Parisian taste and elegance have copied or invented. Those who are anti to these amusements, can but acknowledge that, apart from all interest as a model, the plate possesees much merit as a picture. It is in this the French excel so wonderfully; and by this test, a real French fashion plate is easily distinguishable. The figures are not placed merely as wooden blocks to support the costumes, but are pretty women and graceful children – grouped effectively end naturally. How different from the coarse, native imitations one frequently sees in the cheap magazines; where two tall, stiff females stand bolt upright, doing nothing, staring at space, and as unlike real life or animate beings as were the performers in Mrs. Jarvis’s “wax-work show.” It is useless to deny it; from the days of the Virgin Queen to our own time, the French, and they alone, have set the fashions for half the world. And no wonder, for their artistes compose, and are well paid for their genius as well as their time. In this group, for instance, note, if you will, the stateliness of the miniature Queen Bess, in her rut and brocaded gown. With what an air of majesty she surveys her little subjects, listening while the hurdygurdy girl presents her petition! The wandering minstrel herself, whose eloquence has affected Titania to a half-sorrow-ful silence, while she leans gracefully upon the arm of that spruce young pilgrim! The peasant girl, at the head of the group, is evidently considering how much of the coin jingling in her apron pocket she can afford to bestow; and the tiny, crimson-robed maid of honor, perhaps, wishes she could afford to be liberal. The salaries of these demoiselles are never too large, as we all know. Last, but not least, Tom Pouce, mounted on his green-velvet footstool, attired as a gentleman of the old school, is stretching forward his little head, as if he would like to know what all this fuss is about. These costumes, though, at first sight, seeming so costly, can be easily arranged at very little expense. Any mother, with ordinary taste and ingenuity, could do so with few purchases; and, as the dress is worn but once or twice at most, there is not much matter about the length of stitches. Indeed, a very pretty costume has been finished with the aid of pins alone. “ Grown-up” parties are relieved of much stiffness by the present fashion of fancy costumes; and either of those given for children, can be made to suit older people.


Godey’s Lady’s Book February 1850 Figure 1st. 1st.– Evening dress of straw-colored silk, the skirt trimmed with four flounces of Brussels lace; the first one very deep, the other medium width, and caught up with small bouquets. The corsage is trimmed in a similar style, the lace arranged as a berthe cape, and the trimming of the sleeves falling a little below it. The bouquet de corsage, or bouquet for the waist, is of the same flowers as the wreath, as is usual in full evening costume. Wreaths of purple heath, or the mingled blossoms of aquatic plants, are the most fashionable this season. The heath is worn with ringlets, and made to droop at the side, while the others form small bouquets. Flowers are the most simple and natural ornaments a young lady can wear. Figure 2d. 2d.– A walking-dress of claret-colored cashmere or merino. The form of the corsage is novel and striking. The sleeves are trimmed to correspond with the waist and skirt, being buttoned to the elbow. Delicate cuffs and collar of lace. The bonnet has a single plume, and is lined with a drawn blue ribbon. FURS. FURS.– It will be noticed that the muff’ in the fashion plate is of ermine, which is in favor this winter, although sables and stone martin are more generally worn – ermine being so successfully counterfeited that the real can scarce be told from the imitation. Muffs, tippets, and deep cuffs are the principal articles in which fur is used, although opera cloaks, and even hoods, have been trimmed with a narrow row of ermine or sable. Swansdown in cuffs, or a border for sacques, is very tasteful. The muffs are somewhat smaller than they have been worn – very much smaller than those now in vogue in the country. The tippets are small circular capes about the neck, descending in a kind of scarf from in front, very much as our grandmothers wore them.


Godey’s Lady’s Book February 1850 These are “by the very last arrivals, “ as our cotemporaries would say – who, by the way, we are monthly expecting will advertise their fashions as received by telegraph and pony express. 1st figure.– Walking-dress of dark green watered poplin, with a full plain skirt. A shawl mantelet, with heavy fringe, and u close velvet bonnet, complete the costume. 2d figure.– Walking-dress of dark silk. A large neglige mantelet, of the same material. A bonnet of quilted satin, edged with a niche of ribbon the same color; a veil thrown carelessly over it. 3d figure.– Morning dress of plain crimson cashmere, with corded velvet ribbon extending up the front, and deep pockets, highly ornamented. Loose sleeves, and small cambric collar. 4th figure.– An indescribably ugly costume; but new, very new, which may throw a charm around it. The material is a dark cashmere, and the under dress is fine cambric. The sleeves show a decided tendency toward the old style of “ mutton leg.” FASHION.


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK Philadelphia, February 1850 DRESSES FOR INFANTS. SIMPLICITY is, in all cases, the best general rule in dressing little children; and infants, particularly, should be spared all unnecessary ornament.

Figure 1 – Is a christening dress, made as plainly as possible, though the material may he as rich as the circumstances of the parents will allow. Jaconet muslin will look nearly, if not quite, as well as linen cambric, and insertion at twenty-five cents per yard, as that which costs treble the amount. There is a deep hem and three plain tucks in the skirt; and corresponding tucks in the sleeves.


Figure 2 – A robe with waist en chemisette, or made in the style of a chemisette. The insertion and edging are of embroidered cambric, a very open, handsome pattern, and the sleeves are trimmed to correspond. The long, full skirt has five narrow tucks at the bottom. Caps are not now in vogue, fortunately for the poor little things, who would otherwise be made uncomfortable by them. We remember when the child’s face was difficult to be found in the cloud of French lace quillings which surrounded it; and to a nervous visitor, expected to pronounce on the resemblance to “pa” or “ma,” this was somewhat embarrassing. Fortunately, some sensible physicians discovered that, doing no good, a covering for the head irritated and annoyed the child, besides making it unnaturally and uncomfortably warm. Bracelets, another thing that should be prohibited, are not as much worn as formerly, and those used for looping the sleeves are, in some cases, superseded by a knot of narrow lute-string ribbon, plain blue, white, or pink. We know some ladies of excellent taste, who always use ribbon, buying it by the piece for that purpose, thus costing very little. It may be renewed twice a day, if necessary. If bracelets are used, they should be plain, flat, gold links, with n clasp of cut coral, or cameo. Coral beads, bells, and whistles, are also a part of the modern nursery apparatus.


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK Philadelphia, March 1850

IN giving this exquisite Parisian plate, we do not suppose it will be followed literally in any one costume, but from it many hints respecting the dress of little people may be gathered. The school girl who has charge of the party is, for instance, very plainly dressed – the plumes being the only possible objectionable feature, which is easily modified. The plaid cashmere is trimmed with velvet ribbon, of a little deeper green than the dress; and the bonnet, a lend-colored beaver, has bows and strings of pink ribbon. The chilly cloak is embroidered with blue, the same difference in shade being observed. The white drawn bonnet has rosettes of narrow satin ribbon around the The little soldier, deferring so gallantly to his young friend in the dark blue bonnet, is introduced more for effect than use. He bears hie honors very meekly, and his dress makes an admirable fancy costume. “Blue Bonnet,” with her neat pink cashmere dress and sacque, is quite a bewitching little figure, The pantalettes, it will be noticed, are finished with a broad-plaited frill, and are worn higher than of old. A perfectly simple and proper child’s dress. Her elder brother, who watches the group so complacently, has a sacque of black cloth, neatlyfashioned, and quite closed at the throat, with a small white linen collar aud ribbon neck tie. His capis neat and tasteful. As for the miniature fop at hie side, our artist has evidently intended a comparison between sensibly arrayed and over - dressed children, No mother could adopt the velvet coat, with its frogs and tassels, the white vest, and plaited under-sleeves, unless the wished her child to grow up that most to be despised appendage of society – a dandy.



GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK November 1850 Fig. 1. - MORNING DRESS. A closely-fitting morning-dress of plain cashmere, sleeves short at the wrist to display the full puff of muslin around the hand. A row of gimp embroidery from the hem of the skirt to the throat. Small collar of embroidered muslin, and cap of lace and ribbon. Fig. 2. - WALKING-DRESS for sociable calls, of plain stone-colored merino; a short cloak of ture satin, trimmed with fringe; drawn casing bonnet of dark-green silk. Fig. 3. - CHILD’S DRESS. Plain light green merino dress, the skirt not very short, but full. Close-fitting sacque or coat of dark silk; a muff of ermine. Drawn bonnet of rosecolored silk. Dark gaiters, and stockings clasped above the knee.



CHEMISETTES. THE various titles of “chemisette,” “spencer,” and “underhandkerchief,” are applied to this very pretty article of feminine attire, which was never more worn than at the present day. The cadet waist, open in the centre and buttoning at the throat, makes it indispensable that some under dress should be worn, and riding habits are made in the same style. For the last costume used for the street, finely plaited linen, with small collar and cuff of the same, is most suitable; and, for evening or home dresses generally, we have selected some lighter and more graceful styles. No. 1 is embroidered muslin, and is intended for a dress not confined at the throat. it is a beautiful pattern, and very much in vogue. No. 2 can be worn in the same way, or with a cadet waist. it is of finely plaited Cambric, with a ruffle of embroidered muslin. The same goes around the neck. Insertion is placed between the plaits. No. 3 is, perhaps, the most tasteful of all. Puffs of fine Swiss muslin, between embroidered insertion, rounding slightly on the bust, and finished by a small collar coming close to the throat. No. 4 differs from the second only in having no insertion between the plaits, and uniting a small collar with the ruffle, which is put on very nearly plain. Either pattern is graceful, and may be worn with a silk, Cashmere, or Merino dress.



Figure 1st.—Morning dress of pink and white organdy, with four flounces scalloped and bound. The waist is folded very tastefully, from the band on the shoulder to the ribbon girdle, which is a pink centre with a broad white satin stripe on each side. The sleeves are long, and quite full at the wrist; a small collar of embroidered cambric about the throat. The cottage bonnet is of China pearl straw, trimmed in a most tasteful and simple manner, with a rich ribbon the same as the girdle, and bouquets of white convolvulus. White parasol, fringed. Figure 2d.—A fanciful child’s dress, of blue silk, trimmed with pinked ruffles upon the skirt, waist, and sleeves. An under-dress of white cambric comes close to the throat. Short pantalets of embroidered cambric. It will be seen that the hair is no longer worn in those broad, descending plaits, but is made to fold about the head in a Grecian braid. This is a new and becoming


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK November 1850 Fashionable Winter Dresses..

Fig.1. Carriage-dress of white watered silk, which may also be used as a dinner-dress, sleeves close to the wrist, and finished with a frill of Valenciennes lace. Mantilla of green velvet, exceedingly simple and beautiful. A broad band of ermine forms a pelerine on the neck, and encircles the whole. The loose hanging sleeves are trimmed to correspond. Drawn bonnet, of the melon pattern alluded to in our chit-chat.

Fig. 2. — Walking-dress of fawn colored brocaded silk, of a rich, heavy stamp, known as moire d’antique. The sleeves come nearly to the wrist, where the full puff of muslin cuff, or sleeve, has a beautiful effect. Mantilla of Mazarine velvet, of a novel form, the double cape more particularly. The one flounce of broad lace is headed by a double quilling of velvet ribbon, as are the capes. Lined throughout with white satin. Bonnet of white velvet, with plumes.


CHIT-CHAT OF NOVEMBER FASHIONS. To commence with out-door dress, it will be noticed that the favorite materials for walking costumes are merino, cashmeres, and silks. The first are exquisitely fine and soft, falling to the figure almost like mousseline. Plain colors are most in favor, and, most of all, a new rich hue of dark brown; this is the most distingue of the multitude of shades that pile the counters of our merchants. Among them are every variety of greens, blues, crimson, corn color, purples, browns, and scarlets. The same hues are in cashmere, with the advantage of being lighter and a trifle less costly. There are several styles of trimming for these heavy materials; one very simple, alternate rows of wide and very narrow plain silk braid, or galloon. A more expensive mode is velvet of the same color as the dress, embroidered with narrow braid, which has a richer effect than embossing, and, being so heavy, is suitable for an out-door costume. Alternate folds of cashmere and satin are also very pretty, but not decidedly new. Worsted lace is also much used, and a quilling of plain or velvet ribbon is always elegant. Figured cashmeres and mousselines are by no means in so good taste as the plain. There is always a wall-paperish effect, and especially the present season of large figures and bright colors. The principal patterns are the palm leaf, bouquet, and wreath; a few are spotted, but no checks are worn by ladies, being entirely given up to the nether integuments of the sterner sex, where they flourish in all their breadth and depth of coloring. Of silks, we have the solitaire, which, we are sorry to say, is not so generally adopted as we should like to see. It is too severe for those long accustomed to the shot and brocade silks long in vogue, but eventually will come into favor with all, as now with the few. They are either plain or corded Mantua, and of sombre hues. As a softening to the solitaire, we have the chene silks revived, in an infinite number and variety of patterns. Watered silks, being truly elegant, still are worn, and brocades, of course; the last have the same objection as the cashmere of which we have spoken. And now for shawls, cloaks, and mantillas, of which there is an endless host to choose from. Cashmere and India shawls will, of course, always be worn by those who can afford the enormous prices; though their imitations are so excellent as scarcely to be detected. For ourselves, we prefer the Parisian shawls, the fabric being softer, and the patterns, bouquets, and wreaths of flowers much more graceful than the everlasting palm. But, then, they have not the prestige of the real India. We should advise our lady readers, in choosing a shawl of these styles, to select a white centre, or an undecided shade, if white is objected to as easily soiled. The reason is obvious. Their price will not allow them to be thrown a side after a winter’s wear, and a white centre may be brought into harmony with any shade or hue that may by turn be in


vogue. Thus, the glowing contrasts of red, green, and blue will be avoided, although crimson at the present day is allowable with any shade. Blanket, or tartan shawls are quite as much in favor as ever; indeed, inasmuch as they are softer and finer every year, they are the more sought for. A woolen shawl of this description is indispensible to the toilet of every lady; for morning promenades, evening wraps, or traveling, they are full of comfort. The two favorite styles are the large, broad, bright-colored tartans. Worn when they first came in more than twenty years ago, as pruple, black, green, and white, blue and orange, green and crimson, etc. etc. Another style are all in one color, except a narrow border; as a crimson centre, with a little white to relieve it; stone color, with a bar of orange, blue with the same, green with a stripe of crimson, etc. etc. These are, to our taste, the most preferable. Cloaks are of velvet and cloth, principally. Merino is not worn nearly as much as in the past few seasons. The velvets are mostly trimmed with quilled velvet or satin ribbon the same shade, embroidery, embossing, or fur. The fur is decidedly the greatest novelty and the most elegant. It always gives a softness and grace to the figure. The band is broad, as will be noticed in the one we have given, being a fac-simile of those that pile the counters of Stewart’s shawl-room. The loose hanging sleeves are lined with white silk or stain, and are especially becoming to a tall figure. The cloth used is a light material, known by the Parisians as “habit cloth.” Stone colors, green, and brown, of different shades, are mostly worn. For one who dresses on a moderate income, we would recommend the cloth by all means, as far less costly, and often producing quite as elegant an effect. They have mostly a simple trimming of three rows of braid, the one in the centre being more than twice the width of the others. They are usually lined throughout with silk. Mantillas are principally laid aside until February, though some in velvet, and even cloth, are still seen. There is little change in the shape and style of bonnets - less than in almost everything else. The brims are more flowing, longer at the ears, and the crowns are flat once more, though slightly rounding on the edge. The casing bonnets have what is called a “melon crown,” the strips of reed or whalebone going across instead of around them, something in the style of a ribbed cantelope, from which the name arises. Velvet, corded silks, and plain Mantua, are the materials. We shall speak more particularly of bonnets, and give a description of Genin’s celebrated Jenny Lind ridinghat, in our next chit-chat.





GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK September 1855


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK January 1859









GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK September 1859

GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK October 1859


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK November 1859




The Victora Pardessus It is distinguished for its style, combined with the ease and comfort with which it can be worn. The material is a gray or speckled cloth, of which it can be made entirely, although the French Ladies have incorporated with it an amount of trimming that almost imparts to it the character of being composed of two materials. Thus, while the Pardessus is cheifly framed of cloth, it has a broader border, and large portion of the hanging sleeve, in either black velvet of black moire antique. Rows of narrow black ribbon velvet also head these border trimmings.


The Mathilde Mantilla The Mathilde Mantilla is made of cloth, trimmed with plaid velvet. The prevailing colors are brown or chocolate. The velvet is of rich, dark, well-contrasting hues, the pattern being in medium size. It is closed in front with a double row of smoke mother-of-pearl buttons. Those ladies who do not wish to incur the expense of velvet will find that a good wool Scotch tartan will supply its place extremely well. We may also mention that the same mantilla is made in black silk, lined and wadded, with its trimmings sometimes in plaid, and sometimes in moire antique. This last-mentioned article is now much in vogue, as the trimming, both of mantles and dresses.


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK 1886 Lady’s Jacket

This very comfortable jacket is made of cloth, trimmed with velvet of the same color, or black, which is equally appropriate for the garniture of any color. The jacket, like very many dresses of the present time, is made with a small capr, trimmed with narrow rows of velvet ribbon on teh same color as the rest of the velvet. This cape is trimmed with fringe. Of the double sleeve, the upper one is cut up the center, nearly to the shoulder, and finished with buttons and tassels. The under sleeve has a puffing, confined by bands of velvet, adn a deep frill, trimmed with velvet, scalloped to correspond with that of the jacket. Two hints we will venture to give to such of our friends as work with our models. Always make a jacket of this sort large enough to go over any dress body. It will be far more useful; Also, if you wad or pad andy part, quilt the wadding on dimet before laying it in the cloth - the dimet, not the wadding, going next to the cloth. Unless this is done, the fluff will work its way through the finest and coarsest cloth, or even through velvet, and will give both materials a dusty look, this is by no means ornamental.


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK Bonnets and Infant Christening Robe January 1857



GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK May 1850 Waiting for the train


Fig.1 Dress of white goat’s-hair, trimmed with bands of Magenta silk braided with black braid. Seven sash-like ends of Magenta silk richly braided fall over the skirt. The corsage is made very low and square; it is pointed both back and front, and laces up the back. The corsage and sleeves are trimmed to match the skirt with bands of Magenta silk braided with black. Guimpe of white muslin, finished at the throat by a muslin ruff. Hat made of white linen braid, trimmed with Magenta velvet and short feathers. Fig. 2 Second mourning costume. Dress of black silk edged by a narrow ruffle and trimmed with two rows of lace and bead insertion. The over-dress is of spotted black lace, worked with beads, and caught up and ornamented by large jet beads. The corsage is low, and finished at the waist by a belt of black velvet edged with jet, and finished with a jet clasp. The sleeves are short, and formed of a full puff of lace over black silk, and ornamented by loops of black velvet. The neck is covered by a fancy fischu of black lace, trimmed with black velvet and beads. Leghorn hat, trimmed with narrow black velvet, steel beads, and short plumes. Fig. 3 Dress of purple silk, gored d l’Impératrice, and trimmed at the back with bead and gimp ornaments to simulate coat-tails.The sleeves and skirt are also trimmed with jet ornaments to match thecorsage. White chip hat, trimmed with violet velvet, blonde lace, and achain of mother-of-pearl.


Fig. 4 Dress of gray grenadine barège, edged with a fluted ruffle of the same, and trimmed with full quillings of blue silk. The corsage is low, pointed in front, and cut in long ends at the back. White muslin guimpe, finished at the throat and wrists by ruffs of white muslin. Fancy straw hat, trimmed with black lace and blue and black feathers. Fig. 5 Infant’s dress of white muslin, trimmed with fluted ruffles,inserting, and tucks. The tablier is formed of tucks and inserting. A broadpink sash is tied at the left side. Fig. 6 Dress of cuir colored glacé alpaca, trimmed withbands of purple silk cut in points on each edge, and having a band of lace inserting running through the center. The corsage is made in the coat style, with long ends turned over and faced with purple silk. The vest is of alpaca,the same as the dress. Muslin collar, with long tabs. Sleeves trimmed with fluted muslin ruffles. Straw hat trimmed with black velvet and a black-purple feather.


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK July 1850 A Summer Scene Fashion for Childrens’ Dresses

GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK August 1850 The Rose


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK February 1851 Dress for a Child

GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK April 1851 You won’t forget


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK May 1851 The Language of Flowers

GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK October 1851 Latest Fashions for Ladies Riding Dresses


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK November 1851 Four Walking Dresses

GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK January 1852 Muslin Canezou and Le Gilet


GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK January 1852 A Domestic Scene

GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK March 1852 Taking Tea in the Arbor


And just when you thought you had seen them all...

Home excersices for breast augmentation August 1852

El Fin














Fashion Plates  

A Collection of Victorian Era Fashion Plates from Godey's Ladys book and other period magazines.

Fashion Plates  

A Collection of Victorian Era Fashion Plates from Godey's Ladys book and other period magazines.