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Full text of "Historic dress in America, 1800-1870"

U- .-OaU 

111 AMSTERDAM AVEN'JE 



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3333 07079 5998 




*o* 







1804 

FKONTISPIKCK (FIGURE 1). Picture of au Empire gown worn in Phila- 
delphia, now iu the collection at Memorial Hall. The train is of blue 
satin bordered with a bias fold of white satin embroidered with sprays 
of roses and leaves in natural colours. Over the short puffed sleeves of 
white crepe trimmed with bands of embroidered salin are caps of the 
white satin with embroidered roses. The same pattern is embroidered 
above the hem of the white satin under-dress. Around the train and 
on the hem of the under-dress is a narrow trimming of embroidery in 
pink and white. The shoulder niching is made of plaited white erepe 
ed^ed with lace. The dress turban of blue satin is embroidered to 
match the dress and ornamented with two white plumes and one of 
pink. This beautiful gown is a hundred years old. 


*..- 





THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 
GENERAL LIBKARY OF THE PERFORMI1K1 ARTS 



111 AHSTtKJMtt AVfi. flJiW TOEJi, a. I. 1UU23 



HISTORIC DRESS 
IN AMERICA 

1800-1870 



BY 



ELISABETH McCLELLAN 

Aufkor of "Historic Dress in America, 1607-1800 " 



Illustrations in Pen and Ink and Half Tone 



. 
1 



3V 



B. STEEL 






CECIL W. TROUT 

" J " * ' * t 

Together with reproductions from photographs 
.--of rare portraits, original garments, etc. 







PHILADELPHIA 

GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO. 

PUBLISHERS 



Copyright, 1910, by 

GEORGE W. JACOBS & COMPANY 
Published November, tyio 



All rig/its reserved 
Printed in U. S. A. 




/ IS 

m 



MANY books have been written on the houses, the furniture, 
and the decorations of the century we have so lately seen pass 
into history, but of the costumes chosen and worn by our im- 
mediate ancestors very little has been recorded in print. Yet, 
as Mr. Calthrop, the English authority on the history of dress 
has aptly said, " To see our ancestors dressed is to have a shrewd 
guess as to what they were as to what they did." The present 
volume is designed to bring us within the charmed circle of in- 
timacy and to reveal to us the tastes and fancies, the pursuits 
and pastimes, of our nineteenth century grandparents. It goes 
to press with many thanks to the friends who have lent me their 
ancestral treasures. The scheme of illustration has been to ar- 
range the garments on living models and to copy the hair and 
accessories from contemporary portraits or old fashion plates. 
As the first years of the twentieth century have witnessed a re- 
vival of the scant and clinging skirts, the turbans and scarf 
draperies, of a hundred years ago, we are reminded of the old 
verse : 

" Fashions that are now called new- 
Have been worn by more than you, 
Other times have worn the same 
Though the new ones get the name." 

ELISABETH MCCLELLAN. 

Philadelphia, November, 1910. 



Contents 



WOMEN'S DRESS, 1800-1810 23 

WOMEN'S DRESS, 1810-1820 87 

WOMEN'S DRESS, 1820-1830 141 

WOMEN'S DRESS, 1830-1840 182 

WOMEN'S DRESS, 1840-1850 213 

WOMEN'S DRESS, 1850-1860 245 

WOMEN'S DRESS, 1860-1870 263 

CHILDREN'S GARMENTS, 1800-1835 295 

CHILDREN'S GARMENTS, 1835-1870 311 

QUAKER COSTUME, 1800-1870 32; 

DRESS OF THE SHAKERS 333 

MEN'S APPAREL, 1800-1810 347 

MEN'S APPAREL, 1810-1830 378 

MEN'S APPAREL, 1830-1850 . . . ... . . . 397 

MEN'S APPAREL, 1850-1870 4 J 4 

CLERGYMEN'S DRESS 427 

UNIFORMS .......... 43 

SPORTING DRESS 43 l 

GLOSSARY 433 

INDEX 445 

AUTHORITIES CONSULTED -455 



Illustrations 



Initials 

FIGURE PAGE 

1. Working girl and little boy iu typical costumes, 1800-1810 . . 23 

2. Girl iu striped muslin, lent by F. "Walter Taylor, Esq., and a 

letter-carrier in typical costume, 1810-1820 . . . . .87 

3. Embroidered muslin. Lent by Mrs. Samuel Chew, 1820-1830 . 141 

4. Walking dress with large sleeves, pelerine and bonnet. Typical 

styles, 1830-1840 182 

5. Lady in flounced dress and small bonnet. Typical dress, 1840-1850 213 

6. Lady iu hoop-skirt and shawl. Typical costume, 1850-1860 . 245 

7. Lady in ridiug habit, little girl in hoop skirt. Typical fashions, 

1860-1870 263 

8. Child in pinafore over a chintz dress, 1800 and after. From a print . 295 

9. Child in dress worn over a guimpe ; large hat. Typical of styles, 

1840-1850 311 

10. Quaker gentleman from a pencil sketch. Lent by Miss Anne H. 

Cresson, 1830-1840 327 

11. Gentleman in high-waisted coat and long pantaloons. Typical 

fashion, 1800-1810 347 

12. Gentleman in walking dress. Typical style, 1810-1830 . . . 378 

13. Lady and gentleman in riding dress. Typical costumes, 1830-1840 397 

14. Military costumes. Typical uniforms of officer and private during 

the Civil War, 1861-1865 414 



Other Illustrations 

1. Empire gown worn in Philadelphia, about 1804. Memorial Hall, 

Philadelphia ........ Frontispiece 

2. Turkish vest and turban. From a plate, 1801 . . . .29 
3-4-5-6. Progress of the toilet, by Gillray, 1800 29 

7. Head-dresses, 1801. From a plate 29 

8. Gypsy hat, 1800 +. From a plate 29 

9. Cap and locket watch, 1800. From a plate 29 

10. Turban and veil, 1801. From a plate 29 

11. Outdoor costume, 1801. From a plate 29 



1. ILLUSTRATIONS 



FIOUEB PAGE 

12. Morning dress, 1801. From a. plate ...... 29 

13. Walking dress, pelisse and Livinia hat, 1807. From a plate . . 29 

14. Summer outdoor dress, 1806. From a plate 29 

15. Fashionable coiffure, 1807. Portrait by Hopner . . . .39 

16. Evening head-dress. From a portrait of 1808 . . . .39 

17. Scarf turban. From a portrait of 1806 39 

18. Muslin turban worn by Princess Mary, 1810 39 

19. Head-dress of India muslin. From a portrait by Lawrence . . 39 

20. Head-dress, 1805. From a portrait of Mrs. J. Dickinson Sergeant, 

by St. Memiu. Lent by George Maurice Abbot, Esq. . . .39 

21. Short hair, 1800 +. From a contemporary portrait . . .39 

22. Fashionable coiffure, 1810. From a miniature of the period . . 39 

23. Costume of 1808. Lent by J. Bundle Smith, Esq 49 

24. Hat and veil, 1806. From a plate 49 

25. Turban and earrings, 1806. From a plate . . . . .49 

26. Gown of white inusliu, embroidered in "Smyrna work," 1808. 

Lent by J. Bundle Smith, Esq 49 

27. Spencer and hat, 1802. From a plate 49 

28. Gown of silver-embroidered inusliu, 1808. Lent by J. Bundle 

Smith, Esq 49 

29. Back of pelisse, hat with feather, 1812. Lent by F. "Walter 

Taylor, Esq. 49 

30. Back view of gown in Figure 56. Lent by J. Bundle Smith, Esq. . 49 

31. Hat of 1805. From a plate 49 

32. Evening hat of 1808. From a plate 49 

33. Muslin gown with stripes of drawn-work, 1808. Lent by J. Bundle 

Smith, Esq 49 

34-39. Head-dresses, 1800-1808. From portraits by St. Memin . . 59 

40. Silk turban. From a portrait of 1807 59 

41. Fringed turban. From a portrait of Mrs. Madison . . .59 

42. Mourning street dress, 1818. From a plate 69 

43. Oldenburg bonnet, 1814. From a portrait . . . . .69 

44. Begency costume, 1813. From a plate . . . . .69 

45. Begency cap, 1813. From a plate 69 

46. Mine. Lavalette. From an engraving of 1815 69 

47. Spanish hat and cape, 1811. From a plate 69 

48. Walking dress, 1810. From a plate ... - 69 

49. Huntley scarf and cap, 1814. From a plate . .69 

50. Walking dress, 1812. From a plate 69 

51. Wedding gown of silver-embroidered muslin in diagonal stripes, 

1800. Lent by Miss Margaret Bullns 79 

52. Dress suit, 1803. From a contemporary plate . . . .79 

53. Dress of jaconet muslin, 1804. Lent by F. Walter Taylor, Esq. . 79 



ILLUSTRATIONS 11 



FUUIRE PAOB 

54. Gown of china cr6pe, 1805. Lent by F. Walter Taylor, Esq. . . 79 

55. Man in top coat, 1806. From a plate 79 

56. Wedding costume of white satin, 1808. Lent by J. Bundle 

Smith, Esq 79 

57. Wedding costume, 1808. Portrait by Sully 79 

58. Dress of yellow gauze, 1808. Lent by J. Bundle Smith, Esq. . . 79 

59. Pelisse, 1805. Lent by J. Walter Taylor, Esq 79 

60. Augouleme walking dress, 1815. From a plate 89 

61. Dress of white satin brocade, 1829. Lent by J. Bundle Smith, Esq. 89 

62. White embroidered frock, 1824. Lent by Miss Cleeman . . 89 

63. Dancing frock of white crepe, 1824. Lent by Mrs. Samuel Chew . 89 

64. Blue silk dress, 1828 . . 89 

65. Dancing frock of pink gauze, 1823. From a plate . . . .89 

66. Carriage costume, 1817. From a portrait by Chalons . . .99 

67. Court dress, 1810. Portrait by Leslie 99 

68. Carriage costume, 1820. From a portrait 99 

69. Street dress, 1818. From a portrait 99 

70. High comb and unique collar, 1824. From a miniature . . 99 

71. Street costume, 1820. From a portrait 99 

72. Wedding dress, 1834. Lent by Mrs. William Hunt . . .109 

73. Yellow brocade, 1832. Lent by Miss Anna C. Phillips . . . 109 

74. Dress of pink satiu, 1838. Lent by Miss Anna C. Phillips . . 109 

75. Dress of blue taffeta, 1833. Lent by Mrs. Talbot M. Bogers . . 109 

76. Outdoor costume, 1811 119 

77. Empire gown, 1804. From a portrait by Le Bruu .... 119 

78. Court hoop, 1817. From a fashion plate 119 

79. Mourning dress, mother and child, 1809. From a plate . . 119 

80. Mourning ball dress, 1820. From a plate 119 

81. Kutusoff costume, 1812 .119 

82. Sleeve cushion, 1830. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia . . .129 

83. Artificial curls. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia .... 129 

84. Spencer, 1830. Lent by Miss Voute 129 

85. Bead purse, 1830. Lent by Mrs. Talbot M. Eogers . 129 

86. Dress of brown taffeta, 1830. Lent by Miss Voute . . . 129 

87. Dress of sage-green brocade, 1835. Lent by Miss Anna G. Brinton 129 

88. Beticule of 1833 .129 

89. Satin apron, 1830. Lent by Mrs. Talbot M. Bogers . 129 

90. Black lace cape, 1835 -129 

91. Mouchoir case, 1834 -129 

92. Scarf drawn through ring, 1833 . 129 

93. Belt buckle of pearl inlaid with gold, 1830. Lent by Mrs. Talbot M. 

Bogers .... 

94. Shoulder cape, 1834 129 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



FIGUBE PAGE 

95. Gentleman's walking costume, 1813 139 

96. Outdoor costume, 1814. Lent by F. Walter Taylor, Esq. . . 139 

97. White satin dress, -with high waist and long sleeves, 1815. Lent 

by J. Bundle Smith, Esq. . . .139 

98. Pelisse of brown satin, 1814. Lent by F. Walter Taylor, Esq. . 139 

99. Gentleman in evening dress, 1816. From a print . . . .139 

100. Dress of brocaded silk, 1828. Lent by Miss Anna C. Phillips . 139 

101. Man in walking suit, 1820. From a print 139 

102. Walking dress, 1823. From a plate 139 

103. Wedding dress of white satin, 1824. Lent by Miss Cleemau . . 139 

104. English gentleman in full dress, 1820 .... .139 
105-117. Biding hats and habits, 1800-1842. From contemporary fash- 
ion plates 149 

118. Mourning walking dress, 1825. From a plate . . . 159 

119. Outdoor costume, 1820. From a plate . . .159 

120. Dinner party dress, 1821 .159 

121. Extremes of fashion in the thirties. From fashion plates . . 159 

122. Wedding dress, 1835. From a portrait . . . 159 

123. Extremes of fashion in the thirties. From fashion plates . . 159 

124. Satin bonnet, 1847. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . 109 

125. Straw bonnet of 1840. From a plate . . .169 

126. Dove-coloured bonnet, 1848. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . . 169 

127. House dress of rnousseliue de laiue, 1845 169 

128. Lingerie bodice with Boman scarf, 1840 . 169 

129. Grey satin dress, 1843. Lent by the Misses Stearns, of Boston . 169 

130. Velvet bonnet, 1848. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . . 169 

131. Bonnet of ribbed silk, 1840. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . . 169 

132. Quilted hood, 1845. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia - 169 

133. Hair in bow-knot, 1834 . 

134. Evening dress in the forties. From a fashion plate - 179 

135. House dress, 1850 + 

136. Extremes of fashion in the forties . .179 

137. Street costumes in the forties ... I" 9 

138. Coiffure of pearls .... 179 

139. Evening dress in the forties 

140. Fashionable waterfall of 1860 + ... 179 

141. Gentleman in court dress, 1824. From a plate . 189 

142. Dress worn at ball given to La Fayette, 1825. Lent by Miss Bittiu- 

ger 

143. Gentleman in top coat, 1826 . 

144. Gauze dress with satin stripes, 1829. Lent by J. Bundle 

Smith, Esq. . 

145. Summer walking dress, 1830 . . . 189 



ILLUSTRATIONS 13 



FIGUBB PAGE 

146. Walking dress of a gentleman, 1835. From a print . . . 189 

147. Figured chintz morning dress, 1833. From a print . . . 189 

148. Walking suit, 1830. From a fashion plate 189 

149. Barege dress, 1850. Lent by Miss Voute 199 

150. Bonnet of 1850. Lent by Mrs. William Hunt . . . .199 

152. Portrait of Mrs. Bloomer, 1851 199 

153. Caricature of fashions, 1857. From Punch ..... 199 

154. Hoop-skirt, 1850 +. Lent by Mrs. Talbot M. Rogers . . .199 

155. Basque of pink silk, 1850-1855. Lent by the Misses Stearns . 199 

156. Back view of peignoir, Figure 271, 1850. Lent by Mrs. Caspar 

Morris 199 

157. Girl in pantalettes, 1813. From a plate 209 

158. Mother and children, 1802. From a portrait 209 

159. Girl in pantalettes, 1837 209 

160. Mother and child, 1820. From an engraving .... 209 

161. Boy in sailor costume, 1850. From a portrait .... 209 

162. Boys in highland dress, 1854. From a portrait .... 209 

163. Hat and feathers of 1864. From a print 219 

164. Turban hat, 1860-1870 219 

165. Mushroom hat and Garibaldi blouse, 1862 219 

166. Croquet costume, 1868 219 

167. House-maid, 1860-1870 219 

168. Hair in a chenille net, 1860 219 

169. Jockey hat and feather, 1860 219 

170. Wedding costume, 1836. Lent by the Misses Mordecai . . 229 

171. Lace collars, 1850-1870. Lent by Miss Agnes Repplier . . 229 

172. Specimens of high combs, 1820-1840 229 

173. Bodice of wedding gown, 1854. Lent by Mrs. William Hunt . 229 

174. Boy in calico suit, 1804. Lent by Mrs. John Logan . . . 239 

175. Girl in red pelisse, 1812. Lent by Miss Anna C. Phillips . . 239 

176. Girl in large hat, 1822. From a print ... . 239 

177. Small child in muslin frock, 1800 239 

178. Boy in long pantaloons, 1818. From a plate ..... 239 

179. Boy in frock and trousers, 1826 239 

180. Girl in gauze dress. Lent by J. Bundle Smith, Esq. . . . 239 

181. Girl in large bonnet, hair in Kenwig plaits, 1831. From a plate . 239 

182. Boy in high hat, 1832. From a portrait 239 

183. Girl in figured lawn dress, 1834. Lent by Mrs. Wm. F. Dreer . 239 

184. Child in corded muslin, 1837. Lent by Mrs. Wm. F. Dreer . 239 

185. Boy in coat with frogs, 1838 239 

186. Boy in blue waist and white trousers, 1848. Lent by Mrs. Wm. F. 

Dreer 239 

187. Child from fash ion plate of 1848 239 



14 ILLUSTRATIONS 



FIGURE PAGE 

189. Boy in plaid skirt and velvet jacket, 1856 239 

190. Young girl from fashion plate, 1857 239 

191. Boy in merino suit and gilt buttons, 1853 239 

192. Child in French apron, 1861 239 

193. Boy in velvet suit, 1865. From a photograph . . . 239 

194. Boy in ankle ruffles, 1806. From a print ..... 249 

195. Child in tunic aud full trousers, Mother in mantle, shirred bon- 

net, and pagoda parasol, 1807. From a plate .... 249 

196. Dress of apricot gauze, 1822. Lent by J. Bundle Smith, Esq. . 249 

197. Boy's suit, 1833. From a portrait .... . 249 

198. Boy in leg-of-mutton trousers, 1833 249 

200. Child's turban, 1860. From a photograph 249 

201. Dress of checked silk over white guimpe, 1862. From a photo- 

graph 249 

202. Tweed suit, 1862. From a photograph 249 

203. Child's hat, 1806. School of Industrial Art 249 

204. Boy and girl, 1864. From a plate 249 

205. Girl in Zouave jacket, 1861 249 

206. Boy in brown coat and long trousers, 1865 249 

207. Girl from a fashion plate of 1870 249 

208. Paper doll, 1829. Lent by Mrs. George Mason Chichester . . 259 

209. Doll in wedding dress and veil, 1840. Lent by Mrs. Philip Syng 

Conner 259 

210. Doll with patent head, 1855. Lent by Miss Sara Cresson . . 259 

211. Doll in bloomer costume, 1851. Lent by Miss Anne H. Cresson . 259 

212. Infant's shirt, 1853 269 

213. Child's spencer, 1835 269 

214. Child's shirt, 1860 269 

215. Christening robe, 1855. Lent by Miss Mary Eepplier . . . 269 

216. Child's costume, 1837. Lent by Mrs. Wm. Hunt .... 269 

217. Infant's dress, 1824 269 

218. Infant's robe, 1826. Lent by Mrs. Wm. F. Dreer .... 269 

219. Child's shoes, 1860. Lent by Mrs. Wm. F. Dreer . . . .269 

220. Baby cloak and bonnet, 1837. Lent by Mrs. Wm. Hunt . . 269 
222. Part of the wedding outfit of Miss Lydia Learning, 1808. Lent by 

J. Bundle Smith, Esq 279 

223-224. Wedding veil, scarf, shawl, etc., 1808. Lent by J. Bundle 

Smith, Esq 279 

225. Baby dress, 1810 ; embroidered pelisse, 1830. Lent by J. Bundle 

Smith, Esq 279 

227. Gentleman in full dress, 1838. Taken from a plate . . . 287 

228. Wedding dress of 1838. Lent by Miss Anna C. Phillips . 287 

229. Tweed suit, 1839 . ' . .287 



ILLUSTKATIONS 15 



FIGURE PAGE 

230. Figured white silk, 1836. Lent by Miss Sara Cresson . . .287 

231. Broadcloth suit, 1837. Lent by Mrs. Caspar Morris . . . 287 

232. Silk pelisse of 1847 287 

233. Satin gown, 1845. Lent by the Misses Stearns .... 287 

234. Blue coat and white waistcoat, 1845. Lent by Mrs. Caspar Morris 287 

235. Coiffure a 1' indisposition, 1812 297 

236. Dinner cap of 1812 297 

237. Hyde Park bonnet, 1812 297 

238. Chip bonnet, 1816 297 

239. Leghorn hat, 1810-1813 297 

240. Straw bonnet, 1817 297 

241. Leghorn hat, 1825-1829 . 297 

242. Straw hat of 1818 297 

243. Bouaparteau hat, 1804 297 

244. Bonnet of spotted satin, 1819 297 

245. Muslin bonnet, 1816 297 

246. Gaiter shoes and slippers, 1820-1860. Lent by the Misses Cresson . 297 

247. Velvet evening dress, 1841 307 

248. Satin dress with lace flounces, 1843 307 

249. Satin ball dress, 1840 307 

250. Moire" gown trimmed with lace, 1840 307 

251. Waved hair and quaint head-dress, 1850 307 

252. Evening dress and wrap, 1851 ....... 307 

253. Hat from a fashion plate of 1857 317 

254. Velvet bonnet of 1856. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . . . .317 

255. Silk dress of 1855. Lent by Miss Agnes Eepplier . . . .317 

256. Black velvet bonnet, 1859. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . . . 317 

257. Velvet wrist baud, 1850-1860 317 

258. Outdoor costume. From a portrait, 1852 ..... 329 

259. Quaker dress, 1890. Lent by Ewing Mifflin, Esq. . . .329 

260. House dress of black taffeta. From a photograph . . . 329 

261. Portrait showing a dress worn with chemisette and under- sleeves, 

1850 329 

262. Old lady in Quaker dress. From a photograph lent by Miss 

Philadore Bell .329 

263. Widow's mourning, 1838. From a photograph of Queen Adelaide 329 

264. Mantilla trimmed with lace, 1850. Lent by Mrs. Caspar Morris . 337 

265. Gentleman in walking dress, 1850 ....... 337 

266. Muslin gown, embroidered flounces, 1853 ..... 337 

267. Gentleman in morning dress, 1855 337 

268. Silk dress with chine" stripes, 1855. Lent by Miss Agnes Eepplier 337 

269. Poplin gown with velvet ribbon, 1856. Lent by Mrs. Talbot M. 

Eogers 337 



16 ILLUSTRATIONS 



FIGURE PAGE 

270. Black cloth suit and waistcoat, 1855. Lent by Mrs. Caspar Morris 337 

271. Peignoir of cashmere, 1856. Lent by Mrs. Caspar Morris . . 337 

272. Bonnet of silk gauze, 1825. Memorial Hall 349 

273. Leghorn hat, 1825-1830 349 

274. Taffeta hat, 1829 349 

275. Tuscan straw bonnet, 1820 349 

276. Bonnet of taffeta, 1830 . . . . , 349 

277. Chip bonuet of 1835 349 

278. Bonnet of white point d' esprit, 1833. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . 349 

279. Bonnet of fancy straw, 1838 349 

280. Quilted hood, 1840 349 

281. Leghorn bonuet, 1839 349 

282. Velvet bonnet, 1860. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl .... 349 

283. Bonnet of horsehair, 1863. Courtesy of Miss Dutihl . . . 349 

284. Quaker hat, 1850 357 

285. Shaker girl, 1857 357 

286. Quaker bonnet and cap, 1860. Lent by Mrs. Samuel Chew . . 357 

287. Gray beaver hat, 1830 357 

288. Pencil sketch of Mary Howitt, 1800 357 

289. Quaker costume, 1860. Lent by Mrs. Samuel Chew . . . 357 

290. Man in Shaker dress, 1857 357 

291. Eain cover for bonnet, 1840 357 

292. Girl in Shaker bonuet, 1857 357 

293. White silk Quaker bonnet, 1830. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia . 357 
294-305. Various styles of hair-dressing and stocks, 1800-1860. From 

contemporary portraits ........ 365 

306-311. Fashionable costumes for men. From fashion plates of 1828- 

1850 373 

312. Lady in fashionable hoop-skirt, 1860. From a plate . . . 381 

313. Walking costume, 1862. From a photograph . . . .381 

314. Gentleman in frock coat suit, 1864. From a portrait . . . 381 

315. Lady in dress of Chambery gauze, 1868. Head from contemporary 

portrait 381 

316. Street dress of 1870. From a plate 381 

317. Ball dreas of Chambery gauze, 1869 381 

318. Gentleman in walking suit, 1870. From a photograph . . . 381 
319-325. Fashionable dress from 1830-1840. From portraits by Maclise 391 
326-330. Fashionable stocks and collar, 1829-1840. From old prints .401 

331. Breadman, 1813. From a print 401 

332. Dustman, 1813. From a print 401 

333. Sailor, 1813. From a print 401 

334. English smock, after old print, 1800-1870 401 

335. White satin waistcoat, 1837. Lent by Miss Sarah Johnson . . 401 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



FIGURE PAGE 

336. White linen coat, 1838. Lent by Miss Sarah Johnson . . . 401 

337. Linen shirt of 1830 + 401 

338-339. Military coats, 1825. Lent by Stanley Arthurs, Esq. . . 401 

340. Cliapeau Bras, 1807. From a print 401 

341. White beaver hat, 1850 401 

342-346. Boots, 1800-1850 401 

347. Hat with rolling brim, 1809 401 

348. Black high hat, 1850 . . .401 

349. Bound hat, 1865 401 

350. Plaid stock and waistcoat, 1840 + 411 

351. Quaker gentleman, 1840. From a Daguerreotype, lent by Mrs. 

Philadore Bell . 411 

352. Long hair parted in the middle, 1844. From a portrait of J. E. 

Lowell ............ 411 

353. Clerical dress, 1845 411 

354. Official robe, 1821 . . . .411 

355. Clerical dress, 1865 411 

356. Frock coat and standing collar, 1869 411 

357. Bishop's dress of 1810 411 

358. Close-fitting coat with black stock, 1855 411 

359. Gentleman in riding dreas, 1801. From a print .... 421 

360. Beau Brummell, 1804 421 

361. Morning suit, 1806 421 

362. English clergyman, 1810 + 421 

363. Euffled shirt with long pantaloons buttoned to the knee, 1812 . 421 

364. Gentleman in great coat, 1829 421 

365. Morning suit of 1830 + 421 

366. Hunting dress, 1833 .421 

367. White kerseymere waistcoat, 1830 421 

368. Waistcoat and cascade necktie, 1837 421 

369. Gentleman in diplomatic dress, 1842. Lent by Mrs. George 

McClellan .421 

370. Hunting costume, 1850-1860 421 

371. University student of 1850 + 421 



Contemporary Rulers 

1800-1870 



PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES 

John Adams, of Massachusetts 1797-1801 

Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia 1801-1809 

James Madison, of Virginia 1809-1817 

James Monroe, of Virginia 1817-1825 

John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts 1825-1829 

Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee 1829-1837 

Martin Van Buren, of New York 1837-1841 

William Henry Harrison, of Ohio 1841-1845 

(Term finished by John Tyler, of Virginia.) 

John Knox Polk, of Tennessee 1845-1849 

Zachary Taylor, of Louisiana .... . 1849-1853 

(Term finished by Millard Fillmore, of New York.) 

Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire 1853-1857 

James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania 1857-1861 

Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois ....... 1861-1869 

(Term finished by Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee.) 

KINGS OF ENGLAND 

George III and the Eegeucy 1760-1820 

George IV 1820-1830 

William IV 1830-1837 

Victoria ... 1837-1901 

RULERS OF FRANCE 

Napoleon, First Consul 1800-1804 

Napoleon, Emperor 1804-1814 

Louis XVIII, Kiug . . ... 1814-1815 

Napoleon, Emperor (100 days, March 20-June 22) . . . 1815 

Louis XVIII, King . 1815-1824 

Charles X, King . ... 1824-1830 

Louis Philippe, King . . . ... 1830-1848 

(Republic proclaimed February 25, 1848.) 

Louis Napoleon, President . . .... 1848-1852 

Louis Napoleon, Emperor 1852-1870 



WOMEN'S DRESS 

1800-1870 



V I 



"The Morning Post may now display unfurl' d 
Four columns of the Fashionable World, 
And not confin'd to tell of war's renown, 
Spread all the news around of all the town. 
While gay gazettes the polish'd Treasury writes 
Of splendid fashions, not of vulgar fights. 
Proud to record the tailor's deeds and name 
And give the milliner to deathless fame 
Who first shall force proud Gallia to confess 
Herself inferior in the art of dress. 
Oh, join to pray and hopes may not be vain 
Commence gay Peace a long and joyous reign. 
May Europe's nations by thy counsels wise 
Learn e'en thy faults to cherish and to prize 
And shunning glory's bright but fatal star 
Prefer thy follies to the woes of war." 

Prologue to "Fashionable Friends.' 1 
Mary Berry. 



I 



OF NEW YORK 



Women's Dress 

1800-1810 



" La Mode est un Tyrant dont rien ne nous delivre ; 
A son bizarre gout ilfaut s 1 accommoder 
Hi, sous sesfolles lois etant force de vivre, 
Le sage w' est jamais le premier & les suivre 
Ni le dernier & les garder." 



PAVILLON. 



tury. 



IT the beginning of the nineteenth century 
Fashion reigned supreme over all the civi- 
lized countries on both sides of the At- 
lantic, overcoming geographical and even 
political restrictions. Monthly magazines 
witlr coloured "plates -of the latest edicts of 
the invincible tyrant were published in 
London as well as in< Paris,* and were 
.sent regularly to .America instead of 
,-the fashion dolls of the preceding cen- 
One of the '"'.earliest of these-: fashion books was "The 




Ladies' European Magazine " etliieC by a coterie of women 
of fashion and first published* in London in 1798. An- 
other, " La Belle Assemblee," or " Bell's Court and Fashion- 
able Magazine " was issued regularly in London from 1806 
to 1832, when a new series was started of which the 
Hon. Mrs. Norton was editor and the name was changed to 
" The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic." In addition to the 

* " Magazin des Modes" was published in Paris as early as 1785, and "Galleries des 
Modes " a year or two later. 

23 



THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 

GENER'AL LIUiiAKV Of THE 1'EUFOltillJK} ART8 
111 AMSTERDAM AVE. HEW i'OM, N. I. 10023 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



fashions, it contained serial stories, literary reviews, and original 
poetry contributed by the distinguished editor. This periodical 
was quite as popular in the United States as in England and, 
judging from the mutilated plates in the copies I have seen, 
probably furnished several generations of American children 
with fascinating paper dolls. A letter from Paris every month 
kept its readers in touch with the court of the " Great Mogul," 
as Walpole called fashion, and the Calendar of the English 
Court, which formed the supplement of the second series, was 
evidently read with great interest on both sides of the ocean. 

Ackermann's " Repository," published in London in 1809, 
was another popular periodical which contained especially taste- 
ful plates of the latest modes. In Philadelphia Mr. Dennie's 
" Port Folio," which appeared with the first year of the century 
and had great local celebrity from 1801 to 1805, gave a column 
or more of its racy pages to the novelties in dress. Under the 
heading " Festoon of Fashion " a brief review of the modes 
in France and England was given, but "Mr. Oldschool"* 
indulged only in pen portraits of the costumes. All these 
magazines have been long out of print, but odd volumes of 
them may be found in many of our libraries; unlike their 
successors of the present day, they are good reading. Moreover, 
they are faithful records of the social life of their time. 

During the first Consulate and the Empire, France was 
possessed with a pseudo-classic mania in women's dress. This 
revival of classicism is attributed by Ashton in his " Dawn of 
the Nineteenth Century " to the influence of the painter 
David. Clinging draperies and Greek and Roman hair-dress- 
ing were carried to an extreme which was not noticeable in 
England or America, although followed in both countries to 
some extent. The simple domestic tastes of George III and 

* Pen name of the editor. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 25 

Queen Charlotte set an example both in dress and social 
gayeties which was notably free from extravagance. The Eng- 
lish princesses, so loved by Miss Burney, spent much of their 
time embroidering their own dresses for state functions ; while 
in our own country, President Adams and his wife were living 
very quietly and, according to the graphic letters of the latter, 
most uncomfortably in the new home of the government in 
Washington, indulging in but few entertainments, and going to 
Philadelphia for most of their shopping. When Madame 
Recamier visited London in 1802 her " costume a 1'antique " 
caused much comment. She appeared it seems one day in 
Kensington Gardens, " in a thin muslin dress clinging to her 
figure like the folds of drapery in a statue, her hair in a coil of 
braids at the back and arranged in short ringlets round her face ; 
a large veil thrown over her -head completed an attire which 
not unnaturally caused h^r to ba fpllowed and stared at." As 
early as 1801 Paris; fashions had evidently made their way to 
America, for Mrs. Samuel Harrison Smi.th writing from the 
capital in that, year observes, "There was a lady here who af- 
forded us great Amusement. I titled her Madame Eve and 
called her dress the_Sg leaf." * , , . 

Letters of the day, give us much information on the subject 
of the prevailing fashions, but the .most valuable sources of the 
history of dress in the nineteenth century are the actual 
garments which in many cases have been handed down to 
posterity unaltered, and afford a subtle insight into the char- 
acter and taste of the wearers. An old writer says, " As the 
index tells us the contents of stories and directs to the particular 
chapter, even so does the external habit and superficial order of 
garments (in men and women) give us a taste of the internal 
quality of the soul." 

* First Forty Years of Washington Society. 



26 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

The numerous portraits of the day record fashionable cos- 
tumes and illustrate the customary accessories and styles of hair- 
dressing. In England, Lawrence, Beechey, Hoppner and 
Russell achieved some of their best work in the early years of 
the nineteenth century. Raeburn, Hayter, Chalons and 
Winterhalter followed in their illustrious footsteps. David, 
Vernet, Ingres, Le Brun, Manet and Fontan-Latour were the 
great portrait painters of France between 1800 and 1870 ; while, 
in our own country, Stuart, Sully, St. Memin, Inman and 
Healey have also left immortal canvasses which bear abundant 
evidence of the transatlantic sovereignty of Fashion. 

" Fashion come, on me a while 
Deign, fantastic nymph, to smile." 

Looking through the old magazines of 1800-1810, " Sacred 
to Dress and Beauty's pleasir/g car'ss,"' we see that the short 
waists which came into vogue at the close o'f the eighteenth cen- 
tury were worn for at least ten years of the nineteenth century. 
Skirts were very nanow and the ultra-fashionable wore them of 
very soft, sheer, clinging materials. These gowns were the sub- 
ject of many a satire. ; We' read of one critic '" fond of statistics 
who calculated that in pVe^ysar eighteen ladies caught fire and 
eighteen thousand caught. "cold." Another wit of the day re- 
marked, " The change in the femaie'dress of late must contribute 
very much to domestic bliss ; no man can surely now complain 
of petticoat government." In winter, to be sure, warm cloaks 
which completely covered the gowns were worn out-of-doors 
(Figures 42, 59, 96, 98, 102), but slippers or half-shoes with the 
thinnest of soles were worn even for walking and must have pre- 
vented the " wrapping cloaks " and big muffs (Figures 11, 102) 
from keeping the wearer's body at a comfortable degree of 
warmth. 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 27 

Perhaps the pursuit of fashion is in itself so stimulating an 
exercise that it acts as a preventive and keeps off the dangers 
apparently courted by her votaries. 

Bodices were exceedingly short in the early years of the 
nineteenth century. The waist line was entirely obscured 
(Figures 5, 9, 13, 51, 53, 54, 56, 58, 243). A satirical couplet of 
the day runs : 

<( Shepherds, I have lost my waist 
Have you seen my body ? " 

We are all familiar with the portrait of Madame Recamier 
on an Empire sofa, her Grecian drapery falling around her in 
graceful lines which could not possibly have been maintained if 
she stood up, or tried to walk. The mystery of the possibility 
of this fashion is explained (Figures 3-6) by the famous cari- 
caturist Gillray whose pictures " give us a glimpse," as Ashton 
says, " of the mysteries of the toilet such as might be sought in 
vain elsewhere ; and are particularly valuable as they are in no 
way exaggerated and supply details otherwise unprocurable." 

The long and close-fitting stays, though not as stiff and un- 
yielding as their predecessors of the eighteenth century, pre- 
vented the untidy negligee appearance the high-waisted gowns 
would have had without them. As the bodices grew longer, 
the stays grew shorter until 1819 or 20 when the first French 
corset in two pieces and laced up the back came into fashion 
and has retained its popularity ever since. A pair of short 
stays worn about 1820 may be seen in the Rhode Island His- 
torical Society's rooms at Newport. 

In many old portraits we may notice wigs of short, close 
curls which were in the height of fashion in the year 1800 
(Figures 7, 22), and in a letter of that date, written in Boston by 
Elizabeth Southgate to her mother, we find that five dollars 
would buy one of these coveted articles. 



1800-1807 
FIGUEE 2. 1801 A Turkish vest of black velvet. Turban of muslin with 

a falling end fringed with gold and a bird of paradise feather. Necklace 

of coral and gold beads. 
FIGURES 3, 4, 5, 6. 1800 Progress of the toilet, showing long stays, laced 

up the back, the dress worn over them, and the maid's costume of the 

same date. 

FIGURE 7. 1801 Afternoon head-dresses. 
FIGURE 8. 1801 Gypsy hat, worn from 1800 to 1810. 
FIGURE 9. 1800 Cap trimmed with Amaranthus crepe, locket watch. 
FIGURE 10. 1801 A velvet turban with a "banditti" plume and a veil 

hanging to the shoulders. 
FIGURE 11. 1801 Silk bonnet with lace frills, silk spencer with short 

sleeves and long ends trimmed with lace, large muff and fur. 
FIGURE 12. 1801 Morning dress of spotted muslin, cap and neck-frill 

trimmed with lace. 
FIGURE 13. 1807 Summer walking costume, pelisse and dress of Jaconet 

muslin and a Lavinia hat of straw. 
FIGURE 14. 1806 Dress of muslin with a pleated shoulder -cape, straw 

bonnet with a silk crown to be worn over a cap. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 31 

" Now Mamma, what do you think I am going to ask for? 
a wig. Eleanor has got a new one just like my hair and only 
five dollars, Mrs. Mayo one just like it. I must either cut my 
hair or have one, I cannot dress it at all stylish. Mrs. Coffin 
bought Eleanor's and says that she will write to Mrs. Sumner 
to get me one just like it ; how much time it will save in one 
year we could save it in pins and paper, besides the trouble. At 
the Assembly I was quite ashamed of my head, for nobody has 
long hair. If you will consent to my having one do send me 
over a five dollar bill by the post immediately after you receive 
this, for I am in hopes to have it for the next Assembly do 
send me word immediately if you can let me have one. 

"ELIZA."* 

They were still in fashion in 1802, for Martha Jefferson 
Randolph wrote the following letter to her father just before his 
inauguration as third President of the United States : 

" Oct. 29, 1802. 

" DEAR PAPA, We received your letter, and are prepared 
with all speed to obey its summons. By next Friday I hope we 
shall be able to fix a day ; and probably the shortest time in 
which the horses can be sent after receiving our letter will deter- 
mine it, though as yet it is not certain that we can get off so soon. 

" Will you be so good as to send orders to the milliner 
Madame Peck, I believe her name is, through Mrs. Madison, 
who very obligingly offered to execute any little commission for 
us in Philadelphia, for two wigs of the colour of the hair en- 
closed, and of the most fashionable shapes (Figures 5, 7 and 22), 
that they may be in Washington when we arrive? They are 
universally worn, and will relieve us as to the necessity of dress- 
ing our own hair, a business in which neither of us are adepts. 

* A Girl's Life Eighty Years Ago. 



32 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" I believe Madame Peck is in the habit of doing these 
things, and they can be procured in a short time from Philadel- 
phia, where she corresponds, much handsomer than elsewhere. 

" Adieu, dearest Father." 

A rhyme current in the early part of the nineteenth century 
emphasizes the annoyance of finding a wig necessary in full 
dress : 

" There was an old woman of Gosport 
And she was one of the cross sort, 
When she dressed for the ball 
Her wig was too small, 
Which enraged this old woman of Gosport." 

Miss Southgate was born in Scarborough, Maine, but spent 
much of her time in Boston, writing to her mother from there 
delightfully intimate and chatty letters, which give a charming 
picture of the social life of the time. The dances, the sleighing 
parties, etc., are all vividly described, and her remarks about 
dress are a valuable contribution to our subject. 

" July 17, 1800. 

11 1 must again trouble my Dear Mother by requesting her to 
send on my spotted muslin (Figures 12 and 58). A week 
from next Saturday I set out for Wiscassett, in company with 
Uncle William and Aunt Porter. Uncle will fetch Ann to 
meet us there, and as she has some acquaintance there, we shall 
stay some time and Aunt will leave us and return to Topsham ; 
so long a visit in Wiscassett will oblige me to muster all my 
muslins, for I am informed they are so monstrous smart as to 
take no notice of any lady that can condescend to wear a calico 
gown. Therefore, Dear Mother, to ensure me a favourable re- 
ception, pray send my spotted muslin by the next mail after 
you receive this, or I shall be on my way to Wiscassett. I shall 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 33 

go on horseback. How I want my habit, I wish it had not been 
so warm when I left home and I should have worn it (Fig- 
ure 105). I am in hopes you will find an opportunity to send 
it by a private conveyance before I go, but my muslin you must 
certainly send by the mail."* 

The sketch of a riding habit of the period is given in Figure 
105. The jacket and skirt should be of blue cloth with black 
velvet collar and double rows of gilt buttons called " Nelson's 
balls." A close cap of beaver with a gold braid around the 
crown and a feather in front. Gloves of fine tan leather and 
half-boots of black Spanish leather. 

Another riding dress given in Figure 106 shows the front 
view of a habit of 1801. It is made of dark blue kersemere and 
trimmed with three rows of small blue buttons crossed with 
three rows of blue silk cord. Collar of blue velvet. A white 
beaver hat with a very narrow brim and two short white 
feathers. 

In a letter from Paris during the First Consulate, Miss Berry, 
in her " Diary and Letters," describes an assembly at which she 
was present when Bonaparte addressed each lady with the 
question : " Do you ride on horseback ? " Evidently it was the 
correct thing for a lady to do in France as well as in England 
and America. 

Miss Austen mentions the fashionable muslins too. Writ- 
ing to her sister in 1801, she says : 

" . . . I shall want two new coloured gowns for the sum- 
mer, for my pink one will not do more than clear me from 
Steventon. I shall not trouble you, however, to get more than 
one of them, and that is to be a plain brown cambric muslin, 
for morning wear ; the other, which is to be a very pretty yel- 
low and white cloud, I mean to buy in Bath. Buy two brown 

* A Girl's Life Eighty Years Ago. 



34: HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 

ones, if you please, not both of a length, but one longer than 
the other ; it is for a tall woman. Seven yards for my mother, 
seven yards and a half for me ; a dark brown, but the kind of 
brown is left to your own choice, and I had rather they were 
different, as it will be always something to dispute about which 
is the prettiest. They must be cambric muslin." * 

In another letter written in the same year we read of a new 
wrap : 

"... My cloak came on Tuesday, and though I 
expected a good deal, the beauty of the lace astonished me. 
It is too handsome to be worn, almost too handsome to be 
looked at." f 

A wrap trimmed with lace is given in Figure 11, from a 
plate of 1801. 

Mrs. Ravenel in her delightful book, " Charleston, the 
Place and the People," gives us the following description of the 
ball dresses worn in that picturesque city of the South during 
the first quarter of the nineteenth century. 

" No more the rich brocades and damasks, the plumes and 
powder ; instead the scantiest and shortest of gowns, bodices at 
most eight inches long and skirts of two or three breadths, 
according to width of stuff and size of wearer, coming barely 
to the ankles. The stuff was the softest of satin, India silk, or 
muslin that could be found ; the feet clad in heelless slippers 
tied with ribbons that crossed about the instep. The hair, 
descended from the high estate given it by the last and fairest 
of French queens, hung in loose waves upon the neck until the 
awful fashion of wigs came in. When that strange mania 
prevailed, it was hardly thought decent to wear one's own hair. 
No matter how long, how thick, how beautiful, the ruthless 
scissors must clip it close and a horrible construction by a hair- 

* Letters of Jaue Austen. Edited by Lord Brabourue. t lf>id. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 35 



dresser take its place. The wig fashion did not last long, only 
a year or two, then came the Grecian bands and plaits with 
short curls on the forehead, and next turbans." 

Turbans, capotes and head-dresses of every possible material 
were in the height of fashion in the early years of the century. 
All the young ladies of that time were on the alert to get the 
newest designs and the following extract from an unpublished 
letter written by a Miss Smith in Philadelphia to a Miss Yeates 
of Lancaster, dated September 14, 1800, proves that it was 
fashionable to decorate turbans with hand painting. 

" In the pacquet you will find three painted Tiffany 
Turbans, of which I beg your acceptance of one, & Betsy & 
Kitty of the others. They are not as well done as I could wish, 
but they are as well done as I who never learnt to draw could 
do them."* 

In Figures 2 and 7 specimens of fashionable head-dresses are 
given taken from the " Ladies' Monthly Museum " for January 
and March, 1801, which show that feathers and turbans were 
both worn with short hair. 

In the "Festoon of Fashion" for October, 1801, is the 
following entry : 

" A round dress of thick white muslin (Figure 13) ; a pelisse 
of cambric muslin, trimmed all round ; long sleeves. A bonnet 
of buff silk, trimmed with purple ribbon. 

" A round dress of white muslin, drawn close round the 
throat with a double frill (Figure 12) ; long sleeves. A green 
handkerchief tied carelessly round the neck. A straw hat, 
turned up in front, and trimmed with green ribbons 
(Figures 27 and 31). 

" A black silk hat, turned up in front, with a full crown, 
and ornamented with black feathers. A white muslin bonnet, 

* Extract from letter to Miss M. Yeatea, Lancaster. 



30 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

trimmed and tied under the chin with white ribbon (Fig- 
ure 23). 

" A straw hat, turned up before, and lined with blue ; blue 
ostrich feathers in front. 

" A bonnet of dark green silk, two ostrich feathers of the 
same colour, placed in front, to fall contrary ways, a bow of 
green, edged with white, on the left side. 

" A bonnet of pea-green, or other coloured silk, tied under 
the chin, and ornamented with white feathers. 

" A cap of white and lilac muslin. 

" A wreath of oak or laurel through the hair." 

We are further informed : " The most fashionable colours 
are buff, scarlet, and blue for flowers and feathers, but white 
dresses are the most prevalent." 

Two morning costumes of that year are copied from the 
" Ladies' Monthly Museum " for March, 1801 (Figures 11 
and 12). 

Bonnets were small and close-fitting and evidently of a 
variety of materials. We read in this same Philadelphia 
publication for 1802 of " a bonnet of black velvet trimmed with 
a deep black lace round the front. A close bonnet of purple, or 
other coloured silk, trimmed with ribbon of the same colour 
and ornamented with a flower in front. A bonnet of black 
velvet, turned up in front, and lined and trimmed with scarlet, 
a scarlet feather in front. A domestic or undress cap of fine 
muslin (Figure 12). A bonnet of pink silk, trimmed with 
black ribbon and a black feather ; black lace round the front. 
A dress hat of white satin, turned up in front, and trimmed 
with purple velvet. A hat of brown velvet, turned up in 
front, and trimmed with pink ; bows before and behind." 

As shown in Figures 24, 27 and 31, hats were small in the 
first years of the nineteenth century, but the following extract 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 37 

from " Lady Brownlow's Reminiscences" suggests that it was 
not the fashion to wear anything on the head in Paris in 1802. 

" It was the month of November and cold weather and 
therefore the walking dress of the majority of the women sur- 
prised us not a little. It consisted of a gown trls decolletee, and 
extremely short-waisted, with apparently only one garment 
under it ; this gown they held up so as to discover onejambe, a 
shawl hung over the shoulders, the feet chaussees in their slip- 
pers, no bonnet, or cap, and the curls on each side of the face 
greasy with huile antique." This description recalls the remark 
of Madame Jerome Bonaparte that dress at that time was 
chiefly an aid to setting off beauty to advantage ; and her own 
famous wedding-gown of India muslin and old lace, which one 
of the guests declared he could have easily put into his pocket. 
But the fact that this airy costume excited so much comment at 
the time it was worn proves that it was very unusual even in 
those days of scanty drapery. It was a caprice of fashion im- 
possible for ordinary mortals to follow. 

In February, 1802, a striking walking costume is described : 
" Round dress of white muslin, under a Hungarian cloak made 
of scarlet silk trimmed all round with black lace. A bonnet of 
the same colour as the cloak, trimmed with black lace and or- 
namented with flowers of the same colour." 

Then comes the description of a ball dress : " A short robe 
of fine muslin with a train of the same : the robe made plain 
over the bosom, with additional fronts, to fly open from the 
shoulders. The whole bound with scarlet ribbon, the sleeves 
and the robe from the shoulders to the bottom ornamented 
with scarlet ribbon. The bosom trimmed round with deep 
white lace. A hat of white silk, turned up in front, and lined 
with scarlet ; a feather of the same colour fixed in front, to fall 
over the crown." 



1800-1810 
FIGURE 15. 1807 Fashionable hair arrangement. From a portrait by 

Hopuer. 

FIGURE 16. 1808 Evening head-dress. From a contemporary portrait. 
FIGURE 17. 1806 A scarf of India muslin worn like a turban. From a 

portrait of the Princess Amelia. 

FIGURE 18. 1810 Muslin turban, with the front hair arranged in bow- 
knot. From a portrait of the Princess Mary. 
FIGURE 19. 1806 Head-dress of India muslin. From a portrait by 

Lawrence. 
FIGURE 20. 1805 Head-dress of white mull. From a portrait by St. 

Meniin. 
FIGURE 21. 1800 Arrangement of short hair fashionable in the early 

years of the century. From a contemporary portrait. 
FIGURE 22. 1810 Simple arrangement of hair, fashionable at the period. 

From a contemporary miniature. 




... 



. . 






HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 41 

A letter on London Fashions for the winter season of 1802 
also describes evening dresses worn with hats : 

" A dancing frock of white muslin ; the train very long, and 
trimmed round the bottom with black and yellow trimming ; 
over the train a plain drapery trimmed all round to match the 
train ; the back plain, and ornamented with alternate bows of 
black and yellow ; full sleeves of lace and muslin. Small hat 
of white satin, turned up in front, and ornamented with black 
and yellow ostrich feathers. 

" An opera dress, made of white satin, and trimmed with 
swansdown. A mantle of the same, trimmed also with swans- 
down. A hat of black velvet, ornamented with one large os- 
trich feather." * 

During a visit to Paris in 1802 Miss Berry describes a cos- 
tume of Madame Napoleon Bonaparte : " A smart demi-parure, 
a pink slight silk gown with a pink velvet spot upon it, a small 
white satin hat with two small feathers, tied under the chin." f 
And in England we find fanciful caps were as important an ac- 
cessory of evening dress as they had been in the time of George 
I and George II. Some of the descriptions sound very attract- 
ive ; for instance : " A cap of white lace with a deep lace 
border ; bows of white ribbon on the front and left side. A cap 
of fine muslin, the front finished with white ribbon ; the crown 
full, and finished on the left side with a long end. A cap of 
lace, made open behind to show the hair, and ornamented with 
an ostrich feather. A cap of white satin, ornamented with a 
small wreath of flowers. A close cap of white satin, trimmed 
round the front with fancy trimming, and ornamented with 
flowers. A Parisian cap, made of worked muslin, lined 
with pink silk ; a deep lace border round the front. A 
cap of lace, drawn up close behind, and finished with 

* Port Folio, 1802, Festoon of Fashion, f Diary and Letters of Miss Berry. 



c 



42 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 

a lace frill; a coquelicot feather (Figure 10) or flower in front " 
(Figure 9). 

A novelty of the spring of 1802 was the Bonapartian hat. 
We read of one made of " salmon-coloured satin, in the form of 
a helmet, surrounded with a wreath of laurel," and in Figure 
243 a picture of one is given made of white gauze. 

Plain white chip hats in the Gipsy style, without 
any ornament whatever, tied carelessly under the chin 
with coloured ribbon " were popular for a number of years " 
(Figure 8). 

Among the London modes we find described the " Archer 
dress, a petticoat without any train, with a border of green or 
blue ; a blue or green sarsnet bodice, vandyked at bottom ; 
loose chemise sleeves, and no handkerchief. The head-dress, a 
small white or blue satin hat, turned up in front." We also 
learn that " brown, grey, or olive silk stockings, with yellow 
or orange cloaks, are worn by the ladies " ; that " feathers and 
flowers continue to be much worn, and wreaths of roses 
on the hair for full dress, in preference to more cumbrous or- 
naments " (Figure 160) ; and that small watches " are worn, 
by a few dashing belles, on their bosoms, not bigger than the 
round of an half guinea." 

These were called locket watches and were suspended by a 
gold chain from the neck (Figure 9). 

Short pelisses (Figure 27) of black lace or of black silk 
lined with scarlet or purple, and trimmed all round with fur or 
lace, were very much worn (Figure 11). 

A note on Parisian Fashions for the same winter (1802) 
gives the information that "buff colour satin hats, with 
amaranthus colour drapery, are very fashionable ; " as are also 
" apricot velvet hats, trimmed with amaranthus colour ribbons 
with gold stripes, and feathers of the same colour ; " and those 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 43 

of " capucine colour velvet, with ribbons of the same colour, 
and some of pale blue velvet with blue feathers." 

" The head-dresses in hair (Figure 18), which were entirely 
out of fashion, are again in favour ; some ornamented with a 
polished steel diadem. The caps worn under turbans are 
generally made of black velvet instead of poppy-colour. 

"Morning caps are of white crape and have bands of Chinese 
ribbon across them. The ends of the ribbons are left very long, 
and cut in the form of horns." For illustrations of caps see 
Figures 16, 18, 20, 21, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38. 

From Paris we hear that " silk stuffs are adopted for full 
dress for the winter, and muslins for undress. The robes de bals 
& la Clotilde, a la Hebe, a la Syr&ne, the Swiss, Italian and 
Spanish dresses are all made of these materials." We also learn 
of an alluring invention in cloaks called belles douillettes a la 
Russiene. 

" These cloaks are of three cuts, and three different sorts of 
wadding according to the needs of the wearer. They are also 
adapted to different figures, some for slender persons, some for 
en bonpoint, and some for those who are much encumbered 
with flesh. They are extremely convenient, and find a ready 
admittance into fashionable society." Apparently nobody of 
any size could object to them. 

Short pelisses and spencers, garments resembling jackets 
with the skirt cut off, were very popular in all materials and 
colours from 1800 to 1820 (Figures 11, 27). 

" Nine heads " are described in the " Port Folio " for 1802 : 

1. " A bonnet of blue satin, trimmed round the front with 
deep black lace, and ornamented with black feathers. 

2. " A bonnet of white satin, made open at top to admit the 
hair, and trimmed all round with chenille trimming ; two white 
feathers in front. 



44 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

3. " A hat of brown velvet, turned up in front, and lined 
with yellow ; brown and yellow feathers in front. 

4. " A cap of white velvet, spotted with gold, and with 
gold trimmings. 

5. " A bonnet of white satin, and yellow crape, ornamented 
with a white flower, and with yellow and white ribbons. 

6. " A cap of white muslin, trimmed with gold trimming, 
three white ostrich feathers fixed on the right side to hang in 
front. 

7. " The hair dressed in the present fashion, and banded 
with gold. 

8. " Round bonnet of velvet and trimmed with steel beads, 
purple feather in front. 

9. " Turban of white satin, with a band of muslin round 
the front, fastened on the left side with a gold loop ; gold 
flower in front." 

In the same year (1802) mention is made of two very 
pretty costumes worn by American ladies at the court of 
St. James. 

" In the beginning of April last, at the queen's drawing- 
room, Mrs. Derby, of Boston, was presented by Mrs. King, and 
was much admired for her beauty, and the simplicity of her 
dress, which was of white crape, and tastefully arranged with 
wreaths of white flowers and beads. 

" Miss Bingham, who was likewise presented by Mrs. King, 
wore a black crape petticoat richly embroidered with black 
bugles and beads, bodice and train to correspond. Head-dress, 
tiara of bugles with diamonds and feathers." 

Among the London Fashions a quaint walking dress is 
described : " A dress of white cambric, made close round the 
neck with a collar. A spencer of lilac silk, trimmed with lace. 
Large straw hat, looped up in front with a straw button and 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 45 

tied under the chin with ribbon." Also : " A round dress of 
sprigged muslin, long cloak of cambric muslin, trimmed all 
round with lace ; close bonnet, trimmed and ornamented with 
lilac." 

Reticules were so universally carried during the first part of 
the nineteenth century that they were popularly called " In- 
dispensables," and a few years later ridicules. Miss Southgate 
describes one in a letter in 1802 : * 

" Martha sent me a most elegant Indispensable, white lute- 
string spangled with silver, and a beautiful bracelet for the arm 
made of her hair ; she is too good to love me, as she says, more 
than ever." 

Under date of June 18, 1803, the writer speaks of half hand- 
kerchiefs as a new fashion : 

" I am just going to set off for Long Island and therefore 
promise but a short letter. I have a mantua maker here mak- 
ing you a gown which I hope to have finished to send by Mrs. 
Rodman. The fashions are remarkably plain, sleeves much 
longer than ours and half handkerchiefs are universally worn. 
At Mrs. Henderson's party there was but one lady except 
myself without a handkerchief, dressed as plain as possible, the 
most fashionable women the plainest. I have got you a pretty 
India spotted muslin, 'tis fashionable here." f 

" Mr. Oldschool " is responsible for the following : 

" RECEIPT TO MAKE A FASHIONABLE LADY 

" Take about eight yards of gingham, or sprig muslin, that 

is seamed together in the form of a Churchman's pulpit robe. 

Slip on this easy frock, draw it across the shoulders, girt it 

round about, and across the middle ; and let the end of it sweep 

* A Girl's Life Eighty Years Ago, by Eliza Southgate Bowne. 
t Ibid. 



46 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

at least a quarter on the ground. The flowing tresses, which 
Nature in her luxuriance designed to adorn and cover the 
shoulders, must be stuffed, powdered, knit at the end, and 
folded up under the turban a la mode, in the exact form of 
her refrigerating hand weapon. To the many other embellish- 
ments of the head-dress must be added a quarter and a half of 
black or green silk love crape, to defend from the insolence of 
the sun-beams and render the inhabitant within mosquito proof. 
Place this figure in a pair of red or blue Morocco slippers, and 
set her a-walking on the pavement, Phaon by her side, and the 
work is complete. 

" N. B. To make her irresistible she must, at every other 
step, give her head a toss, smack her lips and turn up her eyes 
to her beloved country the Moon : making it evident, that she 
is none of the mean-spirited beings that delight in things 
below." 

The following parody is also from the caustic pen of the 
editor of the " Port Folio " : 

" AN EXERCISE OF THE LIPS 
' ' Moisten your lips 
Bite your lips 
Opeu your lips 
Close your lips 
Pout your lips 
Rest your lips." 

From the advertisements of that time one gleans many 
amusing notes. The following is a Philadelphia hair-dresser's 
announcement for 1802 : 

" Ross respectfully informs the ladies that he has on exhibi- 
tion a most elegant and whimsical head-dress, calculated either 
for mask balls, full dress, or undress, and may be worn instead 
of a veil, having the peculiar quality of changing its shape, occa- 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 47 

sionally covering the whole face, yet capable of being disposed 
into wandering ringlets ; as a mask the disguise is complete with- 
out oppression ; as a veil it protects without the dull uniformity 
of drapery, and may be scented to the perfume of any flower ; 
for beauty it cannot be surpassed, and for simplicity it stands 
unrivalled. The patent was granted by the Goddess of taste, 
inspired by the spirit of fancy, secured from imitation by the 
genius of merit, patronized by the votaries of elegance, and ex- 
hibited in the temple of fashion." 

And this device of a London hair-dresser reminds one very 
much of the transformation arrangements of the present day : 

" Mr. T. Bowman of London, peruke maker, etc., gives a 
noble specimen of a disinterested spirit, when he tells the ladies 
that his ' Full dress patent head-dresses are beautifully simple 
when folded up and fastened with a bodkin ; are easily dressed 
in any style the best head of hair is capable of, and much 
superior in beauty.' Price 6, 8, 10, 12, 15 and twenty guineas I " 

While on the subject of hair-dressing, it may be well to quote 
another London advertisement which assuredly promises a great 
deal : 

" To those who are ashamed of red hair, which the Romans 
thought a beauty, and to those who are ashamed of grey hair, 
which many think looks venerable, we must recommend the fol- 
lowing suggestions by the ingenious Mr. Overton, who seems to 
contradict the Scripture assertion, ' Thou canst not make one 
hair white or black ' : 

" To the nobility, gentry, etc. . . . No. 47, New Bond 
Street, Mr. Overton's, where may be seen specimens of red or 
grey hair changed to various beautiful and natural shades of 
flaxen, brown, or black. As many ladies are compelled from 
their hair changing grey, at a very early period, to adopt the use 
of wigs, such ladies are respectfully informed that their own 



1806-1812 

FIGURE 23. 1808 Dress, mantle and gloves from original costume. Bonnet 
of white straw with full crown of silk and bows of taffeta ribbon. 

FIGURE 24. 1806 Hat of fancy straw, with veil. 

FIGURE 25. 1806 Turban and earrings. 

FIGURE 26. 1808 Sketch of an original gown made of white muslin, em- 
broidered with "Smyrna work " in red and green. Head with muslin 
turban. 

FIGURE 27. 1802 Spencer of black lace. Hat turned up in front and tied 
under the chin. 

FIGURE 28. 1808 Gown of India muslin, embroidered with silver. Head 
from a portrait. 

FIGURE 29. 1812 Back of sage-greeu pelisse. Hat with feather. 

FIGURE 30. 1808 Back view of white satin gown in Figure 56. Head 
from a portrait. 

FIGURE 31. 1805 Hat of fancy straw, turned up in front. 

FIGURE 32. 1808 Evening hat, 

FIGURE 33. 1808 Gown of white India muslin with stripes of fine drawn- 
work. The hair curled under a "half-turban" of white mull trimmed 
with lace, is from a contemporary portrait. 









C.J.T. 
IftolKC 






/ 

* 



**! a 3*m 





32> 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 51 

hair may be changed to any shade they choose, in the course of 
a few hours, by the use of the never-failing tricosian fluid, and 
such is its permanency, that neither the application of powder, 
pomatum, or even washing, will in the least alter the colour. 
It is easy in application, and may be used at any season of the 
year, without danger of taking cold, being a composition of the 
richest aromatics, and highly beneficial in nervous headaches, 
or weakness of the eyes. To convince the nobility, etc., any 
lady sending a lock of her hair, post paid (sealed with her arms 
so as to prevent deception), shall have it returned the next day, 
changed to any colour shown at the places of sale. Sold in 
bottles at one pound one shilling by Mr. Golding, perfumer to 
her majesty, Cornhill ; Mr. Overton, No. 47 New Bond Street ; 
Mr. Wright, Wade's Passage, Bath, and nowhere else in the 
kingdom." * 

The following squib on the subject of the scanty draperies 
worn by the most ardent votaries of Fashion, is taken from a 
Paris journal : 

" THE PIN 

" Our neighbours, the English, if we may judge from their 
marriage contracts, are, or at least were, the greatest consumers 
of pins in the world. Nothing is more usual than for a lady of 
fashion to be allowed a thousand pounds sterling a year for the 
single article of pins. Historians relate that in those days 
when pin-money was first introduced the English ladies con- 
sumed a vast number of pins to fasten their clothes. In pro- 
cess of time, however, the consumption of pins has decreased, 
and in exact proportion with the diminution of drapery. At 
Paris, God knows, a husband will not be ruined by the expense 
of pins. Now-a-days, an elegante makes almost as little use of a 
pin as of a needle. "t 

* Port Folio, July 3, 1802, Festoon of Fashion. t Ibid . 



52 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

Although bodices were cut very low and displayed a great 
deal of neck, tuckers or frills of lace were generally worn as we 
may notice in contemporary portraits, always more reliable 
sources of the history of dress than the fashion plates. Fans 
were small at this period (Figure 56). In the " Port Folio " 
for 1802 appeared this anecdote : 

" A finished coquette at a ball asked a gentleman near her 
while she adjusted her tucker, whether he could flirt a fan 
which she held in her hand. ' No, Madam,' answered he, pro- 
ceeding to use it, ' but I can fan a flirt.' ' 

As will be seen in the illustrations given, there were not any 
marked changes in the shape and cut of gowns or wraps during 
the first decade of the nineteenth century, but on the other 
hand an endless variety of head-dresses, trimmings and acces- 
sories followed with bewildering rapidity, and the names it was 
the fashion to give each innovation would fill a dictionary. 



" Variety is the very spice of life 
And lends it half its charm." 



These names are worthy of mention, however, as by means of 
them the current historical events can be traced even in the 
pages of a " Magazin des Modes." It was an age of sentiment 
as well as of variety. Young ladies took great delight in the 
most romantic and fanciful nicknames. A couplet by Coleridge 
published in a periodical of 1803 runs : 



" I asked my fair one happy day, 
What I should call her in my lay ; 

By what sweet name from Rome or Greece ; 
Lalage, Neaera, Chloris, 
Sappho, Lesbia or Doris, 

Arethusa or Lucrece ? 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 53 

" ' Ah,' replied my gentle fair, 

' Beloved, what are names but air ? 

Choose thou whatever suits the line ; 
Call me Sappho, call ine Chloris, 
Call me Lalage or Doris, 
Only, only call me thine.' '' 



Trains and round skirts were both worn, but all the gowns 
were very scanty, the latter measuring scarcely more than two 
yards at the bottom. (See Figures 5, 12, 51, 53, 54, 56 and 58.) 
The waists were made with a little fullness in front and cut 
very low about the shoulders. Guimpes of muslin with or with- 
out sleeves were worn on ordinary occasions (Figure 54), also 
low-necked dresses with long sleeves which could easily be re- 
moved, leaving the little puffs or short sleeves on the shoulders. 
Pin tucks and heavy cords were very much used for trimming. 
(See Figures 53 and 54.) 

The costume of a French " milliner's assistant " given in 
the initial at the head of this chapter, is taken from an old 
print of 1804, and shows a bonnet with a high crown tied at 
one side of the chin, a kerchief knotted round the throat, a 
low-necked dress with short sleeves, and a very long apron. An 
English or an American girl of the same class would probably 
have worn a cape or a spencer covering the arms and shoulders. 

Fur was worn too as trimming, and large muffs (Figure 11) 
of it were carried, not only in winter when they were needed, 
but they are often seen in many of the early fashion plates from 
1800 to 1810 with straw hats and muslin costumes. In the 
" Port Folio " for 1803 we read : 

" The contest between muffs and muslins is at present very 
severe among the ladies, most of whom condescend to keep 
their hands warm, though the cold and thin clothing should dye 
parts of their sweet persons an imperial purple." 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



Slippers with astonishingly thin soles and no heels (see Fig- 
ures 3, 11, 26 and 54) were worn to match or contrast with the 
dress, and the long gloves as shown in Figures 5, 14, 28 and 51 
were made of lace, linen, or kid. Veils were long and usually of 
very delicate lace. Muffs were large and made of beaver, chin- 
chilla and swansdown. Chintz, lace, cambric, tissue, gauze, 
silk, satin and brocade were alike fashionable and worn as oc- 
casion required. 

" If 011 her we see display'd 
Pendant gems and rich brocade, 
If her chintz with less expense 
Plows in easy negligence." 

It is said that " to encourage commerce. Napoleon bade his 
wife entertain as much as possible, thus setting an example to 
all those whose means permitted display. Josephine, who de- 
lighted in dress as much as ever, although her charms were 
somewhat dimmed, was only too glad of any^pretext for devis- 
ing new costumes, upon which she spent much time, and no 
less than a million francs per year. Her budget of expenses, 
which is not without interest, included in "one year three thou- 
sand francs' worth of rouge. She paid her hair-dresser a salary 
of six thousand francs, and ordered in one year two hundred 
white muslin dresses costing from five hundred to two thousand 
francs apiece, five hundred and fifty-eight pairs of white silk 
stockings, five hundred and twenty pairs of dainty shoes, five 
hundred lace-trimmed chemises at three hundred francs each, 
two hundred and fifty-two hats, and, after shawls came into 
fashion, no less than sixty, which cost from eight to ten thou- 
sand francs apiece. Strange to relate, however, her wardrobe 
included but two flannel petticoats, and two pairs of tights for 
riding. Warmth was supplied by cloth or velvet gowns, which, 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 55 

as they were low-necked and short-sleeved, were often supple- 
mented by redingotes lined with fur or silk. The fit of gowns 
in her day precluded the use of many underclothes, and, aside 
from a chemise and corset, Josephine wore nothing but a slip, 
even when her upper garment was one of her favourite white 
muslins. The shoes and slippers made to match her gowns, 
were for ornament more than use, for it is said that when she 
once showed her shoemaker some footgear which revealed holes 
after one day's wear, he gravely examined them, and justified 
himself by exclaiming :' Ah I I see what it is. Madame, you 
have walked in them ! ' Josephine also delighted in dainty 
wrappers, nightgowns, and caps and her husband once declared 
that her night toilet was as elegant as that used by day, and 
that she was graceful even in bed." 

The Empire dress was a great favourite in Court circles, not 
only in France, but in England, where Napqleon was more 
feared than loved. Some very beautiful specimens of this style 
may be seen in the South Kensington Museum in London, and 
one of blue satin richly embroidered in coloured silks and 
crape is on view in Memorial Hall, - Philadelphia, which 
through the courtesy of Mrs. Harrison we have been permitted 
to reproduce in the frontispiece of this volume. The long 
heavy trains of this -mode were usually of some thick material, 
velvet, satin or brocade, while the under-dress was of filmy em- 
broidered gauze, India muslin, or soft finished satin. 

The hair was worn in short ringlets over the forehead and 
generally parted in the middle and coiled at the back. Al- 
though it did not require a great deal of hair for this 
arrangement, wigs still continued in favour, to the evident 
displeasure of a contributor to the " Evening Fireside," edited 
in 1804. 

* Empresa of France, by H. A. Guerber. 



56 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" ON SEEING S. L. DEESSED IN A FASHIONABLE WIG 

" As Nature to preserve au equipoise, 
Eeduudaut pow'r of principles destroys, 
Blending attractive and repulsive might, 
And mingling shade (to save our eyes) with light, 
So modish dames repel! us from the gaze, 
And kindly deaden beauty's ardent blaze, 
When o'er their charms, contrived in pireous gig, 
They spread that monstrous veil y-clep'd a wig 
Had those famed Syrens whose allurnieuts bland 
Attracted heroes to the fatal strand, 
Had they worn wigs, by modern artists shap'd, 
Others besides Ulysses had escap'd . . . 
Or when in Eden beauty held the bait 
And tempted Adam from his blissful state, 
Had round Eve's brows a shaggy wig been curl'd, 
Her charms less potent had not lost the world." 

Mrs. Smith, formerly Miss Bayard of Philadelphia, writing 
to her sister Mrs. Kirkpatrick, has given us graphic pictures of 
society in the United States. In January, 1804, she says : 

" Since my last letters, we have been at a large and splendid 
ball at Mrs. Robert Smith's, a dancing party at Mdm. Pichon's, 
a card party at Mrs. Galatin's, at Mr. Beckley's and at Mr. Von 
Ness's, and at the City Assembly. Mrs. R. Smith's was by far 
the most agreeable. Mrs. Merry (wife of the British Minister) 
was there and her dress attracted great attention ; it was bril- 
liant and fantastic, white satin with a long train, dark blue 
crape of the same length over it, and white crape drapery down 
to her knees and open at one side, so thickly covered with 
silver spangles that it appeared to be a brilliant silver tissue ; 
a breadth of blue crape about four yards long and in other 
words, a long shawl, put over her head instead of over her 
shoulders and hanging down to the floor, her hair bound tight 
to her head with a diamond crescent before and a diamond 
comb behind, diamond earrings and necklace displayed on her 
bare bosom. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 57 

" I am half tempted to enter into details of our city affairs 
and personages, but really I shall have to be so scandalous that 
I am afraid of amusing you at such a risk. But certainly there 
is no place in the United States where one hears and sees so 
many strange things, or where so many odd characters are to be 

met with. But of Madam I think it is no harm to 

speak the truth. She has made a great noise here and mobs of 
boys have crowded round her splendid equipage to see what I 
hope will not often be seen in this country, an almost naked 
woman. An elegant and select party was given to her by Mrs. 
Robert Smith ; her appearance was such that it threw all the 
company into confusion, and no one dared to look at her but by 
stealth ; the window shutters being open a crowd assembled 
round the windows to get a look at this beautiful little creature, 
for every one allows that she is extremely beautiful. Her dress 
was the thinnest sarsnet and white crape without the least stiff- 
ening in it, made without a single plait in the skirt, the width 
at the bottom being made of gores ; there was scarcely any 
waist and her arms were uncovered and the rest of her form 
visible. She was engaged the next evening at Madam P.'s. 
Mrs. R. Smith and several other ladies sent her word if she 
wished to meet them there, she must promise to have more 
clothes on. I was highly pleased with this becoming spirit in 
our ladies." 

We suspect that the heroine of this scandal was Madame Je- 
rome Bonaparte, whose scanty draperies are mentioned in many 
contemporary letters, and whose wedding costume has been 
already described. 

From a letter from Paris dated 1806 the following items are 
gleaned : 

"Square shawls are more in favour than long ones. Few 
feathers or flowers are to be seen ; they have almost entirely 



1800-1812 
FIGURE 34. 1800 Head-dress of India muslin. From a portrait by St. 

Merniii. 
FIGURE 35. 1801 Cap of muslin and ribbon. From a portrait by St. 

Memiii. 

FIGURE 36. 1802 Cap of an elderly lady. From a portrait by St. Meinin. 
FIGURE 37. 1803 Cap tied under the chin. From a portrait by St. Memin. 
FIGURE 38. 1805 Euffled mob cap. From a portrait by St. Memin. 
FIGURE 39. 1808 Cap with bands of ribbon. From a portrait by St. 

Memin. 

FIGURE 40. 1807 Turban of soft silk. From a portrait of Mme. Catalani. 
FIGURE 41. 1812 Fringed turban. From a portrait of Mrs. Madison, by 

Wood. 



i <- 




HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 61 

given place to ribbands of various descriptions. Lavender is a 
new colour and much worn, dove, fawn, pale-pink and blue are 
the colours at present most admired." 

The last mentioned, blue, appears to have been the most 
favoured colour of all ages. There is something blue in every 
list of costumes, calling to mind the popular old rhyme : 

" Green is forsaken 

And yellow forlorn 
But blue is the prettiest colour that's worn." 

Thistleton Dyer, however, tells us that blue is considered 
unlucky for a wedding dress in some parts of England, proving 
that the time-honoured adage that no bride will be lucky who 
does not wear 

" Something old and something new, 
Something borrowed and something blue " 

is not universal. 

In the spring of 1806, " large shawls of silk or mohair were 
much worn, and of various shapes ; some in the form of a long 
mantle, with a hood ; others a la Turque; others again square. 
Loose spencers of pale blue or apple-blossom sarsnet, or of 
cambric muslin were popular. Pelisses were made of plain 
nankin and were very appropriate to the season. The most 
fashionable hats were of yellow straw, with a large rim & la 
Pamela, ornamented with very broad plain ribbon, or a flower ; a 
sort of bonnet with a small brim of straw, and the crown of 
white silk, was worn with a riding habit. A lace frill was worn 
with this costume, round the neck, or a coloured hunting neck- 
handkerchief." The picture of a riding costume of 1806 is 
given in Figure 107. It is intended to be made of fine broad- 
cloth, the colour a dark lavender blossom ; it has a high rolled 
collar, lapelled front, deep cape d la pelerine, a broad belt secured 



62 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

in front with a double-clasp of steel, and a high ruff of double- 
plaited muslin sloped to a point at the bosom. Hat of amber 
coloured velvet, band of same formed in leaves. Hair in 
close curls. Light tan gloves ; half-shoes of lavender blossom 
kid. Certainly a very dainty creation for the purpose. Every- 
body rode on horseback in the first half of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, and every lady had a riding habit, more or less elaborate, 
as the illustrations in Figures 105-117 show. They are all 
taken from contemporary prints. 

Riding hats were often trimmed with fur, and in a fashion 
magazine for 1806 we read : "The latest style for these hats is 
quite novel ; they are made of a fawn-colour, the brims are 
raised on each side to the height of the shape, and are cut round 
to resemble a fan." 

Pelisses and robes of velvet, cloth and silk were still 
fashionable. We read of a pelisse " of dove-coloured velvet, 
worn loose and open before, embroidered in silk of the same 
colour down the front, with a running foliage of vine or olive 
leaves." 

Later in the season bonnets and hats were of straw of differ- 
ent shapes, gracefully turned up in front and lined with various 
coloured velvets and ornamented with artificial flowers. 

Fancy-coloured silk, nankin, and jean shoes, and parasols of 
white cambric were very generally in use. 

The following details are from Paris : 

" Silk hats a la Turban are generally covered with leno, 
or fine embroidered muslin ; they are popular and have a neat 
unobtrusive effect. The Gipsy hat and cloak is a most dis- 
tinguished outdoor covering, but suits only women tall in 
stature and graceful in carriage. We never recollect a greater 
variety of fancy cloaks than have been introduced this spring. 
The Spanish cloak now gives place to the Grecian scarf, which 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 63 

is exceedingly elegant. Lace and work is introduced as much 
as ever round the bottom, on the sleeves and up the front of 
dresses." * 

In an English magazine of 1806, a new hat is described as of 
" fancy straw without any trimming, turned up on the left side 
immediately over the edge, the rest of the rim slouched. A 
plain lace veil of the scarf form with a narrow border all around 
is fastened on the top of the crown with a small antique stud, 
and left open in front." A picture of this is given in Figure 24. 

The ruffs which came into vogue at this time are carefully 
described in the following extract from a letter from Paris : 1 

" Before I bid you good-night I will endeavour to give you a 
practical description of the new ruff, now almost indispensable 
in morning and outdoor costume. (And I beg you to remem- 
ber, dear Julia, that nothing is considered so vulgar and in- 
decorous as to exhibit the bosom, throat or arms with the above 
mentioned habiliments.) This ruff has about half an ell of 
broad lace, fulled into a band of narrow raised needlework, a 
little larger than the size of the throat. A band of muslin is 
gathered full on the other edge of the work, about an eighth in 
depth, and finished Avith a row of similar needlework at the 
bottom. The lace, which sits high and straight round the chin, 
is finely crimped ; and the full muslin, confined by the rows of 
work, sits in hollow gathers round the throat. When the habit 
shirt is made without a collar, or with the high morning dress, 
this elegant ruff is particularly convenient and becoming." (For 
illustrations of ruffs see Figures 7, 11, 29, 31, 41 and 54.) 

" Veils are still very prevalent ; as head-dresses they are 
worn either at the back of the head, or flowing on one side, 
shading the shoulders (Figure 28), which would be otherwise 
entirely exposed. The gowns are made high in the bosom, and 

* La Belle Assemble*. 



64 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

low in the back. No trains are to be seen with morning 
dresses. The bodice of coloured sarsnet, a sort of spencer with- 
out sleeves, formed like the plain waist of a gown, with plaited 
net all round, has a very pretty effect." 

Among the variations of Fashion described in 1806 are : 
" A full-dress lace turban, ornamented with gold-spangled net, 
an aigrette in front, with a large bow of muslin confining the 
whole, and a row of gold, intermixed with spangled net, hang- 
ing tastefully on one side of the forehead. 

" The Circassian straw hat, which has some resemblance to a 
Gipsy hat, but has a fanciful crown, and is ornamented with 
lilac, salmon, and other spring coloured ribbands. A half 
Gipsy straw hat, tied down with yellow or green ribbands, is 
fashionable. A straw hat for mourning wear in the turban 
style, embellished in front with primroses, or a bunch of mi- 
gnonette and yellow roses, and a loose bow of white rib- 
bands." 

A simple but attractive walking dress is shown in Figure 14. 
It consists of " a plain muslin frock, walking length, the front 
of the bodice and the short sleeves made rather full, the latter 
gathered with a band and finished with a bow of ribbon. The 
bonnet is of the cottage shape, the front of straw or chip with a 
round crown of lavender-blossom silk. A handkerchief of the 
same silk crosses the crown and is tied in a bow under the chin. 
Under the bonnet a small round cap with a frill of lace is seen. 
A sash to match the bonnet trimming is tied in the back under 
the pelerine, which is made of three falls of finely crimped or 
plaited muslin. The scarf is of pale green with a narrow varie- 
gated border. The long gloves and the half-shoes are of buff 
kid." With this costume, which is taken from a plate in " La 
Belle Assemblee" for the summer of 1806, we read that amber 
earrings were worn. Two fashionable straw bonnets in the 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMERICA 65 

summer of 1806 were the conversation (Figure 27) and the cot- 
tage (Figure 23) bonnets. 

A simple evening dress is described in an English paper : 
" A French jacket of coloured crape, ornamented with narrow 
lace, also a trimming of lace round the bottom of the dress ; 
long sash of ribbon tied carelessly on one side, of a colour cor- 
responding with the dress. Front made plain and very high 
over the bosom, trimmed round with plain double tulle. No 
neckerchief or tucker is necessary with this dress ; white kid 
gloves and shoes." Also a popular walking dress : " A short 
round frock of nankeen, trimmed round the bottom with sap- 
phire ribbon, binding of the same round the bosom ; narrow 
sash of the same ribbon tied on one side ; lace chemissette ; nan- 
keen boots or shoes, and a Gipsy hat of silk." 

Another letter from Paris says : " Ball dresses, dear Julia, 
were never more attractive than this spring. Frocks of French 
net over white satin, painted in natural flowers. Dresses of 
white Imperial satin, with a silver brocade ribband at the bot- 
tom, and French aprons of net or lace, bordered all round, and 
ornamented at the pocket-holes with Chinese roses. Round 
train-dresses of Moravian muslin, let in all round with fine foot- 
ing lace, and fastened up the side with clasps of embossed gold 
or steel. These dresses, amidst many others, are conspicuous for 
their taste and elegance. I no longer remark the long sleeve in 
full dress, except on women who have passed their maturity. 
I hope, dear Julia, you have never worn the backs of your 
dresses immoderately low ; a correct taste must ever condemn a 
fashion so disgusting. I am happy to tell you that at the last 

Opera, and at the Marchioness of D 's Assembly, the most 

elegant women wore the backs of their dresses much advanced, 
or shaded with soft folds of muslin or lace. 

"... Mary's French coat rivals the primrose hue, while 



66 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

my Curacoa cloak the violet's shade assumes. Our Gipsy hats, 
of chip, are decked with wreaths in imitation of these beauteous 
offspring of the season. We have also hats of satin-straw, for 
half-dress, with the high tiara front and globe crown, the most 
novel and elegant article of the kind I have witnessed for many 
months." 

A magazine much used in America makes the announce- 
ment for 1806 that " white satin dresses will continue fashion- 
able the whole of the season ; ball dresses worked in gold and 
silver lame, or crape embossed in white or coloured velvets. 
Silver chambery is extremely fashionable and elegant both for 
turbans and dresses. The most fashionable ornaments are 
amethyst tiaras and bandeaux of velvet. Dove brooches are 
worn in the front of dresses, with or without other ornaments, 
and are much admired. Silks of every colour, spotted with 
white, are prevalent ; silk hats and bonnets to correspond are 
worn with them. An evening dress of leiw, worked in the 
Etruscan pattern, is much approved of ; the back of this dress 
is low, drawn full, and is finished with a loose bow of narrow 
ribband, high in front, and is ornamented with footing lace. 
Head-dress of white satin, ornamented with flowers. Lace caps 
are now more universally worn than ever by our most fash- 
ionable females ; the mob (Figures 35 and 39) has not entirely 
disappeared, but the small round cap seems to be more ad- 
mired " (Figure 38). 

An English walking costume of 1807 is thus described : " A 
Polish robe of purple velvet, open in front, rounded gradually 
from the bottom towards the lappels, which are continued 
across the shoulder, and finished in regular points on the 
back. A yoke of the same, with high fur collar ; the whole 
trimmed all around with red fox, mole, leopard-spot or grey 
squirrel. A rich cord and tassel is attached to the centre of the 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 67 

back, and fastened at the waist in front. The bodice and skirt 
cut in one and the sleeve fitting close to the arm. Polish cap 
of the same material, trimmed round the edge and across the 
crown with fur, a cord and tassels hanging from the right side 
of the crown. York tan gloves and primrose shoes." 

A trimming of spangled velvet is mentioned in the same 
magazine. " A ball dress of plain crape, over a white satin 
slip, made dancing length ; plain back and sleeves, with 
quartered front, trimmed round the bottom, on the waist and 
on the sleeves with a white velvet ribband thickly spangled 
with gold or lace." In the words of a contemporary author- 
ity, " the chemissette, so long and so justly esteemed for its 
delicacy and utility, is now worn with a double plaiting of 
Vandyked muslin, forming a very high and stiff frill, which sits 
close round the throat, and is sloped to a point at the chin ; " 
and the winged ruff is described as "a dignified and fashionable 
appendage to the evening dress." For short sleeves we learn 
a Vandyke trimming was preferred, but the crescent sleeve and 
the full puffed sleeve, formed in three divisions, with bands 
of lace, needlework, silver, or gold, were alike fashionable. 

" The fronts of dresses are generally cut to fit the form," 
Mrs. Bell, the famous English authority, remarks, " and where 
the bust is finely turned, we know not of any fashion that can 
be more advantageous ; but to a spare figure we recommend a 
little more embellishment." Specimens of this style are given 
in Figures 13, 21, 53, and 54. Round gowns were in 1807 ar- 
ranged with French gores, so as to have no gathers at the bot- 
tom of the waist in front. 

Veils, both as head-dresses and on bonnets, were much worn ; 
a figure of one worn with full evening dress is given in Figure 
28. The popularity of the veil is proclaimed in the following 
sonnet : 



1810-1818 
FIGUEE 42. 1818 Mourning street dress, showing a cloak fashionable for 

the first quarter of the century. 

FIGURE 43. 181-1 Oldenburg bonnet. From a portrait. 
FIGURE 44. 1813 Regency costume, trimmed with fur. 
FIGURE 45. 1813 Regency cap of white satin. 
FIGURE 46. 1815 Costume of Mine. Lavalette, in which her husband 

made his escape from prison. 
FIGURE 47. 1811 Spanish hat and ermine cape. 
FIGURE 48. 1810 Walking dress with straw hat. 
FIGURE 49. 1814 Huntley scarf and cap. 
FIGURE 50. 1812 Walking dress with a cottage bonnet. Roman sandal. 






v; 





PTJ* . ' 

. 
. ^ . 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 71 

"THE VEIL* 

"Though to hide a sweet face, 

"With a curtaiii of lace, 
Makes oglera of fashion to rail ; 

Though our Fair would shiue bright 

Midst a full bluze of light, 
My Hues I'll devote to the veil. 

" Master Cupid we kuow, 

When he aims a sure blow, 
With enchautrueut of face will assail ; 

Yet his Godship kuows too, 

How iuteuse nieu pursue, 
Ev'ry Veuus that's deck'd with a veil. 

" For the peace of mankind, 

It is both right and kiud, 
Some fair ones their charms shou'd conceal ; 

Siuce a pair of bright eyes, 

Will, in spite of disguise, 
Inflict a deep wouud through a veil. 

"Row if one roguish beam, 

From au eye can iuflame, 
Aud to do execution not fail ; 

What destruction of hearts, 

Wou'd be fouud iu all parts, 
Did Beauty relinquish her veil ! " 



Pelisses, usually of cambric and opening down the front, 
were called " fugitive coats," a revival of the flying Josies pop- 
ular for morning wear at the close of the eighteenth century. 
A sketch of one of these graceful garments is given in Figure 
13, trimmed with Vandyke edging and embroidery, and worn 
with a Lavinia hat. The Lavinia hat is a variation of the 
Gipsy hat, which had been in favour for several years ; and was 
probably named for the rustic heroine in Thomson's " Seasons," 
of whom the poet says : 

* La Belle Assemblee, 1807. 



THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 
GENERAL LiUUARY OF THE MliFOlUONC ARTS 
111 AMSTERDAM AVE. MEW YOM, M. Y. 10023 



72 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" He saw her charming, but he saw not half 
The charms her downcast modesty concealed." 

The dress in the illustration is of Jaconet muslin made with a 
gored bodice finished with a tucker of fine embroidery. The 
cambric pelisse is made with long sleeves which fall over the 
hand ; the parasol is of silk to correspond with the hat trim- 
mings and breast knot. 

The following verses show that the use of rouge was neither 
universal nor unusual in 1807 : 

THE FAIR EQUIVOQUE 
" As blooming Harriet moved along, 
The fairest of the beauteous throng ; 
We beaux gaz'd on with admiration 
Avow'd by many an exclamation. 
What form ! what naivete 1 ! what grace ! 
What roses decked that Grecian face ! 
'Nay,' Dashwood cries, ' that bloom's not Harriet's ; 
'Twas bought at Reynold's, Moore's, or Mariot's, 
And though you vow her face untainted, 
I swear by Heaven, your beauty's painted.' 

" A wager instantly was laid, 
And Ranger sought the lovely maid, 
The pending bet he soon reveal' d 
Nor e'en the impious oath conceal'd. 
Confused, her cheek bore witness true, 
By turns the roses came and flew. 
' Your bet,' she said, ' you'll win I ween, 
For I am painted, Sir by Heaven.' ' 

Although there were not any marked changes in the fash- 
ions of 1808, variations in trimmings were innumerable. Im- 
ported India muslins embroidered with silver and gold, and 
sometimes in small sprigs and figures, finished with a deep 
border of a very rich pattern, were in great favour for ball 
gowns. The dress in Figure 28 is a very beautiful specimen of 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 73 

silver embroidery on the sheerest mull and was worn over a 
slip of white satin. It belonged to Miss Lydia Learning, whose 
wedding dress is given in Figure 56. The veil in our illustra- 
tion is of thread-lace arranged after a contemporary print. The 
hair is parted on the left side and curls hang down over the left 
cheek. Drop earrings of Roman pearls finish this costume. 

Another evening gown made for the same trousseau is 
pictured in Figure 26. The material is also India muslin, 
but in this costume the embroidery is of Smyrna work done 
with a fine chenille thread in green and red. A turban 
trimmed to correspond represents the popular head-dress as 
worn in 1808. 

Much prettier, however, is the gown in Figure 23 em- 
broidered by Miss Learning herself. The material is also 
India muslin, probably imported, and the gloves which are 
hand-made of white linen must have been a comfortable fashion 
for a hot summer outing. The bonnet is copied from a print of 
1808. It is of straw with a soft crown of white silk and is 
trimmed with satin ribbon. 

The dainty gown in Figure 33 belonged to the same outfit of 
1808. The trimming consists of stripes of drawn-work resem- 
bling innumerable rows of hemstitching with embroidered edges. 
The head is copied from a contemporary portrait, the loose, soft 
curls confined by a half-turban of thin muslin, the ends of 
which are trimmed with lace, and tied in a becoming knot. 
This was a favourite head-dress from 1800 to 1810 and may be 
noticed in many of the portraits by Russell and Sully (Figure 
17). In Figure 30 the back view of Figure 56 is given. The 
head-dress is of blue velvet embroidered with seed pearls, and 
is taken from a print of 1808. 

Little French caps were worn with morning dress (Figures 
18, 19 and 20), shading the ears and covering the hair at 



74 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

the back. Bonnets followed the same lines and were trimmed 
with puffings of either lace or ribbon. (See Figures 23 and 32.) 
Long sleeves set in at the shoulder were first worn in 1808 ; also 
ruffs of scalloped lace with gowns cut high in the back. (See 
Figure 17.) 

" La Belle Assemblee " for November, 1808, gives the follow- 
ing fashions : 

" Walking Dress. A round cambric gown, with high fan 
ruff; a Polish coat with Carmelite mantle, of bright grass-green, 
or royal purple velvet, trimmed entirely round with ermine, 
and clasped up the side of the figure with steel or silver. A 
Shepherdess hat of green velvet, or moss straw, with variegated 
green feather, and a Chinese tassel. Shoes of black Spanish 
silk, or pale amber velvet, and gloves of York tan." 

" Walking Dress. A round robe of muslin in white or 
colours. A plain French coat (Figure 59) of merino cloth, or 
shot sarsnet, the colour bright morone, or crimson, trimmed all 
round with chenille or fur. A three-quartered Opera tippet of 
the same. A Village bonnet (Figure 59) of sarsnet or satin, 
formed in French flutings in front, ornamented with a full bow 
of appropriate ribband in the centre and tied under the chin 
with the same. Shoes of grass-green, or morone velvet ; and 
gloves of grey Limerick." 

" The cardinal, or rustic mantle, recommends itself also from 
its convenience and warmth, and from the graceful negligence 
of its folds, when wrapt round the figure." 

A riding habit for 1808 is described as follows in the same 
periodical : 

" A Spanish Habit or Polish Riding Dress, with the 
Patriotic helmet ; formed of superfine Georgian cloth, or thin 
kerseymere. Gold buttons and trimmings to correspond. 
Small French watch, worn on the outside. Plain high cravat 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 75 

of French cambric ; collar of the habit sitting close round the 
throat. Hair in irregular ringlets. Gloves and shoes of lemon- 
coloured kid." (See Figure 108.) 

Miss Austen, writing to her sister in 1808 on the subject of 
the mourning considered appropriate on the death of a sister-in- 
law, says :"...! am to be in bombazeen and crape, ac- 
cording to what we were told is universal here, and which agrees 
with Martha's previous observation. My mourning, however, 
will not impoverish me, for by having my velvet pelisse fresh 
lined and made up, I am sure I shall have no occasion this 
winter for anything new of that sort. I take my cloak for the 
lining, and shall send yours on the chance of its doing some- 
thing of the same for you, though I believe your pelisse is in 
better repair than mine. One Miss Baker makes my gown and 
the other my bonnet, which is to be silk covered with crape." 

Mourning dress at this time was very elaborate and certain 
rules of etiquette were observed strictly, with subtle distinctions 
between half and full mourning as well as between full and 
demi-toilette (see Figures 79 and 80), which must have been an 
occupation more or less diverting, and, where the grief was not 
of the heart, probably worked its own cure. Richter's adage, 
" the only medicine which does women more good than harm is 
dress," seems especially applicable to the intricacies of the 
fashionable mourning in the first half of the nineteenth century. 
Solace might also have been found in the general becomingness 
of sombre tints. Johnson described Stella's beauty : 



" But brightened by the sable dress 
As virtue rises in distress." 



Bombazine is generally associated with crape and very deep 
mourning, but it appears to have been popular in colours at this 

* Letters of Jane Austen. 



76 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

time, as we often find mention of dresses of white, blue and red 
bombazine. According to Pope : " A saint in crape is twice a 
saint in lawn." It must have required considerable self-restraint 
to be a saint in bombazine of any colour, so irritating to the 
touch is the surface of that old-fashioned material. Gossamer 
satin sounds much more soothing and possibly was worn by 
Serena when she inspired the following verse : 

" SERENA, IN A MOURNING DRESS 
" So have I seen behind some sable cloud 
(Its skirts just tinted with a silver hue) 
The queen of planets veiled in lovely gloom, 
Such gloom as o'er the saddening landscape sheds 
The soft and soothing spirit of the sigh, 
Such as the poet courts when fancy's pow'r 
Wakes the loved shade of some departed hour, 
Breathes in regret's dull ear a soothing strain, 
And almost bids past joy be joy again." 

Although convention required that only certain materials 
should be worn in mourning, it was not customary for mourners 
to seclude themselves, or refrain from social gayeties, for in all 
the fashion books of the first half of the nineteenth century, 
plates and descriptions of full dress as well as demi-dress, both 
in deep mourning and light mourning, are given. From a let- 
ter published in an English periodical of 1808, we quote the 
following elaborate description : 

" Amidst the brilliant throng assembled this evening, I was 
much struck with the beauty and singular appearance of two 
young women dressed in slight mourning ; and who I after- 
wards found to be the two Misses J s, who were the reign- 
ing belles at Cheltenham and Worthing during the season. 
Their attire this evening consisted of a round train dress of 
black gossamer satin, rising to the edge of the throat, where it 
finished in a kind of neck-band of three rows of fine pearls. A 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 77 

line silver filagree net extended over the bust in front, some- 
what like the bibs worn by the ancients and it was terminated 
at the bottom of the waist with an elastic band, and large acorn 
tassels of silver. To these dresses were attached the long bishop 
sleeves like those already described as chosen by Mary, except 
that these were of plain French lawn, clearer than any I have 
ever before seen, and plaited with the utmost delicacy. On 
their heads they wore turbans of grey chambery, thickly frosted 
with silver ; these were fancifully disposed, yet much in the 
Indian style. But the most attractive part of this interesting 
costume was .a Jerusalem rosary, formed of the beads called 
Virgin's tears." 

The following advertisement appeared in 1808 : 

" INVISIBLE DRESSES. Drawers, Petticoats and Waistcoats 
made of real Spanish Lamb's Wool. 

" Mrs. Morris, late Mrs. Robert Shaw, informs Ladies she 
has now ready for their inspection an entire fresh and extensive 
Assortment of her patent elastic Spanish Lamb's Wool Petti- 
coats, Drawers and Waistcoats, all in one, and separate. Articles 
much approved of for their pleasant elasticity, warmth and deli- 
cate colour, will add less to size than a cambric muslin, and 
warranted never to shrink in the wash. Children's of every 
size, and made to pattern, at the Original Hosiery, Glove and 
Welch Flannel Warehouses, No. 400 Oxford Street." 

Reading this advertisement now, a hundred years after it 
appeared, we find a possible explanation of the most perplexing 
problem of the history of dress. The lamb's wool underwear, 
like the union suits so universally worn in our day, were in- 
vented for warmth, and yet were so close-fitting in shape that 
they did not interfere with the slim effect of the scanty gowns 
of sheer muslin and transparent gauze or silk tissue then in 
vogue. 



1800-1808 

FIGURE 51. 1800 A wedding gowu of sheer India muslin embroidered 
with silver thread in diagonal stripes. It is very scanty, barely two 
yards in width and very high in the waist. This dainty little dress 
was worn by a bride of sixteen, Miss Charlotte J. Ruinsey, of Cecil 
County, Maryland, who married Dr. John Bullus of the United States 
Navy, in 1800. The head in our picture is copied from a contemporary 
miniature. 

FIGURE 52. 1803 Dress suit. From a contemporary plate. 

FIGURE 53. 1804 An afternoon dress of Jaconet muslin. The long sleeves 
are finished with a puff at the top drawn up by a narrow tape in a 
casing. The narrow skirt is trimmed with many rows of corded tucks 
and hemmed in scallops. This very attractive gown was worn in 
Philadelphia about 1804, but the fashion prevailed for some years. 
The head is taken from a miniature of the day. 

FIGURE 54. 1805 A gowu of sage-green China crepe worn in Philadelphia 
about 1805. It is brocaded in stripes and has a wide border of the same 
design on the hem, above which is a group of fine tucks. The head 
and hat are taken from a print of the same year. 

FIGURE 55. 1806 Man in walking dress of 1806. Top-coat of green cloth, 
showing striped waistcoat, ruffled shirt, folded stock and high collar. 
A beaver hat with rolling brim, gloves of tan kid and high boots of 
soft leather complete the costume, which is copied from a contemporary 
plate. 

FIGURE 56. 1808 Taken from an original wedding costume of white satin 
worn in Philadelphia in 1808. The only trimming is a row of lacing up 
the front of the bodice, but the dress fastens under the right arm. The 
reticule is of spangled gauze. The arrangement of the hair is copied 
from a miniature, being braided and carried in two bandeaux across 
the head. A photograph of the veil is given in Figure 223, showing 
the beauty of the lace. The bride wns Miss Lydia Learning, who mar- 
ried Mr. James Smith of Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 57. 1808 Dress suit of a gentleman of the period. The blue cloth 
coat is cut very high at the back. The high rolling collar of the same 
cloth allows a fine cambric stock and ruffled shirt-front to show above 
a white satin waistcoat. The short trousers are of buff kerseymere, 
fastened at one side of the knee with small bows of the same. The 
stockings are of white silk. The low slippers are of black leather. 
The hat has a rather wide brim and the gloves are of yellow kid. This 
costume is taken from a portrait by Sully. 

FIGURE 58. 1808 A gown of yellow gauze with a raised spot of velvet 
which was part of the outfit'of Miss Lydia Learning. The lace scarf, a 
photograph of which is given in Figure 224, belonged to the same lady. 
The head ia copied from a portrait of 1808. 

FIGURE 59. 1805 Back view of a pelisse worn in Philadelphia about 1805. 
It is of green China silk and lined with pink cambric. The beehive 
or cottage bonnet is copied from a plate of that year, but was a popular 
fashion from 1800 to 1812. 





1806 -55 



1807 -SS 






, 

I 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 81 

We do not read, however, of any similar invention to protect 
the feet, which it was still the fashion to dress in very thin- 
soled slippers even for the street. As the season advanced, the 
ingenious Mrs. Robert Shaw offered another novelty for the re- 
quirements of spring, union suits much like those in the adver- 
tisements of to-day : 

" Invisible India Cotton Petticoats, Drawers, Waistcoats and 
Dresses all in one. 

" Mrs. Robert Shaw respectfully informs those Ladies she 
had the honour to serve for several years, and Ladies in gen- 
eral, that she has manufactured for the Spring a fresh and ex- 
tensive assortment of the above articles of real India Cotton ; 
which articles Ladies will find well worthy their notice ; being 
of a soft, thin, delicate and elastic texture, will add less to size 
than a cambric muslin, and warranted never to shrink the least 
in the wash. Children's of every size and made to pattern, at 
her Hosiery, Glove and Flannel Warehouse, No. 400 Oxford 
Street." 

A quaint ball dress is given in a Philadelphia magazine for 
1808 : " A round robe of India muslin, worn over a white sars- 
net slip ; tamboured in a small stripe either in white or colours. 
The dress formed on the most simple construction, plain back 
and wrap front, sitting close to the figure ; a plain frock sleeve 
edged with the antique scollop ; a short train, finished round 
the bottom in a similar style. Hair brought tight from the 
roots behind, and twisted in a cable knot on one side, the ends 
formed in falling ringlets on the other; with full irregular 
curls. A full red and white rose, or ranunculus placed on the 
crown of the head towards one side. Emerald necklace linked 
with dead gold. Earrings and bracelets to correspond. French 
kid gloves above the elbow. Pea-green slippers of fancy kid." 

We read in the same periodical that "no lady of fashion 



82 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

now appears in public without a ridicule which contains her 
handkerchief, fan, card-money and essence- bottle. They are at 
this season usually made of rich figured sarsnet, plain satin or 
silver tissue, with strings and tassels, their colours appropriate to 
the robes with which they are worn." (See Figures 48 and 56.) 

" La Belle Assemblee " for August, 1808, describes the fol- 
lowing costumes : " A round robe of white or jonquille muslin 
made a walking length, with spencer waist, and deep falling 
lappels, trimmed with lace and edged at the wrist to correspond. 
A bonnet of celestial blue crape, with jockey or antique front, 
edged and ornamented with the shell or honey-comb trimming, 
formed of the same material. Gloves and shoes of pale blue or 
lemon-coloured kid. Necklace and bracelets of the composi- 
tion pebble, and earrings of silver filagree of the hoop form. 
Hair in full irregular curls. Quilted parasol of shaded silk, 
lined with white satin." 

" A round dress of pea-green or lilac muslin, over a white 
cambric slip ; a short cottage sleeve, plain back and handker- 
chief front, fastened in a small tufted bow and ends at the centre 
of the bosom. Provincial bonnet of fine split straw, or moss 
straw, with band and full bow of folded sarsnet the colour of the 
dress, terminating in a pendant end on the left side, and 
finished with a corresponding tassel. A Sardinian mantle, of 
French net, muslin, or spotted leno, the corners terminating in a 
full knot. A double high frill around the throat, edged with 
scolloped lace, tied in front with a ribband." 

The following concoctions for the complexion are taken from 
a periodical of 1808 : 

" Saccharine Alum. Boil white of eggs and alum in rose- 
water ; make into a paste and mould into the form of small 
sugar loaves. The ladies use this paste to give greater firmness 
to the skin." 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 83 

" Eau de Veau. Take a calf's foot and boil it in four quarts 
of river water till it is reduced to half the quantity. Add half 
a pound of rice, and boil it with crumbs of white bread, steeped 
in milk, a pound of fresh butter and the whites of five fresh 
eggs, with their shells and membranes. Mix with them a small 
quantity of camphor and alum and distil the whole. This cos- 
metic is one that may be strongly recommended." 

So accustomed are we to the advertisements of Pear's soap 
in all the magazines of our day that it is indeed surprising 
to read it in a periodical of a hundred years ago. It was 
introduced as a novelty, and made its first appearance in print, 
in October, 1808. We quote from " La Belle Assernblee " : 

" PEAR'S CELEBRATED SOAP. The Proprietor of this ex- 
cellent composition is proud to offer it to the notice of the 
Nobility, Gentry and the Public at large. The virtues of this 
Soap are almost too many to enumerate; while it possesses the 
cleansing and purifying properties of other Soap, it is free from 
those noxious ingredients which are so prejudicial ; on the 
contrary, while it cleanses the skin, it adds a delicacy and 
beauty indescribable to the face and hands. The Ladies will 
find it a most agreeable appendage to the Toilette, and in using 
they will be convinced that it will render the arms inimitably 
white, equal, if not superior, to the most celebrated cosmetic. 
One trial is sufficient to evince its agreeable and salutory effects. 
Sold in Pots at 3s." 

In 1809 women began to wear their bodices longer. Miss 
Austen in a letter of that year says : " . . . I can easily 
suppose that your six weeks here will be fully occupied, were it 
only in lengthening the waists of your gowns." (See Figure 30.) 

The editor of an old fashion magazine, referring to the red 
cloaks or Cardinals which came into vogue before the American 
Revolution and were popular in the early years of the nine- 



84 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

teenth century, remarks : " Red cloaks are at length com- 
pletely abandoned, and we congratulate our lovely readers on 
their emancipation from the most despotic dress that ever was 
introduced by the whimsical and arbitrary goddess of fashion. 
The writer of this article predicted, on their first appearance, 
that a colour so disadvantageous to beauty could never become 
prevalent." 

In the styles of hats and bonnets for 1809 there were a few 
changes. Among them we read in " La Belle Assemblee " of 
" the Spanish hat in split straw, with the long white drooping 
ostrich feather," and of " the Flushing hat; it is of the Gipsy 
form, in white chip, with a double or second crown supplying 
the place of a cap. This is at once novel, elegant, and 
convenient; it is usually worn with a wreath of puffed ribbands 
or wild flowers. The Cottage bonnet is still seen, made of 
satin, with the crown a little raised and called by some 
ingenious milliners the Parisian bonnet. Caps with veils, 
ornamented with artificial flowers, are in great favour in morn- 
ing and evening dress, varying, however, slightly in their form 
and texture. Our most matronly belles seem indeed (and we 
think very judiciously) to reject the straw bonnet altogether. 
Lace and finely embroidered muslin with an intermixture of 
satin are unrivalled in the construction of caps, which continue 
still to be made close to the head, raised rather more behind 
than before." 

Among the novelties introduced in 1809 was the Hungarian 
wrap. A contemporary description reads: " This graceful gar- 
ment is usually made of velvet, or brocaded sarsnet, generally 
wadded and lined throughout with a corresponding silk ; it has 
large loose sleeves ; it hangs loose from the back and shoulders 
and is wrapped in folds round the figure." 

Long mantles of Devonshire or reddish-brown velvet, 



HISTORIC DRESS IX AMERICA 85 

trimmed round with broad leopard skin or chinchilla, and worn 
with bonnets of the same, were also very fashionable. Sable 
caps and furs of various qualities are often mentioned ; indeed, 
skins of every kind were much in request. 

Another invention of this period was, " the Grecian sandal 
in the form of a half-boot, cut out on each side of the lace holes, 
showing the stocking, made of white kid, bound, laced and em- 
broidered in silver." 

In a letter from Paris written in October, 1809, we read : 
" The newest materials are the striped sarsnets, but imperial 
bombazines, gossamer gauzes, Italian tiffanies, spotted cambrics 
and fine embroidered muslins are still much worn in full dress. 
Shot and figured twill sarsnets remain high in fashionable 
favour. Scarfs are still popular ; we have noticed several in 
bright jonquil. The simple pelerine in white tiffany lined 
with satin and trimmed with swansdown is truly elegant. 
The round tippet in pink or white satin with handkerchief 
ends edged with lace or swansdown, crossed over the bosom and 
tied behind with a bow of ribband, is also very genteel. Man- 
tles of every possible form are still to be seen ; the prettiest we 
have observed has a wrap front attached to the shoulder, and is 
confined to the figure by a sash passed round the back and 
brought to tie in a bow before. Morning and walking dresses 
are still made high in the neck, but with collars of lace meeting 
in front and trimmed round the throat and wrists with a 
double row of shell lace. In full or evening dress the backs of 
gowns are made square and rather high, without lining, let in 
on the bottom of the waist with an easy fullness ; the bosoms 
are worn low and shoulders much exposed, the sleeves long and 
mostly of lace ; trains are still moderate in length ; the favour- 
ite sash is of ribband tied on the left side with small bows and 
long ends. 



86 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 



" Lace caps or combinations of lace and satin have taken the 
place of straw bonnets." A very striking cap is described in the 
same letter. " It is of oriental silk fastened under the chin by a 
Turkish handkerchief caught in a rosette at the right side, or- 
namented with a demi-tiara of Indian feathers." Another crea- 
tion is described of " pink satin and lace with a cone-shaped 
crown, the front of alternate stripes of lace and ribband. It is 
tied in a careless bow on the right, and a small full wreath of 
heath is placed under the brim in front." 

Another invention in shoes, and a rival to the Grecian san- 
dal, was the " high shoe " in white kid bound and laced with a 
coloured ribbon. Gloves were made in straw, stone colour, and 
bloom-pink as well as in white. Necklaces in amber, sapphire, 
topaz, pearl and gold, with drop earrings to correspond were 
much worn. 

The foreign names which it was the popular fancy to give to 
each article of apparel as it appeared, were carried to excess 
about 1809, and in an old paper of that year, we find the fol- 
lowing satirical comment : 

"Mr. Adair's treaty with the Sublime Port will doubtless in- 
troduce amongst our spring fashions a profusion of Turkish tur- 
bans, Janizary jackets, mosque slippers, and a thousand similar 
whimsicalities ; all of which (provided a northern coalition be 
accomplished) must speedily give way to Russian cloaks, Hussar 
caps, Cossack mantles, Danish robes, etc., etc., so that by the 
setting in of the dog-days our ladies will stand a chance of be- 
ing arrayed in the complete costume of all the shivering na- 
tions of the north. Such is the capricious system introduced 
and acted upon in the empire of the despotic Goddess of Fash- 



ion." 



Women's Dress 

18101820 

" My love in her attire doth shew her wit, 
It doth so well become her, 
For every season she has dressings fit, 
For Winter, Spring and Summer." 

ANONYMOUS. 

N 1810 we remark a few noticeable changes. 
According to " La Belle Assemblee," " the 
dresses of all descriptions are made fuller, 
which is undoubtedly a great improve- 
ment, it gives ease and play to the figure. 
Coloured muslin pelisses of a very trans- 
parent texture are very fashionable, the 
colours of every kind of dress are of pale 
and undecided hues, gay colours at this 
season would appear gaudy. A new kind 
of hat has just appeared, made in white whalebone, which has 
all the delicacy of chip and from its transparent quality, has 
the appearance of being lighter ; we have observed several 
coloured chips and straws, and have also remarked that they 
are very unbecoming, as well as inconvenient, being difficult to 
adapt to every kind of dress ; a mixture of ribband and straw is 
surely to be preferred " (Figure 48). 

The following description of an evening full dress in 1810 is 

quoted from a popular authority : " A pale blue gossamer silk 

87 




1814-1829 

FIGURE 60. 1815 Angouleme walking dress, worn at the time of the 
Bourbon Kestoratiou. 

FIGURE 61. 1829 Opera dress, cloak and hat, from a print. Dress of 
white satin brocade piped with coral satin, worn in Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 62. 1824 White embroidered frock, opening over a white em- 
broidered petticoat, part of the trousseau ofMissColqnhoun, of Virginia. 

FIGURE 63. 1824 Dancing frock of white crepe over white satin, trimmed 
with artificial white roses with tinsel leaves. Head from miniature of 
the day. 

FIGURE 64. 1828 Blue silk dress with flounce of gauze, trimmed with 
blue satin ribbon. 

FIGURE 65. 1S23 Dancing frock of pink gauze over satin. 








V 




/* 

~'^li 



>< 

;, ' 



HISTOPJC DRESS IN AMERICA 



dress, worn over a white satin slip, made with short train, open- 
ing up the front and tied with small bows of white satin rib- 
band ; long sleeves of pale blue gossamer net, and the same 
shade as the gown, caught down on the outside of the arm with 
small pearl brooches, the tops of the sleeves and bosom of the 
dress bound with silver edging, and trimmed with Valenciennes 
lace ; the bottom of the skirt and train are trimmed with i 
ver edging, a little above which is laid a rich Valenciennes lace, 
on the head is worn a bandeau of pearls, fastened in a knot on 
the right side, with a Bird of Paradise plume. The hair in 
rather short full curls over the forehead, and curled in light 
ringlets on the right side of the neck. A scarf of pale buff silk 
(ornamented at the ends with white silk tassels i is worn fanci- 
fully over the figure and confined in a pearl ring. Pearl ear- 
rings. shoes of pale buff satin, yellow kid gloves." 

The English fashion books for August. 1810. record the fol- 
lowing attractive costumes: "A lemon-coloured sarsnet div~. 
trimmed with an embroidery of roses : a white lace draperv 
with train, fastened down the front with topaz snaps ; a richly 
embroidered scarf is thrown carelessly across the shoulders. 
Topaz necklace and earrings. The hair in loose ringlet curls. 
divided by an ornamental comb. Gloves and shoes of white or 
lemon-coloured kid. A bouquet of natural flowers." 

" Promenade Walking Dress. A plain cambric morning 
dress, made high in the neck, with short train, let in round 
the bottom with two rows of worked trimming. A pelisse of 
green sarsnet, made to fit the shape, trimmed round with a nar- 
row fancy trimming fastened with a gold brooch, and confined 
round the waist with a girdle of the sarsnet with a gold clasp 
A Lavinia unbleached chip hat, tied down with a broad white 
sarsnet ribband, a small white satin cap is worn underneath. 
with an artificial rose in front. The hair is dressed in full 



92 HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 

curls. A plaid parasol, with York tan gloves, green silk san- 
dals." A picture of the Lavinia hat is given in Figure 13. 

A new fashion in 1810 was the walking shoe of brocaded 
silk, or embroidered satin. A pair of the latter may be seen in 
the South Kensington Museum (London) of black satin em- 
broidered in coloured flowers, laced up the front. They have 
leather soles and no heels. Walking shoes of nankeen and 
sandals of jean bound with coloured ribbon were popular, 
while the newest slippers for evening wear were of white satin 
trimmed with silver or made of silver brocade. Light delicate 
colours were especially fashionable at that time, the favourites 
being pale blue, pink, buff, lavender, straw, lilac and yellow. 
White satin tippets interlined with wadding and edged all 
round with white swansdown, were popular for chilly days. 
Later in the season a mantle of white bombazine lined and 
bound with pale green is mentioned as a novelty, and white 
satin caps turned up in front with two small ostrich feathers, 
also lace hoods trimmed with small bunches of flowers and fast- 
ened under the chin, were introduced in the autumn of 1810. 

In the same year we read of a variation in gowns which 
sounds very much like the Princess dress so fashionable a year 
or two ago. " Dresses are made tight to fit the shape without a 
band, buttoned from the neck to the feet with small raised but- 
tons." A few illustrations may be seen in the fashion plates of 
that year, and there is a well-known portrait of Marie-Louise 
arriving at Compeigne in a similar costume, but it does not ap- 
pear to have been a very popular fashion. 

We read with pleasure that " skirts are increased in width ; 
they must no longer cling but hang lightly on the figure." 
Morning dresses were made high in the neck and finished with 
a standing ruffle and with long sleeves. Dinner gowns were 
worn both high and low according to the taste of the wearer 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 93 

and were usually made with moderate trains. Dancing frocks 
were invariably short and on entering a ballroom one could 
tell at a glance which ladies expected to dance that evening. 

During Jefferson's two administrations, 1801-1809, life at the 
capital was marked by a modest simplicity. Under the genial 
sway of the wife of Mr. Madison, who took up her abode at the 
White House in March, 1809, her biographer, Mrs. Goodwin, 
says : " Dress grew gayer, entertainments more elaborate, and 
when the President's wife took the air it was in a chariot built 
by Fielding of Philadelphia at a cost of fifteen hundred dol- 
lars." In her daily home life, however, we read that this lady 
wore a " stuff dress protected by a large housewifely apron with 
a linen kerchief pinned about the neck." At that period ladies 
of fashion everywhere made use of rouge and pearl powder. 
Speaking of this practice a contemporary letter mentions : 
" Mrs. Madison is said to rouge, but it is not evident to my 
eyes, and I do not think it is true, as I am well assured I saw 
her colour come and go at the Naval Ball when the Macedonian 
flag was presented to her by young Hamilton." There are sev- 
eral portraits of Mrs. Madison from which we can judge for our- 
selves of her style of dress. The most familiar is probably the 
half length painting by Wood in a turban (Figure 41). Almost 
equally well known is another, in a simple white muslin gown, 
with low neck and short sleeves, the hair simply parted and 
curled on the temples. A very attractive miniature by Peale 
taken before her marriage to Mr. Madison, is reproduced in Miss 
Wharton's " Social Life in the Early Republic." The quaint 
cap with high puffed crown in the portrait is very becoming. 

On the occasion of one of the state balls in Washington Mrs. 
Madison is described as wearing a stately gown with a long 
train of buff velvet, and a turban of the same colour ornamented 
with a Bird of Paradise. 



04 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

The period known as the " Regency " in English history, 
covered the years from 1810-1819 and was distinguished from 
the first decade of the century by an almost lavish extravagance 
in social life and costume. Brighton was the centre of gayety 
and the famous dinners and suppers of the Prince Regent were 
notoriously expensive. There are many portraits of the beauti- 
ful Mrs. Fitzherbert, who for a time set the fashions for the 
London world. 

The most noticeable changes in 1811 were in the bonnets and 
hats which were worn much larger than before, the brims being 
lined with a bright colour to correspond with the trimming. 
Full frills of lace were worn on the edge of some of the most 
fashionable bonnets and hung down over the forehead (Figure 
75). Lace was used in great profusion at that period and 
several different kinds of this beautiful trimming were worn on 
one costume. Mechlin lace was perhaps the favourite, but 
Brussels, English Point and Valenciennes were all popular. 
There were many varieties of pelisses in fashion, but the close 
wrapping kind " was universally adopted for cold weather." 
They were wadded throughout and lined with a contrasting 
colour of soft cambric for in the "good old days" silk linings 
were not considered essential (Figures 96 and 98). Frogs of 
sewing silk called Brandenburghs were used to fasten the 
pelisses down the front, and they were very often trimmed with 
fur. Shoes of white Morocco are mentioned among the 
novelties of 1811, also Kemble slippers. Roman sandals 
vied in popularity with the Grecian sandals of the preceding 
year, but the exact point of difference is hard to discover. 
Nets, muslins, gauzes, and crapes were still the favourite 
materials for gowns, but we read also of evening dresses of satin 
and velvet. Jonquille and amber were the most fashionable 
colours. Many new hats are mentioned in the magazines of 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 95 

London and Paris, among them the Comet hat which we are 
told was considered very stylish for carriage wear. In Figure 
47 a sketch is given of a Spanish hat of purple velvet with a 
white ostrich plume and an ermine tippet, taken from a con- 
temporary print. The Buonapartian hat of gauze trimmed 
with a wreath of laurel in Figure 243 is from a plate of 1811. 
The Cavalier's hat trimmed in front with a large ostrich 
feather and the Pilgrim's hat of Carmelite brown cloth or 
velvet with an ornament in the shape of a cockle-shell. Dress- 
caps made of lace or silk and lace combined were worn by 
young and old with evening dress. A new creation was the 
Devonshire mob with a point on the forehead and usually made 
of fine Brussels lace. It was worn very much on one side with 
the hair in full curls on the exposed side. On ordinary occa- 
sions the hair was dressed with great simplicity, generally in soft 
curls held in place by a comb. For full dress, flowers, feathers, 
dress-caps and turbans, still in popular favour, were worn. In 
a September magazine of that year (1811) we read of a new bon- 
net made of India muslin with a cone-shaped crown and 
trimmed with a bow of lace on top, around the face a deep frill 
of Mechlin lace, and the bonnet lined throughout with a 
bright sea-green sarsnet (Figure 75) ; but the greatest innova- 
tions of fashion were the short kid gloves which suddenly 
superseded the long gloves so many years considered indispen- 
sable with short sleeves. Gowns made with close-fitting fronts 
were preferred and were cut rather higher in the back than the 
front. The very short Grecian waists of 1800-1802 were 
temporarily revived by the ultra- fashionable. The sleeves 
were usually short and the skirts a trifle wider at the bottom 
measuring about three yards. In some of the dresses of that 
date we find the front breadth slightly gored at the waist. 

Gold chains were in great vogue and a number of rings and 



96 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

bracelets in every possible device were worn. A single string of 
large pearls fastened with a diamond clasp was much admired, 
but emeralds and garnets were considered especially becoming 
to the complexion. Watches were still worn in locket fashion, 
but they were smaller than they had ever been. 

" La Belle Assemblee " describes nankeen pelisses with an 
undervest of blue satin or sarsnet, to be worn at fetes 
champe'tres. Morning dresses, it seems, were made in the 
pelisse shape, buttoned down the front with small raised buttons, 
or with an apron front and stomacher let in and laced across 
like a peasant's bodice, with coloured ribbons, and others 
again with a short jacket trimmed with lace. Spencers and 
mantles edged with lace also and large squares of lace were 
worn over the shoulders. Dinner dresses were made low in 
front and high in the back, and in the following description of 
an evening gown in a London periodical we notice that long 
sleeves are mentioned : " A gown of plain white India muslin, 
made loose in the neck, with long sleeves, and short train 
trimmed with a fancy border of stamped leaves in satin. A 
white satin cap, ornamented with crimson or morone coloured 
floss silk trimming. A short Persian scarf of morone coloured 
silk, with rich border and tassels, is fancifully worn over the 
shoulders. Amber necklace and earrings. Hair in full curls, 
divided rather towards the left side. Gloves and shoes of white 
or morone kid." Another evening costume mentions slippers 
with very pointed toes and instead of the newest fashion of 
short gloves, long ones, " a la Mousquetaire, with many 
wrinkles." 

" A gossamer satin robe of French grey or celestial blue, 
with a demi-train ; stripes of white lace let in the cross way of 
the skirt, and relieved by a very narrow border of black velvet ; 
a broad lace Vandyke pattern round the bottom ; short sleeves 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 97 

fastened up in front by a row of pearls. A lace tippet, d la 

Duchesse d' Angouleme, edged with a border of Vandyke lace. 

The hair in soft curls next the face, d la Greque ; head-dress 

composed of plaited braids of hair and pearls, surmounted with 

a large red cornelian ornament, set round with small pearls ; 

the back hair arranged in a knot and surrounded with a row of 

pearls ; necklace also of pearls in two rows. Drop earrings, each 

composed of one entire pearl, which should be large. A square 

cornelian brooch, set in gold, with a drop pendant of pearl to 

match the earrings. Long tippet of swansdown. White kid 

U>J gloves, wrinkled so as to cover very little of the arm, below the 

en elbow. Slippers of kid the colour of the gown, the toes more 

^- pointed than usual, with small pearl or white bugle rosettes." 

A simple every-day costume of 1812 is given at the head of 
the chapter, taken from a gown of white corded muslin striped 
with yellow, which was worn in Philadelphia. The bodice and 
sleeves are cut on the bias of the material and the round skirt 
is trimmed with two bias ruffles. 

In 1812 a Pamona hat of green satin is described as a 
novelty. It was turned up in front and drooped low on each 
side of the face, not unlike the hat in Figure 31, which was a 
shape popular for several years. A new morning dress came 
into great favour at this time. It is thus described by a con- 
temporary authority : " The most fashionable dishabille is the 
York morning dress. It is made up to the throat ; the body is 
composed of alternate stripes of muslin and lace, cut in a bias 
form ; round the throat a rich lace ruff, and the sleeves edged 
with a very fine narrow lace ; it is buttoned up the back 
and has a demi-train without any trimming." Another popular 
morning dress is announced in an English magazine : " The 
Russian wrapper, of twilled stuff, is a very neat morning dress, 
and begins to be a favourite ; it is made quite tight to the 



1810-1824 

FIGURE 66. 1817 Fashionable carriage costume. From a portrait of Prin- 
cess Charlotte, by Chalons. 

FIGURE 67. 1810 Court dress. From a portrait of Mrs. John Quincy 
Adams, by Leslie. 

FIGURE 68. 1820 Carriage costume. From a contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 69. 1818 Street dress. From a portrait of Queen Charlotte. 

FIGURE 70. 1824 High comb and turn-over collar. From a miniature. 

FIGURE 71. 1820 Street costume. From a portrait of Queen Charlotte. 



HISTOKIC DRESS IN AMERICA 101 

shape and wraps over on one side very much ; it is fastened 
down the front with small silk buttons to correspond with the 
dress ; a trimming of swansdown goes round the throat, down 
the side which wraps over, and also round the bottom of the 
dress, which is made walking length ; long sleeves edged also 
with swansdown." 

Figure 111 shows a fashionable riding habit of 1812 of 
bright green cloth ornamented down the front and on the cuffs 
a la Militaire with black braid. The small riding hat is of 
black beaver trimmed with a gold cordon and tassels and a long 
green ostrich feather. The half-boots are black, laced and 
fringed with green, and the gloves are York tan. As this 
sketch is taken from the famous English magazine of fashion, 
it may have been followed by Lady Caroline Lamb, who we 
are told had just returned from her daily ride in the park, 
heated and dusty from exercise, when Lord Byron called upon 
her for the first time. She rushed to her room, " to clean her- 
self" as she expressed it, and returned radiant in a fresh toilet. 

The back view of another riding dress is given in Figure 109. 
It was made of the fashionable Georgian cloth (a light-weight 
broadcloth) and trimmed with frogs. A hat of green velvet 
and white fur, buff kid boots and gloves completed the costume. 

A series of letters published in the " National Intelligencer " 
at Washington, during the administration of President Madison, 
puts us in touch with the fashionable life in America. Under 
the date, November 12, 1812, we read an enthusiastic descrip- 
tion of the President's wife: "... I would describe the 
dignified appearance of Mrs. Madison, but I could not do her 
justice. Tis not her form, 'tis not her face, it is the woman 
altogether, whom I should wish you to see. She wears a crim- 
son cap that almost hides her forehead, but which becomes her 
extremely, and reminds one of a crown from its brilliant appear- 



102 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 

ance contrasted with the white satin folds of her dress, and her 
jet black curls ; but her demeanour is so far removed from the 
hauteur generally attendant on royalty that your fancy can 
carry the resemblance no further than the head-dress." * 

This " crimson cap " was of the shape popularly called a 
turban. A portrait of Mrs. Madison is given in Figure 41, in a 
similar coiffure. One of these letters describes a dinner given 
on board the " Constellation," that famous old war-ship which 
is still preserved at the training station at Newport, and proves 
that fashions have changed very much in ships as well as in dress 
during the last hundred years : " . . . Some days ago in- 
vitations were issued to two or three hundred ladies and gentle- 
men, to dine and spend the day with Colonel Wharton and 
Captain Steward on board the ' Constellation,' an immense ship 
of war. This, of all the sights I have ever witnessed, was the 
most interesting. ... On reaching the deck we were ushered 
immediately under the awning composed of many flags, and 
found ourselves in the presence of hundreds of ladies and gentle- 
men. The effect was astonishing : every colour of the rainbow, 
every form and fashion, nature and art ransacked to furnish gay 
and suitable habiliments for the belles, who with the beaux in 
their court dresses, were gayly dancing to the inspiring strains of 
a magnificent band. The ladies had assumed youth and beauty 
in their persons, taste and splendour in their dress ; thousands 
of dollars having been expended by dashing fair ones in prepa- 
ration for this fete. ... At the upper end of the quarter- 
deck sat Mrs. Madison, to whom we paid our respects, and then 
participated in the conversation and amusements with our 
friends, among whom were Mrs. Munroe, Mrs. Gallatin, etc. I 
did not dance (though 'twas not for want of asking) being 
totally unacquainted with the present style of cotillions, which 



* By Mrs. Seaton. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 103 

were danced in the interstices, that is, on a space four feet 
square. There was more opportunity to display agility than 
grace, as an iron ring, a coil of rope, or a gun-carriage would 
prostrate a beau or belle." 

In another letter (January 2, 1813) Mrs. Seaton mentions 
the gay and youthful dressing of ladies who had reached the 
advanced age of fifty. Alack ! History sometimes repeats it- 
self! 

" The assembly was more numerous at the Secretary of the 
Treasury's, more select, more elegant, than I have yet seen in 
the city. Ladies of fifty years of age were decked with lace and 
ribbons, wreaths of roses and gold leaves in their false hair, 
wreaths of jasmine across their bosom, and no kerchiefs I In- 
deed, dear mother, I cannot reconcile this fashion to myself, 
and though the splendid dress of these antiquated dames of the 
beau monde adds to the general grandeur, it certainly only 
tends to make the contrast still more striking between them 
and the young and beautiful. . . . Madame Bonaparte is a 
model of fashion, and many of our belles strive to imitate her ; 
. . . but without equal folat, as Madame Bonaparte has cer- 
tainly the most transcendently beautiful back and shoulders 
that ever were seen. . . . It is the fashion for most of the 
ladies a little advanced in age to rouge and pearl, which is 
spoken of with as much sang froid as putting on their bonnets." 

In all the fashion books of that time we find frequent men- 
tion of the Regency wrapper, a morning dress which was long 
and close fitting, and laced up the front with a silk cord. It 
was richly trimmed with velvet or sealskin, and finished at the 
throat with a collar cut in points. The sleeves were long and 
tight and trimmed with epaulets. Another popular garment 
was the Regency mantle, which was generally of cloth with a 
small round cape and high collar trimmed with bias folds of 



104 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

velvet or satin edged with a narrow cord. One of these 
mantles is described in " La Belle Assemblee " (1813) of black 
cloth trimmed with apple green satin. 

The costume in Figure 44 shows the popular Regency hat of 
velvet trimmed with sealskin. The high crown was large at 
the top and a long ostrich plume was fastened at the right side, 
brought across the crown and drooped over the left ear. A gold 
buckle ornaments the brim in front. Worn with this hat was 
the Regency jacket of cloth trimmed with narrow bias folds and 
edged with sealskin and the long sleeves with epaulets which 
were apparently the chief distinction in the Regency garments. 
Of course there was a Regency ball dress too. This was a frock 
of velvet, satin or satin-cloth trimmed around the bottom and 
up the fronts with a bias fold of satin or velvet edged with 
narrow silk fringe. Epaulets of satin and fringe were worn on 
the shoulders, and the long sleeves fastened in front of the arm 
with three small buttons. 

A London correspondent for a contemporary magazine says : 
" Everything now takes its name from our beloved Regent ; 
hats, caps, dresses, mantles, in short all the paraphernalia of a 
well-dressed belle is distinguished by that appellation, and so 
various are the habiliments which have no other name, that we 
were not surprised at hearing a young lady from the country 
inquire the other day of a fashionable dressmaker at the west 
end of the town, who had been showing her a variety of head- 
dresses, ' Pray, after all, which of these is the real Regency 
cap ? ' " 

We trust the picture in Figure 45, taken from an unim- 
peachable authority, may prove satisfactory to our readers : " A 
Regency cap of white lace, with a small front turned up all 
round, and what was formerly termed a beef-eater's crown of 
lace drawn very full ; three ostrich plumes are affixed to the 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 105 

right side of the crown, and a twisted rouleau of satin ornaments 
the front." 

The unfortunate Princess Caroline also had a bonnet named 
for her. The description is most attractive : It was made of 
" white satin with a round crown, the front turned up a little 
on one side; at the other a small white lace cap was just vis- 
ible. The edge of the front was finished with a rich silk trim- 
ming, of the palest pink and a very long pale pink feather fell 
over to the left side." A contemporary authority says, " Noth- 
ing can be more elegant than this bonnet, which is also the 
most generally becoming thing that we have seen." 

The Cossack hat was also very fashionable ; it was made of 
white satin too, but the shape was a helmet crown and the 
front, which turned up all round, was sloped a little in the 
middle, and was edged with pearls ; it was finished with a 
small white feather, placed rather to the side. 

For every-day wear cottage bonnets were still in favour, and 
riding hats which were of plain straw of the same shape as the 
gentlemen's, were adopted for walking dress also (Figure 113). 
They were sometimes trimmed with a figured ribband with a 
bow in front, while the cottage bonnets were appropriately 
trimmed with flowers. As we notice in the following descrip- 
tion of a walking dress in "La Belle Assemblee" for June, 1813, 
bodices were again worn very low and full, and the skirts were 
again narrower, a revival of the fashion prevalent from 1800- 
1810. 

" Short dress of jaconet muslin, made rather scantier in the 
skirt than they have been worn, and cut down as much as pos- 
sible all round the bosom and back of the neck. The body 
full, but drawn in at the top of the back, which is ornamented 
with a white silk button and confined to the waist by a girdle 
of rich white figured ribband, a jacket of the same materials as 



106 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

the gown, fastened to the waist by a white silk button. Over 
this our fair pedestrians throw a sky-blue scarf, bonnet of white 
willow-shavings, ornamented with a flower and wreath of sky- 
blue, and tied under the chin with a ribband to correspond. 
Hair dressed in very loose curls on each side of the temple, and 
parted in front. Gloves and sandals of sky-blue," and to com- 
plete the colour scheme " a parasol also of sky-blue silk, 
trimmed with a deep fringe to match." 

In the winter of 1813 we read of a "high dress for walking, 
of ruby merino cloth, made very tight to the shape and the 
waist rather longer than last season. Made up to the throat, 
without a collar: buttoned in front from the throat to the 
waist, and finished at the waist by a broad band of rich 
fancy ribband of a very dark bottle green shot with ruby ; 
two rows of the same ribband go around the bottom of the dress, 
which is made walking length. A long sleeve, easy but not 
very wide, is finished by a cuff of the same ribband. The 
throat was also finished with a binding of ribband and displayed 
a rich lace shirt with a collar also of lace put on quite plain. 
White satin cap, with a rich broad lace quilling in front, and 
tied under the chin by a white lace handkerchief. A white 
lace veil reaching to the shoulders was thrown carelessly over 
the cap. With this costume were worn York tan gloves, and 
black kid half-boots." 

Another striking garment was the Kutusoff mantle, made of 
pale pink or scarlet cloth, trimmed with a broad velvet ribband 
to correspond, a spencer of the same material, one sleeve of 
which was concealed by the folds of the mantle ; the collar, 
which was high and puckered, fastened at the throat with a 
broach ; and a long lappel, ending in a point fell over the left 
shoulder. A Kutusoff hat to match turned up in front, with a 
little corner to the right side, tied under the chin, and was finished 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 107 

with a pink or scarlet feather ; a full puffing of lace or net was 
seen underneath * (Figure 81). 

The Rutland poke was a popular variation in bonnets ; of 
white satin, edged with swausdown, and wadded and lined with 
white sarsnet, the front was cut in points, and tied under the 
chin with a soft white ribband ; an ostrich feather of a colour 
corresponding with the pelisse or mantle was placed very much 
on one side. 

Miss Austen wrote from Bath in 1813, on the subject of caps, 
to her sister : " . . . Miss Hare had some pretty caps, and 
is to make me one like one of them, only white satin, instead of 
blue. It will be white satin and lace, and a little white flower 
perking out of the left ear, like Harriet Byron's feather. I 
have allowed her to go as far as 1 16s. My gown is to be 
trimmed everywhere with white ribbon plaited on somehow or 
other. She says it will look well. I am not so sanguine. 
They trim with white very much." f And we read in one of 
the authorities of the day that " lace caps are universal for full 
dress, although turbans have not lost their popularity." 
Among other novelties the " Wellington hood " seems to have 
been a lace cap made full at the temples and ornamented with a 
sprig of geranium in front but suggests neither in style nor 
colour the name of the great warrior. Much more worthy of 
its name is the Wellington mantle, which is described as fol- 
lows : " A piece of cloth about three yards in length, and one in 
breadth, entirely bias, which makes it hang very gracefully, 
and sloped at each end to a point ; the cape is formed like a 
half handkerchief and the collar which is about an eighth of a 
yard deep falls a little over it. The mantle is drawn in with a 
slight fullness to the waist and forming a sort of jacket in the 
back ; it is usually made of slate colour or brown cloth ; and 

* Ls Belle Assembled. t Letters of Jane Austen. 



1832-1838 

FIGURE 72. 1834 Wedding dress of white gauze over satin, worn by a 
Quaker bride in Philadelphia. Head from a portrait of the day. 

FIGURE 73. 1832 Yellow brocade trimmed with folds of the same ma- 
terial, worn by Miss Mary Brinton, of Philadelphia. Head from a 
contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 74. 1838 Dress of pale pink satin, sleeves trimmed with blonde 
lace, part of the wedding outfit of Miss Mary Brinton, of Philadelphia. 
Head from portrait of the day. 

FIGURE 75. 1833 Dress of blue-green taffeta, with puffed sleeves and cape 
trimmed with pipings of the silk. Head from a contemporary print. 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 111 

its principal attraction is the trimming which is a very rich 
embroidery of laurel leaves in coloured silks ; the effect is really 
beautiful." 

An attractive half-dress is given for February, 1813 : 
" Plain frock of amber satin-cloth, shot with white, and 
ornamented round the bosom and the waist with a rich white 
silk trimming, called frost work ; it is the lightest and most 
elegant trimming we have seen for some time, and is universally 
worn ; a double row of this trimming crosses the breast. The 
back, which is plain and very broad, is ornamented with pearl 
buttons, or small silk ones to correspond with the trimming. 
White lace sleeves, made very full, fastened about the middle of 
the arm by a broad band of ' letting in ' lace [insertion] and 
drawn up by two buttons near the shoulder, while the fullness 
which falls near the bottom is confined by one ; plain demi- 
train." * 

In the year 1814, Napoleon having given up the fight for a 
time and retired to Elba, the English people of fashion hastened 
to Paris, and a wag of the day expressed his sentiments in this 
couplet : 

" London now is out of town, 

Who in England tarries, 
Who can bear to linger there 

While all the world's in Paris! 
Mrs. Brills is full of ills, 

Nothing can improve her, 
Unless she sees the Tooleries, 

Or waddles thro' the Louvre ! " 

Later the Emperor of Russia went over to London with his 
sister the Duchess of Oldenburg who introduced a novelty in 
bonnets which was immediately named after her. This bonnet 
was long and narrow, projecting far over the face, and was 
ridiculed by a contemporary comic singer. 

* La Belle Assembled. 



112 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" Then the ladies their dresses are equally queer, 
They wear such large bonnets their face can't appear, 
It put me in mind, don't think I'm a joker, 
Ol a coal-scuttle stuck on the head of a poker." 

The sketch of the Oldenburg bonnet given in Figure 43 is 
copied from a portrait of the Duchess at the time of her visit. 

Dear Miss Austen gives us some interesting items of the 
fashions in England, in her letters of 1814. Of an alteration in 
the shape of stays she says : " I learnt from Mrs. Tickars's 
young lady, to my high amusement, that the stays now are not 
made to force the bosom up at all ; that was a very unbecoming, 
unnatural fashion. I was really glad to hear that they are not 
to be so much off the shoulders as they were." 

The fashion of using ribbon for trimming, and the comfort- 
able feeling of having a suitable dress, which has doubtless 
found an echo within many a pair of stays, are expressed in 
an extract from another letter of the same year : " . . . I 
have determined to trim my lilac sarsnet with black satin rib- 
bon just as my China crape is, 6d. width at the bottom, 3d. or 
4d. at top. Ribbon trimmings are all the fashion at Bath, and 
I dare say the fashions of the two places are alike enough in 
that point to content me. With this addition it will be a very 
useful gown, happy to go anywhere." 

The following extract mentions a gown with long sleeves, 
about which Miss Austen expresses some doubt : " . . . I 
wear my gauze gown to-day, long sleeves and all. I shall see 
how they succeed, but as yet I have no reason to suppose long 
sleeves are allowable. I have lowered the bosom, especially at 
the corners, and plaited black satin ribbon round the top. 
. . . Mrs. Tilson had long sleeves too, and she assured me 
that they are worn in the evening by many. I was glad to 
hear this." 



HISTOKIC DRESS IN AMERICA 113 

Mrs. Bell, the celebrated London modiste, made a happy hit 
when she invented an evening crush hat for ladies. It is elo- 
quently announced in her magazine for January, 1814 : 

" A Lady's Chapeau Bras. A most novel and ingenious 
Ladies' head-dress will make its appearance, for the first time, on 
Thursday, February 3d. It is a Lady's Chapeau Bras, an orig- 
inal and unrivalled head-dress of Millinery, and combines the 
following most important advantages : Elegance, from the 
originality of its form, and the beauty of its materials. Sec- 
ondly, Convenience, as it is adapted to be worn over the head-dress 
of Ladies, without the hair or any part of the dress being in the 
least deranged when the Chapeau Bras is removed from the 
head. Thirdly, it is made so that it may be taken off previous 
to entering a room, or public place of resort, and carried in the 
hand or under the arm, with as little inconvenience as a pocket- 
handkerchief; in truth, with no inconvenience whatever. It 
has also the additional advantage that a Lady may walk full 
dressed along the streets without being conspicuous. The idea sug- 
gested itself to the Inventress from the numberless inconve- 
niences ladies are subjected to when full dressed from the want 
of a proper covering for the head-dress, in going to routs, operas, 
plays, etc., etc. By this original and elegant preserver of 
Ladies' head-dresses, the health will be preserved, and the dan- 
gerous effects of colds will be prevented. In short the Ladies' 
Chapeau Bras will be found a desideratum in Ladies' costumes, 
and requires only to be seen to be approved. Ladies in the 
country can be supplied with the Chapeau Bras, on commis- 
sioning a friend in London ; its form being generally adapted 
to all complexions and sizes." 

This convenient head-covering was made like the calashes 
of the previous century, on wires run through cases. 

The Oldenburg dinner dress, named by Mrs. Bell, in honour 



HISTORIC DRESS IN* AMERICA 



of the distinguished visitor, was a " white satin slip, decorated 
round the bottom with a rich white lace, and headed with pearl 
trimming. Over the slip is a short Russian robe of white 
crape open front, edged with a rich pearl trimming to corre- 
spond with the slip ; the wreaths which ornament the robe are 
formed of pearls also, to correspond. The back is made full. 
and the waist very short. Long sleeves of crape trimmed with 
pearl bands at regular distances. Small lace cap, decorated 
with pearls, and finished with tassels to match ; a fancy flower 
is placed to the side." " The form of this cap " we learn " is rx- 
. -- . legant, exquisitely tasteful, and becoming." Also 
that " a white satin Chapeau Bra.?, ornamented with a spread 
eagle on the crown, worked in chenille, is indispensable." 
With this costume the hair should be worn in loose ringlc'- in 
front, and twisted up a la Greque on the left side, and there fast- 
ened in a full knot. Gloves and slippers of white kid are sug- 
. - ed and an ivory fan.* 

Scotch plaid or tartan came into fashion again in 1814. An 
adaptation of scarf and bonnet for walking costume is shown in 
Figure 49 called the Huntley costume. 

In the pages of the " National Intelligencer,'' a letter of Mrs. 
Seaton, wife of the editor, is given describing the New Year's 
Reception at the White House, and the discomforts of the heat 
and crush : 

" January 2, 1814. 

"... Yesterday being New Year's day. everybody, af- 
fected or disaffected towards the government, attended to pay 
Mrs. Madison the compliments of the season. Between one and 
two o'clock we drove to the President's where it was with much 
difficulty we made good our entrance, though all of our 

*U Belle Assembles, Jnlr. 1314. 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 115 

acquaintances endeavoured with the utmost civility to compress 
themselves as small as they could for our accommodation. The 
marine band, stationed in the anteroom, continued playing in 
spite of the crowd pressing on their very heads. But if our 
pity was excited for these hapless musicians, what must we not 
have experienced for some members of our own sex, who, not 
foreseeing the excessive heat of the apartments, had more reason 
to apprehend the efforts of nature to relieve herself from the 
effects of the confined atmosphere. You perhaps will not under- 
stand that I allude to the rouge which some of our fashionables 
had unfortunately laid on with an unsparing hand, and which 
assimilating with the pearl-powder, dust and perspiration, made 
them altogether unlovely to soul and to eye." 

Our ladies of fashion were following the example of their 
cousins across the sea even in those days. A London wit, 
parodying the " Maid of Athens," wrote to a suburban damsel : 

" Is thy blush, which roses mocks. 
Bought at three and six per box! 
Aud those lips I seem to taste, 
Are they pink with cherry paste t 
Gladly I'd the notion scout, 
Answer me, ' It is not so ' 
Maid of Clapham, coine, no larks, 
For thy shoulders leave white marks, 
Tell me, quickly tell to me, 
What is really real in thee?" 

The President's wife, as we have already been told by a con- 
temporary, did not use either rouge or pearl-powder, and with- 
out the aid of these artificial agents made a very imposing 
appearance on occasions of state. According to Mrs. Seaton, 
" Her majesty's appearance was truly regal, dressed in a robe of 
pink satin, trimmed elaborately with ermine, a white velvet 
and satin turban, with nodding ostrich plumes and a crescent in 



116 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



front, gold chain and clasps around the waist and wrists. Tis 
here the woman that adorns the dress and not the dress that 
beautifies the woman. I cannot conceive a female better cal- 
culated to dignify the station which she occupies in society 
than Mrs. Madison. Amiable in private life and affable in 
public, she is admired and esteemed by the rich and beloved by 
the poor. You are aware that she snuffs ; but in her hands the 
snuff-box seems only a gracious implement with which to 
charm. Her frank cordiality to all guests is in contrast to the 
manner of the President, who is very formal, reserved and 
precise, yet not wanting in a certain dignity. Being so low of 
stature he was in imminent danger of being confounded with 
the plebeian crowd ; and was pushed and jostled about like a 
common citizen, but not so with her ladyship ! The towering 
feathers above the excessive throng distinctly pointed out her 
station wherever she moved." 

Noticeable among the new modes of 1814 were the Cache- 
mire shawls. They were very expensive and therefore very 
much admired, but a contemporary authority speaks of them as 
" most graceful and becoming." 

Pelerines were still very popular, but they were made longer 
and fuller, the ends crossed over the bosom and held in by a 
sash at the waist and hanging down each side. They were 
especially pretty made of sheer muslin, trimmed with a frill of 
the same ; and of China silk, finished with a puffing of ribbon. 

The Bourbon hat and mantle were named to celebrate the 
return of the Royal family to Paris. The hat was a favourite of 
the Duchesse d'Angouleme, and was generally made of blue 
satin trimmed with fleurs-de-lis in pearls ; an edging of floss 
silk and pearls finished the brim and a white ostrich 
feather was placed on one side. It was said of this hat in the 
advertisement, that not the least of its recommendations was 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 117 

that it could be " packed in a portmanteau in scarcely any 
space." Fleurs-de-lis trimmed both the Bourbon dress and 
mantle. The Angouleme spencer and the Angouleme hat also 
had temporary popularity. The back of the former was made 
full and was very becoming to the figure, the front was 
trimmed with fleurs-de-lis of chenille. This costume is illus- 
trated in Figure 60 from a fashion plate of 1814. 

Large Spanish hats and feathers were a pretty fashion which 
followed the Regency hats in favour, and small slouch hats and 
feathers are spoken of as " very becoming to a delicate face." 
Of veils we read : " Nun's veils are now worn as drapery in 
full dress, but the manner in which they are put on depends 
entirely on the taste of the wearer. Some ladies bring them 
round the neck, so as partly to shade it, and one side of the face 
also ; others have them fastened very far back on the head, and 
wrap them carelessly round one arm ; but in whatever way they 
are worn they can be becoming only to tall and graceful figures ; 
when adopted by undersized belles they are the very reverse of 
becoming." 

The Princess Augusta poke bonnet, named for the king's 
daughter, was usually made to match the pelisse, both in 
material and colour. 

In her entertaining book, " Social Life in the Early Repub- 
lic," Miss Wharton says : " Washington was so gay during the 
winter of 1815 that it would have been difficult to believe it 
had so recently known war and devastation, had it not been for 
those silent witnesses, the ruined Capitol and White House, 
whose charred remains were blots upon the smiling plain." On 
their return to the capital after the conflagration, Mr. and Mrs. 
Madison took up their abode in the famous Octagon House, 
where in the following February the Treaty of Peace was 
signed. 



1804-1820 
FIGURE 76. 1811 Fashionable outdoor costume showing scarf drapery and 

cone-shaped hat. From a fashion plate. 

FIGURE 77. 1804 Empire gown and child's dress trimmed with Valenci- 
ennes lace. From a portrait of the Queen of Naples, by Le Bruu. 
FIGURE 78. 1817 Court hoop and feathers, the regulation costume for 

English Court functions. From a fashion plate. 
FIGURE 79. 1809 Mourning dress of mother and child, of black cashmere 

with scarf drapery of crpe ; child's cap of white mull with black 

ribbon. From a fashion plate. 
FIGURE 80. 1820 Mourning ball dress of black grosgrain silk, trimmed 

with crepe arranged in a shell pattern. From a fashion plate. 
FIGURE 81. 1812 Kuhisoff costume of pink broadcloth with hat and 

mantle of the same. From a fashion plate. 



HISTOEIC DKESS IN AMERICA 121 

In a delightful letter quoted in this book there is a note on 
costume during the escape from the burning city. " On leav- 
ing the city," says the writer, " I wore a bonnet that was con- 
sidered just the style for a young lady of fifteen beginning to 
think her personal adornment of some importance ; it was of 
white satin gayly trimmed with pink ; also as was the fashion a 
large shell comb." 

During the hundred days following Napoleon's dramatic re- 
turn from Elba, political feelings were outwardly demonstrated 
in dress. Violets, the Emperor's favourite flower, became the 
badge of his adherents. After the twentieth of May, 1815, no 
" Imperialist lady " appeared in public without a large bunch 
of these flowers on her breast, while " Royalist ladies " wore 
white jaconet gowns with eighteen tucks in their skirts in 
honour of Louis XVIII. 

Many varieties of Cornettes and Mob caps were worn. For 
morning dresses they were made of violet cambric trimmed with 
figured satin ribbon ; for more dressy occasions, fine spotted India 
muslin was used, trimmed with lace and rose-coloured ribbon. 

An unusually attractive riding habit appeared in an Eng- 
lish fashion plate of 1815. It was the invention of the famous 
Mrs. Bell who had the happy faculty of adjusting the extrava- 
gant fancies of the Parisian modistes to suit English taste. A 
copy of the original print is given in Figure 112. This habit 
was made of " finest pelisse cloth, the body cut in a novel style, 
with front and cuffs tastefully embroidered. A lace ruff was 
worn around the neck. The hat was of moss silk and orna- 
mented with feathers to correspond." In the words of the 
fashion editor of " La Belle Assemblee " : " The tout ensemble of 
this dress is striking and tasteful beyond what our descriptive 
powers can portray, and we have no doubt that its striking 
utility as well as elegance will very soon render it a general 



122 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

favourite ; at present it is adopted by some of the most distin- 
guished fashionables of the haul ton." 

In 1816 the new creations of fashion were named in honour 
of the Princess Charlotte, and her marriage to Prince Leopold 
of Saxe-Coburg ; we hear of the " Coburg walking dress," a 
round dress of fine cambric under a pelisse of amber shot sars- 
net, trimmed with blue satin ribband. " Oatlands " hat to cor- 
respond with the pelisse, tied with a chequered ribband of blue 
or white, and surmounted with a bunch of tuberoses or passion 
flowers. Morocco shoes or half-boots of light blue the colour of 
the pelisse trimming. Limerick gloves, and the hair dressed 
forward in curls. The hat gets its name from the country seat 
of the Duke of York where the Princess spent her honeymoon. 

Feathers striped in two colours and called " Zebra feathers " 
were a novelty in 1816, and a straw hat or bonnet lined with 
lilac silk and trimmed with a Zebra plume of lilac and white 
was a favourite combination. The "Sempstress cap" was of 
muslin, " the crown drawn in with two rows of narrow pink 
ribband next the head piece, and bound round with a pink bro- 
caded satin band." An authority of the day says : " White 
dresses are now becoming general, and several gowns have ap- 
peared made of superb India muslin of exquisite texture, with 
half-sleeves, embroidered in colours, and the border of the robe 
ornamented in the same manner." The newest wraps were 
comfortable garments called " Carricks ; " long double capes 
of cloth lined with silk and fastened down the front with straps 
which buttoned " like a Canadian hunter's coat." They were 
worn by both men and women. 

The Caledonian caps of black and crimson with a profusion of 
black feathers, Neapolitan head-dresses made of blue and white 
striped gauze and trimmed with silver ornaments, and theatre 
head-dresses of tulle and satin " with a quilling of net next the 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 123 

face and fastening tastefully under the left ear ; " Netherland 
bonnets with crowns of carmine velvet and brims of white satin 
edged with the velvet and finished with white plumes, are men- 
tioned in " La Belle Assemble*? " for the winter of 1816. The 
new colours were " Carmine, Burgundy, Nicolas blue, and 
American or Forrester's green." 

Among the novelties we notice : Mrs. Bell's " new invented 
long corsets : ladies inclined to too much embonpoint will derive 
singular advantage from them : they are equally free from hard 
substances as the short ones, which for more slender ladies have 
given such universal satisfaction." 

In 1817 a contemporary fashion book describes a new and 
very expensive wrap, the " Witzchoura." The name suggests a 
Russian or Polish origin. It was lined throughout with fur 
and finished with a high standing collar, to which sometimes 
a pelerine was added, both of fur. 

In the entertaining memoirs of the Comtesse de Boigne the 
changes in customs of dress are amusingly described. " Among 
other changes, or among changes which I had forgotten during 
my absence, was the style of ladies' dress in the country. I 
learnt this change to my cost. I had been somewhat intimate 
with Lady Liverpool in the days of our youth. She invited me 
to go to dinner some miles out of London where Lord Liverpool 
had a house. She asked me to come in good time, that she 
might show me her garden and spend a pleasant day in the 
country. I arranged to go with my father, but he was detained 
by business, and we did not arrive until half-past five. Lady 
Liverpool scolded us for our late arrival, and then took us 
round her garden, her greenhouses, her kitchen garden, her 
farmyard, her fowl-house, her pig-sty, all of which were in 
somewhat poor repair. 

" Lord Liverpool arrived from London ; we left him with 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



my father and went back towards the house. I remember that 
I was wearing a long coat of Tours silk, flounced all round ; I had 
a white straw hat with flowers, and thought myself very beau- 
tiful. When I came into the house Lady Liverpool said to me : 

"'Will you come into my room to take off your coat and 
hat? Have you brought a maid, or would you like to have 
mine ? ' 

" I answered with some embarrassment that I had made no 
arrangements for changing my dress. 

" ' Oh, it does not matter in the least,' she replied. ' Here is 
a book to look at while I am dressing.' 

" I had hardly been alone for one moment when I heard a 
carriage arrive, and Lady Mulgrave soon entered, in a satin 
dress with jewels and flowers in her hair. Then Miss Jenkin- 
son, a niece of the family, appeared in a white dress with white 
shoes and a garland of flowers. Then came Lady Liverpool 
herself: I forget how she was dressed, but she was wearing on 
her head a veil held back with a golden diadem encrusted with 
precious stones. I hardly knew where to hide my head. I 
thought that a magnificent diplomatic dinner was on foot, and 
that we were about to see the arrival of all the fashionable 
people in London. 

" We sat down to dinner, eight in number, and of these five 
were members of the household. No other guests were ex- 
pected. The custom, however, is to dress for a quiet dinner in 
the country as for a great public reception. Henceforward I 
have never set out for a pleasant day in the country earlier 
than half-past seven, and never in morning dress. 

" While I am on the subject of dress I must speak of that in 
which I appeared at court. Possibly in twenty years it will be 
as ordinary as it seemed extraordinaiy to me when I wore it. 
Let us begin with the head. 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 125 

" My head-dress was surmounted by the obligatory plume. 
With great trouble I had induced the fashionable plumier, Car- 
berry, to make it only of seven enormous feathers, the smallest 
number allowed. Plumes of moderate size were composed of 
twelve or fifteen feathers, and in some cases of as many as 
twenty-five. Beneath the plume I wore a garland of white 
roses resting upon a circlet of pearls. The finishing touches 
were given by diamond buckles, a diamond comb, and tassels of 
white silk. This mixture of jewels, flowers, and feathers was 
highly repugnant to bur taste, which had remained classical 
from the time of the Greek costumes. 

" That, however, was a trifle. The body of my dress was 
arranged much as usual. When the bodice was put on, an 
enormous hooped skirt, three ells long, was laced to my waist. 
The skirt was made of waxed calico stretched upon whalebone, 
which made it very wide in front and behind, and very narrow 
at the sides. Over the satin skirt was placed a second skirt 
of tulle, ornamented with a large furbelow of silver lace. A 
third and shorter skirt, also of tulle with silver spangles, orna- 
mented with a garland of flowers, was turned up as a drapery 
so that the garland surmounted the skirt crosswise. The open- 
ings of the tucks were ornamented with silver lace and sur- 
mounted with a large bouquet of flowers. I carried another 
bouquet in front of me, so that I seemed to be emerging from a 
basket of flowers. I also wore all the jewels for which room 
could be found upon my person. The bottom of my white satin 
dress with its silver embroidery was turned up in loops, and 
did not reach the bottom of the skirt, such being the fashion- 
able etiquette. The Queen alone wore a train, while the skirts 
of the princesses were not turned up, but hardly touched the 
ground. 

" When I had seen the immense preparations for this toilet, 



126 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

I was doubtful whether to laugh at their absurdity, which 
seemed entirely comical, or to be vexed by the necessity of 
dressing in such ridiculous style. I must admit that when the 
process was complete I was well pleased, and thought that the 
costume suited me " * (See Figure 78). 

Shoes lined with fur were introduced into England about this 
time, 1816. They were cut high and were finished with three 
bows of ribbon on the instep one above the other. They 
sound very comfortable for a cold winter, and were very pic- 
turesque when made of velvet either black, dark green, or 
mazarin blue. 

Figured sarsnet of a white ground, with small sprigs of 
colour came into fashion at this time, also striped gauzes for 
ball-gowns. 

A spring costume for 1817 is thus described. " Round 
dress of fine cambric, under a pelisse of emerald-green rep 
sarsnet, ornamented with flutings of green and white satin, 
elegantly finished by British silk trimming ; the waist girt by a 
rich silk cordon of the same manufacture with full tassels. 
Spring bonnet of green curled silk, the crown and ornaments of 
white satin and emerald-green, to correspond with the pelisse. 
Green satin half-boots and Limerick gloves. Berlin ridicule of 
green and white satin." 

The very elaborate mourning of that period is illustrated in 
Figure 42. It consisted of a " round dress of fine black 
bombazeen, the trimming of crimped crape, formed into small 
roses. . . . Over this dress is worn a new and elegant 
wrapping cloak, made of grey mole skin or fine Bath coating ; it 
descends to the feet and is wide enough to protect the wearer 
from the inclemency of the weather ; it is cut out on the 
shoulders to fit the shape with large military cape and hood, 

* Memoirs of the Cointesse de Boigne, 1815-1819, Vol. II. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 127 

which folds, being made like the ladies' chapeau bras, lined and 
bound with black sarsnet. Shade bonnet of fine black cane, 
embroidered with chenille and velvet flowers round the front ; 
the crown, of black satin very full, and high in the back, is 
made of cane and chenille like the front. The crown is sur- 
rounded with a wreath of crape and satin flowers, and tied 
under the chin with a broad satin ribband. Beaver gloves and 
shoes." 

An extract from the " Memoranda of a Residence at the 
Court of London " describes the Drawing-room held in celebra- 
tion of Queen Charlotte's sixty-seventh birthday, and the Court 
costumes with the prescribed court hoops as they impressed the 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from the 
United States in 1818 :* 

" February 27. Yesterday Her Majesty held a Drawing- 
room. It was in celebration of her birthday. My wife was 
presented to her, by Lady Castlereagh. Besides being a birth- 
day celebration, it was the first drawing-room of the season and 
the first since the death of the Princess Charlotte. 

" Foreigners agreed that the united capitals of Europe could 
not match the sight. The glitter of the carriages was 
heightened by the appearance of the numerous servants in glow- 
ing livery, there being generally two and often three footmen 
behind each carriage. The horses were all in the highest con- 
dition, and, under heavy emblazoned harness, seemed like war 
horses to move proudly. Trumpets were sounding and the 
Park and Tower guns firing. There were ranks of cavalry in 
scarlet, with their bright helmets and jet black horses, the 
same, we were informed, men and horses, that had been at 
Waterloo. Their appearance was in a high degree martial and 
splendid. The hands of the men grasped their swords in 

* Richard Rush, Minister, 1817-1835. 



1830-1835 
FIGURE 82. 1830 Sleeve cushion worn with leg-of-mutton sleeves from 

1830 to 1835. 

FIGURE 83. 1835 Artificial curls fastened to a comb. 
FIGURE 84. 1830 Spencer with embroidered collar. 
FIGURE 85. 1830 Bead purse, a fashion in vogue for many years. 
FIGURE 86. 1830 Dress of brown taffeta, worn in Philadelphia. Head 

from a contemporary portrait. 
FIGURE 87. 1835 Dress of sage-green brocade, worn by Miss Haldermau. 

Bonnet from a plate of the day. 
FIGURE 88. 1833 Reticule of figured velvet. 
FIGURE 89. 1830 Apron of buff satin embroidered with coloured flowers 

in chenille and crepe. 

FIGURE 90. 1835 Black lace cape. From a plate. 
FIGURE 91. 1834 Mouchoir case. From a plate. 
FIGURE 92. 1833 Lace scarf drawn through a ring. From a plate. 
FIGURE 93. 1830 Belt buckle of pearl inlaid with gold. 
FIGURE 94. 1834 Shoulder cape of embroidered muslin. From a plate. 










\f 



93 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 131 

gloves of white buckskin, the cuffs stiffened and reaching half 
way to the elbow, a prominent part of the equipment that made 
up the exact uniformity and military beauty of the whole 
array. 

" We were soon set down and entered the great hall (Buck- 
ingham Palace). We were not out of time for by appointment 
our carriage reached the palace with Lord Castlereagh's ; but 
whilst hundreds were still arriving hundreds were endeavour- 
ing to come away. The staircase branched off at the first 
landing into two arms and was wide enough to admit a parti- 
tion which had been let in. The company ascending took one 
channel those descending the other and both channels were full. 
The openings through the old carved balusters brought all 
under view at once. 

"The hoop dresses of the ladies, their plumes, their tippets, 
the fanciful attitudes which the hoops occasioned ; the various 
costumes of the gentlemen, as they stood pinioning their elbows, 
and holding in their swords ; the common hilarity created by 
the common dilemma ; the bland recognitions passing between 
those above and those below, made up altogether an exhibition 
so picturesque, that a painter might give it as illustrative of the 
English Court of that era. 

" The party to which I was attached reached the summit of 
the staircase in about three-quarters of an hour. Four rooms 
were allotted to the ceremony. In the second was the Queen. 
She sat on a velvet chair and cushion a little raised up. Near 
her were the Princesses and Ladies-in-waiting. The doors of 
the rooms were all open. You saw in them a thousand ladies 
richly dressed. All the colours of nature were heightening 
their rays under the fairy designs of art. 

" It was the first occasion of laying by mourning for the 
Princess Charlotte and it was like the bursting out of spring. 



132 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



No lady was without her plume. The room was a waving field 
of feathers. Some were blue like the sky, some tinged with 
red, here you saw violet and yellow, there shades of green, but 
the most were of pure white like a tuft of snow. The diamonds 
encircling them caught the sun through the windows, and 
threw dazzling beams around. Then, the hoops ! these I cannot 
describe, they should be seen. To see one is nothing, but to see 
a thousand, and a thousand wearers, on such a day ! Each 
lady seemed to rise out of a gilded little barricade or one of 
silvery texture. This topped by the plume, and the ' face 
divine ' interposing, gave to the whole an effect so unique, so 
fraught with feminine grace and grandeur, that it seemed as if 
a curtain had risen to show a pageant in another sphere. It 
was brilliant and gorgeous. The ceremonies of the day being 
ended as far as myself and suite were concerned, we sought the 
corridor to come away. Will it be believed that the channels 
were as full as ever of hoops and plumes. Positively, it came 
over the eyes like beautiful architecture, the hoops the base, the 
plume the pinnacle. The parts of this dress may have been in- 
congruous, but the whole was harmony." 

This extraordinary fashion of wearing enormous hoops with 
Court dresses is illustrated in all the fashion books from 1800 
to 1820 and, in spite of the eloquent eulogy pronounced by Mr. 
Rush, strikes us as both hideous and grotesque, but as a matter 
of history it is not without interest. A specimen of a Court 
hoop for 1818 is given in Figure 78. 

The advance of manufactures in England called forth the 
eloquence of a contemporary periodical : " Fashion, that motley 
divinity, now again is seen welcoming the approach of spring, 
and from the looms of the British manufacturers are dispersed 
at her command, silks, ribbands, and gauzes, all of so rich, so 
exquisite a texture and of such various and tasteful patterns, 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 133 

that we may now dispute the palm of excellence and novelty 
with every other polished nation on this habitable globe." 

With both head-dresses and turbans false curls were worn. 
We read in a letter of 1818, from Washington : " After break- 
fast I went forth on a shopping expedition and procured most 
of the winter clothing for the family, self included. One 
thing I could not get Curls, French curls, parted on the fore- 
head, you know how. You must get them for me either in 
New York or Philadelphia. Now remember Curls!"* 

" La Belle Assemblee " says : " Amongst the novelties in 
head-dresses are the Caroline, or Como turban, of pale blue crape, 
ornamented with white beads ; and the turban a I' antique, more 
costly than becoming, of very fine white net, superbly 
ornamented with gold, with a gold tassel. Flowers in half 
dress are but little worn, and gold and silver ornaments are 
more popular at present in full dress than plumes of feathers, 
which are better suited to the hussar cap. In jewellery, pearls, 
rubies, and coloured gems, the initials of which form devices or 
sentimental words, are now in high favour ; and curiously 
wrought gold ornaments are very much in demand by the 
British fashionables. The favourite colours are peach-down, 
emerald-green, Palmetto green, pale tea-leaf, Spanish brown, 
scarlet and celestial blue." 

Many specimens of the acrostic or anagram jewelry have 
been preserved, coming into fashion, as we learn, from the 
authority given above in 1817 ; they were worn in a variety of 
devices until 1830. An interesting "Regard Ring" worn in 
Baltimore in the twenties, consists of a small hoop of gold into 
which is set a ruby, an emerald, a garnet, an amethyst, a ruby 
and a diamond. This ring was owned by Miss Amanda Nace, 
afterwards Mrs. Forney. 

* First Forty Years of Washington Society. 



134 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

In a popular magazine of 1819 we read: " The acrostic rage 
prevails in jewellery. A ring is given with the following ex- 
pression, j'aime (I love). It is accordingly formed of a jacinth, 
an amethyst, a ruby, and an emerald. Such gems form all the 
rings of the present day." Also, " A curious romantic fashion 
is adopted by some young ladies in the ornamenting of their 
hats ; it is aiming at the sentimental, but I call it acrostical. 
Suppose, for instance, the lady wearing the hat is named 
MARIA ; she accordingly sports a marshmallows blossom, an 
anemone, a rose, an iris and an asphodel, or evening lily : this 
forms a mixture of colours, and even of flowers not always in 
season together." 

A Paris gossip describes the short sleeves in vogue with all 
costumes : (1819) " Let Paris be full or empty, scorching under 
summer's sun, or freezing under winter's snows, the changes 
among the hats still continue to undergo their usual motley 
round. I cannot say the same of our other outdoor covering ; 
high dresses, with only a sautoir, or half handkerchief are still 
the prevailing mode, and these are of Cachemire silk, black 
lace, or embroidered inuslin ; this fashion seems likely to con- 
tinue till the shivering fair one shall be obliged to resort to the 
more appropriate spencer and comfortable pelisse. It is true 
that pelerines buttoned before and trimmed round with muslin 
or ribbons in cockleshells, are worn by many ladies ; the 
pelerines are made of muslin richly embroidered, and whether 
the gown is plain, striped, or spotted, the sleeves are worked in 
a pattern to correspond with that of the pelerine ; but why are 
these pelerines adopted ? Because a lady cannot have a dress 
made high that has short sleeves and never were short sleeves 
so much in favour. Nothing is to be seen but naked arms and 
as the gowns fall off the shoulders, the bust would be entirely 
exposed if ladies walked out without a pelerine : let me, how- 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 135 

ever, tell you, as a warning to your fair countrywomen, that 
never before in Paris were pulmonary and nervous complaints 
so frequent. This fashion originated in the reign of Louis XIV 
as may be seen by the portraits of Ninon de 1'Enclos, the 
Duchesse de Fontanges, and that of Madame de Sevigne ; whose 
cousin, Bussy Rabutin, used to say it was only on account of 
her arm being beautiful that she displayed it. I sincerely 
hope, however, that next winter will bring along with its 
rigour, that modesty which can alone render a female desirable ; 
and that as soon as ices and melons cease to be eaten, short 
sleeves will cease to be worn." 

This fashion introduced many dainty styles of pelerines or 
shoulder capes. The most popular were made of muslin richly 
embroidered by hand, others were trimmed with rows of lace 
insertion and edged with lace. 

Long sashes tied in the back were all the rage in Paris in 
1819. According to a local authority : " At the Tuilleries we 
see nothing but sashes, and they are general!}' of Scotch plaid ; 
young, old, handsome, ugly, straight, crooked, hump-backed, 
tall, short, squint-eyed, one-eyed, black-eyed, grey-eyed, flaxen- 
headed, every one had a sash tied in a bow behind, with long 
ends hanging to her heels, or streaming on the wind. These 
ribbons are like the aiguillettes of the gens darmes, permanent 
signals for the fate of captives. Your countrywomen have in- 
troduced the opera cloaks of grey coating, lined with coloured 
sarsnet ; and every French lady has followed this useful fashion, 
and folds herself in one while she waits in the vestibule of the 
theatre for her carriage. We give credit to Mistress Bell for the 
invention of a silk mantilla of this kind with its chapeau bras 
hood ; it is truly elegant, as well as tres commode (we have really 
no word to express what you call comfortable) and has been 
worn by a lady of high distinction, here." 



136 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

Bonnets had for many years been worn by young and old, 
but the plates of 1819 show a revival in favour of hats, and we 
read : " Hats have a decided preference over bonnets ; and 
one of the former of Carmelite-coloured cloth lined with jonquil 
coloured sarsnet, has been much admired ; this is of the eques- 
trian shape : London smoke is also a favourite colour for this 
kind of hat. Black beaver hats are sported by many ladies of 
fashion ; and a purple bonnet trimmed with gauze spotted with 
velvet of the same colour as the bonnet, is much in requisition. 
The beaver hats I mentioned above, are ornamented with a 
broad band, with a metal buckle on one side. Some have three 
narrower bands, placed at equal distances, with small buckles. 
Coloured velvet hats have generally a band of very broad rib- 
bon, made in the form of cockleshells." 

From a popular English periodical we glean the following, 
under the date of December, 1819 : "Grey hats too, lined with 
rose-colour, and ornamented with a plume of six or eight 
feathers, half of them grey and the other three or four rose- 
colour, is another favourite head-dress for the carriage. 

" The waists of gowns still continue long, and are made low 
in the back ; the skirts are plaited very full behind, but without 
any plaits at the hips. Merino dresses are made with a pelerine 
of the same ; but instead of flounces they are bordered with vel- 
vet, of a colour to suit the dress. Worsted fringe trimming for 
dresses has in it a mixture of silk, and is headed with plaited 
satin, forming a rich rouleau ; sometimes three or four rouleaux 
surmount the fringe ; this trimming is very beautiful." 

We read of a new and beautiful manufacture of brocaded 
gauze fashionable for evening dresses for young people, and are 
glad to be able to give a picture of a dress of this pretty fabric, 
that was worn by Miss Elizabeth Smith, in Philadelphia, in 
1819 (Figure 61). 



HISTOKIC DKESS IN AMEEICA 137 

About this time the fashionable dance in Europe and 
America was the Waltz, first introduced in Germany. It at- 
tracted almost immediately the popularity which it has en- 
joyed ever since. It was not, however, as interesting to watch 
as the old time Minuet with its stately bows and courtesies, nor 
the Quadrille of the beginning of the nineteenth century, with 
its intricate figures. An onlooker expressed his feelings on the 
subject in the following verses which were printed in a Phila- 
delphia magazine of 1819 : 



" THE WALTZ 

" In patent Kaleidoscopes all may discern 
A novel attraction at every turn ; 
And every movement presents to the sight 
A figure more perfect, a colour more bright ; 
But waltzing, though charming to those who can do it, 
Is rather fatiguing to people who view it : 
For though turns are incessant, no changes you meet, 
But giddiness, bustle, embracing and heat. 

" At first they move slowly, with caution and grace, 
Like horses when just setting out for a race ; 
For dancers at balls, just like horses at races, 
Must amble a little to show off their paces. 
The music plays faster, their raptures begin, 
Like lambkins they skip, like tetotums they spin : 
Now draperies whirl, and now petticoats fly, 
And ankles at least are exposed to the eye. 

" O'er the chal k- cover 'd ballroom in circles they swim ; 
He smiles upon her, and she smiles upon him, 
Her arm on his shoulder is tenderly placed, 
His hand quite as tenderly circles her waist ; 
They still bear in mind, as they're turning each other, 
The proverb ' one good turn's deserving another' ; 
And these bodily turns often end, it is said, 
In turning the lady's or gentleman's head. 11 

Q. in a Corner. 



THE NF.W VOT5K PUBLIC LIBRARY 
EHEHAL LilJ.iAliV Oi' THE PERFORMING ARTS 
111 AttSrEHJUAM AVE. NEW YORK, N. I. 10023 



1812-1828 

FIGURE 95. 1813 A gentleman in a fashionable walking costume of plum- 
coloured cloth, drab trousers and white waistcoat. From a contem- 
porary print. 

FIGURE 96. 1814 Back view of an outdoor costume. The wadded pelisse 
of golden brown satin with a high rolling collar is copied from an 
original garment worn in Philadelphia. The hat is from a contem- 
porary print. 

FIGURE 97. 1815 White satin afternoon dress with high waist and long 
sleeves falling over the hands. From an original garment worn in 
Philadelphia about 1815. The Vandyke ruff and embroidered muslin 
collarette are copied from plates of that date. Head from a contem- 
porary miniature. 

FIGURE 98. 1814 Front view of the pelisse in Figure 96. It is fastened 
with small gilt catches with snap springs, such as are used for neck- 
laces, showing the collar turned down. Ruff and English walking-hat 
of brown velvet are taken from a plate of 1814. 

FIGURE 99. 1816 Evening dress of a gentleman of this date, taken from a 
contemporary print. Dark blue coat and white kerseymere trousers 
and waistcoat. White silk stockings and black slippers. 

FIGURE 100. 1828 Dress of very rich corded silk with brocaded flowers 
arranged in stripes, made with a full skirt and plaited bodice, with a 
broad bejt of the silk. Copied from an original gown worn by Miss 
Mary Brinton in Philadelphia about 1828. 

FIGURE 101. 1820 A walking suit. Long-tailed coat of green broadcloth 
with silver buttons and black velvet collar. Long pantaloons of white 
kerseymere. Stock of white satin and hat of rough beaver. From a 
contemporary print. 

FIGURE 102. 1823 Brown cloth pelisse trimmed with bias folds of cloth. 
Velvet bonnet to match with bows of taffeta and a group of brown 
feathers on the crown. Brim faced with pink taffeta. A double ruffle 
of white lawn is worn around the throat and an enormous muff of bear- 
skin completes the costume, which is taken from a plate of this year. 

FIGURE 103. 1824 White satin wedding gown made with a deep trimming 
of white gauze held in place by bows of gauze bound with white satin. 
Three rouleaux of white satin edge the bottom of the skirt and the low- 
cut neck of the bodice. The sleeves are made of a full puff of the gauze 
caught down with satin pipings finished with a tassel of sewing silk. 
This charming costume was worn by a Virginia bride, Miss Colquhoun 
of Petersburg, in 1824. The head is copied from a portrait and the veil 
from a plate of that year. 

FIGURE 104. 1820 Full dress of an English gentleman in this year. Blue 
broadcloth coat edged with white satin and adorned with silver buttons. 
Knee-breeches of brown satin and stockings of white silk. This figure 
is copied from a plate in the " La Belle Assembled." 



Women's Dress 

1820-1830 

" Fashions change with every changing season 
Eegardlesa quite of money, rhyme or reason." 

ITH the year 1820 we reach the third decade 
of the nineteenth century, and note a few 
striking changes in fashion. The first 
variation to be commented upon is that 
black dresses came into favour, and two 
new materials, plume velvet and levantine 
satin, were used for evening dresses. The 
former, plume velvet, was distinguished by 
narrow satin stripes, and the latter, levan- 
tine satin, was very soft and rich. High- 
land tartans had been worn for the last five years off and on 
but became a pronounced fashion in 1820, even for evening 
dresses. We read of Caledonian caps of white satin, and of 
Ivanhoe caps of black tulle and geranium satin, both of these 
head-dresses being designed for evening wear, and the latter of 
course named in honour of Scott's delightful romance just pub- 
lished in Edinburgh. 

Two new ball dresses for young ladies are described by Mrs. 
Bell. " One is of figured satin, a new manufacture, with the 
figures woven into the satin in such a manner that they are 

transparent ; round the border is a beautiful festoon of artificial 

141 




U2 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

roses and their foliage in rich clusters ; they are smaller than 
nature, but faithfully coloured from it. The other ball dress is 
almost equally attractive on account of its chaste simplicity : it 
is of fine white net over white satin, and is finished by two 
flounces of net, richly embossed with fancy flowers and foliage 
in white satin." 

In the letters of the Hon. Stratford Canning, English Min- 
ister to the United States in 1820, we find mention of a " revolu- 
tion in court dress " which was being accomplished at that time. 
He attended a Drawing-room in London just before he started 
for America, and remarked, " The great event which at present 
occupies the public mind is the abolition of hoops, announced 
in Tuesday's ' Gazette ' preparatory to the Drawing-room fixed 
for the fifteenth of next month at Buckingham House. I fear 
we shall regret them in spite of their unbecoming appearance. 
They have the effect of leaving a little room in the Drawing- 
room crowds so as to prevent your being squeezed to death." 
According to Mrs. Bell's magazine, a new style of hoops was in- 
troduced for court dress in England in 1817. In Figure 78 we 
give the sketch of one designed for the Drawing-room of that 
year, which is undoubtedly an improvement on court hoops 
shown in the earlier numbers of " La Belle Assemblee." Hoops 
are not mentioned in the descriptions of ball dresses of that 
time. They were evidently a court fashion, which lasted until 
1820, according to the letter quoted above. 

We read of a pelisse of garter blue embroidered in the same 
colour and lined with white sarsnet, also of black velvet pelisses 
worn with bonnets of black satin, and as we see by the follow- 
ing extract from " La Belle Assemblee," bonnets were again in 
the ascendency : " A favourite bonnet for the promenade is of 
lavender rep silk, with a double quilling of Italian net, edged 
with narrow satin ribband ; the crown is formed of Italian net 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 143 

and ribbon. On the white lining underneath is a broad layer 
of pink satin in bias. Another promenade bonnet is of fine 
black leghorn, trimmed with peach-coloured crape, and crowned 
with a beautiful bouquet of half-blown roses, lilacs and field 
flowers ; the trimming at the edge of this bonnet forms a double 
row of cockle-shells cut in bias. A carriage bonnet of straw 
gauze is justly admired, the material entirely new ; it is 
edged with transparent net, embossed with pink ornaments, 
and is finished with a curtain of blond ; the crown ornamented 
to correspond with the pattern of the embossed border, and 
trimmed with a full plume of white uncurled feathers, inter- 
mixed with three that are pink. Another carriage bonnet is 
made of fine net, spangled with straw in small figures, and the 
crown richly trimmed with flowers." 

Turbans which had held the popular fancy from the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century were still worn in every variety 
of material, Chinese crape and Peruvian gauze being favour- 
ites. Many new styles of head-dress had come and gone during 
the reign of the turban ; among these was the Vevai cap, some- 
thing like a Tyrolese cap in shape, but less high. It seems to 
have greatly pleased the fancy of Mrs. Bell, who says of it 
(1820) : " Nothing can be more chaste or tasteful than this ele- 
gant little ornament ; its plumage hangs down like the fantastic 
fretwork formed by frozen snow ; while here and there seem 
lodged on it a few Christmas berries, either of the red or white 
berried holly." 

We notice at this time frequent mention of flounces as trim- 
ming for ball dresses, but it soon became fashionable to trim 
everything with flounces. At first there was but little fullness 
in them, for skirts were still narrow. In the following 
description we read of fluted flounces : " Evening dress of black 
crape, over a black satin slip made with a demi-train, and orna- 



144: HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

merited round the border with three fluted flounces of crape, 
each flounce headed by an embroidered band of small jet beads 
and bugles. Corsage d Louis Quatorze, ornamented with jet and 
bugles to correspond. Tucker of white crape in folds." It was 
the fashion at that time to trim dancing frocks with artificial 
flowers, for instance : a ball dress of tulle over white satin was 
ornamented above the hem with full blown roses. The hair 
was adorned with silver ears of corn, red roses, and rows of 
pearl. White satin sandal slippers, white kid gloves, and carved 
ivory fan were the appropriate accessories. 

Spencers were still in favour, the latest being made with a 
little jacket tail, like that of a riding habit, and a sash the 
colour of the spencer was worn with it. Long mantles of grey 
or violet sarsnet were also much worn ; they reached as far as the 
heels, and had hoods drawn with ribbon and stiffened with 
whalebone, " which latter improvement, to be candid with 
you," writes our authority, " is, I think, an awkward imitation 
of Mrs. Bell's Chapeau Bras." 

The following chatty letter from Paris is dated September, 
1820: 

" My last letter contained lamentations on the continued 
length of our ladies' waists ; thanks to all the powers of taste, 
they begin to shorten, and I hope soon to see them placed on 
that standard of beauty, without which there can be no claim 
to the epithet, when divested of all proportion, by being too 
long or too ridiculously short. A high dress, that marks more 
justly the contour of a fine shape, is now a favourite outdoor 
costume ; and no other ornament is worn with it, except a 
cravat-scarf of Scotch plaid gauze, which is gracefully tied on 
one side. However, when the mornings are chill, a grey sarsnet 
pelisse, for early walks, is thought very elegant ; this silk 
pelisse has a beautiful falling collar, which takes from it any 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 145 

winter-like appearance. If a sautoir, or half-handkerchief, is 
worn with this pelisse it is of rainbow gauze and is tied close 
round the throat, like a cravat. These gauze handkerchiefs are 
trimmed round with a broad silk fringe. Black lace shawl 
handkerchiefs are very prevalent for the public promenade. 

" Leghorn hats are very much worn ; they are often orna- 
mented with a bow of ribbon, with long ends (what our grand- 
mothers used to call streamers) on one side. A bouquet of wild 
poppies is placed in front, surmounted by a plume of marabout 
feathers. The ribbon is either straw colour or striped. Amongst 
the newest ribbons is that of Egyptian-sand colour ; the common 
sand sold by stationers, to prevent writing from blots, may give 
yon some idea of this colour. Straw hats are ornamented with 
a large cluster of corn poppies, or with ears of corn, mingled 
with marabout feathers. The brims of some hats have a quill- 
ing of blond, both above and beneath, or a very full bouillone. 
of gauze : the crown of such hats is simply ornamented with a 
bow of ribbon on one side, or a full-blown rose, especially if the 
hat is of straw. Lilac linings to hats are popular, but it is not 
a becoming colour when placed so near the face unless the com- 
plexion is very fair and clear. The flowers are mostly placed in 
front of the hat in large bunches, -composed generally of wild 
poppies and honeysuckles. For the promenade, straw hats are 
usually tied under the chin with a plaid ribbon. For the car- 
riage, handkerchiefs of stamped crape are often tastefully dis- 
posed on straw hats and bonnets ; the ground of these handker- 
chiefs is generally white, flowered with lilac. Muslin bonnets 
are worn for the deshabille morning walk. Rose-coloured hats 
are much in favour, with trimmings of the same colour; lemon- 
coloured hats are ornamented with trimmings of lilac, and lilac 
hats with lemon-colour. Straw-coloured gauze is much used 
in the trimming of straws hats : rainbow gauze is a favourite 



146 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 



trimming for chip hats. Flame-coloured feathers, grouped to- 
gether so as to resemble flowers, are favourite ornaments on car- 
riage hats ; as are all kinds of field flowers, particularly the 
woodbine and wild poppy. The brims of some hats are entirely 
covered with honeysuckle. Sometimes the hat is trimmed with 
either a bouquet of corn poppies or of roses. The semptress 
bonnet is again revived for the morning promenade. All bon- 
nets are placed far back, and are generally ornamented at the 
edges with tulle quilled in large plaits, with gauze ribbon 
bouillonh, coxcombs, or ribbons laid on plain. The bouquets 
placed in the front increase in magnitude, and are spread al- 
most over the whole of the brim : tobacco-plant flowers and 
others equally spreading are mixed with those most in season. 
Scotch caps are not so much in favour as formerly, except those 
that have a kind of gauze drapery depending or a quilling of 
blond next the face ; and with such appendages they are cer- 
tainly no longer Scotch caps. Transparent bonnets of rose- 
coloured crape are much admired ; they are ornamented round 
the crown with a wreath formed of bows of ribbon ; the bon- 
nets are fluted, and they are trimmed at the edge with a double 
row of plaited gauze. White gauze hats, chequered with blue, 
are generally ornamented with blue larkspur arranged in 
parallel lines on one side, while the other remains bare. 

" Cambric gowns are often ornamented round the border 
with stripes of clear muslin let in full, and as many stripes, 
alternately, of hemstitched cambric. The corsage is also formed 
of these alternate stripes in bias : when cambric dresses are 
flounced, it is always with the same, but the edge of each flounce 
is hemstitched and each flounce is headed with a letting in of 
muslin, embroidered in openwork. Silk dresses were never in 
such favour for evening and half dress as they are now ; they 
are ornamented with separate pieces of quilling, like the frill of 



HISTOKIC DEESS IN AMERICA 147 

a shirt; and these are placed separately, rather in bias, forming 
two rows, which have a very elegant and rich effect. The jockey 
at the top of the sleeve, which we formerly called mancheron, is 
not quite so full as it was ; it is very prettily fancied, and so 
slashed as to appear a melange of Spanish, French and English ; 
its latter similitude, perhaps, obtained for it the title of jockey. 
The bodies of the silk dresses are all plaited horizontally. 
Frocks which button behind are very fashionable. A favourite 
trimming on violet-coloured silk gowns, which are very preva- 
lent, consists of four flounces placed two and two and laid in 
flat whole plaits ; between the hem of the gown and the edge of 
the lower flounce is a space of about two fingers in breadth and 
between the first and second row of flounces is a space much 
more considerable. Metallic gauze still continues in fashion for 
dress hats and turbans. Court head-dresses are much lower 
than formerly, the hair is divided in front, but is dressed very 
full on each side, in regular small curls. Parasols are lined and 
finished with a very broad fringe from which depend balls the 
colour of the lining. The latest ridicules are woven without 
seam : they are made in the English fashion, and are drawn up 
and ornamented with Scotch plaid ribbon." 

A novelty of short duration was in the form of a head-dress 
for home costume. It was a silk handkerchief, called mouchoirs 
aux betes, from the corners being embroidered with different 
animals and scenes from the fables of La Fontaine. These 
handkerchiefs were sold at 720 francs the dozen. A French 
wit made a pun on this head-dress, calling the handkerchiefs 
" mouchoirs affables." 

A great variety of fancy gauzes came into fashion in 1821. 
Each variation had a name. There was the marbled gauze, the 
marabout ganze, the deluge gauze, and the flowered gauze. The 
whys and wherefores of these names it would indeed be difficult 



1800-1842 

FIGURE 105. 1800 Biding habit of blue cloth, black velvet collar and a 
double row of gilt buttons called Nelson's balls. Tan gloves and half- 
boots of black Spanish leather. Bound cap of beaver with plume and 
feathers in front, and band of gold braid around the crown. 

FIGURE 106. 1801 Dark blue kerseymere habit with three rows of small 
blue buttons crossed with blue cord ; collar of blue velvet. White 
beaver hat with very narrow brim and two short white feathers. 

FIGURE 107. 1806 Biding habit of lavender blossom cloth. Hat of amber 
velvet trimmed with loops of black silk. Buff of lace and muslin ; tan 
gloves and tan shoes. 

FIGURE 108. 1808 Riding habit of dark green cloth trimmed with black 
braid and gilt buttons. Cap of the same cloth. Gloves and shoes of 
lemon-coloured kid. 

FIGURE 109. 1810 Habit of Georgian cloth, ornamented with military 
frogs. Hat of green velvet trimmed with white fur. 

FIGURE 110. 1817 Biding dress of light brown trimmed with frogs of 
dark brown. Dark brown hat with feathers. 

FIGURE 111. 1812 Habit of bright green cloth, embroidered down the 
front and on the cuffs a la militaire. Hat of black beaver trimmed with 
gold cord and tassels and a long ostrich feather. Black shoes and tan 
gloves. 

FIGURE 112. 1815 Biding habit of fine bine cloth, front and cuffs em- 
broidered ; lace ruff. Hat of moss silk trimmed with feathers. 

FIGURE 113. 1816 Biding hat of black beaver. 

FIGURE 114. 1814 Biding hat of blue brocaded silk. Wetherill collec- 
tion in Memorial Hall. 

FIGURE 115. 1812 Biding costume of Marie Louise blue, trimmed with 
gimp to match. A small blue cloth hat and feathers of the same colour. 

FIGURE 116. 1830 Habit of very dark blue cloth. Top hat of black with 
a blue veil. 

FIGURE 117. 1842 Biding dress of black cloth, top hat of beaver and tan 
feathers. High black satin stock and bow headed with cambric frill. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 151 

to define, but the materials were especially designed for bonnets 
and head-dresses. 

White silk parasols with borders of flowers painted round 
them were among the novelties from Paris in that year, and the 
newest colours were wall-flower and Apollo's hair ; the latter 
must have been difficult to match, but rose, pistachio-nut 
colour, ponceau, and roasted coffee, were all popular. 

In a letter from Paris (1821) we find this : " Vandyke frills, 
round the back and shoulders of dress gowns, are now much in 
vogue. Mary has scarcely an evening dress without them. No 
ornament gives a more becoming finish to the bust; and while 
it dresses consistently and elegantly the back and shoulders, it 
has the effect of lessening the appearance of the waist at the 
bottom. . . . Caps with long lappets are also much in re- 
quest; and these lappets confine the cap under the chin ; this 
head-dress, on a pretty woman, gives the countenance a resem- 
blance to the beautiful faces of Isabey's. Turbans richly em- 
broidered, and fastened with gold brooches, are much worn by 
young married ladies ; they are surmounted either by marabouts, 
esprits, heron's feathers, bird-of-Paradise plumes, or curled 
ostrich feathers. A long veil is often worn with a turban, the 
veil floating behind a la Reine. The hair is now divided, in 
equal bands, on the top of the head. If a lady, however, wishes 
to appear lovely, she will not follow the disagreeable fashion of 
showing the skin of the head, which has always an unpleasing 
appearance. 

"Jewelry is made chiefly of polished steel. A brooch of 
polished steel confines the gown to the bust, and another is 
placed in the back between the shoulders : these brooches are 
of immense price and of most beautiful workmanship. A very 
pretty woman appeared in public last week and all her numer- 
ous ornaments were of polished steel : her dress was a marsh- 



152 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 

mallow-blossom colour, which admirably set off the superb 
brooches she wore in front of her bust, and at her back. 

"The white gloves worn with short sleeves are finished by a 
sharp point above the elbow, that comes up to the middle of the 
thick part of the arm, which the glove is made exactly to fit : 
they are therefore so tight that they never fall down or wrinkle. 

" The hair is dressed high, and the temples are adorned with 
locks of hair which are lightly frizzed before they are curled. At 
the benefit of Mademoiselle Georges, turbans were very general 
particularly the Moabitish turban, fastening under the chin. 
Toques of satin with white marabout feathers, mixed with ears 
of corn, in gold, are much in favour for grande costume; and 
cornettes of very sheer muslin with broad long ends, are uni- 
versal in undress. 

" The most elegant parasols are of India muslin, embroidered 
with a beautiful border in feather stitch, instead of fringe ; the 
edge is finished with broad Mechlin lace, about four inches in 
breadth ; the parasol is lined with azure blue, shot with white ; 
the stick and handle are of polished steel, the thick part is 
beautifully wrought and the handle is formed like the leaf of the 
acanthus. 

" Bouquets are much worn ; they consist of a large bunch of 
Parma violets, or a full bouquet of roses, jessamine, and helio- 
tropes. Flowers are always offered as an homage to beauty ; 
every gallant gentleman presents them to a pretty woman, and 
she accepts them as her due. 

" Very rich bracelets on the wrists, and rings on every finger, 
are indispensable ornaments at evening parties. The clasps of 
belts in gold, representing two hands locked together, are very 
fashionable." 

Reticules of Morocco leather were considered more fashion- 
able than those of silk or velvet. We hear, too, of Scotch plaid 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 153 

fringes as a new trimming for gowns and wraps. Bonnets were 
still large, but they were somewhat flattened on top as in Figures 
118 and 119. The newest were transparent and lined with 
coloured silk to match the trimming. All that could be said 
on the subject of the latest fashions in hats, will be found in 
the following extract from a letter by a Parisian correspondent : 

" Many carriage hats are made of striped gauze (Figure 272), 
or crape, of pale straw-colour, and are trimmed with lilac. 
The hats are somewhat smaller in the brims, though there are 
some hats which are bent down in the shape of bonnets (Figure 
120) : straw hats, of every shape, are now becoming very general 
for walking ; Leghorn hats have already made their appearance ; 
the brims much narrower than formerly ; they are ornamented 
with a narrow scarf of plaid silk, forming a circular drapery. 
These hats are placed on one side, and the hair that is exposed 
is arranged in full curls or ringlets. Some of the new carriage 
hats are of red currant colour, with the strange association of 
rose-coloured feathers. The most tasteful bonnet for walking is 
curled plush silk of a beautiful pink ; and grey hats with 
flowers of the same colour, made of velvet or chenille, are in 
very great favour. Dress hats for the theatre, or for evening 
parties, are often seen ornamented with cock's feathers ; and 
hats of black velvet are trimmed with white marabouts mixed 
with gold ears of corn. Wreaths of flowers are the chief head- 
ornament for young ladies ; the flowers with their foliage are 
thinly scattered in front but very full on the temples ; geraniums 
and eglantine, with little spiral white flowers from the cups of 
which issue little tufts of silk, are used for these wreaths. Ban- 
deaux of pearls are worn in the ballroom, and for evening 
visits bandeaux of white or rose-coloured satin, wreathed round 
with summer roses. 

" Five separate strips of satin form the chief trimming on 



154 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

the border of merino dresses. On muslin or cachemire there 
are the same number of full quilled narrow flounces. The 
dresses for walking are so long that they nearly touch the 
ground. Black velvet dresses are much worn at evening 
parties ; they are ornamented with beads, with a girdle of 
rose-coloured or blue velvet ; which girdle is adorned with 
Brandenburghs made of bugles. White cachemire dresses, 
trimmed at the border with three bands of satin, are much worn 
at the Parisian tea-parties ; those parties, which I recollect so 
much astonished you when you first beheld them ; not only at 
the sight of the orange flower water mingled with the tea, but 
at the enormous bowl of punch which made a part of the repast. 
Les Thes are not much improved ; and there are none but the 
British, and more especially the Irish, that know how to make 
this refreshment a real banquet." 

An extract from another letter on French fashions describes 
the newest designs in fans : 

"Two ladies, eminent for fashion, have lately sported at the 
theatres a kind of fan made of a bunch of feathers like those 
fans we see in old English pictures ; they collect the air, and it 
is possible that they may become more general. Fans, how- 
ever, of the last fashion are of sandalwood, mother-of-pearl, 
horn in imitation of tortoise shell, or of ivory : they are orna- 
mented with garlands of roses, heart's-ease, lilacs, or the little 
blue flower, forget-me-not. The wreaths are painted at the top 
very near to the narrow ribbon that confines the mount- 
sticks." 

Turning over the fashion plates of 1821, we notice that the 
dresses are worn decidedly shorter again. Fluted and plaited 
trimmings of the material are used on the sleeves and also 
around the bottoms of the skirts (Figure 120). What was 
called a matted silk trimming was also very popular ; six rows 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEE1CA 155 

of it were sometimes used, about one inch apart, a little above 
the hem. Small caps were very much worn with evening 
gowns. Pelisses were still in vogue. A very pretty one is 
given in a French magazine of 1821. 

" Grey levantine pelisse trimmed down the front, round the 
border, and at the mancherons with full puffings of the same 
colour and material. The pelisse left open in front of the 
bust. Marguerite coloured satin bonnet, edged with short 
white marabouts ; and the bow of satin on the bonnet fastened 
with two rows of pearls. Plain fichu of fine India muslin 
worn under the pelisse ; slippers of grey kid ; a ridicule of 
small beads beautifully wrought, and lemon-coloured gloves." 

We hear of Nile-green as a new colour at this time, and 
Marguerite pink is repeatedly mentioned. Broad sashes of 
watered, figured, and striped ribbon were now introduced and 
became very popular. 

From a contemporary letter we take the following : " When 
the corner of the white handkerchiefs of fine lawn had only a 
little embroidery, then one of these corners served as a purse to 
the French ladies ; and after tying a knot they fastened their 
ring of keys to it. Now these handkerchiefs are so beautifully 
embroidered, that they require more management in the display 
of them ; and those fashionable dames who will not take the 
trouble of carrying a little basket or a ridicule have a silver 
purse that they fasten to their belt. 

" If the plumassiers have feathered their own nests, the 
flower-makers have also their profits. Young ladies have a 
bouquet of flowers on one side of the head, while a wreath is 
entwined among their tresses ; and every ladies' hat, bonnet, or 
cap is almost covered with flowers. 

" Expense and luxury of every kind increase ; I asked a 
young lady yesterday, who I know has very little fortune, but 



156 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

whose connections often oblige her to mix much with the gay 
world, which obligation, it must be confessed, she fulfills to 
the very letter, how much it cost her for every ball she went to, 
without reckoning her frock and slip, or indeed her jewels, 
which are most of them presents. She told me that what with 
hiring a carriage (for her parents do not keep one), the expense 
of the hair-dresser, added to other trifles, such as ornamented 
white gloves, white satin shoes, flowers for her hair, ribbons, 
some slight alteration in the fashion or the trimming of her robe, 
or a new corsage by way of change, it cost her every night she 
went to a ball or concert about one hundred and twenty francs." 

Cafe au lait was a new colour in 1822, and the favourite trim- 
ming seems to have been wadded rouleaux of satin. In Figures 
61 and 103, pictures of this trimming are given. It was in 
favour for several years and was revived about 1870, as is shown 
in Figure 315. Feather trimming was also popular. We read of 
"a black dress, trimmed with rows of feathers, much in vogue; 
the last row terminates at the knee, the spaces between the rows 
of feathers are not very wide ; the gown is made high, with a 
standing up collar, edged with feathers. Merino is much worn 
in half dress, with wadded rouleaux and braided satin trimmings 
between." 

A note from Paris in the autumn of 1822 says : " Small 
fichus, tied carelessly round the throat, are also much worn at 
dress parties ; they are of one colour, and often fastened with 
a golden arrow." 

An interesting bonnet of 1823 may be seen in the Wetherill 
Collection at Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. It is made of pink 
silk with alternate watered and figured stripes and trimmed 
with bows of pink ribbon with a satin border and evidently had 
flowers arranged in the bows at the left side. A sketch of it is 
given in Figure 272. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 157 

Three elaborate bonnets are described in a London magazine 
of the same date : " Carriage -bonnet of pink crape ornamented 
with rouleaux of pink satin, relieved by brocaded crape of the 
same colour edged with blond lace ; lappets of brocaded crape 
edged with lace take the place of strings, the back of the bonnet 
is very richly ornamented with pink satin, and the crown is in 
the toque form. 

" A walking bonnet of white sarsnet, with raised spots, 
bound and trimmed with Danish blue satin, three bouffont 
flutings of which material ornament the left side, representing 
tulip leaves on the edge of the brim ; the other side ornamented 
with full puffings edged with narrow straw plaiting. 

" Park carriage bonnet of white crape over white satin, lined 
with a fluting of broad 'blond ; the crown finished by a light 
gauze puffing, with a leaf end richly trimmed with blond. On 
the left side a full bunch of Provence roses, surmounted by a 
marabout plume of feathers." 

We read that " a new kind of hat has lately been invented, 
platted like straw ; but its fabrication is of silk. These were 
first invented to send out to the United States, where Leghorn 
hats are prohibited. Leghorn hats, with bands of straw and 
ripe ears of corn round the crown, are very popular." Why 
they were not allowed to be imported into America we have 
not been able to discover. 

Chambery gauze, a tough but shimmery material, was pop- 
ular in 1822, and was much worn also in the seventies. 
" Broad belts of leather buckled on one side " were preferred 
by many to the long sashes of ribbon. 

The bodices of the gowns were cut square behind and before, 
and they had a double tucker, one falling, and the other stand- 
ing up. A great deal of trouble was apparently taken to pro- 
duce new effects in the trimming of white dresses. Sometimes 



1820-1840 

FIGURE 118. 1825 Fashionable mourning walking dress. From a plate. 
FIGURE 119. 1820 Outdoor costume. From a plate. 
FIGURE 120. 1821 Dinner party dress. Drawn from a plate. 
FIGURE 121. Extremes of fashion in the thirties. 
FIGURE 122. 1835 A wedding dress. From a portrait. 
FIGURE 123. Extremes of fashion in the thirties. 






HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 161 

the " trimming represented branches of the acacia, the leaves 
formed by puffs or folds of muslin, the stalks embroidered in 
cotton, and the branches separated by openwork ; the em- 
broidery at the bottom of the skirt reached up to the knee ; the 
branches of acacia were made to twine round the sleeves, and a 
falling collar was worn edged with this design." 

Other cambric dresses were finished at the bottom by two 
rows of " letting-in lace." Between these rows was an em- 
broidery on the cambric of muslin leaves, the letting-in lace 
being six inches wide. An apron of cambric, it seems, was 
often worn with white dresses, trimmed with two rows of 
quilled muslin. 

Some ladies wore a dozen flounces on their dresses, about 
three fingers in depth, and scalloped at the edges. On sarsnet 
dresses narrow flounces caught up in scallops were a favourite 
ornament ; six of these flounces might be used, placed at " about 
a finger's length distance " from one another. 

Corsages of silk or satin ball dresses were covered with tulle 
and a tucker of plaited net drapery was fastened with a brooch 
as a modest covering for the bust. Barege silk dresses were 
made with long sleeves of embroidered muslin ; when the 
sleeves were short they were very full. 

A Paris correspondent recounts a very extravagant costume 
and other fashions for 1822 : " A wedding dress has lately been 
made for a very charming young lady of large fortune. It is 
of tulle embroidered in embossed daisies, which are all of seed 
pearls. A diadem for her hair is formed of five daisies in 
pearls ; this diadem is valued at thirty thousand francs. At the 
last evening's musical performance of M. Massimimo, I re- 
marked a white hat of straw, the brim of which was embroid- 
ered in white silk flat embroidery. A very full and high plume 
of marabout feathers was placed on one side. 



162 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

' Turbans are of two colours, for example : celestial blue and 
white; cherry colour and white; or pink and straw colour. 
Small Leghorn hats, a I'Arcadie, are now much worn at balls ; 
the strings hang down as low as the sash. 

" The favourite shoes are black satin, with or without sandal 
ties, according to the taste of the wearer. Lilac kid shoes are 
also very fashionable. When gaiters and English half shoes 
are worn for walking the petticoats are always very short. 

' The gloves worn with short sleeves do not come up to the 
elbow : they are very tight, but are so much rusked that they 
are only two fingers' breadth higher than the bracelet. 

"A cross with a little watch in the centre is the newest orna- 
ment in the jewelry line. Some other crosses, with a floweret be- 
tween each branch, conceal a spying-glass. A new kind of seal, 
called cachet a la roue, has lately been invented ; it is fixed to a 
wheel suspended from the watch-chain, and on different kinds 
of gems are engraved letters, so combined that the initials of 
these gems form a device. The newest bracelets are of red 
morocco fastened with a buckle." 

The principal change in the fashions for the winter season 
of 1823 was that bonnets were made of more substantial ma- 
terials, such as velvet or beaver, the latter being very much in 
favour. They were lined with coloured satin and trimmed with 
long feathers hanging down over the shoulder. The latest hats 
were of black velvet, but there was no marked change in the 
shapes, except that the brims spread out more like a fan. Hats 
were faced with a sort of silk plush and the trimming consisted 
of rosettes, half satin, half plush. 

Black velvet dresses were exceedingly fashionable for the 
winter of 1823, made very short and trimmed with flounces of 
black lace. A novel combination is described in a French 
magazine : " The dresses most in favour are of black velvet, 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 163 

made very short, and flounced with black lace ; one of these 
flounces is set on at the edge of the hem, and is of a very rich 
pattern, which is admirably displayed over a white satin dress 
worn under the velvet one, and made as much longer than the 
upper garment, as the lace is broad." 

" The materials for turbans this autumn (1823) are of the 
most effective kind, and well adapted for evening wear. Some 
are of white gossamer gauze with green and gold stripes, with 
the white spaces between slightly clouded with gold ; others are 
of a rainbow striped gauze, on a green ground powdered with 
gold ; the stripes are crimson, royal blue, green and yellow ; but 
the most superb material for the full dress turban is pactolus, 
or golden sand gauze. It combines both lightness and richness, 
and makes up beautifully ; but much care is required in not 
making it appear heavy, and none but a skillful Marchande de 
Modes can possibly pin up a turban of this material so as to give 
it a proper effect. It is peculiarly becoming to ladies with dark 
hair and eyes." 

According to all the authorities, pelisse dresses were the 
favourites for house wear. Made to clear the instep, and open- 
ing over a false petticoat trimmed to match the gown, they 
were both graceful and dignified. In Figure 62 a charming 
morning frock of this style is shown, made of fine cambric, 
beautifully embroidered by hand. The hat in the sketch is 
taken from a contemporary plate. It was worn by a Virginia 
bride, Miss Colquhoun, of Petersburg, the morning after her 
wedding in 1823. Evening dresses were made of gauze and 
trimmed with puffings of satin or net, and caught down with 
rosettes or knots of the gauze. The wedding dress of Miss 
Colquhoun, given in Figure 103, was made in this way. 

A Paris letter informs us that " at public spectacles and es- 
pecially at concerts, caps are universally worn ; these head- 



104 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

dresses have, however, undergone a change ; they are no longer 
of the Mary Stuart shape with the point on the forehead. The 
fashionable cap now is called the Clotilda cap ; it is almost a 
complete garland of musk roses, white thorn, small daisies and 
clematis, under a trimming of blond, and this full wreath lies 
between the blond and the hair and terminates at the ears. 
Dress hats are made of spotted velvet and are ornamented with 
three or five plunies, laid round the brim of the hat." 

The same correspondent continues : " A dress scarf occa- 
sionally thrown over an evening robe is much in favour ; it is 
of flame-coloured barege silk, each end ornamented with three 
black stripes and a black fringe ; some of these scarfs have the 
stripes entwined with rings of gold. 

" The fashionable furs are the fox, the white wolf of Siberia, 
and the chinchilla : the fur tippets have very long ends. The 
fur trimmed shoes are of violet or dark blue velvet ; they tie up 
the front and are finished with three large rosettes of satin 
ribbon, with short ends. . . . 

" Half-boots are again very popular for walking ; they are of 
dark blue, dark green, jean colour, or black ; and made of a new 
kind of fine morocco leather called Turkish satin. 

" A lady has lately arrived here from Louisiana, and has 
presented some of her friends with very pretty fans, made of 
feathers, which fans were fabricated in that part of America. 
They are composed of twenty-five different feathers, each seven 
inches long, ranged in a half circle, twelve belonging to the left 
wing, and twelve to the right : these feathers all turn inward ; 
and it is observed that in fixing one to the other the barbs of 
the second feather half cover those of the first, and so on to the 
twelfth. The middle feather inclines neither to one side nor 
the other, but its barbs half cover the two feathers on each side 
of it. The stalks of the feathers are all stripped to a certain 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 165 



height ; and it is these which form the sticks of the fan ; above 
and beneath each stick is a narrow ribbon the two ends of 
which, before the rosette at the extremity is formed, leave a 
loop, whereby to hang the fan on the arm, when not in use. 
The natural colour of the feathers of the different birds from 
whence they are taken, gives to the fan the appearance of a 
shell : the bowed-out part of the mount is painted with flowers 
or devices and the hollow part is held next the face." 

A gown of white cashmere embroidered in jonquil-coloured 
silk with shoes to match, is a costume described in a contempo- 
rary letter that sounds very attractive. Sleeves both short and 
long were made very full. 

The chief novelty of the year (1823) were the plaited blouses. 
In " La Belle Assemblee " is the first mention of the familial- 
garment, we have found, and we pinch ourselves to see if we can 
be awake when we read : " The new blouses are many of them 
made of clear muslin." " Nothing is thought rare that is not 
new and follow'd, yet we know that what was worn some 
twenty years ago comes into grace again." * Several times 
twenty years brought the " too prevailing " blouses into grace 
again. Parti-coloured feathers were " all the rage " in the 
last half of this year ; four plumes each of a different colour 
were often worn on one hat or bonnet. 

Although lace has never been manufactured at its best in 
this country, it is interesting to know that in 1823 a successful 
effort was made in Massachusetts. 

" Medway Lace. We examined yesterday (says the ' New 
York Statesman ') at John Nesmith & Co.'s store, Fly-market, 
two boxes of lace, manufactured at Medway, Mass., by Dean 
Walker & Co., in a singularly constructed loom, made in this 
country, from the recollection of a similar machine examined 

* Beaumont and Fletcher. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



by one of our artists in England, and who, by his genius and 
memory has thus obtained what he wished, without violating 
the law of England against the exportation of machinery. 
. . . The lace is pronounced by good judges to be of a 
superior quality, and that it will not suffer in comparison with 
the imported, made from the same material, while the price is 
stated to be much lower. The widest is very beautiful, and 
richly and tastefully wrought. We may add that it is destined 
to become very fashionable as we learn that the proprietor, on a 
late visit to Washington, was very much gratified to find a 
liberal purchaser in the lady of one of the honourable 
members of the cabinet." *. 

The chief social excitement of this year in the United 
States was the visit of La Fayette, who came as the guest of the 
nation invited by President Monroe by order of Congress. The 
coming of the great Frenchman revived the feeling of gratitude 
and friendship for France. Our people throughout the country 
exerted themselves in every way to show their appreciation of 
the aid of the French troops at Yorktown. Balls, fetes, dinners, 
parades, etc., were given in every city. In Philadelphia the 
celebration lasted for several days. A local newspaper gives 
the following account : 

"THE NATION'S GUEST 

" On Monday morning, the 4th inst, about three hundred 
children of both sexes, from the different schools in Philadel- 
phia, were arranged in the State House yard to receive General 
La Fayette: the spectacle was most beautiful and highly inter- 
esting. 

" In the evening he attended a grand ball at the theatre : 
the lobby of which was converted into a magnificent saloon, 

* Niles' Weekly Register (1823-1824). 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 167 

adorned with beautiful rose, orange and lemon trees, in full 
bearing, and a profusion of shrubbery, pictures, busts, banners 
with classical inscriptions, etc., all illuminated with a multi- 
tude of lamps. For the dancers there were two compartments, 
the house and the stage ; the upper part of the former was hung 
with scarlet drapery, studded with golden stars, while the great 
chandelier, with two additional ones, and a row of wax tapers, 
arranged over the canopy, shed down a blaze of light. The first 
and second tiers of boxes were crowded with ladies in the richest 
apparel, as spectators of the dazzling array. Beyond the pro- 
scenium the stage division wore the appearance of an Eastern 
pavillion in a garden, terminating with a view of an extended 
sea and landscape, irradiated by the setting sun, and meant to 
typify the Western world. The company began to assemble 
soon after seven o'clock, and consisted of two thousand 
or more persons, of whom 600 or 700 were invited strangers. 
Twenty-two hundred tickets had been issued. No disorder 
occurred in the streets, with the arrival and departure 
of the carriages, which formed a line along the adjoining 
squares. 

" General La Fayette appeared at nine o'clock and was re- 
ceived at the door by the managers of the ball. He was con- 
ducted the whole length of the apartments through an avenue 
formed by the ladies to the bottom of the stage, where Mrs. 
Morris, Governor Shulze, and the Mayor waited to greet him 
in form : the full band playing an appropriate air during his 
progress. As soon as he was seated, the dancers were called, and 
at least four hundred were immediately on the floor. The danc- 
ing did not cease until near five o'clock, though the company be- 
gan to retire about three. At twelve, one of the managers, from 
an upper box, proclaimed a toast ' to the nation's guest,' which 
was hailed with enthusiasm and accompanied by the descent 



1840-1848 

FIGURE 124. 1847 Bonnet of shirred white satin with panache of ostrich 
tips. From the collection of Miss Dutihl, in Memorial Hall, Phila- 
delphia. 

FIGURE 125. 1840 Plain straw boimet trimmed with brown ribbon. 
From a plate. 

FIGURE 126. 1848 Bouuet of dove-coloured satin with pale pink and 
green-figured ribbou. From Miss Dutihl' B collection, in Memorial 
Hall, Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 127. 1845 House dress of mousseline de livine. Hair in Polish 
braids. From a Daguerreotype. 

FIGURE 128. 1840 Walking costume showing lingerie bodice and silk 
scarf with Roman stripes. From a plate. 

FIGURE 129. 1843 Dress of grey satin with black lace scarf. Worn in 
Boston. 

FIGURE 130. 1848 Bouuet of pink uncut velvet trimmed with silk fringe 
and a band of braided velvet of the same colour. Miss Dutihl's collec- 
tion, in Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 131. 1840 Bonnet of white ribbed silk. Bloud veil with pink 
ribbons. Small pink flowers inside the brim. Miss Dutihl's collec- 
tion, Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 132. 1845 Quilted hood of ruby silk. Memorial Hall, Phila- 
delphia. 




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HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 171 



of a banner from the ceiling. Behind this was suddenly dis- 
played a portrait of the general, with allegorical figures." * 

We are told that as each guest was presented to the Marquis 
de La Fayette, he bowed with much grace of manner and said 
in very careful English : " How do you do? " 

Speaking of the ball given to General La Fayette in Baltimore 
a few nights afterwards, the same paper says : " It was the 
grandest entertainment of the kind ever witnessed in this city, 
both as regards the style and taste of the decorations and the 
brilliant and elegant appearance of the company, which was far 
more numerous than usually assembled here on such occasions. 
When the music for the dancing ceased, the military band of 



the first rifle regiment played the most pleasing and fashionable 
airs. . . . Just before the ladies of the first tables retired, 
General La Fayette requested permission to give the following 
toast, which was received in a manner that reflected credit on 
the fair objects of it : ' The Baltimore ladies the old gratitude 
of a young soldier mingles with the respectful sense of new 
obligation conferred on a veteran.' The ladies rose and saluted 
the general, and the sensation and effect is not to be described ; 
when he sat down there was a burst of applause from all the 
gentlemen present." 

" See the proud eagle now with folded plume 
The form and temper of the dove assume : 
Now free to soar through his own native skies, 
Nor vengeful beak, nor toiling wing he plies, 
But all his struggles o'er, his wrongs redress' d, 
He bends to greet a friend, his country's guest." t 

We are so fortunate as to be able to give a picture in Figure 
142 of a ball dress actually worn at this important function by 
Miss Amanda Nace. A badge, with the head of the dis- 

* Kites' Weekly Register (1824-1325). t 



172 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

tinguished guest on a white silk ribbon edged with gold fringe, 
will be seen on the breast. The dress itself is of white cham- 
bery gauze and the trimming a deep pink gauze piped with 
white satin. The costume is complete all but the gloves, about 
which an interesting anecdote has been related to me by Miss 
Bittinger, a granddaughter of the owner of the gown, to whom 
I am also indebted for the picture. The head of La Fayette 
was stamped on the back of each glove, and as the old courtier 
bent over the hand of the wearer to imprint thereon a kiss in 
the old style, he recognized his own likeness, and with a few 
graceful words to the effect that he did not care to kiss himself, 
he made a very low bow, and the lady passed on. 

As La Fayette went through the streets of Washington on the 
day of his arrival, a woman dressed to represent Fame recited 
the following lines : 

' ' Take this wreath, the badge of glory, 

Which thou hast so nobly won, 
La Fayette shall live in story, 
With the name of WASHINGTON. 

" Warriors known by devastation, 

Who have filled the world with fears, 
Never gained my approbation, 
When their wreaths were stained with tears. 

" But thou, a suitor, far more true, 

Has courted me with winning wiles, 
As thy desert, I give to you 
The crown of laurel, deck'd with smiles." 

Less bombastic, but certainly more touching, was the presen- 
tation of a ring containing Washington's hair which was made 
at Mount Vernon with this address : " The ring has ever been 
an emblem of the union of hearts, from the earliest ages of the 
world, and this will unite the affections of all the Americans to 
the person and posterity of La Fayette now and hereafter ; and 



HISTOKIG DEESS IN AMEEICA 173 

when your descendants of a distant day shall behold this valued 
relic, it will remind them of the heroic virtues of their illus- 
trious sire, who received it, not in the palaces of princes, or amid 
the pomp and vanities of life, but at the laurelled grave of 
Washington." 

From 1825 to 1835, the leg-of-mutton sleeves were undoubt- 
edly the most striking article of woman's dress. It is not known 
who invented these sleeves or gave them the name which so 
well describes their shape, but like most popular fashions they 
increased in size until they became absolutely grotesque. 
Almost as much material was required to make a pair of fash- 
ionable sleeves as for the skirt of the gown, although the latter 
was more voluminous than it had been for many years. Like 
the hooped skirts and panniers of George IV's time, the sleeves 
took up so much room that it was necessary for the wearer to 
go through an ordinary door sideways. A contemporary says 
of this fashion that walking behind a pair of these sleeves one 
could always hear a curious creaking sound made as they 
rubbed together at the back. 

The picture of a large Leghorn hat of this period is given in 
Figure 273. The brim is cut at the back and caught up with a 
large bow of white ribbon. A rosette is placed over the right 
ear, and the strings tie under the chin. This style of hat was 
fashionable from 1825 to 1830. Our illustration is copied from 
an oViginal hat in the Wetherill Collection at Memorial Hall, 
Philadelphia. 

Bonnets and hats were very much alike and stood up 
around the face. Fur boas and lace scarfs were in great favour, 
and the hair was arranged in curls on the temples. 

"Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare." 
In a letter of invitation (1827) from Mrs. Mason of Washing- 



17-t HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

ton to Miss Chew of Philadelphia, which we are courteously 
permitted to quote, is the following advice about the dresses she 
should bring with her for the visit : 

" Let your dress for the wedding be as simple as you please. 
The same dress you wore to E. Tucker's wedding will be much 
handsomer than any you will find here. Virginia will wear a 
white crape trimmed with large white satin rouleaux over white 
satin, the same dress that she has worn at all the parties 

she has attended this winter, and T will wear a plain bobi- 

net trimmed with a lace flounce she has worked for herself. I 
shall wear my white satin which is still decent. Nobody here 
will make dress a matter of moment, and your wardrobe will 
pass unnoticed and unobserved unless you bring anything very 
extravagant. The prettiest dress you can wear at the grand 
occasion will be a white book-muslin trimmed with a wreath 
of white flowers, or with three rows of plain bobinet quilled 
double through the middle." 

In Figure 63 and in the initial on page 141 pictures of 
two costumes worn by Miss Chew are given, but the date is 
earlier than this visit to Washington. One is a short dancing 
frock of white crape over a slip of white satin, trimmed with 
white roses with tinsel leaves. The other is a beautifully em- 
broidered India muslin made with a high bodice, long sleeves 
which fall over the hand, and a very long train. 

It is interesting to know that Miss Chew made the journey 
in her father's coach, travelling from the historic house of Chief 
Justice Chew, Cliveden, near Philadelphia, to Washington in 
three days. 

A charming little gown of pale blue gauze trimmed with 
satin of the same shade is given in Figure 64. It is taken from 
a print of 1828. 

Figure 61 shows an opera costume, cloak of silk and hat of 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 175 

black velvet trimmed with white ostrich plumes. The dress is 
copied from one of white satin brocade which was worn in Phil- 
adelphia in 1829. 

Another dress of this period is pictured in Figure 73. It is 
of a rich yellow brocade and was worn in Philadelphia by Miss 
Mary Brinton about 1829. The trimming is all made of the 
material of the gown. The head in the sketch is copied from a 
contemporary portrait. 

Dress does not seem to have been made a matter of moment 
in the histrionic thought of that time, for we read that Fanny 
Kemble, the idol of the English stage, on which she made her 
debut in 1829, represented Juliet in a fashionable ball dress of 
white satin with a long train, short sleeves and low bodice, a 
girdle of paste brilliants being the only theatrical property of 
the costume. 

At the time of Jackson's election (1829), party spirit ran 
high in American politics. His lady partisans were to be dis- 
tinguished by dresses and aprons of calico imprinted in great 
medallions with the very unhandsome head of their hero. 
Specimens of the Jackson calico may be seen in the Historical 
Society at Newport, Rhode Island. This whim of fashion re- 
calls to mind the eighteen tucks in the white dresses of Louis 
XVIII's adherents in 1815, and the bunches of violets worn by 
the admirers of Napoleon at the same time. 

On the occasion of Jackson's inauguration, we read of a 
gorgeous costume of scarlet velvet, richly trimmed with gold 
embroidery, worn by Mrs. Bomford ; a " large ruby, for which 
Colonel Bomford had refused five thousand dollars," in her tur- 
ban. 

It was at this period that Miss Harriet Martineau made her 
celebrated visit to the United States and was feted and enter- 
tained a great deal in Washington. Having been invited to 



176 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

spend a " sociable day " with a lady who probably thought that 
form of hospitality would be more enjoyable than a dinner 
party to the distinguished visitor on account of her deafness, 
Miss Martineau and her companion, Miss Jeffrey, arrived quite 
early and were shown to a bedroom to take off their " bonnets 
and long capes." 

" You see," remarked Miss Martineau to her hostess, " we 
have complied with your request and come sociably to spend the 
day. We have been walking all the morning and our lodgings 
are too distant to return there, so we have done as those who 
have no carriages do in England when they go out to spend the 
day." 

" I offered her," observed her hostess, " combs and brushes, 
but having one enormous pocket in her French dress, she as- 
sured me that they were provided with all that was necessary 
and pulled out nice little silk shoes, silk stockings, scarf for her 
neck, lace mits, a gold chain and some other jewelry, and soon 
without changing her dress was prettily equipped for dinner or 
evening company." * 

This is the first record we find of a pocket in a gown, but we 
hope it was not without precedent in America. 

The hats were almost as remarkable as the sleeves as will be 
seen in the illustrations of this period. Figure 274 shows a 
very quaint specimen in the Wetherill collection. It is made 
of sage green taffeta with a cross-bar of salmon pink, and is 
corded and bound with pink satin ribbon. The date given is 
1829. 

The Cabriolet bonnets shown in Figures 240, 241 and 244 
were named for the fashionable carriage of the day. Both of 
these novelties were adopted by the eccentric Lady Morgan in 
1829. In a recent memoir we read : 

* First Forty Years of Washington Society, by Mrs. Samuel Harrison Smith. 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 177 

" It was never known where this vehicle was bought, except 
that Lady Morgan declared it came from the first carriage- 
builder in London. In shape it was like a grasshopper, as well 
as in colour. Very high and very springy, with enormous 
wheels, it was difficult to get into, and dangerous to get out of. 
Sir Charles, who never in his life before had mounted a coach- 
box, was persuaded by his wife to drive his own carriage. He 
was extremely short-sighted, and wore large green spectacles out- 
of-doors. His costume was a coat much trimmed with fur, and 
heavily braided. James Grant, the tall Irish footman, in the 
brightest of red plush, sat beside him, his office being to jump 
down whenever anybody was knocked down, or run over, for 
Sir Charles drove as it pleased God. The horse was mercifully 
a very quiet animal, and much too small for the carriage, or the 
mischief would have been worse. Lady Morgan, in the large 
bonnet of the period, and a cloak lined with fur hanging over 
the back of the carriage, gave, as she conceived, the crowning 
grace to a neat and elegant turn-out." * 

A contributor to the " National Recorder " in 1829 paid a 
graceful tribute to women, saying : 

" The history of woman is the history of the improvements 
in the world. Some twenty or thirty years ago, when manual 
labour performed all the drudgery, some five, six or seven yards 
of silk or muslin or gingham would suffice for the flitting and 
flirting of the most gay and volatile of the sex. But as soon as 
the powers of steam are applied, and labour is changed from 
physical to intellectual, the ladies, in their charitable regard for 
the operative class of the community, begin to devise means for 
their continued employment, and as the material is produced 
with half the labour, the equilibrium must be sustained by con- 
suming a double quantity." 

* Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Centnry. 



1834-1860 
FIGURE 133. 1834 Hair in high bow knot. From a portrait of Miss 

Lander. 

FIGURE 134. Evening dress in the forties. From a plate. 
FIGURE 135. 1850 House dress. From a portrait of Miss Gary. 
FIGURE 136. Extremes of fashion in the forties. From a plate. 
FIGURE 137. Street costumes in the forties. 
FIGURE 138. 1850 Graceful arrangement of hair. From a portrait of 

Empress Eugenie. 

FIGURE 139. Evening dress in the forties. From a plate. 
FIGURE 140. 1860 The fashionable " waterfall" of 1860 and after. From 

a portrait of Miss Lane. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 181 

This is certainly a charitable view to take of the new fashion 
of very full skirts and leg-of-mutton sleeves. An elaborate 
style of hair-dressing came in at that time, which met with ap- 
proval on the same grounds. 

" I knew of one lady who, for the same reason, sported a 
large head of puffs and curls, to prove that she not only encour- 
aged but engaged in the support of domestic productions. It 
does seem peculiarly hard that, while the ladies are thus carry- 
ing their principles into practice, even at the expense of their 
loveliness, they should have to encounter the sarcasm and the 
ridicule of the other sex. Let us hope that they will not be dis- 
couraged in their endeavours by such mean and inconsiderate 
abuse. They may be assured that there are those who duly esti- 
mate their motives and principles and who respect them accord- 
ingly." 

We do not notice any marked change in riding habits in the 
twenties, but riding was still the fashionable exercise and we 
read that Fanny Kemble in 1829 wore a suit of brown cloth 
with a red waistcoat. 



Women's Dress 

1830-1840 

" Every generation laugha at the old fashion 
But follows religiously the new." 

THOREAU. 

HERE were not any very marked changes in 
1830 in the style and cut of gowns. Al- 
though the skirts were somewhat fuller than 
they had been, they were still worn short, 
and elaborately trimmed, and were gathered 
at the waist into a band, which was hidden 
under a belt made broader than in the 
previous year and fastened with a buckle 
in front (Figure 93). 

For house wear the shoulders were usu- 
ally uncovered, the bodices being finished with a tucker or frill 
of lace. Out-of-doors little capes or pelerines, either matching 
the dress or of a contrasting colour, were worn (Figures 90 
and 94). 

Cushions, which were fastened in the tops of sleeves to pro- 
duce the desired effect, were made larger and larger. The 
sketch of a pair of these sleeve-extenders, made of brown 
cambric and filled with down, is given in Figure 82. They be- 
long to the Museum of the School of Industrial Art in Phila- 
delphia. With this order of dress waists looked proportionately 
slender. Deep collars, sometimes of plain linen but generally 

182 




HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 183 

of lace or needlework embroidery turned down round the neck, 
contributed to the broad effect. Scarfs of cacheniire, silk or 
luce were worn universally. 

Hats or bonnets still were of the Cabriolet shape, faced with 
a contrasting silk, and trimmed with large ribbon bows, and 
wide strings tying under the chin (Figures 87 and 123). The 
crowns were high and sloped upwards when on the head. In 
Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, may be seen a bonnet of 1830 
made of white silk gauze straw, trimmed with white gauze rib- 
bon with pale yellow and green figures. A sketch of this bon- 
net is given in Figure 276 and in Figure 293 a picture of a 
Quaker bonnet of white silk of about the same date, shows 
a modest adaptation of the fashion from 1830-1840. This 
bonnet is also in the valuable collection at Memorial Hall. 
Feathers were still worn, many bonnets being almost overladen 
with plumes. A wit of the day said of Lady Cork, then over 
eighty years old, that she resembled " a shuttlecock, for she 
was all cork and feathers." 

In 1830 fashion dictated that the hair should be worn high, 
and very high it continued throughout that period. This was 
undoubtedly the ugliest style of hair-dressing ever introduced 
and could hardly have been becoming to any one, but the 
coquettish bow-knots and rosettes all made of hair would have 
been particularly inappropriate in grey, and the use of hair dye 
became very popular (Figures 73, 83, 121 and 133). Fur boas 
were in vogue at this time and low thin slippers still pre- 
vailed for all occasions. 

A letter written about this time points a moral on the sub- 
ject of dyeing the hair. 

" A young lady, a friend of mine residing in the same house, 
found, to her utter dismay, that her hair was becoming grizzled. 
It was a terrible misfortune, as she had really a fine head of 



184 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

hair, and false curls were not, at that time, much worn ; so she 
had no need or excuse for substituting other hair for her own, 
except that ugly one, growing grey. . . . She purchased, 
at a very high price, a bottle of ' Imperial Hair Restorer' I 
think it was called, or some such sounding name ' warranted 
to give the hair a beautiful glossy appearance, and restore it to 
its pristine colour without failure or danger.' The restorative 
was plentifully applied and in two days' time the curls of the 
young lady, where the grey hairs had chiefly obtruded, were 
changed to an equivocal hue, bearing a near resemblance to the 
dark changeable green of the peacock's feathers. The only 
truth of the restorative was its glossy qualities. The hair of 
the unfortunate young lady was glossy enough, and stiff as 
bristles. I cannot even now, though several years have passed, 
think of the ludicrous appearance of that patent coloured hair, 
and the mirth it created in our little coterie, without laughing 
heartily." 

From the " Lady's Magazine," we give an elaborate full 
dress : " The skirt is of blond gauze. The sleeves and flounce 
are richly figured with a pattern in white ; but the bouquets 
embroidered above the deep flounce are in the most delicate 
shades of French blond. The corsage is of white satin, made 
plain and tight to the shape both in the back and front. The 
short beret sleeves, beneath those of white gauze, are of white 
satin, and exceedingly full. The long sleeves narrow a little 
towards the wrist, but were never made fuller at the top. The 
belt is of plain satin, corded at the edges. The hem of the 
white satin dress appears below the flounce ; it is very much 
puffed, so as to give a great richness to the finish of the costume. 
The arrangement of the hair is new and beautiful, braids are 
wound over one high bow, with two folds. A delicate silver 
sprig is the sole ornament of the head, excepting a long silk 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 185 

scarf, which is gathered slightly on the top of the bows of 
the hair and falls on each side nearly as low as the knees. The 
head-dress is called en barbe. Necklace, earrings and bracelets 
of wrought silver and gold. Bouquet of spring flowers." 

This odd arrangement of bow-knots and puffs of hair, 
which we notice in many of the contemporary portraits, 
was obviously very difficult to adjust without artificial aid. In 
Figure 83 we give the picture of a cluster of curls of false hair 
fastened to a comb, showing an easy way of surmounting the 
difficulty. It is copied from the original article in the School 
of Industrial Art, in Philadelphia. 

Another fashionable coiffure is given in the following de- 
scription of a ball dress : " Hair braided with gold beads, in 
Grecian bands, and a low coronet and large knot, ornamented 
with plumes or silver barley, a la Ceres. Dress of white gauze 
lisse, gathered in front of the corsage with full loose folds. 
Underdress of deep rose-coloured satin d la Reine. The 
epaulettes and the bottom of the lisse robe are cut into square 
dents. The upper dress is looped up on the left side to the 
knees, <5 la Taglioni, with bouquets of gold barley. The rose- 
coloured satin skirt is finished with a border of full puffs at the 
feet. Long white kid gloves, fan embossed with gold ; necklace 
of gold medallions." 

And here is another description of hair arrangement for 
evening dress : " The hair is banded a la Greque, small knot on 
the crown, from which depend a number of ringlets a la Sevigne, 
and is ornamented with a small crown of field flowers. Dress of 
crape over a slip of satin a la Reine ; corsage a la Roxalane, 
over which fall very pretty reveres and epaulettes of satin. 
The skirt is ornamented with a wreath of cut ribbands a la 
Taglioni, fastened on the right with a few large satin leaves and 
ends and a bunch of minute field flowers." 



186 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

We read of many new materials and colours. A pelisse is 
described of gros de Tours in bleu de Berry, embroidered down 
the front, which opened part way showing the underdress. It 
was close-fitting and finished with a double pelerine embroidered 
to match the fronts. The sleeves were finished with a plain 
tight cuff also embroidered. With this was worn a gros de 
Naples bonnet, the colour "a new shade of vapeur," trimmed 
with knots and bows of pink gauze ribbon. These materials 
and colours are probably known to-day by different and less 
fanciful names. 

The following dress, which sounds unusually pretty, is 
described in a contemporary magazine : 

" Evening Dress. A straw-coloured crape dress over a gros 
de Naples slip to match. Corsage cut low and square, and 
trimmed with a falling tucker of blonde de Cambray. Beret 
sleeve, finished en manchette, with the same sort of lace ; a noeud 
of gauze ribband, to correspond in colour, is placed in front of 
the arm. The skirt is trimmed with a flounce of blonde de 
Cambray, headed by a cluster of narrow rouleaux of satin to 
match the dress. The trimming is raised a little on the left 
side, and finished with a single flower with buds and foliage. 
With this is worn a crape hat of a darker shade than the dress. 
The brim faced with gauze ribband. The crown trimmed with 
white feathers placed in different directions ; some are passed 
through openings made in the brim, and partially shade it. 
The jewelry worn with this dress should be a mixture of gold 
and pearls." 

Here is another Evening Dress. "A changeable gros de 
Naples; the colours blue shot with white. The corsage is cut 
very low, fits close to the shape, and is ornamented in front of 
the bust in the fan style with satin rouleaux to correspond with 
the dress. A trimming of rich fringe, the head of which is 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 187 

composed of beads and the remaining part of chenille, goes 
round the bust. The ceinture fastens behind in a rosette with a 
richly-wrought gold clasp in the centre. Beret sleeves, the 
shortest we have seen." 

Two pretty dresses are described by a contemporary London 
correspondent in 1830 : 

" Ball Dress. White blond gauze over a pale pink satin 
slip ; from a blush rose on each shoulder a pink ribbon is 
draped and caught under another blush rose above the centre of 
a pink satin belt. The skirt is trimmed with blush roses, joined 
by a loop of pink satin above the hem. The hair is arranged in 
large Madonna curls, which are somewhat drawn up and height- 
ened by a wreath of blush roses with leaves. 

" Dinner and Carriage Dress. Hat of rice straw, trimmed 
with bunches of pink azalea. Ribbons of light green, shaded 
a milks rayes, the stripes very minute, and shot with white. 
The dress is of soft gros de Naples of prismatic rose colour, the 
lights of which are bright lilac. Many other varieties of colour 
in shot silk are used, but this is a favourite. The corsage is 
made with large horizontal plaits, confined up the front with a 
band. The shoulders are trimmed with three falls of silk, the 
edges worked in loose floss silk into small points ; these falls 
are seen one below the other, and narrow until they meet in 
front under the belt, which is broad and made of the same 
material as the dress. The sleeves are full at top, and are 
plaited under a band at the elbow and to correspond at the 
wrist." 

An issue of the " Lady's Book " (1830) announced the 
following : 

" Fashions for October. A frock of changeable gros de zane, 
the body plain behind and full in front, worn occasionally with 
a pelerine of the same ; the frill of which is very deep and full 



1824-1835 

FIGURE 141. 1824 Gentleman in court dress trimmed with gold lace ; 
blue coat, white trousers and waistcoat. From a contemporary plate. 

FIGURE 142. 1825 Dress of white satin trimmed with cerise gauze, worn 
at a ball given for La Fayette at Baltimore in 1825. On the back of 
each glove was painted a head of the distinguished visitor to match the 
badge worn on the left breast. This interesting costume was worn by 
Miss Amanda Nace. 

FIGURE 143. 1826 Gentleman in top-coat of drab cloth and hat of black 
beaver. From an old print. Head from a portrait of 1826. 

FIGURE 144. 1829 White gauze dress with satin stripes, worn in Phila- 
delphia by Miss Elizabeth Smith in 1829. Head copied from a coo- 
temporary portrait. 

FIGURE 145. 1830 A summer walking dress of embroidered muslin with 
trimmings of blue ribbon. Taken from a plate of 1830. 

FIGURE 146. 1835 Gentleman in street dress of 1835 ; brown coat and 
waistcoat and drab trousers. Taken from a print of that date. 

FIGURE 147. 1833 Eepresents a lady in a figured chintz morning dress, 
from a print of this date. The apron of blue silk was worn in Phila- 
delphia about this time. 

FIGURE 148. 1830 Gentleman in walking dress of 1830, with green suit 
and drab-coloured hat. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 1!1 

at the shoulders, becoming gradually narrower and plainer as it 
descends to the belt. The skirt of this dress is made extremely 
wide, and is set on the body with five plaits only, one in front, 
one on each side, and two behind : these plaits are of course 
very large. The bottom of the skirt is finished with a thick 
cord sewed into the hem. The sleeves are very wide, till they 
reach the elbow, and fit tightly to the lower part of the arm. 
The ruffle round the neck and hands is of plain bobinet quill- 
ing. Bonnet of Dunstable straw trimmed with a band, and 
strings of broad pink satin ribbon. Large scarlet shawl of 
embroidered Canton crape." 

Mrs. Hale, in the " Lady's Magazine," gives advice on the 
subject of corsets : 

" Corsets should be made of smooth soft elastic materials. 

" They should be accurately fitted and modified to suit the 
peculiarities of figure of each wearer. 

" No other stiffening should be used but that of quilting, or 
padding; the bones, steel, etc., should be left to the deformed 
and the diseased for whom they were originally intended. 

" Corsets should never be drawn so tight as to impede regular 
natural breathing, as, under all circumstances, the improvement 
of figure is insufficient to compensate for the air of awkward 
restraint caused by such lacing. 

" They should never be worn, either loose or tight, during 
the hours appropriate to sleep, as by impeding respiration and 
accumulating the heat of the system improperly, they invariably 
injure. 

"The corset for young persons should be of the most simple 
character, and worn in the lightest and easiest manner, allowing 
their lungs full play, and giving the form its fullest opportunity 
for expansion." 

The extreme of fashion was not always adopted in America 



192 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

In Figure 86 we give a sketch of a simple costume of brown 
taffeta with leg-of-mutton sleeves of modern dimensions which 
was worn in Philadelphia in 1830. The hair is arranged in a 
simple but dignified coil of braids copied from a contemporary 
portrait. An illustration of a bonnet of this period (1830) of 
moderate size is given in Figure 275. It is made of fancy 
Tuscan straw and trimmed with white ribbon, and belongs to 
the Wetherill collection at Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 

Riding has always been a favourite form of exercise in Eng- 
land and considered an essential part of a young lady's educa- 
tion. Undoubtedly it was an Englishman who penned the fol- 
lowing tribute : 

" How melts my beating heart as I behold 
Each lovely nymph, our island's boast and pride, 
Push on the generous steed that sweeps along 
O'er rough, o'er smooth, nor heeds the steepy hill, 
Nor falters in the extended vale below." 

But it was by no means a lost art on this side of the Atlantic 
and was probably only less in vogue in the large cities. At this 
period of the thirties, habits as well as hats were more severe in 
outline, and rather conspicuous for the absence of trimmings. 
Not only were they more suitable for their purpose than the 
equestrian fashions of the early part of the century, but infi- 
nitely more becoming with their short jackets outlining the 
waist. Figure 116 represents a habit from a plate of 1830', in 
which the effect of the mannish hat is softened by a flowing 
veil. Perhaps it was the change of fashion which inspired the 
following lines : 

" Her dress, her shape, her matchless grace 
Were all observed, as well as heavenly face." 

In the reign of William IV we read of the Marchioness of 
Salisbury, a prominent personage of the time, that she was a 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 193 



fearless horsewoman, and hunted with the Hatfield hounds in 
1831, riding hard and clearing fences as ardently as any sports- 
man in the field, clad in " a habit of light blue cloth with a 
black velvet collar and a jockey cap ; " and that when she was 
an old lady of eighty years and very feeble, she had herself 
strapped into her saddle, and ambled up and down Hyde Park 
in the midst of the moving throng. Locker, in his verses on 
" Rotten Row," laments : 

"But where is now the courtly troop 
That once rode laughing by 1 
I miss the curls of Cantilupe 
The smile of Lady Di." 

Specimens of the very large bonnets worn in 1830-40 are 
given in Figures 87, 123, and 276 ; also in the initial on page 182. 

Shawls were so much worn at that time, both genuine India 
cachemire and imitations thereof made in France, that it may 
be of interest to readers to know something of their manufac- 
ture and the origin of the strange names of the different varie- 
ties, for like the oriental rugs each design had a symbolic 
meaning. 

"Not a vanity is given in vain." 

According to an article on the manufacture of cachemire 
shawls, nearly " 5,000 people were employed in making them 
in 1831. About three weavers were kept at work in each shop, 
and when the pattern was especially fine they could not make 
more than a quarter of an inch a day, so that the most elabo- 
rate shawls were made in pieces. The weaver was seated on a 
bench and a child placed a little below him with its eyes fixed 
on the pattern, who every time the frame was turned told the 
Aveaver the colours wanted. The wages of first-rate workmen 
were from four to five pence, and the child labour it is to be 



194 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

feared counted for nothing. The pattern familiar to us as the 
palm-leaf is not a palm of the desert, but the cypress, the 
lover's tree among the orientals, which is sculptured on the 
ruins of the palace of Persepolis exactly as it is figured on the 
shawl borders. The cypress adorns the border of a shawl, even 
as the tree itself overshadows the bank of a stream ; and is con- 
sidered by the Easterns as the image of religion and moral free- 
dom, as Saadi has expressed in verse: 

" ' Be thou fruitful as the palm, or be 

At least as the dark cypress, high aud free,' 

because its branches never incline to the earth, but all shoot up- 
ward towards heaven. 

" The original meaning of the wreaths and bunches of flow- 
ers woven in the middle of the square shawl pieces, and which 
so greatly enhance their value, is full of significance. The 
Turkish and Persian name of these shawls is Boghdscha ; the 
origin of the word is, however, neither Turkish nor Persian, but 
Indian, from Pudscha, which means a flower offering. When 
the season of the year will not afford the flowers which the 
Hindoos offer to their gods, the women spread out shawls, in the 
middle of which the embroidered basket of flowers supplies the 
place of fresh blossoms ; on this they kneel, as do the Moslems 
on the little carpets which exhibit a representation of the altar 
in the holy temple of Mecca, towards which they turn when 
they pray. The Boghdscha, or square shawl, with the flower- 
basket in the centre, may here take precedence of the other 
kinds, from the superiority of its original destination, rather 
than from its commercial value; for, in this respect, it is usually 
surpassed by the long scarf shawls, which are commonly de- 
nominated Risajii. A third class of shawls are woven without 
flowers or borders and are generally made into dresses by the 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 195 

women ; these are called Toulik. In the shops and warehouses 
where the shawls are first sold, they are called Kaschmiri or 
Lahori, according as they are the produce of Kaschmire or 
Lahor. The imitations of them, whether they come from Bag- 
dad, Paris, or London, are all called Taklid, i. e., imitations. 
The workshops of Kaschmire have very lately produced some 
splendid shawls, which are always marked with the word new- 
tash, signifying new-fashioned. The patterns of these represent 
banners, pinnacles, chains, peacock's feathers, etc. ; they are de- 
nominated in Persian, Alemdar (containing banners) ; Kun- 
keredar (containing pinnacles) ; Koeschedar (having corners if 
the corners are ornamented) ; Lilsiledar (containing chains) ; 
Peri-taus (peacock-winged) ; etc. These denominations are fre- 
quently worked on the shawls with coloured silk ; the name of 
the manufacturer is also generally inscribed on them, and very 
often the epithets of God ; as, O preserver ! O protector ! be a 
blessing granted to us ! and single letters, which form the word 
Ahmed, or Mohammed, or some talismanic word with the ad- 
dition of Allah, Allah, ' the highest, the highest ' (of the best 
quality)." 

" I long not for rich silks or satins, 
My mind is contented with the schal and woollen stuff,' 

is the illustration given in the Persian Dictionary for the word 
shawl. 

A decided change in the style of dressing the hair is 
noticed in 1832. " The low Grecian arrangement in the severe 
classic taste of the antique, is universally adopted by ladies 
whose profile will admit of this often most becoming style. 
Coronets of pearls, cameos, or flowers are worn very low on the 
brow. Gold beads or pearls are woven with the braided hair. 
The high gallery shell combs are now considered vulgar. In 



196 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

place of carved shell combs, gold combs, on which four or 
five classic cameos are arranged en couronne, are worn in full 
dress." 

An English contemporary authority says : " The last week 
has produced a novelty in evening dress, the adoption of 
natural flowers for the hair. Wires are made to support them 
invisibly. The flowers, which are not wreathed in the hair till 
the moment of departure for the ball or soiree, are found to 
retain their freshness during several hours. This fashion has 
been revived from the last century, when little vases were made 
on purpose to contain a few drops of water, and were hid 
among the hair, with the stalks of the flowers inserted in 
them." * 

Another style of hair-dressing which was probably more 
generally becoming, as it remained in fashion much longer, 
was a Grecian knot worn high in the back, the front hair 
parted and arranged in soft curls on the temples. (See Figures 
72 and 230.) 

Black velvet came into fashion for trimmings, for belts, and 
for wristlets, in 1832, and has been more or less in favour ever 
since. We read, too, of sleeves made plain to the elbow and 
very full above. 

It was in 1832 that Mrs. Trollope visited the United States 
and on her return to England published an ill-natured book 
entitled " Domestic Manners of the Americans." She dwells 
at length on the unhappy partiality for false hair, forgetting 
that the fashion prescribed in Paris was exceedingly popular 
in London. Her remarks are shrewd, however, and sometimes 
amusing, for instance : " Though the expense of the lady's dress 
greatly exceeds, in proportion to their general style of living, 
that of the ladies of Europe, it is very far (excepting in Phila- 

* Royal Lady's Magazine. 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 197 

delphia) from being in good taste. They do not consult the 
seasons in the colours or in the style of their costume ; I have 
often shivered at seeing a young beauty picking her way 
through the snow with a pale rose-coloured bonnet, set on the 
very top of her head. I knew one young lady whose pretty 
little ear was actually frost-bitten from being thus exposed. 
They never wear muffs or boots, and appear extremely shocked 
at the sight of comfortable walking shoes and cotton stockings, 
even when they have to step to their sleighs over ice and snow. 
They walk in the middle of winter with their poor little toes 
pinched into a miniature slipper, incapable of excluding as 
much moisture as might bedew a primrose. I must say in 
their excuse, however, that they have, almost universally, 
extremely pretty feet. They do not walk well, nor, in fact, do 
they ever appear to advantage when in movement. I know 
not why this should be, for they have abundance of French 
dancing-masters among them, but somehow or other it is the 
fact." 

In Figure 75 is a specimen of fashion in America in 1832. 
The original dress from which the sketch was made is a beauti- 
ful shade of blue-green taffeta trimmed with folds of itself. 
The cape and long undersleeves could be taken off indoors, 
but were always worn in the street. It belonged to a belle of 
the thirties, noted for her graceful carriage. The bonnet, 
copied from a print of 1833, is of white chip trimmed with 
white satin and pale pink daisies. The dress apron in Figure 
89 belonged to the same lady and was worn in 1833. It is 
made of old gold satin, embroidered in flowers of all colours ; 
roses of pink chiffon, pansies of arasene (or chenille), small 
roses of chiffon, forget-me-nots (pink and blue) and jonquils of 
chiffon, green stems and leaves of arasene, and other small 
flowers of chiffon. 



1850-1857 
FIGURE 149. 1850 Dress of grey barege with bonnet of fancy straw 

trimmed with white ribbon. 

FIGURE 150. 1850 Back of bonnet in Figure 149. 
FIGURE 152. 1851 Mrs. Bloomer in the costume she invented. 
FIGURE 153. 1857 Caricature of the fashions from " Punch," showing 

hoop-skirt made of reeds and muslin. 
FIGURE 154. 1855 Hoop-skirt of steel wires covered with webbing. 

Worn in Philadelphia 1850-1855. 
FIGURE 155. 1850 Basque of pink silk with a Chine stripe of roses, 

trimmed with pink and white fringe and bows of ribbon to match. 
FIGURE 156. 1850 Back view of pink cashmere peignoir in Figure 271. 

Cap from contemporary print. 




J52 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 201 

A charming old bonnet of 1833 is preserved in the Dutihl 
collection at Memorial Hall, made of white point d' esprit over 
white silk, with trimmings of white ribbon with a satin spot 
and a loop edge. The crown is stiff and the brim is formed of 
slender wires and lined with sarsnet. A picture of this bonnet 
is given in Figure 278. 

White satin was still a favourite material for evening dresses 
in 1834. A lady writes from Washington: "I was gratified 
by Julia's good looks. She was dressed in plain white satin, 
and pink and white flowers on her head. Her hair was ar- 
ranged by a hair-dresser." 

Bodices for evening wear were made close fitting to the 
figure, and generally were trimmed with a bertha of lace or 
gauze. The sleeves were short and puffed, and gloves were 
worn- reaching to the elbow. As for the hair-dressers' work, 
specimens of the prevailing styles are given in Figures 72, 73, 
86 and 230. 

A beautiful wedding dress, worn by a Quaker bride in 
Philadelphia in 1834, is sketched in Figure 72. It is of white 
satin with short puffed (melon) sleeves, over which are full long 
sleeves of white silk gauze, fastening at the wrist. 

Pelisses of velvet and satin, closed down the front, and made 
with double pelerines, completely disguising the figure, were in 
great favour in the autumn of 1834. Bonnets were even larger 
and more flaring than before. Some of the latest were made of 
velvet and trimmed with a single large rosette of ribbon to 
match. Morning dresses were made of cashmere, and chintz 
robes printed in colour were popular. They were made with 
plain high bodices and fastened up the back. Shoulder capes 
were much worn with low or square cut bodices in the morn- 
ings. Large bonnets were a distinctive feature of costume in 
the thirties ; the flaring brim lined with a becoming tint was 



202 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



surely an appropriate frame for a young face, and attractive in- 
deed must have been Miss Wil kins' * heroine in 

"HER BONNET 

" Wheu meeting bells began to toll 
And pious folk began to pass, 
She deftly tied her bouuet on, 
The little sober meeting lass, 
All in her neat white curtained room before her 
tiny looking glass. 

" So nicely round her lady-cheeks 
She smoothed her bands of glossy hair, 
And innocently wondered if 
Her bonnet did not make her fair ; 
Then sternly chid her foolish heart for harbour- 
ing snch fancies there. 

' So square she tied the satin strings, 
And set the bows beneath her chin ; 
Then smiled to see how sweet she looked, 
Then thought her vanity a sin, 
And she must put such thoughts away before 
the sermon should begin. 

" But sitting 'neath the preacher's word, 
Demurely in her father's pew. 
She thought about her bonnet still, 
Yes, all the parson's sermon through, 
About the pretty bows and buds which better 
than the text she knew. 

" Yet sitting there with peaceful face, 
The reflex of her simple soul, 
She looked to be a very saint 
And maybe was one on the whole, 
Only that her pretty bonnet kept away the aureole." 

The bonnet referred to in the following verse must have been 
especially attractive : 

* Mrs. Mary Wilkins Freeman. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 203 

" THE LOVE KNOT 

" Tying her bonnet under her chin, 
She tied her raven ringlets in ; 
But not alone in its silken snare 
Did she catch her luvely floating hair, 
For tying her bonnet under her chin, 
She tied a young man's heart within." 

Mantles trimmed and lined with fur were very fashionable. 
Sable, Isabella bear and a delicate fur called Kolinski were all 
used. A silk cord fastened the mantle at the waist and hung 
down low in front, finished with a handsome tassel. Olives 
and Brandenburgs were used as fastenings on velvet pelisses. 
Sleeves were very wide from the shoulder to the wrist and there 
finished with a deep cuff. Satin bonnets were trimmed with 
satin ribbon to match and bordered by curtain veils of rich 
black lace. The curtains at the back were very shallow and 
moderately full. 

Among the new materials of the year were Persian taffeta 
with milk white or cream white ground, covered with small 
bouquets of roses and satin moyenage with a dark blue ground 
and an arabesque pattern in gold, or black with red figures. A 
new design for bodices was cut high at the throat, the front laid 
in plaits from the shoulder to the waist, like a fan. Long full 
sleeves caught in with two bands giving the effect of three puffs. 
The short puffed sleeves of 1835 were called melon sleeves ; over 
them long sleeves of blond lace were sometimes worn. In a 
fashion column of the " Court Magazine " for July, 1835, we 
read : " Lightness and simplicity are this month's character- 
istics, but it is a simplicity as expensive as it is tasteful ; the 
rich satins, velvets and furs of winter costumes were not in 
reality more costly than the comparatively plain attire of the 
present month." 

Very dainty but costly must have been the peignoir described 



204 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

for that month, made of French cambric trimmed down the 
front with a deep ruffle of Valenciennes lace caught together at 
intervals by knots of the cambric edged with lace. The pelerine 
or shoulder cape was also trimmed with Valenciennes. We 
read about this time of a new Swiss muslin, with rich foulard 
patterns stamped on it. The bonnets and hats were enormously 
big in 1835. The brims were wider, the crowns were higher, 
and the curtains of bonnets were deeper. Veils of blond, illu- 
sion, or dentelle de soie were fastened to the brims of some of the 
newest bonnets. 

We hear at this time of a new ribbon. It was of six differ- 
ent colours very tastefully mingled, in patterns of a rather 
bizarre effect, and was called Chinese ribbon. Flowers of all 
kinds, as well as feathers, were worn in hats. Printed cambrics, 
figured organdies, mousselme de laine and delicate lingerie con- 
tinued in favour, and fichus of mull and lace were still very 
popular. One striking novelty is recorded for this year (1835) : 
gloves of rose-colour and of flesh-colour were preferred to white. 

Turbans, although not as generally popular as they had 
been, were still worn. A new style was called the turban 
ti la jiiive. It was made of white satin covered with tulle and 
ornamented with bandalettes a V antique, embroidered with gold, 
and hanging down in the back almost to the neck. Another 
turban worn in that same year is described as " of the Turkish 
form " and as made of white net and maize coloured velvet, or- 
namented with two aigrettes held in place by a gold ornament 
set with brilliants. 

A popular American periodical which first appeared in 
1830, and had a wide circulation, was the " Lady's Book," pub- 
lished by Louis Godey in Philadelphia. It was founded on 
somewhat the same basis as the " Court Magazine " in London, 
containing serial stories and verses by recognized authors of the 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 205 



day, as well as fashion plates in colour. Two evening costumes 
for 1835 are described in the September number : 

" A printed satin robe, white ground with a pattern in vivid 
colours of small sprigs in winding columns. The corsage is cut 
very low and square at the back and front of the bust, but 
rather higher on the shoulder than they are generally made, 
and pointed at the waist. It is trimmed round the top with a 
single row of narrow blond lace laid on flat. Blond lace long 
sleeves of the usual size at the top, and moderately full from 
the elbow to the wrist ; they are made open from the bend of 
the arm, but are caught together in three places by gold filagree 
buttons, and surmounted by mancherons of broad blond lace. 
The hair, parted on the forehead, is arranged on each side in a 
plaited band, which is doubled and hangs low. The back hair, 
also arranged in a braid, is twisted round the top of the head. 
Gold earrings, necklace and bracelets. White kid gloves; 
white satin slippers. 

" A robe of pale rose-coloured mousseline de sole over gros de 
Naples to correspond. A low corsage fitting close but with a lit- 
tle fullness at the bottom of the waist ; trimmed round the 
neck with a blond lace ruche. Short undersleeves of white 
gros de Naples, with an oversleeve of blond lace of the Marino 
Faliero shape confined by a gold agraffe on the shoulder. 
Armlets and ceinture of gold net, with gold clasps. The hair is 
parted on the forehead and turned up behind ; the ends form a 
cluster of curls. A band of fancy jewelry and bunches of gold 
wheat complete the coiffure. White silk net gloves. White 
gros de Naples slippers of the sandal form." 

An attractive costume, which was worn in Pennsylvania, is 
given in Figure 87. The gown is of soft sage satin with bro- 
caded flowers of the same colour made with bias folds of the 
satin, broad at the shoulder and tapering in at the waist ; the 



206 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

folds are finished with a shell trimming of the satin, the 
same trimming being used on the caps of the sleeves and on the 
cuffs. This unusually pretty dress was worn by Miss Halde- 
man. The style was fashionable in 1838 and the bonnet is 
copied from a plate of the same date. 

Fashion was by no means an unimportant factor in the so- 
cial life of rural neighbourhoods throughout the United States. 
Mrs. Gaskell's tea-party at Cranford might easily have taken 
place in a small community in Virginia or in New England, 
for instance. We remember the invitation was discussed and 
then accepted because " Miss Pole possessed a very smart cap 
which she was anxious to show to an admiring world." The 
expenditure in dress in Cranford was principally in the article 
referred to. If the heads were buried in smart caps, the ladies 
were like ostriches, and cared not what became of their bodies. 
With old gowns, yellow and venerable collars, any number 
of brooches (some with dog's eyes painted on them, some that 
were like small picture-frames with mausoleums and weeping- 
willows neatly executed in hair inside ; some again with minia- 
tures of ladies and gentlemen sweetly smiling out of a nest of 
stiff muslin) and new caps to suit the fashion of the day, " the 
ladies of Cranford always dressed with chaste elegance and pro- 
priety," as Miss Barber once fittingly expressed it. " And with 
these new caps, and a greater array of brooches than had ever 
been seen together at one time since Cranford was a town, did 
Miss Forrester, and Miss Matty, and Miss Pole appear on that 
memorable Tuesday evening. I counted seven brooches myself 
on Miss Pole's dress. Two were fixed negligently in her cap 
(one was a butterfly of Scotch pebbles which a vivid imagina- 
tion might believe to be a real insect) ; one fastened her net 
neckerchief; one her collar; one ornamented the front of her 
gown between throat and waist ; another adorned the front 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 207 

of her stomacher. Where the seventh was I have forgotten, but 
it was somewhere about her, I am sure." 

Needlework was still in vogue and was commended in the 
following verses by a contemporary poet : 

' THE NEEDLE 

" The gay belles of fashion may boast of excelling 

lu waltz or cotillion, at whist or quadrille ; 
And seek admiration by vauntiugly telling 

Of drawing and painting and musical skill ; 
But give me the fair one in country or city 

Whose home and its duties are dear to her heart, 
Who cheerfully warbles some rustical ditty, 

While plying the needle with exquisite art. 
The bright little needle, the swift flying needle, 

The needle directed by beauty and art. 

" If love have a potent, a magical token, 

A talisman ever resistless and true, 
A charm that is never evaded or broken, 

A witchery certain the heart to subdue 
'Tis this, and his armoury never has furnished 

So keen and unerring or polished a dart 
Let beauty direct it, so pointed and burnished, 

And oh, it is certain of touching the heart. 

" Be wise then, ye maidens, nor seek admiration 

By dressing for conquest and flirting with all ; 
You never, whate'er be your fortune or station, 

Appear half so lovely at rout or at ball 
As gaily convened at a work -covered table, 

Each cheerfully active and playing her part, 
Beguiling the task with a song or a fable, 

And plying the needle with exquisite art." 

A photograph of the wedding outfit worn by Miss Sarah 
Hayes who, in 1836, married Major Mordecai, a distinguished 
officer of the United States Army, in the Synagogue in Phila- 
delphia, is given in Figure 170. The gown is of the sheerest, 
filmiest India muslin we have seen, and was imported for the 



1802-1854 

FIGUBE 157. 1813 Little girl iu pantalettes. From a plate. 
FIGUBE 158. 1802 Mother and children. From a portrait of Mrs. Hind. 
FIGURE 159. 1837 Girl in pantalettes. 
FIGUBE 160. 1820 Mother and child. 

FIGURE 161. 1850 Boy in sailor costume. From a contemporary portrait. 
FIGUEE 162. 1854 Boys in Highland dress. From a portrait. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 211 

occasion by the bride's father, one of the leading merchants of 
the day. The slippers have square toes, the new fashion for 
1836, and the short gloves are embroidered and originally were 
trimmed with blond lace to match the veil. The handker- 
chief case was the work of the bridesmaids and also the beauti- 
fully embroidered handkerchief with " Sarah " in flowered 
letters in one corner. The fan is an exquisite specimen of 
carved ivory made in India, with the monogram of the bride in 
the centre. The marriage certificate is in Hebrew characters, 
which unfortunately do not show in the photograph. We 
notice that the sleeves were originally puffed, a very fashion- 
able style in 1836. 

About this date the extravagantly large sleeves went out 
of fashion, and were followed by a more graceful style, fitting 
close to the arm on top and full at the elbows. 

In Figure 230 is shown a gown of cream white figured silk 
worn in 1837 by a Quaker maiden at a wedding in a Phila- 
delphia Meeting. The sleeves are in the new fashion, which 
succeeded the leg-of-mutton in popularity. The hair is copied 
from a contemporary portrait. 

Some of the costumes worn by Queen Victoria, her coronation 
robes as well as some every-day dresses, are exhibited in her 
rooms at Kensington Palace, and it is surprising to see what 
a little woman the great queen was. One gown of black 
poplin, worn on some occasion of court mourning, has very 
small sleeves, finished with exquisitely neat little cuffs of em- 
broidered muslin. 

In 1837, when President Van Buren took up his abode at 
the White House, Mr. Andrew Stevenson was sent as Minister 
to Great Britain from the United States, and was of course 
present at the coronation of Queen Victoria with Mrs. Steven- 
son, whose portrait was afterwards painted by Healey in the 



H1STOKIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



costume she wore when she was presented at the Queen's Draw- 
ing-room. This picture is well known and we regret space 
will not permit us to give a copy of it here. 

A Philadelphia bride of 838 wore the attractive gown 
shown in Figure 228. It is m, 3 of white satin and the trim- 
mings are of blond lace. With this costume short gloves with 
embroidered tops were worn fastening over the band of the 
long lace sleeves as shown in the illustration. The veil and 
arrangement of hair are copied from a portrait of the same year. 
The dress in Figure 74 belonged to the same bride. The colour 
is a delicate pink and the sash of soft figured satin ribbon to 
match ; the lace at the neck and on the sleeves is of white blond 
which was the favourite of fashion at the time. The hair is 
copied from an English portrait. 



Women's Dress 

1840-1850 

" Change of Fashion is the tax which industry 
imposes ou the vanity of the rich." 

ITH the new year, 1840, we notice a decided 
change in bonnets. The immense flaring 
brims which had been worn for the last ten 
years were replaced by a new shape some- 
what resembling the capotes of the early 
years of the nineteenth century. The long 
veils of brocaded gauze so fashionable in 
the thirties were also superseded by shorter 
veils of net or lace, with small figures or 
with plain centres of lace with figured borders (Figures 128 
and 131). 

In a letter from the Paris correspondent to the " Court Maga- 
zine " for July, 1840, we find the following description of the 
new bonnets : " They are worn rather close to the face and 
made of Faille de riz, Crepe lisse, Leghorn and fine straws. The 
crowns sit back quite flat and the fronts are rather less open but 
very long at the ears." (See Figures 128, 129 and 131.) 

" The most elegant bonnets are covered with what we call a 
voilette of lace or tulle illusion ; this little veil does not fall over 
the face, but merely covers the bonnet, being frequently brought 
from underneath the front ; a long lappet falls as low as the 

waist from each side of the front." 

213 




HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



A bonnet worn in Philadelphia in 1840, of white ribbed 
silk, trimmed with white satin ribbon and a voilette of blond 
lace hanging in long lappets on each side, and with pale pink 
flowers inside the brim, belongs to Miss Dutihl's Collection at 
Memorial Hall. A picture: of it is given in Figure 131. 

" On coloured silk bonnets these voilettes are made of the 
same shade as the silk. Drawn capotes are also de mode ; some 
have voilettes and others a narrow ruche of white tulle round the 
edge of the front. Straws and Leghorns are trimmed with 
velvet, violet or dark green being the favourite colours for this 
purpose ; a torsade intermingled with straw goes round the 
crown, and the brim is edged inside and out with a band of 
velvet more than an inch in depth. A flat ostrich feather is 
placed at one side and lies perfectly flat across the bonnet, 
drooping to the opposite side ; this feather may be white or the 
colour of the velvet, or any colour that contrasts well with the 
trimming. The younger ladies who do not wear feathers prefer 
a half wreath of field flowers." 

The same correspondent announced that long cachemire 
shawls were coming in and would take the place of square 
shawls. They were to be worn as scarfs. " White, black and 
blue grounds with patterns of palms or rosettes joined with light 
running patterns," were the most desirable combinations. 
" Black shawls trimmed with lace or fringe, and black silk 
scarfs trimmed all round with lace, or only with silk fringe at 
the ends, are universally worn. Coloured silk scarfs are also 
in fashion," and it was considered trs distingue, we learn, to 
have your scarf and your dress of the same colour, and with a 
white dress a scarf of the colour of the bonnet. 

Lace was worn extensively in the forties. Brussels and 
Honiton lace were perhaps the most fashionable. Queen 
Victoria's wedding dress (February 10, 1840) was of this beauti- 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMEEICA 215 

ful fabric made at the picturesque village in Devon from which 
the lace gets its name. 

The first note on crinoline, so soon to be an indispensable 
adjunct to the fashionable toilet, is given in the same letter from 
Paris : ' Of course you have heard of the Jupons de Crinoline; 
they are very light and cool, and make the dress sit beautifully, 
and one perfection in them is that they never crease or get out 
of form." 

Sleeveless jackets, called Canegous, came into fashion in 
1840. They were open in front, but finished at the neck with 
small collars, and were either richly embroidered or trimmed 
with lace. In 1840 we read of white spencers, to be worn like 
our modern blouses with coloured skirts. Another familiar 
fashion of to-day seems to be a revival of 1840 ; cuffs and collars 
on the sleeves and neck are spoken of by a contemporary author 
as " indispensable." Spencers of black or coloured velvet were 
a very becoming fashion. 

Close-fitting dresses, called Redingotes, were very popular 
at this time. We read of one in a London magazine, made 
of white India muslin lined with pale blue silk and trimmed 
with lace, and another lined with pink and trimmed with hand 
embroidery. Sleeves were either tight or full according to the 
fancy of the wearer ; specimens are given in Figures 128 and 136. 
Bodices were made with a sharp point at the waist in front and 
round in the back, and were usually open at the throat, and 
either worn over a chemisette or finished with a niching of lace 
for morning or street wear. Evening gowns were cut low and 
finished with a bertha of lace, or silk to match the dress 
(Figures 134 and 135). 

Very elaborate head-dresses were worn at this date, made of 
India muslin or organdie, trimmed with lace. Applique and 
English point lace were used instead of the blond lace which 



216 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

had been so fashionable in the thirties. (See Figures 134, 139 
and 233.) The front hair was worn either in broad braids, 
smooth bands, or in long ringlets, while the back hair was 
braided or coiled very low on the neck. Short gloves were still 
in fashion and trimmed with lace, swansdown, ribbon, etc. 
They were either fastened with buttons (two or four) or laced 
up with a silk cord. 

At this period, slender waists being very much admired, 
the bodices were gradually made with deeper points and worn 
without belts, and the gathers of the full skirts were distributed 
at the sides and back to produce that effect. An authority of 
this time says : " I agree with the doctors in setting my face 
against tight lacing, the most dangerous practice a lady can 
persevere in ; so have your dress made with a long waist ; have 
your petticoat gathered into a very broad band cut on the cross 
way, and with a point in front, so as not to have gathers under 
the point of your dress; let the petticoat be made of crinoline, or 
of a very thick cotton material with a sort of honeycomb pattern 
all over ; this will make your dress appear sufficiently full and 
form a proper contrast to the waist, thereby sparing you the 
necessity and agony as well as injury, of tight lacing." 

Wadded cachemire shawls were in vogue, but the newest 
wrap was a small wadded cape with a pointed hood. We read, 
too, of the Palatine, a cloak of much the same style made of 
black satin wadded and lined with blue, rose-colour, or apricot 
satin trimmed all round with black lace, and reaching to the 
knees in front, the hood made to be drawn over at pleasure ; 
especially adaptable for an evening wrap. 

A walking dress for the winter of 1840 is described in the 
" Court Magazine " : " Made of satin lined and wadded through- 
out ; the corsage close fitting, and with tight sleeves with two 
seams. Upon the front of the waist is a trimming consisting of 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 217 

four rows of black lace set on in regular fluted plaits, extend- 
ing from the shoulder to the waist in the form of a V, and is 
likewise carried across the back in the style of a pelerine ; besides 
this the trimming is carried down each side of the front breadth 
of the skirt en tablier, becoming wider as it goes down and also 
increasing in distance." 

In 1841, we notice that sleeves were worn long and close-fit- 
ting for house and street wear, sometimes finished with an 
epaulet cap called a jockey (Figure 136). Evening dresses were 
made with voluminous skirts trimmed with flounces ; bodices 
fitted close to the figure and were stiffly boned and finished 
with a point coming a little below the waist line in front. 
Berthas of lace or of the same material as the dress were not 
only in the height of fashion during the forties, but have been 
a favourite style of trimming ever since. 

The numerous Daguerreotypes of that period furnish us 
with many accurate details of dress. From these we learn that 
it was still the fashion to wear the hair parted in the middle, 
and although curls which had been the favourite style for so 
many years were still worn, the most fashionable arrangement 
was to draw the front hair down in smooth bands concealing 
the ears and fasten the ends with the coil at the back. Often 
the front hair was braided in many strands. The so-called 
" Polish braid " was in nine strands and was most becoming to 
a delicate face. When the hair was very long, the braids were 
often carried across the head, making a sort of coronet. (See 
Figure 136.) In many of the portraits of Queen Victoria we 
notice this effect, but it was a favourite style in America too ; 
at that period almost every lady had an abundance of natural 
hair, and very little false hair was worn. 

In 1841 Mrs. Julia Ward Howe made a visit to England and 
records in her " Reminiscences " some of the costumes worn by 



1860-1870 
FIGURE 163. 1864 Scall hat with rolling brim and feathers. From a 

print of the time. 
FIGURE 164. 1860-70 Turban hat with white feather. From a print of 

the time. 

FIGURE 165. 1862 Mushroom hat and Garibaldi blouse. From a con- 
temporary print. 
FIGURE 166. 1868 Croquet costume showing small hat worn over a 

" waterfall." The ruffled skirt is short and shows the Balmoral boots. 

From a contemporary picture. 
FIGURE 167. 1860-70 House maid in a figured calico and small cap. 

From an English print. 

FIGURE 168. 1860 Hair arranged in a chenille net. From a print. 
FIGURE 169. 1860 A jockey hat and feather. From a contemporary 

print. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 221 

English ladies of note in the early days of Queen Victoria's 
reign. She met the beautiful Mrs. Norton at a dinner, and 
says : " Her hair, which was decidedly black, was arranged in 
flat bandeaux according to the fashion of the time. A diamond 
chain formed of large links encircled her fine head. Her eyes 
were dark and full of expression. Her dress was unusually 
dfaolleteb, but most of the ladies present would in America have 
been considered extreme in that respect." * 

On another occasion Mrs. Howe met the Duchess of Suther- 
land, and describes her costume as follows : 

" She wore a brown gauze or barege over light blue satin 
with a wreath of brown velvet leaves and blue forget-me-nots in 
her hair, and on her arm, among other beautiful jewels, a min- 
iature of the Queen set in diamonds." A dress of pink moire 
worn by the same lady, with a wreath of velvet leaves inter- 
spersed with diamonds, is also mentioned. Wreaths of artificial 
flowers combined with ribbons or jewels were fashionable from 
1840 to 1850. (See Figure 139.) 

A letter from Paris, written in 1841, describes an evening 
costume of pale blue satin trimmed with sable round the bot- 
tom of the skirt and up the front en tablier, the short plain 
sleeves also trimmed with the fur. The bodice was made with 
a deep point. A toque of blue velvet was worn with this dress 
ornamented with a Henri IV plume fastened with a diamond 
aigrette. The graceful Pompadour sleeves, with ruffles of lace 
falling very low at the back of the arm, were revived in 1841, 
and for evening dress the points of bodices were very deep. 
But tight sleeves were worn for dinner and house gowns. 
Much fur was used in trimming. Muffs of moderate size (Fig- 
ure 137) and round pelerines or capes were made generally of 
ermine, sable, marten and swansdown. Passementerie, Bran- 

* Reminiscences 1819-1H99. By Mrs. Julia Ward Howe. 



222 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

denburghs and bias folds were universally used, but ruffles and 
flounces were temporarily out of favour. Bonnets were made 
very long at the sides projecting below the chin in a very unbe- 
coming style which did not long remain in fashion (Figure 137). 
Three new caps are mentioned : La Coquette, a half cap with a 
deep fancy border trimmed with marabout tips ; La Religieuse, 
a nun's cap made of fine materials ; Marie Stuart cap, with 
point in front, made of lace for morning wear and of velvet for 
evening dress. 

Arrows with diamond heads were worn in the hair and large 
high backed combs again made their appearance, some plain 
and others again ornamented with gold and inlaid with precious 
stones. Coral ornaments were very much worn. A single gold 
bracelet on the right arm above the glove was very fashionable, 
and a serpent with ruby eyes was said to be " the most splendid 
thing of that description ever seen." Several novelties in 
feathers are also mentioned. " There are willow feathers, 
panachees, the ends tipped in shaded colours running one into 
another, as green into lilac, thence into orange, and ending in 
shades of blue. We have also marabouts, sables d'or or d'argent 
having the appearance of gold or silver-dust shaken upon them. 
For dress turbans they are truly splendid." A certain delicate 
shade of purple called pensee was also new in the winter of 
1841-1842, and pearl-grey and watered blue were very popular 
for street wear. 

Many costumes were made en redingote buttoned all the way 
down the front with small buttons. Tight plain sleeves were 
the best suited for this style of dress, although full sleeves were 
worn finished with plain cuffs. Gold or silver cord and tassels 
were twisted in and out among the braids of the back hair, and 
both tassels brought behind the right ear, and allowed to hang 
loosely. With this coiffure long English curls were usually 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 223 

arranged on each side of the face, but the front hair was very 
generally worn in smooth bands throughout the forties, as we 
notice in many portraits of the day, and turbans of every 
variety were still in vogue. Bows without ends were used ex- 
tensively in trimmings for turbans and bonnets. Quillings of 
tulle were worn inside bonnet brims or, instead of the ruche, 
plaitings of silk or tulle were sometimes placed on the edge of 
the brim and flowers worn inside. 

Morning dresses of wadded cashmere or merino with loose 
sleeves showing undersleeves of cambric are noticed in the 
plates of 1842, and were worn for many years (see Figure 
156), sometimes with little caps of India muslin trimmed with 
lace and ribbon. 

Revers worn very low on the shoulders were a noticeable 
feature of walking dresses in 1842, but many costumes were 
made without any trimming on the corsage. A new fashion 
was an arrangement of horizontal puffings of the material of the 
dress across the front of the bodice ; this was called en 
coulisses. 

Separate bodices of lingerie were also fashionable at that 
time made of alternate puffings of thin muslin and embroidery. 
A picture of one is given in Figure 128, which also shows a 
scarf of Roman striped silk worn in Philadelphia and a bonnet 
from a plate of 1842. 

During this year skirts were still worn very full over petti- 
coats of crinoline. Sometimes they were made perfectly plain 
without trimmings, but generally bias folds of the material were 
put on en tablier or in groups above the hem. Bodices were 
made with rounded points at the waist and laced up the back, 
and they were usually half or three-quarters high. Sleeves 
were worn in a great variety of shapes. Long and tight, short 
and close-fitting, puffed to the wrist with fanciful caps at the 



224 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

top, and even bell sleeves with undersleeves of thin white 
muslin are seen in the fashion plates of this time. The 
shoulders are very long and sloping. Black varnished leather 
shoes were a new fashion. Very fanciful caps were worn. 
Mits and even gloves of lace were very much in vogue. Bon- 
nets still projected over the face and ears, and were trimmed 
with feathers, ribbon and flowers. Parasols were very small 
and muffs moderately large. 

In 1842, a French periodical, " Le Follet," was combined 
with the " Court Magazine " and the descriptions of the new 
fashions were written in French. 

For the spring of this year we are told that soutache braid 
and passementerie were lavishly used in trimming and that the 
most fashionable materials were batiste, mouselline de laine, and 
tissue bayadere. The crape hats of Mr. Leclerc appear to have 
been "the rage" in Paris at that time. We read that nothing 
could be " more delicious " than his hats in rose-coloured crape 
ornamented with a bunch of moss roses at one side ; nothing 
more dainty than his capotes of white crape and Valenciennes in- 
sertion trimmed with bias folds of gros de Naples in rose-colour. 
Some of these hats are trimmed with shaded ribbons and 
marabout feathers shaded to match, producing a very unique 
effect. Mits of velvet were a Paris novelty described in 1842. 
They were especially intended to wear with short sleeves and 
were trimmed with lace and embroidery. 

A mourning dress is described in a magazine of 1842 : 
" Dress of black barege made with a deep hem at the bottom 
of the skirt, and a fold of the same depth above. Bodice cut 
three-quarters high and laced up the back. A ruche of the 
material finishes the neck of the corsage, and the edge of the 
long tight sleeves. A pelerine of black lace cut low in the neck 
is worn round the shoulders and fastened with a black ribbon 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 225 

bow. An under-dress which shows through the barege is of 
grey gros de Naples. A drawn bonnet also of grey gros de 
Naples, trimmed round the face with a ruche of black tulle, and 
small black flowers and a long grey feather surrounds the 
crown and hangs down on the left side. Gloves of black lace, 
and slippers of black panel de soie completed this costume." 

A graceful walking dress is described as follows : " Redin- 
gote of Pekin stripe, blue and brown. The corsage is tight 
and almost high in the neck, tight sleeves trimmed with two 
bias folds of the silk at the top. The skirt is very full, and 
trimmed with two bias folds (en tablier) down each side of the 
front. Apricot-coloured gloves and parasol. Black shoes and 
gaiters. Bonnet of rice straw trimmed with pink ribbon ; a 
large veil of white gauze, drawn into fullness by a ribbon in a 
hem, is fastened round the crown, and thrown back over the 
shoulders. Hair is in full ringlets at the sides." 

The following extract is from a letter dated Paris, June 25, 
1842 : " Bareges, tarlatans and such light textures are the only 
things that we can wear here just now, but after all can any- 
thing be prettier? The dresses are still very long and the 
skirts ample though one of our couturieres has tried to bring in 
the fashion of not having any fullness in front!. Comment \ I 
think I hear you exclaim, ' Can this really be ? ' Oui, ma chere, 
but never mind ; it is an innovation that will not take, so we need 
give ourselves no trouble about it. In light materials the cor- 
sages are invariably made en coulisses. They are very becoming 
to the figure and suitable for muslins and bareges but in any- 
thing of a more substantial texture, they do not look well. 
Corsages with ceintures (Figure 127) are a good deal worn in 
morning negligee ; after all there is something very pretty in 
seeing the waist neatly supported (the French soutenue would 
suit me better) by a pretty belt and buckle ; it is therefore a 



226 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 

fashion not likely to remain long in disuse. We have de- 
cidedly triumphed over our antipathy to short sleeves and we 
wear them at all times now." 

From Paris comes the following amusing bit of advice : "I 
must let you into a little secret about the manner of getting up 
your fine things which will render them more becoming. It is 
to put an imperceptible tinge of pink into the rinsing water in- 
stead of blue, which our grandmothers for a hundred genera- 
tions past have been content to use. But now that the other 
has been discovered, we wonder how we could have put up with 
such an unbecoming thing as what is called ' snow-white linen.' 
But recollect your collars must not be pink ; the tinge must be 
felt, not seen, if I may so express myself." 

In the chronicles of 1843, we notice that in spite of the in- 
convenience of the fashion, street dresses were still worn ex- 
tremely long especially in the back. They were a little shorter 
in the front. Corsages were all made tight fitting. Belts and 
buckles gained in popularity especially for morning wear. In 
the spring of this year (1843) we read of a new wrap, a Paletot, 
generally of silk trimmed with black lace, or with a quilling of 
ribbon, caught in about the waist with a broad ribbon. Man- 
tillas were in the height of fashion at that time and were 
trimmed with frills and quillings innumerable. A slight 
change in bonnets is mentioned. The brims did not project 
quite so much over the face, and the crowns were less deep also. 
In Figure 126 is given the picture of a bonnet in Miss Dutihl's 
collection, which shows the change in shape. It is made of 
dove-coloured satin trimmed with pink and green figured ribbon. 

Another bonnet of this year (1843) is given in Figure 129, 
worn with a dress of grey-green satin and a black lace shawl. 

The fashion plates of this decade are very attractive. A cer- 
tain harmony of colour and feminine grace pervades them. But 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 227 

the bonnets must have been most uncomfortable, projecting be- 
yond the face. It must have been a constant temptation to 
push the brims back to get a good look at something, and they 
were worn by young girls, in fact by little children as the pic- 
tures show. The newest materials were changeable coloured 
silks, shot silks and Pekin stripes. House gowns of cashmere 
and mousseline de laine were very popular in winter, and of cam- 
bric and printed muslin for summer. 

We read in an American publication of a new head-dress for 
1844. "A most irresistible coiffure is a wreath of periwinkles 
with pendant sprigs of the flowers mingled with the curls at 
each side of the face, or if the hair is worn in bands, the wreath 
may be most becoming, arranged around the head with small 
bunches of the flowers and leaves hanging from the coil at the 
back." 

The only change in the form of caps was that they were 
a little smaller, and often made of plain muslin without any 
ribbon. The crown was very small, and they had broad lap- 
pets of muslin falling on each side behind the ears. But an- 
other and decidedly more becoming style, was of plain India 
muslin, trimmed with two rows of Valenciennes, and orna- 
mented with a broad blue ribbon in the front, and shaded with 
a second row of lace, falling over the ribbon. A rosette of blue 
silk with long ends, placed on the left side, was also a tasteful 
trimming. Another pattern had a very small head piece, with 
lappets of Mechlin lace reaching only to the edge of the ears on 
both sides, and ornamented with green satin ribbons. Another 
is trimmed with two rows of embroidered muslin, slightly 
fulled, and decorated with two small coques of plaited white and 
blue silk ribbon, a twist or roll of the same encircling the 
crown. The cap in Figure 233 is on this order without lappets 
and trimmed with choux of pink satin. 



THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 
GENEB-AL LIBUARY OF THE PERFORMING ARTS 
111 AMSTERDAM AYE, NEW YORK, N. Y. 1002S 



1820-1870 

FIGURE 170. 1836 Wedding costume of Miss Sara Hayes, of Phila- 
delphia. 

FIGURE 171. 1850-70 Lace collars and cuffs worn in Philadelphia during 
this period. 

FIGURE 172. 1820-40 Specimens of high combs worn during these years. 

FIGURE 173. 1854 Bodice of wedding gown ; embroidered net over white 
satin, trimmed with blond lace. Worn by a Philadelphia bride. 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 231 

A dainty gown of white cashmere is taken from the same 
authority : " The front of the skirt is trimmed with a facing of 
pink ; tight and high corsage, finished with a square collar, full 
hanging sleeves, bordered and faced to match the skirt. Under- 
dress of muslin, trimmed round the bottom with two rows of 
embroidery. Cap of light spotted lace, decorated with roses ; 
this cap is considered the neatest of the season and is universally 
admired." 

Under the heading " Bonnets, etc., in New York," a corre- 
spondent of the " Boston Transcript " thus describes the fash- 
ions there : " Within the past week an invoice of bonnets has 
arrived from Paris and on Sunday the congregations of the 
fashionable churches looked like beds of lilies and roses. The 
latest style is really very beautiful, or as the ladies say ' sweet.' 
The one I have been most pleased with is a perfect flower. The 
material is white figured muslin, delicately trimmed with rib- 
bons and roses, and in form like the cup of a morning glory. 
If the humming birds and honey-bees don't light upon it on 
Broadway, I shall think they show a great want of taste. For 
dresses, chameleon silks are much worn, three distinct colours, 
by some magic of art, being thrown on a plain ground, looking 
as if ' Iris dipt the wool.' A new style of evening dress ap- 
peared at the last ' Hop ' at the ' Astor House,' which attracted 
the attention of connoisseurs as something quite original and 
beautiful ; a white muslin with two broad and richly coloured 
borders, looking like an illuminated title page." 

As shown in the initial at the head of this chapter skirts 
were often trimmed with deep flounces in 1845, and they were 
worn wider and fuller than ever before in the nineteenth cen- 
tury. Stiffly starched underskirts were worn to keep out the 
dresses and they were so full over the hips that the waist ap- 
peared very small in proportion. The shoulders of bodices 



232 HISTOKIC DEESS IN AMERICA 

were cut long and sloping, and the sleeves continued to be worn 
almost skin-tight. Shoulder capes of embroidered muslin and 
lace were very fashionable. (See Figure 233.) Turned-down 
collars were most popular, but narrow ruchings were also worn 
at the throat and wrists. (See Figure 127.) A material called 
delaine, a merino without the twill, with figures or spots 
stamped in contrasting colours, was popular for house dresses. 
It was like the fashionable challis of to-day, but delaines are 
mentioned in old letters and books up to the sixties. In Figure 
127, a picture is given of a gown of this material worn in 
Boston in 1845. Bonnets were now made to flare a little round 
the face and were often of tulle or gauze shirred over silk of the 
same colour (Figure 124). A pale pink bonnet of this descrip- 
tion worn in Philadelphia in 1846 is preserved at Stenton, Phil- 
adelphia. 

In 1845 we notice that the berthas on evening gowns were 
very deep, reaching about to the waist line. Black moire was 
a new fashion for evening dress, and in an English magazine 
of February, 1845, is described a costume of this material which 
would have suited Lady Dedlock to perfection. " Skirt long 
and ample, close-fitting pointed bodice reaching to the throat, 
and tight long sleeves. A passementerie trimming, also black, 
is arranged at the foot of the skirt, in bretettes on the bodice, and 
also trims the sleeves. A small embroidered collar is fastened 
with a brooch at the throat, and a dress cap of English Point 
lace trimmed with pink flowers and ribbons completes the 
costume." 

A style of dress which came into vogue at this time and re- 
mained long in fashion was the bodice opening over a chemi- 
sette of white muslin and finished with revers. 

In 1846 bonnets were noticeably smaller and the fronts were 
less flaring. This change is shown in Figure 136. Caps and 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 233 

fanciful head-dresses were still in vogue for evening as well as 
morning dress. Ball dresses were cut quite high in the neck, a 
very awkward style. House gowns were worn high at the 
throat and finished with a small flat collar of lace or embroid- 
ery, or cut square or surplice and worn over a chemisette with a 
flat collar; a pretty fashion which afforded an opportunity for 
the exercise of individual taste, for endless was the variety of 
dainty lingerie and lace in use at this time. Tarlatan was the 
most fashionable material for dancing frocks. Parasols were 
very small in the forties, and in 1846 a new fashion of folding 
parasols was introduced. 

The morning or " undress " costumes of this time were, as 
we see by the following contemporary verses,* made high neck 
and long sleeves, and being very comfortable, were adopted 
both for summer and for winter, and were a great contrast to 
the full dress for winter balls : 

11 She was in fashion's elegant undress, 

Muffled from throat to ankle ; and her hair 

"Was all 'en papillotes,' each auburn tress 

Prettily pinned apart. You well might swear 

She was no beauty ; yet, when ' made up ' ready 
For visitors, 'twas quite another lady. 

"Since that wise pedant, Johnson, was in fashion, 
Manners have changed as well as moons ; and he 

Would fret himself once more into a passion, 
Should he return (which Heaven forbid) and see 

How strangely from his standard dictionary 
The meaning of some words is made to vary. 

"For instance, an undress at present means 

The wearing a pelisse, a shawl, or so ; 
Or anything you please, in short, that screens 

The face, and hides the form from top to toe ; 
Of power to brave a quizzin-glass, or storm ; 

'Tis worn in summer, when the weather's warm. 

* Fanny, by F. G. Hallaok. 



234 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" But a full dress is for a winter's night, 

The most genteel is made of ' woven air ' ; 

That kind of classic cobweb, soft and light, 
Which Lady Morgan's Ida used to wear. 

And ladies, this aerial manner dressed in, 
Look Eve-like, angel-like, and interesting." 

In 1848, the date of the second Republic in France, bodices 
were worn opening in front over white chemisettes, and sleeves 
were wide at the bottom, showing an undersleeve to match the 
chemisette. This fashion was very generally adopted in the 
United States and worn more or less for twenty years. (See 
Figure 135.) We read of a garment called the Kasaveck im- 
ported from Russia at this time. It was a sort of jacket reach- 
ing to the waist, close-fitting and with wide braided sleeves, and 
was usually made of cashmere or satin and wadded. This gar- 
ment was known under several different names : "Coin dufeu," 
" Casagne," " Pardessus," etc. " Women of fashion," we read, 
" never wore them out of their own houses in the day- 
time." 

A new wrap called the " Cornelia " was introduced about 
1848. " It had no seam on the shoulder, and could be gathered 
up on the arms like a shawl at the pleasure of the wearer." 
Mantles of cashmere with double capes edged with braid, and 
the Josephine mantle with one cape, without shoulder seams, 
reaching to the waist, were popular favourites. Long chains 
of beads and cameo brooches without clasps were worn. 

When Mr. Bancroft was Minister to England (1844^1848) 
his wife wrote her impressions of the English people she met to 
her friends in Boston. From her letters, published a few years 
ago, we quote the following descriptions : 

" And now having given you some idea whom we are seeing 
here, you will wish to know how I like them and how they 
differ from our own people. At the smaller dinners and soirees 



HISTOKIC DEESS IN AMEE1CA -j:55 

at this season I cannot of course receive a full impression of 
English society, but certainly those persons now in town are 
charming people. Their manners are perfectly simple and I en- 
tirely forget, except their historic names fall upon my ear, that 
I am with the proud aristocracy of England. 

" The forms of society and the standard of dress are very 
like ours except that a duchess or a countess has more heredi- 
tary point lace and diamonds. The general style of dress 
perhaps is as simply elegant as ours. There is less superiority 
over us in manners and all social arts than I could have be- 
lieved possible in a country where a large social class have been 
set aside for time immemorial to create, as it were, a social 
standard of high refinement. 

" Our simple breakfast dress is unknown in England ; you 
come down in the morning dressed for the day until six or 
seven in the evening when your dress is low neck and short 
sleeves for dinner. At this season the morning dress is rich 
silk or velvet, high body cut close in the throat with handsome 
collar and cuffs and always a cap. I adhere to a black watered 
silk with the simple cap I wear at home. 

" For the Drawing-room my dress was of black velvet with a 
very rich bertha. A bouquet in the front of fleurs-de-lis like 
the coiffure, and a cachemire shawl. Head-dress of green leaves 
and white fleurs-de-lis with a white ostrich feather drooping on 
one side. I wear my hair now plain in front, and the wreath 
was very flat and classical in its effect. I have had the 
diamond pin and earrings which your father gave me reset and 
made into a magnificent brooch and so arranged that I can also 
wear it as a necklace or bracelet. On this occasion it was a 
necklace." 

Describing a Court dinner at Buckingham Palace, Mrs. 
Bancroft continues : 



236 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" My dress was my currant-coloured or grossaille velvet 
with a wreath of white arum lilies woven into a kind of 
turban with green leaves, and bouquet to match in the bertha 
of Brussels lace. 

" On the occasion of the Queen's Birthday Drawing-room I 
went dressed in white mourning. It was a petticoat of white 
crape flounced to the waist with the edges notched. A train of 
white glace 1 trimmed with a ruche of white crape. A wreath 
and bouquet of white lilacs without any green, as green is not 
used in mourning. 

" My dress for the Queen's Ball was a white crape over 
white satin with flounces of white satin looped up with pink 
tuberoses. A wreath of tuberoses and bouquet for the 
corsage." * 

Lady Stuart Wortley made an extensive tour in America and 
evidently found much to delight and interest her. Arriving in 
New York in the summer of 1849, she was at once attracted by 
the fashionable attire of the people and dismayed by the " hot 
weather." 

" We soon saw some evidence of the warmth of a New York 
summer, in the profusion of light cool bonnets furnished with 
broad and deeply hanging curtains, shading and covering the 
throat and part of the shoulders, a very sensible costume for hot 
weather. The fashion just now seems to be for all the ladies to 
wear large white shawls. I never beheld such a number of 
white shawls mustered ; the female part of the population seem 
all voue& au blanc. It is very seldom you see any eques- 
triennes in these Northern cities. Every lady chooses rather to 
walk or go in a carriage. Crowds of carriages, private and 
public, are to be seen in Broadway, passing and repassing every 

* Letters from England, by Mrs. George Bancroft. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 237 

moment, filled with ladies beautifully dressed in the most 
elaborate Parisian toilets." * 

A column in the " Lady's Book " (1849) tells of the winter 
fashions in Philadelphia : 

" We will describe three or four of the prettiest costumes of 
the season, that our lady readers may gather from them some 
idea of Chestnut Street, and our fashionable concert-room, the 
Musical Fund Hall : 

" A walking dress of dark green cashmere, with three bias 
folds upon the skirt, graduating in depth, and edged with a 
narrow bias velvet binding of the same shade. Corsage and 
sleeves plain and tight, a velvet fold upon the short cap of the 
sleeve, and a corresponding trimming also about the throat. 
White cashmere long shawl folded carelessly. Bonnet of deep 
green velvet. Marie Stuart brim, edged with blond, and small 
plume of the same shade as the bonnet. 

" A walking dress of rich brocade silk, blue figures upon a 
fawn-coloured ground. Sacque of fawn-coloured silk, richly 
embroidered in blue. Bonnet of blue uncut velvet, with folds 
and bands of the same, mixed with blond. 

" Dinner dress of chameleon silk, blue and silver. A small 
Marie Stuart cap of blond with rosettes of pale blue satin rib- 
bon." 

A summer walking costume of 1849 is shown in the initial 
of this chapter. This dress is of foulard silk trimmed with rows 
of velvet ribbon at the edge of the flounces. The mantilla is of 
black lace and the bonnet of white crape trimmed with pink 
flowers and. white satin ribbon. 

" Evening Dress. Crape robe of pale rose-colour, em- 
broidered up the front of the skirt. Girdle of broad brocaded 
ribbon the same shade, with flowing ends. Hair arranged in 

* Travels in the United States, by Lady Stuart Wortley. 



1800-1865 

FIGURE 174. 1804 Boy in suit of striped calico and ruffled shirt. 

FIGURE 175. 1812 Little girl in a scarlet cloth pelisse and bounet to 
match. Woru by Mary Briuton, of Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 176. 1822 Girl iu a buff cashmere gown with loug white sleeves. 
A large hat with brown ribbon. From a contemporary print. 

FIGURE 177. 1800 Small child iu white muslin gown. From a plate. 

FIGURE 178. 1818 Boy in striped duck pantaloons, dark blue jacket and 
waistcoat. Dark cloth cap with visor. From a contemporary plate. 

FIGURE 179. 1826 Little boy in white dress embroidered in blue, over 
trousers of same material. From a contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 180. 1828 Little girl in pink gauze dress. Worn by Miss Eliza- 
beth S. Smith, of Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 181. 1831 Girl iu green and white silk gown. Green silk apron. 
Large white bounet of Gros de Naples with white ribbon. Hair in Ken- 
wig plaits. From a plate. 

FIGURE 182. 1832 Boy in high hat, brown kerseymere tunic, and white 
pantaloons. From a portrait. 

FIGURE 183. 1834 Girl in figured lawn dress. Hair in plaits twisted and 
tied with lilac ribbou. 

FIGURE 184. 1837 Little girl of eight iu brown and white corded muslin. 
Bonnet from contemporary plate. 

FIGURE 185. 1838 Boy of fourteen. High hat of grey, coat of bottle 
green, grey trousers. 

FIGURE 186. 1848 Little boy of five. The waist is of turquoise blue 
merino, scalloped with yellow silk and buttoned down the back with 
gilt buttons. The trousers are of white jean, striped with black. 

FIGURE 187. 1848 Little girl from fashion plate of this date. The dress is 
of pink cashmere trimmed with uarrow pink velvet ribbou. Hat of 
Leghorn trimmed with piuk roses and pink ribbon. Pale blue kid 
shoes. 

FIGURE 189. 1856 Boy of three in costume taken from an Ambrotype. 
The jacket is of black velvet trimmed with black braid and the skirt 
of plaid poplin ornamented by strips of black velvet ribbon. 

FIGURE 190. 1857 Girl of twelve taken from a fashion magazine. Cloak 
of blue grey cloth trimmed with black velvet. Hat of grey trimmed 
with blue ribbon and blue feathers. Skirt of old rose. Shoes brown. 

FIGURE 191. 1853 Little boy from a Daguerreotype. Suit of brown 
merino ornamented with gold braid and gilt buttons. 

FIGURE 192. 1861 Small child in blue cashmere dress with white apron 
tied with blue ribbon at the shoulders. From a photograph. 

FIGURE 193. 1865 Boy iu black velvet suit trimmed with black silk 
braid. From a photograph. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



plain bands with a wreath of mingled sweetbrier and lily of 
the valley. The contrast of the two flowers is very delicate and 
beautiful. Robe imported by Levy, wreath by Madam Patot. 

" The prettiest style of morning dresses are of cashmere." 

The following note on caps and capes is taken from an 
American authority : 

" No unmarried lady should wear a morning cap ; it is the 
mark, the badge, if we may so call it, of the young matron. 
And if the wife cares as much for her husband's admiration 
after marriage as before it, she will never dispense with this 
tasteful, coquettish appendage to a morning toilette. 

" There has been an attempt this season to make up delicate 
India muslin with triple embroidered frills of the same. These 
are quite simple and require only a bow and strings of some 
bright coloured ribbon to finish them. A pretty cap is com- 
posed of Guipure lace (or what is called Guipure), with a bow 
and band of ribbon and noeuds of the same each side of the face. 
These are all intended for plain house-costumes and may be 
worn with propriety by older ladies. 

" Capes are rarely worn in the morning, and are more 
particularly suited to dinner or small evening companies. 
They are worn of all sizes and patterns, as may be seen from 
Figures 134, 139 and 233. A favourite style is of lace ; Brus- 
sels or a fine imitation is allowable. The ribbon knot should 
correspond or contrast in colour with the dress over which the 
cape is worn." 

Leghorn hats and bonnets were very fashionable in 1849. 
The " Lady's Book " for the summer of that date says : 

" In trimming a Leghorn bonnet, the richest ribbon is re- 
quired and it should be of some pale shade. Dark blue, green, 
or brown have a bad effect. White is the most suitable, and 
straw colour looks well. With white ribbon, small ostrich 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



plumes tipped with marabout are often seen. Chip bonnets are 
next in cost, and perhaps first in beauty. Their purity allows 
them to be trimmed with almost anything the wearer's complex- 
ion will allow. Bouquets of French flowers fastened with knots 
of ribbon are graceful. Embroidered crape bonnets are the 
newest. They are both simple and elegant, and were introduced 
by Miss Wilson, one of the most fashionable Chestnut Street 
(Philadelphia) milliners, direct from Paris. The material is 
crfye lisse of some delicate hue, with silk floss embroidery about 
the front and on the crown piece. The cape embroidered to cor- 
respond. Trimming very simple. The prettiest one we have 
seen was a pale green bonnet, with a bouquet of purple lilies on 
each side, the ribbon just crossing over the top of the bonnet; 
there was not a single bow in the whole arrangement. A tulle 
quilling and a single lily inside the brim. Mourning bonnets 
are of drawn crape, trimmed with crape ribbon which is a new 
material." 

The following note on new fashions is also from the same 
authority : 

" Slippers, as we have before said, threaten to supersede 
gaiters for the street. The toes are rounded, and the instep 
ornamented with a small bow, quite as our grandmothers rec- 
ollect them. 

" The hair is dressed considerably higher than formerly, and 
puffed, as in old pictures, over a cushion at the back. Combs 
are principally of shell with round tops, that curve close to the 
head at the side. They are valued according to the newness of 
the pattern, those which sold for fourteen dollars in the spring 
being only eight dollars now. 

" A new style of dress is made with a double skirt lined 
with paper muslin, which has a facing of the silk eight inches 
in depth. Just over this comes the real skirt, the edge of 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 243 

which is scolloped, and bound ; it does not meet at the waist, 
but opens over a plain breadth faced up the lining. This has 
exactly the effect of a tunic. Plain waists are still the rage, 
there being two seams each side the centre. Sleeves are mostly 
plain, or slightly full, with a band at the wrist. Belts are 
universally worn ; some have them set into the dress." 

Looking over the pages of the " Quarterly Review " we 
came across the following appreciation of the dress of the forties : 

" The present dress has some features worth dwelling on 
more minutely. The gown is a good thing, both in its morn- 
ing and evening form, and contains all necessary elements for 
showing off a fine figure and a graceful movement. There is 
something especially beautiful, too, in the expanse of chest and 
shoulder, as seen in a tight plain-coloured high dress, merino 
or silk, like a fair sloping sunny bank, with the long taper 
arms and the slender waist so tempting and convenient between 
them, that it is a wonder they are not perpetually embracing 
it themselves. And then the long full folds of the skirt which 
lie all close together above, like the flutings of an Ionic column, 
as if loth to quit that sweet waist, but expand gradually below 
as if fearing to fetter those fair}' feet. And the gentle swinging 
of the robe from side to side, like a vessel in calmest motion, 
and the silver whisper of trailing silk. Flounces are a nice 
question. We like them when they wave and flow as in a very 
light material, muslin or gauze or barege, when a lady looks 
like a receding angel, or a dissolving view ; but we do not like 
them in a rich material where they flop, or in a stiff one, where 
they bristle ; and where they break the lines of the petticoat, 
and throw light and shade where you don't expect them. In 
short we like the gown that can do without flounces, as Jo- 
sephine liked a face that could do without whiskers ; but in either 
case it must be a good one. The plain black scarf is come of 



2M HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

too graceful a parentage namely, from the Spanish and Flemish 
mantilla not to constitute one of the best features of the present 
costume. It serves to join the two parts of the figure together, 
enclosing the back and shoulders in a firm defined outline of 
their own, and flowing down gracefully in front, or on each side, 
to mix with that of the skirt. That man must be a monster 
who would be impertinent to a woman, but especially to a 
woman in a black scarf. It carries an air of self-respect with it 
which is in itself a protection. A woman thus attired glides on 
her way like a small close-reefed vessel, tight and trim, seeking 
no encounter but prepared for one. Much, however, depends 
on the wearer ; indeed no article of dress is such a revealer of 
the wearer's character. Some women will drag it tight up their 
shoulders, and stick out their elbows (which ought not to be 
known to exist) in defiance at you, beneath. Others let it hang 
loose and listless like an idle sail, losing all the beauty of the 
outline, both moral and physical. Such ladies have usually no 
opinions at all, but none the less a very obstinate will of their 
own. Some few of what are nowadays called mantillas, which 
are the Cardinals and Capuchins of a century ago, are pleasing 
and blameless. A black velvet one turned up with a broad 
dull black lace, the bright metal chased with dead, is very good. 
But whatever piece of dress conceals a woman's figure is bound 
in justice to do so in a picturesque way. That a shawl can never 
do with its stiff uniformity of pattern, each shoulder alike, and 
its stiff three-cornered shape behind with a scroll pattern stand- 
ing straight up the centre of the back. If a lady sports a shawl 
at all, and only very falling shoulders should venture, we 
should recommend it to be always either falling off or putting 
on, which produces pretty action, or she should wear it up one 
shoulder and down the other, or in some way drawn irregularly, 
so as to break the uniformity." 



Women's Dress 

1850-1860 

" Fashions that are now called new 
Have been worn by more than you ; 
Elder times had worn the same 
Though the new ones get the name." 

MlDDLETON. 

NOTICEABLE feature of the dress of 1850 
was the basque, a bodice with short skirt 
or tails below the waist line. According 
to the fashion plates of that period an 
attempt had been made to introduce this 
style of dress late in the forties, but it 
did not become a popular fashion until 
early in the fifties. 

Basques made of velvet of some dark 
colour were worn with silk skirts of contrasting design. A 
black velvet basque which could be worn with any skirt was in 
almost every woman's wardrobe. Even riding habits were made 
in this popular style, as will be seen in the pages of " Punch " 
for 1850. 

At that time Prince Albert had proposed to have the Indus- 
trial Palace built in Hyde Park, which would have spoiled the 
famous resort of English horsewomen, Rotten Row. The sug- 
gestion caused a flutter of indignation which found expression 

in the following verses : 

245 




246 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" Then take our lives and spare our ride the only place we know, 
Where ladies pent in London for exercise can go. 
"Tis not with us as with our lords for they, the park beside, 
Have got the House of Commons where their hobbies they can ride. 
The Prince looked grim, it was his whim, humbugged he would not be, 
When lo ! a stately lady is kneeling at bis feet 
I too would ride, she sweetly said, so Albert if you please 
Don't there's a darling, for my sake please don't cut down the trees." 

India muslins, embroidered in colours, were popular at this 
period. In Figure 266 is given a picture of a dainty gown of 
this material which was worn in Philadelphia about 1853. 

Chemisettes and unclersleeves were still worn and were 
more or less elaborate for different occasions. Flounces were 
extremely popular ; as many as five were worn at a time, the 
upper flounce being gathered in with the skirt at the waist. 

Early in this decade a novel and very hideous costume was 
devised by Mrs. Bloomer, editor of a temperance journal in the 
United States, who went about the country giving lectures in 
1851-1852, on Woman's Suffrage, and advertised the new dress 
henceforth known as the " Bloomer costume." By way of 
manifesting the independence of her sex she advised the women 
to adopt a part at least of the customary costume of the men. 
This was her idea of a reform in woman's dress : 

" A skirt reaching to about half-way between the knees and 
the ankles and not very full. Underneath the skirt trousers 
moderately full, and in fair weather coming down to the ankle 
and there gathered in with an elastic band. The shoes or slip- 
pers to suit the occasion. For winter or wet weather the 
trousers should be fastened under the top of a boot reaching 
three or four inches above the ankle. This boot might be 
sloped gracefully at the upper edge and trimmed with fur or 
embroidery according to the taste of the wearer, the material 
might be cloth or morocco, and waterproof if desired." 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



The upper part of this costume was left to be determined by 
the individual fancy of the wearer. Mrs. Bloomer had a pic- 
ture taken exemplifying her favourite dress, a copy of which is 
given in Figure 152. " The fashion," we read, " did not fail to 
make itself apparent in various parts of the United States." 
The "Washington Telegraph," the "Hartford Times," the 
" Syracuse Journal " and many other leading papers " noticed 
the adoption of the costume and generally with commenda- 
tion." In the autumn of 1851 an American woman dressed in 
a black satin suit of jacket, skirt and trousers gave lectures in 
London urging the adoption of the reform dress, but succeeded 
only in raising a storm of merriment on the subject. Even in 
America the Bloomer costume soon became a thing of the past. 
In Figure 211 we give a photograph of a doll dressed in this 
eccentric fashion, which was the cherished plaj'thing of a little 
Quaker girl in Pennsylvania. 

The invention of Mrs. Bloomer was soon cast into oblivion 
by the marvellous creations of the beautiful Empress Eugenie, 
whose dresses became the envied models of the world of fashion 
in 1853. We read that " a glimpse of the Empress in the drive 
through the Bois de Boulogne sufficed to set the fair observers 
to work upon a faithful reproduction of her costume, and her 
toilette on the occasion of a ball at the Tuileries afforded food 
for thought during many days to those who had been present." 
At the civil marriage on the evening of January 29, 1853, which 
took place in comparative privacy, Eugenie wore a white satin 
gown trimmed with lace, with two rows of magnificent pearls 
around her neck, and flowers in her hair, and at the religious 
ceremony on the following morning, in Notre Dame, she wore a 
gown of white velvet with a long train covered with lace in a 
design of violets which is said to have been worth at least 
30,000 francs. Around her waist was a belt of diamonds and 



1806-1870 
FIGURE 194. 1806 Boy in browii suit of kerseymere ; collar and ankle 

ruffles of white cambric. Cap with full soft crown and visor. From a 

print. 
FIGURE 195. 1807 Boy in short sleeved tunic of blue cloth over white full 

trousers. Black slippers aud straw hat. Mother in short dress of 

jaconet muslin, black silk mantle trimmed with lace. Shirred muslin 

bonnet. Pagoda parasol. From a print. 

FIGURE 196. 1822 Girl in dress of apricot gauze, worn in Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 197. 1833 Boy in suit of browii kerseymere, white waistcoat and 

black tie. From a portrait. 
FIGURE 198. 1833 Boy in leg-of-mutton trousers of green kerseymere. 

From a print. 

FIGURE 200. 1860 Child's turban hat and feather. From a photograph. 
FIGURE 201. 1862 Girl in a checked silk over a white guimpe. Braids 

tied at the back with a ribbon and ends. Gaiter bools. From a 

photograph. 
FIGURE 202. 1862 Boy in a grey tweed suit and striped stockings. From 

a photograph. 
FIGURE 203. 1806 Child's hat with straw buttons and strings of white 

ribbon. School of Industrial Art, Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 204. 1864 Boy in a brown suit braided in black. Little girl in 

pale blue cashmere trimmed with quilled ribbon to match and worn 

over a white guimpe. From a plate. 
FIGURE 205. 1861 Girl in a Zouave jacket aud skirt. Hair in a net of 

chenille. From a photograph. 
FIGURE 206. 1865 Boy of sixteen in a short round coat and long trousers. 

From a photograph. 
FIGURE 207. 1870 Little girl of this date. From a fashion plate. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 251 

she had the same coronet of brilliants which Marie Louise had 
worn on her wedding day, to which was fastened a long lace 
veil and a wreath of orange blossoms. 

The description of the famous dressing-room of the Empress 
Eugenie at the Tuileries, with its revolving mirrors, etc., has 
often been recounted. On the upper floor over this dressing- 
room, and connected with it by a lift and a speaking tube, were 
the rooms set apart for her personal attendants and her ward- 
robe. " Separate rooms," we are told, " were devoted to hats 
and bonnets, boots and shoes, sunshades, dust cloaks. Each 
morning a life-sized doll made to resemble the figure of the 
Empress was carefully dressed in every particular and sent 
down by the lift and exhibited before her. In spite of the pains 
taken by the dressmakers and tailors to please her it was a 
rare occurrence for a gown to satisfy her entirely ; she criticized, 
altered and rejected incessantly until she succeeded in recom- 
posing the costumes to her satisfaction." The second empire of 
the hoop-skirt was inaugurated in 1854, and in spite of jeers, 
jibes and caricatures held its sway over feminine taste to the ex- 
clusion of beauty and convenience. We read that " the first 
form of this invention was a whalebone skirt not unlike a bee- 
hive ; the largest circumference was around the hips whence the 
rest of the dress fell in perpendicular lines ; others preferred 
hoops arranged like those on a barrel." But the most popular 
form of hoop-skirt was made of graduated steel wires covered 
with a woven cotton netting held together by perpendicular 
straps of broad tape. A picture of a genuine skirt of this 
description is given in Figure 154. It was worn in Pennsyl- 
vania about 1856. More unassuming followers of fashion lined 
the edges of their gowns with horsehair and their flounces 
with stiff muslin. Petticoats were also made with casings 
around them at intervals, into which canes were run. 



HISTOKIC DKESS IN AMEKICA 



Numerous are the tales of accidents which happened to the 
wearers of the fashionable hoops. A very thrilling escape is re- 
counted by Lady Neville in her recently published diary. She 
speaks of the offending garment as "that monstrosity the crino- 
line, which once came near costing me my life ; in fact I only 
escaped a terrible fate through mercifully retaining my presence 
of mind. It was in the drawing-room one evening after dinner, 
before the gentlemen had joined us there, that my dress caught 
fire. I was showing a lady an engraving of Mr. Cobden 
which he had just given me and which hung over the fireplace. 
Somehow or other my voluminous skirt caught fire and in an 
instant I was in a blaze, but I kept my presence of mind, and 
rolling myself in the hearth rug by some means or other even- 
tually put out the flames. None of the ladies present could of 
course come to assist me for their enormous crinolines rendered 
them almost completely impotent to deal with fire." * 

In Watson's "Annals" (1856) a caustic arraignment of this 
fashion appeared under the heading " Hoops Again " : 

" We had hoped that our ladies would never again be 
brought to use such ill-looking, useless and deforming append- 
ages to their dresses. They are, too, so annoying and engrossing 
of place and room in omnibuses, rail cars, and in church pews 
and aisles, and why all this ; but as spellbound subservients to 
some foreign spell ; one feels scandalized for ' the Land of the 
Free ! ' Nor is this all. Ladies who profess to be Christians 
and communicants too, pledged ' to renounce the vain pomp 
and vanities of the world, and not to be led thereby,' go up to 
the sacramental altar, showing before the eyes of all beholders 
an unseemly vanity ! " 

The prices current in Philadelphia in 1856 provoked the 
aged annalist to an outburst of righteous indignation : 

* Reminiscences of Lady Dorothy Neville. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 253 

" EXTRAVAGANCE IN DRESS 

" At this time a fashionable dry goods store advertises a 
lace scarf for 1,500 dollars! Another has a bridal dress for 
1,200 dollars. Bonnets at 200 dollars are also sold. Cashmeres 
from 300 dollars and upwards are seen by dozens along Broad- 
way. And 100 dollars is quite a common price for a silk gown. 
Think of such a scale of prices for ' un-ideaed ' American 
women ! Can the pampering of such vanities elevate the char- 
acter of our women ? " 

" The Rise and Fall of Crinoline " is delightfully set forth in 
" Punch." Figure 153 is copied from a cartoon of 1857, 
and shows, besides the crinoline, the fashionable wrap and 
bonnet. A glimpse of a head-dress of bows of ribbons, which 
was also characteristic of the period, is shown on the left side of 
the picture. 

The dress shown in Figures 255 and 268 is made of a 
rich lustrous silk which stands out by itself, although it was 
evidently assisted by crinoline in the days of its youth. The 
prevailing colour is brown, the alternate stripes being a cross- 
bar pattern of two shades of brown, and a pattern of variegated 
roses en chine. The trimmings are, according to the fashion of 
the fifties, made to match the dress, the colours brown and 
pink being woven into the fringe and the guimpe heading. 
The lace collar and the brooch are also copied from originals 
and were worn in Philadelphia in 1855. The hair is taken 
from a contemporary portrait. 

Deep collars were worn at this time (see Figure 255) and 
bonnets were shallower in the crown and worn back from the 
face as in Figures 149, 268 and 269. 

Cashmere shawls and inexpensive imitations of them were 
worn very generally throughout the fifties. A very beautiful 
specimen of the former is shown in the initial to this chapter. 



254 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

It was worn in Philadelphia by Mrs. Emlen Cresson. Tunisian 
shawls, manufactured from silk refuse and usually woven in 
stripes of two colours, were worn in summer, and a very graceful 
wrap, the Algerian burnous, was introduced at this time, and 
became a favourite garment for theatre wear. The material was 
a mixture of silk and goat's hair, and the full flowing lines of 
this Arab mantle with a sort of hood finished with a tassel, were 
not ungraceful even over the fashionable hooped skirt. Beaver 
hats with long ostrich feathers were worn by young ladies in 
1859. At least one American girl bears witness to this fashion : 
" I wonder if my descendants, should they ever read these 
memoirs, will be shocked at the levity of an ancestress who 
frankly acknowledges that the most vivid recollection left in 
her mind is a grey merino pelisse and black beaver hat and 
plumes, with which her small person was decked during the 
winter of 1859."* 

The fashionable shape for several years was a shallow crown 
and soft, wide drooping brim like the picture of a fine straw hat 
trimmed with ribbon copied from a fashion plate of 1857 
given in Figure 253 and the soft felt hat in Figure 258. 

Mrs. Clay, the wife of the Senator from Alabama, spent 
many years in Washington at that prosperous and pleasant 
period of American history, " before the war." In her most en- 
tertaining Diary she gives very valuable notes on the fashions 
of the fifties, although we may not agree with her in pronounc- 
ing them "graceful and picturesque." 

"In 1858-59 the hair was arranged on the top of the head in 
heavy braids, wound like a coronet, over the head (Figure 255), 
and the coiffure was varied now and then with a tiara of velvet 
and pearls, or jet, or coral. Ruffled dresses gave place to 
panelled skirts in which two materials, a plain and embossed or 

*A Southern Girl iu 1861. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 255 

brocaded fabric, were combined, and basques with postillion 
backs became the order of the day. The low-coiled hair, with 
brow free from frizzes and bangs, was the style adopted by such 
prominent beauties as Mrs. Pugh and Mrs. Pendleton, who in 
Lord Napier's opinion had the most classic head he had seen in 
America. Low necks and lace berthas, made fashionable be- 
cause of their adoption by Miss Lane,* were worn almost univer- 
sally, either with open sleeves revealing inner ones of filling 
lace, or sleeves of the shortest possible form allowing the 
rounded length of a pretty arm to be seen in all its perfection. 
Evening gloves were of half length only, or as often reaching 
half way to the elbow. They were of kid or silk with backs 
embroidered in delicate silks with now and then a jewel spark- 
ling among the colours. Our gloves and our fans and handker- 
chiefs and bonnets and the larger part of our dress accessories, 
as well as such beautiful gown patterns as were purchased ready 
to be made up by a New York or Washington dressmaker, were 
all imported directly from foreign houses and the services of our 
travelling and consular friends were in constant requisition for 
the selection of fine lace shawls, flounces, unclersleeves and 
other fashionable garnitures. Scarcely a steamer but brought 
to the Capital dainty boxes of Parisian flowers, bonnets and 
other foreign novelties despatched by such interested deputies."f 

Speaking of shopping in Washington, another gifted woman 
of the South has recorded her own experiences in a book which 
we venture to say will always hold a high place among con- 
temporary histories of that unhappy period of our national life. J 

"... There were few shops. But such shops ! There 
was Gait's, where the silver, gems and marbles were less attract- 

* Niece of President Buchanan. 

t A Belle of the Fifties : Memoirs of Mrs. Clay, 1855-56. 

J Reminiscences of Peace and War, by Mrs. Roger A. Pryor. 



256 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

ive than the cultivated gentlemen who sold them ; Gautier's, 
the palace of sweets, with Mrs. Gautier in an armchair before 
her counter to tell you the precise social status of every one of 
her customers and, what is more, to put you in your own ; Har- 
per's, where the dainty, leisurely salesman treated his laces with 
respect, drawing up his cuffs lest they touch the ethereal 
beauties; and the little corner shop of stern Madame Delarue, 
who imported as many (and no more) hats and gloves as she 
was willing to sell as a favour to the ladies of the diplomatic 
and official circles, and whose dark-eyed daughter, Leonide 
(named for her godmother, a Greek lady of rank), was sus- 
ceptible of unreasoning friendships and could be coaxed to pre- 
serve certain treasures for humbler folk. 

" Leonide once awoke me in the middle of the night with a 
note bidding me ' come toute de suite,' for ' Maman' was asleep ; 
the boxes had arrived and she and I could peep at the bonnets 
and choose the best one for myself. Thus it was that I once 
bore away a ' divine creation ' of point lace, crape and shaded 
asters before Madame had seen it. Otherwise it would have 

* 

been reserved for Miss Harriet Lane or Mrs. Douglas. Madame 
had to know later ; and Leonide was not much in evidence the 
rest of that season. At Madame Delarue's, if one was very 
gentil, very convenable, one might have the services of Frangois, 
the one and only hair-dresser of note, who had adjusted coronets 
on noble heads, and who could (if so minded) talk of them 
agreeably in Parisian French." 

" Le Follet " was the great Parisian authority whose dictates 
were published every month not only in England but also in 
the United States. At the close of this decade, a tendency 
to exaggeration in the prevailing fashions may be noticed 
which called forth the following satire from Mr. Punch : * 

* Punch, 1859. 



HISTOKIC DRESS IN AMERICA 257 

" From ' Le Follet ' of this month, we have the pleasure of 
learning that ' the robes are generally made with five or seven 
flounces, the top one not reaching higher than the knee.' This 
is extremely moderate, and husbands, with incomes under 300 
a year, will be delighted to learn that the number is so limited. 
For ourselves, we think ' seven flounces ' positively absurd, and 
you might as well have none at all, if they are not to go any 
higher than the knee. We had hoped to see a lady who was all 
flounces a regular muslin La Scala, tier upon tier of flounces 
rising right up to the proscenium. The time was when you 
could not distinguish the dress from the profusion of the trim- 
mings. If they keep falling off in this way, we shall soon be 
able to see what the pattern of a lady's dress is like. 

" Further on ' Le Follet ' tells us confidentially that it ' pre- 
fers a skirt completely bouillonne6, notwithstanding the incon- 
venience of its holding the dust.' We do not know what 
bouillonn6e exactly means. We are perfectly aware that bouillon 
means broth, but still it is a mystery to us how any one can 
prefer a skirt that is bouilloneed all over, for we have noticed 
ladies, who at dinner have had a little soup spilt over their 
dress, look as though they did not altogether like it ; nor can 
we see how ' broth ' and ' dust ' would go very well together. 
Supposing they do, the recommendation of this new fashion 
seems to be that it enables every lady to be her own Dust 
Carrier. The scavengers ought to be very much obliged to 
them. 

" With regard to bonnets we are informed that ' thin bonnets 
are usually made with double curtains.' Why not have your 
bonnet like an old four-post bedstead, with curtains all round 
it? It would be much cooler, though we have a difficulty in 
seeing what great use there is in having a bonnet at all, when 
you have a couple of curtains to hide it ! We cannot help star- 



1829-1855 

FIGURE 208. 1829 Paper doll of this date and her outfit. 
FIGURE 209. 1840 Doll in wedding dress and veil. 
FIGURE 210. 1855 Patent-headed doll in pantalettes. 
FIGURE 211. 1851 Wax doll in Bloomer costume. 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 261 

ing also at the notion of a ' thin bonnet.' The thinness may be 
in consequence of the weather." 

The custom of wearing mourning has always been combated 
by the masculine mind. Trollope's veiled satire on the con- 
ventional costume of an English widow is a touch of nature 
that awakens an echo of kinship in men the whole world over. 
We recall Mrs. Greenow in " Can You Forgive Her " : 

" The Widow was almost gorgeous in her weeds. I believe 
that she had not sinned in her dress against any of those canons 
which the semi-ecclesiastical authorities on widowhood have 
laid down for outward garments fitted for gentlemen's rel- 
icts. The materials were those which are devoted to the 
deepest conjugal grief. As regarded every item of the written 
law her suttee worship was carried out to the letter. There was 
the widow's cap, generally so hideous, so well known to the 
eyes of all men, so odious to womanhood. Let us hope that 
such head-gear may have some assuaging effect on the departed 
spirits of husbands. There was the dress of deep, clinging, 
melancholy crape, of crape which becomes so brown and so 
rusty, and which makes the six months' widow seem so much 
more afflicted a creature than she whose husband is just gone, 
and whose crape is therefore new. There were the trailing 
weepers, and the widow's kerchief pinned close round her neck, 
and somewhat tightly over her bosom. But there was that of 
genius about Mrs. Greenow, that she had turned every seeming 
disadvantage to some special profit, and had so dressed herself 
that though she had obeyed the law to the letter, she had 
thrown the spirit of it to the winds. Her cap sat jauntily on 
her head, and showed just so much of her rich brown hair as to 
give her the appearance of youth which she desired. 
She spent more money, I think, on new crape than she did on 
her brougham. It never became brown and rusty with her, or 



262 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

formed itself into old lumpy folds, or shaped itself round her 
like a grave cloth. The written law had not interdicted crino- 
line, and she loomed as large with weeds, which with her were 
not sombre, as she would do with her silks when the period of 
her probation should be over. Her weepers were bright with 
newness, and she would waft them aside from her shoulder 
with an air which turned even them into auxiliaries. Her ker- 
chief was fastened close round her neck and close over her 
bosom ; but Jeannette well knew what she was doing as she 
fastened it, and so did Jeannette's mistress." 

In Figure 271, a. peignoir or house gown of pink cachemire, 
trimmed with a Persian border, is given. It opens over a 
white embroidered petticoat. The sleeves are full, showing 
white undersleeves at the wrist. In Figure 264 a mantilla of 
black velvet, trimmed with Chantilly lace, pictures a fashionable 
outdoor garment in the fifties. 



Women's Dress 

1860-1870 

I/acoutumace nous rendfamilier 

Ce que now parassait terrible et singulier." 

N the year 1860 Fashion had set its seal on 
the most exaggerated form of the hoop- 
skirt. We are told that it was not really 
ungraceful when first introduced by the 
Empress Eugenie, but there was no grace 
whatever about the hoop-skirt of the six- 
ties. From our point of view, accustomed 
to many years of clinging draperies, it 
seems almost incredible that women of 
judgment and taste could ever have adopted this monstrosity of 
Fashion. Nevertheless there are reams of contemporary evi- 
dence to prove that it was universally worn and by women of all 
classes. A popular song runs thus : 

" Now crinoline is all the rage with ladies of whatever age, 
A petticoat made like a cage oh, what a ridiculous fashion ! 
'Tis formed of hoops and bars of steel, or tubes of air which lighter 

feel, 

And worn by girls to be genteel, or if they've figures to conceal. 
It makes the dresses stretch far out a dozen yards or so about, 
And pleases both the thin and stout oh, what a ridiculous fashion ! " 

The noted historian, McCarthy, in his " Portraits of the 

Sixties," although not without prejudice in matters of much 

263 




264 HISTORIC DRESS IX AMERICA 

greater importance, bears such witness to the prodigious spread 
of the crinoline in circumference and popular esteem as cannot 
be denied. We give his animadversion in his own words : 

" There is one peculiarity belonging to the early sixties which 
I cannot leave out of notice, although assuredly it has little 
claim to association with art or science, with literature or 
politics. The early sixties saw in this and most other civilized 
countries the reign of crinoline. It is well for the early sixties 
that they had so many splendid claims to historical recollec- 
tion, but it may be said of them that if they had bequeathed no 
other memory to a curious and contemplative posterity, the 
reign of crinoline would still have secured for them an abiding- 
place in the records of human eccentricities. I may say, with- 
out fear of contradiction, that no one who was not living at the 
time can form any adequate idea of the grotesque effect pro- 
duced on the outer aspects of social life by this article of femi- 
nine costume. The younger generation may turn over as much 
as it will the pages of ' Punch,' which illustrate the ways and 
manners of civilization at that time, but with all the undeniable 
cleverness and humour of 'Punch's' best caricatures, the 
younger generation can never fully realize what extraordinary 
exhibitions their polite ancestresses made of themselves during 
that terrible reign of crinoline. . . . The fashion of crino- 
line defied caricature for the actual reality was more full of un- 
picturesque and burlesque effects than any satirical pencil could 
realize on a flat outspread sheet of paper. The fashion of 
crinoline, too, defied all contemporary ridicule. A whole new 
school of satirical humour was devoted in vain to the ridicule 
of crinoline. The boys in the streets sang comic songs to 
make fun of it, but no street bellowings of contempt could 
incite the wearers of this most inconvenient and hideous article 
of dress to condemn themselves to clinging draperies. Crino- 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 265 

line, too, created a new sort of calamity all its own. Every 
day's papers gave us fresh accounts of what were called crino- 
line accidents, cases, that is to say, in which a woman was 
severely burned or burned to death because of some flame of 
fire or candle catching her distended drapery at some unex- 
pected moment. There were sacrifices made to the prevailing 
fashion which would have done the sufferers immortal honour 
if they had been made for the sake of bearing some religious 
or political emblem condemned by ruling and despotic author- 
ities. Its inconvenience was felt by the male population as 
well as by the ladies who sported the obnoxious construction. 
A woman getting out of a carriage, an omnibus, or a train, 
making her way through a crowded room, or entering into the 
stalls of a theatre, was a positive nuisance to all with whom she 
had to struggle for her passage. The hoop-petticoats of an 
earlier generation were moderate in their dimensions and slight 
in the inconvenience they caused when compared with the rigid 
and enormous structure in which our ladies endeavoured to 
conform to the fashion set up by the Empress of the French. 
I remember well seeing a great tragic queen of opera going 
through a thrilling part at one of the lyric theatres. Her 
crinoline was of ultra-expansion, was rigid and unyielding in 
its structure as the mail corselet of the Maid of Orleans. The 
skirt of silk or satin spread over it, so symmetrically and so 
rigidly conformed to the outlines of the crinoline that it 
seemed as if it were pasted to the vast arrangement beneath. 
The thrill and tragedy of the part were wholly lost on me. 
I could only see the unpicturesque absurdity of the exhibition. 
I could feel no sympathy with the dramatic sufferings of the 
melodious heroine thus enclosed. Every movement and rush 
of passion, of prayer, of wild despair, or distracted love was 
lost on me, for each change of posture only brought into more 



266 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

striking display the fact that I was looking at a slight and 
graceful woman boxed up in some sort of solid barrel of pre- 
posterous size over which her skirt was artificially spread. To 
this day I can only think of that glorious singer as of a woman 
for some reason compelled to exhibit herself on the stage with 
a barrel fastened round her waist. A lyrical heroine jump- 
ing in a sack would have been graceful and reasonable by com- 
parison. Do what we will, we who lived in those days cannot 
dissociate our memories of the crinoline from our memories of 
the women of the period." * 

The obnoxious hoop-skirt was usually made of graduated 
rows of steel wire with a woven cotton casing, held together by 
broad strips of tape running lengthwise. It was collapsible and 
very easily broken, adding another inconvenience to its use. 
The earlier form of reeds run into casings made in a petticoat of 
cotton, proved to be too heavy and clumsy, and was almost en- 
tirely abandoned in 1860. 

Mrs. Pryor narrates an adventure during the Civil War, of 
which the derided hoop-skirt was the heroine. 

" One day I was in an ambulance, driving on one of the in- 
terminable lanes of the region, the only incident being the 
watery crossing over the ' cosin,' as the driver called the 
swamps that had been ' Poquosin ' in the Indian tongue. Be- 
hind me came a jolting two-wheeled cart, drawn by a mule and 
driven by a small negro boy, who stood in front with a foot 
planted firmly upon each of the shafts. Within and com- 
pletely filling the vehicle, which was nothing more than a box 
on wheels, sat a dignified-looking woman. The dame of the 
ambulance at once became fascinated by a small basket of 
sweet potatoes which the dame of the cart carried on her lap. 

' With a view to acquiring these treasures, I essayed a tenta- 

* Portraits of the Sixties, by Justin McCarthy. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 267 

tive conversation upon the weather, the prospects of a late 
spring, and finally the scarcity of provisions and consequent 
sufferings of the soldiers. 

" After a keen glance of scrutiny the market woman ex- 
claimed : ' Well, I am doing all I can for them ! I know you 
won't speak of it. Look here ! ' 

" Lifting the edge of her hooped petticoat, she revealed a 
roll of army cloth, several pairs of cavalry boots, a roll of 
crimson flannel, packages of gilt braid and sewing silk, cans of 
preserved meats, and a bag of coffee ! She was on her way to 
our own camp, right under the General's nose ! Of course I 
should not betray her, I promised. I did more. Before we 
parted she had drawn forth a little memorandum book and had 
taken a list of my own necessities. She did not ' run the 
blockade ' herself. She had an agent , ' a dear, good Suffolk 
man,' who would fill my order on his next trip." 

Another hoop-skirt story seems worthy of repetition and 
offers a practical suggestion to the Women's Society for the 
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A young lady in San 
Francisco dressed in the height of the fashion of the summer of 
1865, which of course included a wide-spreading crinoline, was 
out walking and had with her a pet spaniel, for whose protec- 
tion she had neglected to take out a license. Suddenly the dog 
catchers, with their horrible paraphernalia of nets, etc., and fol- 
lowed as usual by a mob of idle boys and men, came into sight, 
and in a few minutes the officials of the law confronted the 
young lady and tried to seize her dbg. Tilting her hoop-skirt 
a little to one side, she called the dog who wisely took refuge 
under the protecting shelter that offered, and with flaming 
cheeks, the lady held her ground despite the vituperation of the 
dog catchers. The crowd cheered her with shouts of " Good for 
you, Lady," " Don't let them have him, Lady," etc., and 



1824-1860 

FIGURE 212. 1853 Infant's shirt of linen cambric. 

FIGURE 213. 1835 Child's spencer of white linen, shirred on the shoulders 
and with leg-of-muttou sleeves. 

FIGURE 214. 1860 Child's shirt of linen cambric. 

FIGURE 215. 1855 Christening robe. Worn iu Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 216. 1837 Costume of light brown cashmere. Bonnet to match. 
Worn in Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 217. 1824 Infant's dress of fine cambric trimmed with tiny rows 
of cording and a ruffle. 

FIGURE 218. 1826 Infant's robe trimmed with insertion and edge of Eng- 
lish eyelet embroidery. 

FIGURE 219. 1860 Child's blue kid shoes with strings. 

FIGURE 220. 1837 Baby in a long cloak of fawn-coloured cloth. 






CW-TKOUT- 

ID07. 





;;0-, ,;. yw. - ;>,. 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 271 

finally the enemy retreated and the lady took her dog into her 
arms and fled homeward. 

The reign of the hoop-skirt was beginning to decline in 1865, 
and the change for the better was joyously recorded by 
" Punch." 

" BHYMES TO DECREASING CRINOLINE 
" With exceeding satisfaction 

A remarkable contraction 
Of thy petticoat our eyes have lately seen ; 
The expanse of ladies' dress, 
Thauk its yielding arbitress, 
Growing beautifully less, 
Crinoline." 

A maker in London offered a prize of a hundred guineas for 
the best poem on the hoop-skirt by way of advertising the gar- 
ment, and with the purpose of keeping it in favour. This 
fashion " finally and reluctantly disappeared " about the time 
that the rule of the beautiful Empress and the Second Empire 
of France was drawing to a close. 

As we will see by the following story, vouched for by a con- 
temporary, the fame of one crinoline outlived its fragile frame. 

" Some time after the close of the Civil War, about 1869-70, 
a story was published by a Northern writer of a somewhat face- 
tious nature, purporting to explain the failure of the Southern 
cause. The title as well as can be remembered was ' How the 
Southern Confederacy Was Lost/ and the story was about as 
follows : In the South during the war it was very hard for the 
women, shut off as they were, to keep up with the fashions in 
dress. From time to time an illustrated paper or magazine 
would get within the lines, showing what was being worn in 
the outside world. This was quite provoking as many of the 
things were not to be had in the Confederacy. Among others, 
the hoop-skirt of the period, made of steel wire woven into a 



272 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

cotton cover, was much coveted and very hard to get. In a cer- 
tain part of the South it was the ambition of a young lady to 
obtain one of these much-wished-for garments, shall we call 
them? and after much trouble and a large expenditure of paper 
money, the object was achieved. Here, as they say on the play 
bills, ' a period ' is supposed to have elapsed and the erstwhile 
stylish and proud fabric of steel and cotton has suffered the in- 
evitable fate, and, although mended and tied up in places, is at 
last, sad to say, no longer a sustaining force, but rather a de- 
pressed object, and from the amount of cotton casing considered 
more fit for the rag bag than the metal scrap heap. Now it 
happened that a critical time had come in the history of the 
South. It was becoming more and more evident that witbout 
foreign recognition, the effort to establish a nation would fail. 
A ray of hope came ; it was reported that England would not 
only recognize them, but would take millions of their bonds, 
and everything was hurried with the object of getting these 
bonds out as quickly as possible. In fact, it was declared that 
they must be ready on a certain day for shipment on an English 
ship which could not remain beyond a certain date. The paper 
mills were working night and day making the paper for the 
bonds, then they were to be printed, signed and shipped, but 
alas, a catastrophe occurred. Among the rags now being made 
into paper was what remained of the old hoop-skirt and still 
sticking to part of the webbing there was a small piece of the 
steel wire. Need we tell more? This, getting into the 
machinery, soon ruined it; no more machines could be pro- 
cured, the works stopped, and before matters could be again ar- 
ranged, the ship for England had to sail and the hopes of the 
Confederacy were blasted forever." 

This period, known in the history of our country by the am- 
biguous title of the "Civil War," offers for our observation two 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 273 



sides to the question of dress, as well as of politics. With the 
latter we need not meddle, but the picture of the restricted 
social life of the South and the economies in dress practised by 
the once most fashionable element of our people is very in- 
teresting. 

While pathetic scenes were being enacted in camp, the ladies 
of Richmond were entertaining, dressing, and dancing by way 
of keeping up their courage. 

" President and Mrs. Davis gave a large reception last week, 
and the ladies looked positively gorgeous. Mrs. Davis is in 
mourning for her father." * 

During the progress of the war Mrs. Pryor was reduced to 
finding some means of feeding her household, and, out of a 
trunkful of " before the war" finery, which had been long 
stored away, manufactured articles of lingerie, collars, under- 
sleeves, neckties, etc., which brought good prices in the inflated 
Confederate currency. In her endeavour to keep in the neigh- 
bourhood of General Pryor's brigade, she stopped for a while 
at Petersburg, and describes the ingenuity of the women there. 

Mrs. Pryor also mentions the advanced prices during the war 
times in the Southern states. 

Calico of the commonest kind in those days was sold at 
twenty-five dollars a yard, " and we women of the Confed- 
eracy cultivated such an indifference to Paris fashions as 
would have astonished our former competitors in the Federal 
capital." 

Invention, that clever daughter of Necessity, devised a cos- 
tume for a Southern belle (for in peace or in war the women of 
Dixie were always belles) which made such an impression on 
an English newspaper correspondent, that he sent a description 
of it to his London paper. This was a gown of unbleached 

* Reminiscences of Pence and War. 



274 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

muslin (made at Macon, Georgia) and trimmed with gourd seed 
buttons dyed crimson. 

" My Petersburg beauties were all wearing hats of their own 
manufacture, the favourite style being the Alpine with a 
pointed crown. For trimming, very soft and lovely flowers were 
made of feathers, the delicate white feather with a tuft of fleecy 
marabout at its stem. The marabout tuft should be carefully 
drawn off, to be made into swansdown trimming. A wire was 
prepared and covered with green paper for a stem, a little ball 
of wax fastened at the end, and covered with a tiny tuft of the 
down for a centre, and around this the feathers were stuck, with 
incurving petals for apple blossoms, and half open roses, and re- 
versed for camel ias. Neatly trimmed and suitably tinted, these 
flowers were handsome enough for anybody, and were in great 
demand. Cock's plumes were also used on hats, iridescent, and 
needing no colouring." 

The becoming fashion of wearing black velvet around the 
throat was revived in 1860, a gold locket or a jewel pendant 
usually being worn on it in the evening. Gold chains and rows 
of gold beads were also very popular. 

A prevalent style of coiffure during the ten years between 
1860-1870 was popularly known as the waterfall. A frame of 
horsehair was attached to the back of the head by an elastic, 
and the back hair brushed smoothly over it, the ends caught up 
underneath. A net was usually worn over this " chignon " to 
keep the hair in place. Often the whole structure was made of 
false hair and fastened on with hairpins. Augustus Hare tells 
a good story about a " waterfall " or " chignon " of this kind. 
" How well I remember the Aumales riding through the green 
avenues near Ossington ; Mary Boyle was with them. She was 
a most excellent horsewoman, but a great gust of wind came 
and the whole edifice of her ' chignon ' was blown off before she 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 275 

could stop it. The little Prince de Conde was very young and 
he was riding with her. He picked it up and said, 'I will keep 
it in my pocket and then when we reach Thorsby you can just 
go quietly away and put it on ' and so she did." 

Many illustrations of this arrangement are given in " Punch." 
In Figure 140 the back hair is done in a " waterfall," and in 
Figure 168 the hair under the net is arranged over a horsehair 
rouleau attached to the head by a narrow elastic cord. The lat- 
ter was generally adopted by schoolgirls, and was very easily 
adjusted. 

" In the arrangement of the hair," says an acknowledged 
American authority of this period, " regard ought to be paid to 
the style of the features as well as to the general appearance of 
the wearer. When the features are large or strongly marked, 
the hair should be arranged in masses, in large curls or well de- 
fined bows, so as to harmonize with the general cast of the coun- 
tenance. If, on the contrary, the features are small and delicate, 
the greatest care should be taken not to render too striking the 
contrast between them and the magnitude of the head-dress. 
Small and delicately formed curls or ringlets, braids, or light and 
airy bows are the most pleasing varieties for this style. The fea- 
tures of the greater number of young ladies, however, cannot be 
classed under either of these extremes. When such is the case, 
the fancy of the individual is of course allowed greater latitude, 
but ought to be no less subject to the dictates of taste." 

While on the subject of hair, it is interesting to note that 
" Miss Reed (of Tennessee) was the original girl with a curl in 
the middle of her forehead," the "coquettish item of coiffure" 
being speedily imitated by a hundred other girls in Washington. 

A new fashion in 1866, introduced by Eugenie, was known 
as the " Empress peplin." It consisted of a belt with basque 
tails cut square in front and back and very long at the sides. 



276 HISTOKIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

A French authority remarked of this innovation : " The peplin 
marks an epoch in history, and deserves our gratitude, for with 
it crinoline was decidedly an anomaly and its fall was assured." 
Nets for the hair (Figure 168) and the still popular en tout 
cas, between a parasol and an umbrella, were also novelties 
stamped by the approval of the Empress. Not the least popular 
of the fashions adopted by this lady was the arrangement of 
hair which is still known by her name. A photograph is given 
(Figure 138) showing the curls hanging from the coil at the 
back, etc. The Empress was a most accomplished equestrienne, 
and for this exercise preferred an almost masculine costume. 
The long full skirt was worn over grey cloth trousers and on 
her feet were patent leather boots with high heels and spurs. 
The curls were concealed by a trig coil of braids under the long 
plume of her hat. It was, we are told, her custom to ride 
astride and she " despised the side saddle ordinarily used by her 



sex." 



A contemporary American authority speaks of " Foulard," a 
silk first introduced in 1860 which still retains popular favour. 

" In the foulards for ordinary wear, pansies, clusters of ber- 
ries, fruit, as the cherry and plum, are among the newest 
designs." 

Specimens of the fashions in bonnets of this decade are illus- 
trated in Figures 282 and 283 from originals in the interesting 
collection of Miss Dutihl in Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. One 
of these bonnets (Figure 282) is made of emerald green velvet 
with a brim of white bengaline, a full trimming next the face 
of blond lace, green velvet and white roses, and two sets of 
strings, one of white ribbon and the other of green velvet. The 
other (Figure 283) is of brown horsehair braid and brown silk 
witli a quilling of the same. White tulle, black velvet ribbon 
and red poppies inside the brim. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 277 

These bonnets are much flatter on top and more open at 
the ears than formerly. A variety of fancy braids, and some 
delicately fine Dunstables and split French straws were popular. 
We find the following under the heading " Spring Bonnets " : 

"A Neapolitan braid, grey and white, trimmed with Solferino 
and grey ribbon drawn into rosettes on one side, with straw 
centres, which give them much the appearance of poppies, a long 
loop of ribbon and two straw tassels complete the trimming of 
the left side, and on the other side the ribbon is drawn down 
perfectly plain. The cape and front of the bonnet are finished 
with a puffing of Solferino crape. 

" An English chip bonnet, with pansy-coloured velvet cape. 
On the right side of the bonnet are two bows of pansy ribbon 
worked with gold stars, and on the other a large bunch of 
scarlet flowers. 

" Fine split straw with dark crown, trimmed with a sapphire 
blue ribbon and a white ribbon. On the right side of the bon- 
net is a large water-lily with buds and leaves. The inside 
trimming is a roll of sapphire blue velvet, black tabs, and a 
small lily on one side. 

"A Tuscan braid trimmed on one side with white ribbon 
bound with black velvet, and black lace rosettes with jet 
centres, and on the left side are handsome jet tassels fastened by 
medallions of white gimp. The inside trimming is in a puffing 
of white illusion, and large black rosettes with jet pendants. 
This is a beautiful style of bonnet for light mourning." 

Hats were very small in the sixties. The mushroom hat of 
1907 is a revival of a style introduced in 1862. Another shape 
much worn at that time had a round crown and small rolling 
brim, and was usually trimmed with a drooping ostrich feather. 
Illustrations of both these fashionable hats are given in 

* Godey'a Lady's Book (1861). 



1808-1830 

FIGURE 222. 1808 Specimen of hand-painted trimming, a popular fancy- 
work in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Chinese shawl of 
muslin embroidered in a design of pagodas and trees. White mull 
shawl. White satin slippers. Part of the wedding outfit of Miss Lydia 
Learning, worn in Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 223. 1808 Wedding veil, fan and reticule. Linen gloves cut out 

and sewn by hand. 
FIGURE 224. 1808 Black lace scarf. 

1820 Throe-cornered shawl. 
FIGURE 225. 1810 Baby dress. 

1830 Embroidered pelisse. 









\ 







222 



2,2.5 




HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 281 

Figures 163 and 165 and in Figure 169 will be seen the picture 
of a walking hat decorated with a feather which came into 
favour in 1865, and was celebrated in the following verses of a 
popular song : 

"THE JOCKEY HAT AND FEATHER 

" As I was walking out, one day, 

Thinking of the weather, 
I saw a pair of roguish eyes 

'Neath a hat aud feather ; 
She looked at me, I looked at her, 

It made my heart pit-pat, 
Then, turning round, she said to me, 

How do you like uiy hat ? 

" CHORUS Oh ! I said ; it's gay and pretty too ; 
They look well together, 
Those glossy curls and Jockey hat, 
With a rooster feather. 

" She wore a handsome broadcloth basque, 

Cut in the latest fashion, 
Aud flounces all around her dress 

Made her look quite dashing ; 
Her high-heeled boots, as she walk'd on, 

The pavement went pit-pat, 
I will ne'er forget the smile I saw, 

Beneath the Jockey hat. 

"CHORUS Oh ! I said," etc. 



The pork-pie was the name of another style of hat. It was 
not unlike the turban hat in shape, but there was a little space 
between the brim and crown. (See Figure 164.) 

In the year 1863, the game of croquet was introduced and 
became very popular on both sides of the ocean. " Punch " has 
described it in the following verses : 



282 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" CROQUET 

" Aid me, ye playful iiymphs that flit around 
The Pegs and Hoops of every Croquet ground ! 
Ye gentle spirits do not mock, nor blame 
My humble efforts to describe the Game. 
Eight's the full complement of players : more 
Thau six is bad, I think ; let two or four 
Of equal skill for Croquet's laurels fight, 
This the best form of game. Say, am I right? 
Let Messrs. Robinson and Jones choose sides ; 
Miss Smith, Miss Brown ; perchance their future brides, 
Events do happen strange as those we read, 
And Croquet may to Hymen's Altar lead. 
Jones wins the toss, and cunning dog, forthwith, 
Takes for his partner blonde Miss Emmy Smith, 
While Robinson, who'd just begun to frown, 
Looks happy and selects brunette Miss Brown. 
On Emmy, Blue her partner's care bestows, 
And her with Yellow does Brunette oppose ; 
Jones chooses Green ; two laugh : ' he laughs who wins ' : 
To Robinson the Red : and Red begins." 

A croquet costume is shown in Figure 166 from ;i fashion 
book of 1868, in which the dress is made with an apron front 
and looped up over a gay coloured under petticoat and the high 
walking boots are finished with a silk tassel at the ankle. A 
short sacque or loose jacket is worn with this dress, and a small 
hat with a long ostrich feather falling over the hair. 

In Figure 246 illustrations of shoes worn during the sixties 
are given. Congress gaiters were made of cloth and, instead of 
opening up the front, were finished with a broad piece of elastic 
on each side. They were cut rather low, and were made in dif- 
ferent colours and tipped with patent leather. Balmoral boots, 
depicted in Figure 166, were very popular. They laced up the 
front and were considered very stylish, and were effectively worn 
in the game of croquet, or with seaside costume. A sketch by 
Leech in " Punch " has the following squib printed under- 
neath it : 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 283 

" That the mermaids of our beaches cl6 not end in ngly tails, 
Nor have homes among the corals, but are shod with neat bahuorals, 
An arrangement no one quarrels with, 
As many might with seals." 

A riding habit of 1865 is given in the initial at the begin- 
ning of 'this chapter. It is taken from a contemporary English 
print. It is similar to the costume worn by Queen Victoria as 
represented in the equestrian statue at Liverpool. Several at- 
tractive riding habits are described in the magazines of the 
sixties : 

A black cloth with a long basque with revers in front, 
standing white collar with cherry silk necktie. Black felt hat 
with dark blue grenadine veil. 

A blue cloth habit made with a square coat tail in the back, 
and point in front. Standing linen c'ollar with necktie of white 
muslin. Black straw hat with blue feathers. 

Habit of grey cloth made with a short point back and front. 
Standing collar and blue silk necktie. Veil of grey tissue. 

Among other innovations introduced in this decade was the 
Garibaldi blouse, which for a while attained great popularity in 
America as well as in Europe. Two new colours which mark 
that dramatic period of Garibaldi's career, " Solferino " and 
" Magenta," were in favour during the sixties. A costume 
worn by Eugenie, grey woolen skirt looped in festoons over an 
under-petticoat of Solferino cashmere with a Garibaldi blouse 
of the same new colour, small hat with feather, may be con- 
sidered typical of the middle of that decade. (See Figure 165.) 

A popular song of that time describes these prevailing fash- 
ions. 

' ' RED PETTICOAT 

" You may talk about the fashions, 

Of bonnets neat and small, 
Of crinoline and flounces, 
But the stripes exceed them all. 



284 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

I'm fond of little bonnets, 

Of skirts quite full and wide, 
But they want the striped petticoat 

To show them off beside. 

" There's a beauty in the gaiter, 

That defies the clumsy foot, 
But the tidy little slipper, 

Looks best upon the foot. 
And if you wish to show it, 

Or have it well display 'd, 
Then with the striped petticoat 

Just take a promenade. 

" All women take the fashions 

Of Empress and Queen, 
Victoria wears the petticoat, 

And crinoline Eugene ; 
Victoria is a model, 

As every woman knows, 
And every girl should imitate 

Her virtues, well as clothes." 

The Zouave jacket, made either with or without sleeves, 
rivalled the Garibaldi blouse in popular favour. Like the 
spencers of an earlier date, these little jackets were made in 
every colour and combination. Zouave trousers for riding were 
among the new fashions for women in 1869. A plate of that 
date, in the collection of the Salmagundi Club of New York, 
shows a suit of dark green cloth, Zouave jacket and full Turkish 
trousers fastened at the ankle, and a fez to match with a black 
tassel hanging over the left side. 

Printed calicoes and chintzes were worn by maids, with 
white aprons and, in many households, white caps with a bow 
of ribbon, as in Figure 167, which is taken from a contempo- 
rary print. 

In the winter of 1869-1870 the hoop-skirt, which had been 
gradually diminishing in circumference since 1865, was super- 



HIS. OEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 285 

seded by dress improvers or bustles. These articles of attire 
were made either of horsehair with a series of ruffles across the 
back, or of cambric with steels run through a casing, their 
object being to hold the dress skirt out at the back. They were 
made like a petticoat with a plain breadth in front and the full 
trimming in the back breadth only, but they gradually grew 
smaller and smaller. 

Overdresses were worn with every costume in 1870, caught 
up at the sides and decorated with numerous bows or rosettes. 
Bodices were cut high and sashes to match the dress were very 
much worn in the street as well as with evening dresses. Very 
long trains were worn with the latter, but street costumes were 
made to clear the instep. Bonnets and hats were very small 
and flat. 

At this period (1869-1870) the hair was usually arranged in 
braids at the back and turned up and pinned close to the head, 
while the front hair was crimped, parted in the middle and 
drawn back above the ears, and the ends made into finger-puffs 
on top of the head. Curls were much worn, sometimes hang- 
ing in a soft cluster over the braids, but the favourite style was 
a long ringlet coming out from the braids at the left side and 
hanging down over the shoulder. For full dress occasions the 
coiffure consisted entirely of finger-puffs and small artificial 
flowers were placed at intervals through them. Bonnets were 
worn for visiting, etc., by every lady from the age of eighteen 
upwards. 

A debutante costume for fashionable street wear in 1870 was 
usually a dress of black silk trimmed with ruffles of the same, 
a close-fitting basque coat of black velvet trimmed with fur or 
with ostrich feather trimming, a bonnet of coloured velvet 
trimmed with flowers and, instead of strings, a bridle of velvet 
under the chin. Such a combination would be considered much 



T 



1836-1847 

FIGURE 227. 1838 A gentleman in full dress. Taken from a plate. 

FIGURE 228. 1838 A white satin wedding dresa trimmed with blond lace, 
worn in Philadelphia by Miss Mary Briutou. Head and veil from a 
contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 229. 1839 Gentleman in morning suit of mixed tweed. From a 
print of that date. 

FIGURE 230. 1836 A soft white figured silk gown worn in Philadelphia. 
The trimming is of the same material plaited and arranged in a fan- 
shaped bertha. Head is from a contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 231. 1837 Bottle-green broadcloth coat, white figured silk waist- 
coat ; worn in Philadelphia. Pantaloons, stock, etc., from a print of 
that date. Head from a portrait. 

FIGURE 232. 1847 Blue changeable silk pelisse, wadded and lined with 
white silk ; worn in Boston. Bonnet and gown from a print. Head 
from a contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 233. 1845 Greenish-gray satin gown, worn in Boston. Embroid- 
ered muslin cape from a plate. Head from a portrait of the same 
date. 

FIGURE 234. 1845 Blue coat with gilt buttons and white silk waistcoat ; 
worn in Philadelphia. Stock, hat, etc., from a plate. Head from a 
contemporary portrait. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 289 

too sedate for a grandmother in the present day. Black silk 
was also worn for evening dresses with sashes and trimmings of 
a bright colour or with a flat trimming of jet passementerie. 

Possibly the popularity of black may be traced to France, 
which was in great trouble in 1870. During the disastrous 
siege of Paris, Challomel tells us, " Fashion veiled her face. 
The ' Magazine des Modes ' was silent and under the melancholy 
circumstances black was universally worn, but it was not like 
ordinary mourning, being richly trimmed." 

Gloves with one button had been worn throughout the sixties 
even with short sleeves, but at the end of that decade a pro- 
nounced change was introduced. Picturesque Musquetaire 
gloves of " Suede," reaching almost to the elbow, at once 
claimed popular favour for evening dress. For street wear 
from two to six buttons were in vogue. Soft shades of tan and 
grey were the fashionable colours. The following verses by 
Locker gracefully express the sentiment attached to the glove 
at all periods : 

" Slips of a kid-skin deftly sewn, 
A scent as through her garden blown, 
The tender hue that clothes her dove, 
All these, and this is Gerty's glove. 

" A glove but lately dofft, for look 
It keeps the happy shape it took 
Warm from her touch ! who gave the glow f 
And vrhere's the mould that shaped it so ? " * 

* London Lyrics. 



CHILDREN'S GARMENTS 

1800-1870 



' ' NEW DRESSES 

" New dresses 1 Ay, this is the season 

For ' opening-day ' is close by : 
Already I know the ' Spring fashions ' 
Can tell you, I think, if I try. 

" Of colours, the first thing to mention, 

There's a great variety seen ; 
But that which obtains the most favour 
Is surely a very bright green. 

" True, the elderly portion are plainer, 

And choose, both in country and town, 
To appear in the shades which are sombre, 
And keep on the garment of brown. 

" Miss Snowdrop, the first of the season, 
Comes out in such very good taste 
Pure white, with her pretty green trimmings ; 
How charming she is, and how chaste ! 

" Miss Crocus, too, shows very early 
Her greetings of love for the sun, 
And comes in her white, blue or yellow ; 
All dresses of hers are home-spun. 

" And who is this handsome young master, 

A friend to Miss Crocus so true? 
He comes dressed in purple or yellow, 
And sometimes in pink, white and blue. 

" lu form he is tall and majestic ; 

Ah ! the Spring has just whispered his name : 
' Hyacinthus' the beau of the season ! 
And sweet and wide-spread is his fame. 

" Madame Tulip, a dashing gay lady, 

Appears in a splendid brocade ; 
She courts the bright sunbeams, which give her 
All colours of every shade. 



" She came to us o'er the wide ocean, 

Away from her own native air, 
But if she can dress as she chooses 
She can be quite at home anywhere. 

" Narcissus, a very vain fellow, 

Has a place in the Spring fashions, too 
Appears in his green, white and yellow, 

In his style, though, there's nothing that's new. 

" Miss Daisy wears white, with fine fluting ; 

A sweet little creature is she, 
But she loves the broad fields and green meadows, 
And cares not town fashions to see. 

" Another style, pretty and tasteful, 

Green, dotted with purple or blue, 
Is worn by Miss Myrtle, whose beauty 
In shade and retirement grew. 

" I've borrowed these styles from Dame Nature, 

Whose children are always well drest : 
In contrast and blending of colours 
She always knows what is the best. 

" Already her hand is arranging 

More elaborate trimmings for May ; 
In silence, unseen it is working, 
Accomplishing much every day. 

" Her ' full dress ' and festive occasion 

Will take place quite early in June, 
Ushered in by low notes of sweet music, 
Which her song-birds alone can attune." 

S. H. BARKER. 



Children's Garments 

1800-1835 

" Oh, what a silken stocking, 

And what a satin shoe ; 
I wish I was a little toe 
To live iii there, I do." 

HE dressing of babies and little girls in the 
early part of the nineteenth century was 
very simple and very pretty. The pre- 
vailing fashions for women were in fact 
more suitable for children than for their 
mothers, and the numerous portraits of 
that period show infants and children 
dressed in soft muslin, made with low 
necks, short sleeves, high waists, and 
scanty skirts just reaching to the ankles. 

Slippers or low shoes made of kid or satin were worn at all 

seasons, and a sash of ribbon and a necklace of coral or of gold 

beads were the favourite adornments. 

The little shoes sketched in Figure 219 belonged to a baby 

girl in Philadelphia and recall another rhyme of Kate Green- 

away's : 

" As I stepped out to hear the news, 
I met a lass in socks and shoes, 

She'd shoes with strings, and a friend had tied them, 
She'd a nice little pair of feet inside them ! " 

The hair was generally cut short, which is not a becoming 

fashion even to a pretty face. Curls, however, came into vogue 

295 




1804-1860 
FIGURE 235. 1812 Morning cap of embroidered muslin, called "coiffure 

a 1' indisposition." From a plate. 
FIGURE 236. 1812 Dinner cap of lace and muslin trimmed with white 

satiii. From a plate of the day. 

FIGURE 237. 1812 White " Hyde Park " bonnet. After a print. 
FIGURE 238. 1816 Bonnet of white chip trimmed with rouleaux of gauze 

and bunch of white flowers. From a plate. 
FIGURE 239. 1810-13 Hat of Leghorn trimmed with pale blue ribbon and 

straw rosettes around the crown. Wetherill collection. 
FIGURE 240. 1817 Straw bonnet trimmed with green ribbon rosette. 

/ From ajjlate. 
FIGURE 241. 1825-29 Leghorn hat with blue satin ribbon in a brocade 

scroll pattern. Wetherill collection. 
FIGURE 242. 1818-19 Hat of white straw with gauze ribbon ; white flowers 

and gauze plaits under the brim. Wetherill collection. 
FIGURE 243. 1804 Bonaparte hat of white gauze trimmed with wreath of 

laurel. 
FIGURE 244. 1819 Bonnet of white spotted satin trimmed with white satin 

ribbon. Wetherill collection. 

FIGURE 245. 1816 Muslin morning bonnet. From a plate. 
FIGURE 246. 1820-60 Pale blue ribbed silk slippers with satin rosettes. 

Gaiters of drab cloth laced up the side. Bronze kid slipper with 

red inlaid rosette. White kid slipper. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 299 



soon after 1800 and were encouraged and cultivated whenever 
it was possible. In a few years the fashion became so popular 
that curl papers were the torment of almost every little girl in 
the nursery. Caps, which as we have seen were ordinarily 
worn by grown people, were also worn in the house by children 
from 1800 to 1825, and will be noticed in many of the portraits 
by Sully, Stuart, and St. Memin. Over the caps, hats of beaver 
or straw, according to the season, were worn out-of-doors, 
demurely tied under the chin, for 

" Little Faiiny wears a hat 
Like her ancient Grannie." 

Mits of thread and silk, which were fashionable in the latter 
half of the eighteenth century, were still worn by children 
from 1800 to 1830. 

During the First Empire period the gowns of children were 
of the plainest. In Figure 77 a picture of the little niece of 
Napoleon shows a very unpretentious costume of sheer muslin 
trimmed with Valenciennes lace, which has been selected as a 
typical specimen of the garb of little girls from 1800 to 1820 in 
France, England and America. For outdoor wear pelisses or 
wrapping cloaks, lined or wadded and often trimmed with fur, 
were fashionable during the first quarter of the century, made 
as in Figure 175, with a standing collar, high waist and but- 
toned closely down the front. This particular pelisse is of red 
cloth and was worn in Philadelphia by little Mary Brinton in 
1812. It is not unlike the green pelisses of Kate Greenaway's 
verses : 

" Five little sisters walking in a row, 
Now isn't that the best way for little girls to go? 
Each had a round hat, each had a muff, 
And each had a new pelisse of soft green stuff." 



300 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

These outdoor garments were often made with capes, as in the 
following description taken from a fashion book of 1808: 

" A frock and short trousers of cambric, with Turkish 
pomposas [slippers] of jonquille kid. A wrapping coat with 
deep cape, formed of fine scarlet kerseymere. A beaver hat and 
feathers of dove colour." 

The hats of that period, illustrated in Figures 194, 195 and 
203, were quaint enough to find favour with Miss Greenaway 
when she started the picturesque revolution in the dress of 
children, which is still known by her name. Bonnets much 
like their elders were worn by small girls from the age of seven 
up, and remained in fashion all through the century (Figures 
157, 175, 181, 184, 187 and 280.) 



" Polly's, Peg's and Poppety's 

Mamma was kind aud good, 
She gave them each, one happy day, 
A little scarf and hood. 

" A bonnet for each girl she bought, 

To shield them from the sun ; 
They wore them in the snow and rain, 
And thought it mighty fun." 



An infant's dress worn in Boston in 1824 is illustrated in 
Figure 217. It is very dainty and a beautiful specimen of plain 
needlework. Another little dress of about the same date (see 
Figure 218) is trimmed with openwork insertion. A christen- 
ing frock shown in Figure 215, which is of a much later date, 
was worn by a Philadelphia baby in 1855. 

Long cloaks of merino, wadded and lined with silk and 
trimmed with embroidery or swansdown fur, were the usual 
outdoor garments of babies from 1800 to 1870. The picture of 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 3ul 

one in Figure 220 is taken from a baby cloak of fawn-coloured 
merino embroidered with silk of the same colour, and lined 
throughout with silk to match. It was made in England, and 
was sent to Philadelphia as a present to a little Quaker baby in 
1834. The bonnet was made to match the cloak and the ribbon 
trimmings are all of the exact shade of brown. A coat and 
bonnet of the same material and colour and made for an elder sis- 
ter of three years of age are shown in Figure 216. Both of these 
costumes are beautifully embroidered and nothing but the 
colour, which is rather sober for babies, suggests that they 
were especially designed for the children of Quaker parents. 
In the early part of the century, however, Quakers were 
much more rigid in their regulations with regard to dress. 
In the " Autobiography of Mary Howitt " she describes 
the austerely plain costumes of a little Quaker girl in 1809 as 
follows : 

" How well I remember the garments that were made for us. 
Our little brown cloth pelisses, cut plain and straight, without 
plait or fold in them, hooked and eyed down the front so as to 
avoid buttons, which were regarded by our parents as trim- 
mings, yet fastened at the waist, with a cord. Little drab 
beaver bonnets furnished us by the Friends' hatter of Stafford, 
James Nixon, who had blocks made purposely for our little 
ultra-plain bonnets. They were without a scrap of ribbon or 
cord, except the strings, which were a necessity, and these were 
fastened inside. Our frocks were, as usual, of the plainest and 
most homely fabric and make." 

Nothing could be more sad and doleful than the garb in 
Figure 288, copied from the woodcut in the book. 

The love for pretty things is almost an instinct with young 
children, and it is not easy to imagine the " Sophia " of Jane 
Taylor's verses entitled : 



302 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

"SOPHIA'S FOOL'S CAP 
" Sophia was a little child, 
Obliging, good and very mild, 
Yet, lest of dress she should be vain, 
Mamma still dressed her well but plain 
Her parents, sensible and kind, 
Wished only to adorn her uiiud ; 
No other dress, when good, had she, 
But useful, neat simplicity. 

" Though seldom, yet when she was rude, 
Or even in a naughty mood, 
Her punishment was this disgrace, 
A large fine cap adorned with lace, 
With feathers and with ribbands too ; 
The work was neat, the fashion new, 
Yet, as a fool's cap was its name, 
She dreaded much to wear the same. 

" A lady, fashionably gay, 
Did to Mamma a visit pay. 
Sophia stared, then whispering said, 
' Why, dear Mamma, look at her head ! 
To be so tall and wicked too, 
The strangest thing I ever knew, 
What naughty tricks, pray, has she done, 
That they have put a fool's cap on ? ' " 

A story is told of a little Quaker girl whose soul yearned for 
bright colours. Having made an engagement to take a country 
walk with a boy neighbour, she stole quietly out of the house 
and gathered in the orchard some ripe cherries with which she 
adorned her plain straw hat and drab ribbons, being very care- 
ful to throw away the bright cherries on her way home. 

Another story of the days of pantalets is told of a little 
Quaker girl and her sister, who laid a deep scheme to procure a 
pair of those uncouth garments which, being in the height of 
fashion among children of the world, were forbidden to the chil- 
dren of Friends, and consequently much coveted by them. Be- 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 303 

fore the grown people were stirring, these two children got up 
and fashioned for themselves two pairs of pantalets out of one 
of the sheets from their bed. They were busy plying their 
needles when the door suddenly opened and their mother ap- 
peared. Needless to say, an emphatic demonstration of maternal 
disapproval ensued and the little Quakeresses never finished the 
pantalets. 

In 1815 great changes in fashion for everybody were in- 
troduced. The big hats and full skirts were well enough for lit- 
tle girls, but alack 1 the pantalets reaching to the ankles spoiled 
everything. These obnoxious articles must have been very 
troublesome to make and very uncomfortable to wear, but they 
held their sway from about 1818 to about 1858. There are 
several specimens to be seen in the collection at Memorial Hall, 
Philadelphia. It was the custom of thrifty mothers to make 
the pantalets for school and every-day wear of stout calico or 
nankin, but for afternoon and dress occasions they were always 
of white and often elaborately trimmed with lace and em- 
broidery. Occasionally they were trimmed with deep gathered 
ruffles, and awkward indeed must have been the wearing of these 
stiff and starched vanities. Pantalets were usually adjustable 
and made to button on to the edge of the drawers, but occasion- 
ally they were made to full into a band and finished with a 
ruffle at the ankle, as in Figures 157 and 181. 

Old fashion books tell us that when children were dressed in 
mourning, a general custom on the death of a parent in the 
first half of the nineteenth century, they had pantalets made of 
crape ; could anything be more hideous ? 

From 1825 to 1835, leg-of-mutton sleeves figured in the chil- 
dren's corner of Fashion's kingdom, as elsewhere. Broad belts 
or sashes were universally worn too, and everything was made 
to stand out about the shoulders. Hats were rather aggressively 



304 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



trimmed with projecting bows of ribbon, etc. In Figure 208 
will be seen pictures of a paper doll dressed in the very height 
of the fashion of 1829. It was owned by a little girl in Phila- 
delphia named Elizabeth Randolph. The costumes are all well 
preserved, as the photograph shows, but the original doll has 
been lost in the course of time and the modern representation 
who now displays the wardrobe wears high heels, which no fash- 
ionable doll of 1829 would have thought of doing. 

Perhaps the original doll is still lamenting her fate in some 
obscure closet like the heroine of Eugene Field's pathetic 
verses : 

"LAST YEAR'S DOLL 

" I'm only a last year's doll ! 

I thought I was lovely and fair 
But alas for the cheeks that were rosy, 

Alas for the once flowing hair ! 
I'm sure that my back is broken, 

For it hurts me when I rise, 
Oh, I'd cry for very sorrow, 

But I' ve lost out both my eyes. 

" In comes my pretty mistress, 

With my rival in her arms, 
A fine young miss, most surely, 

Arrayed in her borrowed charms ! 
My dress and my slippers too, 

But sadder, oh, sadder than all, 
She's won the dear love I have lost, 

For I'm only a last year's doll. 

"Oh, pity me, hearts that are tender, 

I'm lonely and battered and bruised, 
I'm tucked out of sight in the closet, 

Forgotten, despised and abused ! 
I'm only a last year's doll, 

Alone with my troubled heart, 
Sweet mistress, still I love thee, 

Inconstant though thou art." 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 305 

Fancy aprons were fashionable for little girls in the period 
of the thirties. They were usually made of silk and were con- 
sidered very stylish when made with bretelles and trimmed 
with a ruching of the silk as shown in Figure 181. But fine 
muslin aprons, trimmed with lace or embroidery, were also 
worn ; and printed calico and white cross-barred cambric, 
trimmed with narrow frills of the same, were used for the 
aprons of less fashionable children for many years. 

The costumes in fashion for little boys from four to ten were 
not quite as simple as those for girls. Sometimes, it is true, we 
notice a short-waisted jacket with low neck and sleeves, like a 
girl's, but the ruffled shirt collars and close-fitting jacket and 
trousers devised by Marie Antoinette for the unfortunate 
Dauphin, were very generally worn by boys upward from the 
age of four years. 

The sketch of a small boy from a print of 1808 is given in 
Figure 194 showing a cloth cap with a full soft crown and a 
visor worn with a kerseymere suit. 

In Figure 195 a boy in a short-sleeved tunic with full 
trousers reaching to the ankle, copied from a fashion plate of 
1810, is given. The straw hat is turned back in front and is not 
very unlike the hat shown in Figure 203, which is in the 
interesting collection at the School of Industrial Art, Phila- 
delphia. 

In Figure 174 we give a picture of a suit worn by a little 
American boy, about four years old, in 1804. The material is 
a striped brown and white calico, and the pantaloons, which fit 
close to the leg, are fastened with a fly front like a man's. The 
short waisted jacket has tight long sleeves and revers at the 
neck in front, allowing the ruffled collar of the linen shirt to 
show. It is a fascinating costume and we consider ourselves 
most fortunate in securing a picture of it for this book. It 



1840-1851 

FIGURE 247. 1841 Red velvet evening dress. From a portrait by Winter- 
halter. 

FIGURE 248. 1843 White satin dress with black lace flounces. From a 
portrait by Winterhalter. 

FIGURE 249. 1840 White satin ball dress. Portrait by Wiuterhalter. 

FIGURE 250. 1840 Moire" gown trimmed with lace. Portrait by Chalon. 

FIGURE 251. 1850 Waved hair and quaint head-dress. From a portrait 
of Lola Montez. 

FIGURE 252. 1851 Evening dress and wrap. From a portrait of the 
Duchess of Sutherland. 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 309 

is much too small for a modern boy of four, however ; in fact, it 
was a tight fit for the little fellow of two and a half who posed 
in it. Evidently this was the style of suit worn by Miss Aus- 
ten's little nephews in 1801 and mentioned in the following ex- 
tract from a letter of that date : 

" Mary has likewise a message : she will be much obliged 
to you if you can bring her the pattern of the jacket and 
trousers, or whatever it is that Elizabeth's boys wear when they 
are first put into breeches ; so if you could bring her an old 
suit itself, she would be very glad, but that I suppose is 
hardly done." 

Some years later, in 1809, Miss Austen writes of getting black 
suits for her nephews whose father had just died, establishing 
for us the fact that it was customary for little boys, as well as 
girls, to wear mourning for their parents. 

" Mrs. J. A. had not time to get them more than one suit of 
clothes ; their others are making here, and though I do not be- 
lieve Southampton is famous for tailoring, I hope it will prove 
itself better than Basingstoke. Edward has an old black coat, 
which will save his having a second new one, but I find that 
black pantaloons are considered by them as necessary, and of 
course one would not have them made uncomfortable by the 
want of what is usual on such occasions." 

Before promotion to trousers, an event which usual!}' took 
place when a boy had reached his fourth year, queer little 
tunics of merino opening down the front and reaching below 
the knees were worn over white trousers reaching to the ankle 
either of material to match or of white linen. (See Figure 179.) 

In the thirties exaggerated leg-of-mutton sleeves were worn 
even by boys. In Figure 197 a suit of dark green merino is 
shown, copied from a portrait of 1833, in which not only the 
sleeves are of this shape, but the long pantaloons follow the same 



310 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



lines, being cut very full from the hip to the knees, and taper- 
ing to the ankle. This was worn in England by a boy of 
about ten years, while the suit with very pronounced leg- 
of-mutton trousers in Figure 198 was worn by a younger brother 
of eight. 

From 1830 to 1835 the ordinary costume of boys over ten 
years of age was a suit of long, rather loose-fitting pantaloons, 
a waistcoat cut rather low and showing a white shirt beneath, 
and a short jacket reaching to the waist line. 

The hats for boys of the early part of the nineteenth century 
were extremely ugly. The jockey cap with a round crown and 
a visor is seen in many of the prints from 1801 to 1810, a long 
tassel hanging down over the left ear being the only decoration. 
Then came the stove-pipe hat, made of straw in summer and of 
beaver in winter, which was actually worn for several years 
even by little boys in frocks. During the Regency period 
(1810-1819) caps were worn with crowns of cloth and visors of 
enamelled leather as in Figure 178, taken from a drawing of 
Boutet de Monvel. From 1820 to 1830 hats worn by small 
boys were like that shown in Figure 351, with rather high 
crowns and straight brims. In 1830 high hats were worn by 
very fashionable boys in trousers (see Figure 182) which looked 
like inverted flower pots. Beauty and fitness seem not to have 
been considered. 



Children's Garments 

18351870 

" Young ladies then wore gowns with sleeves, 

Which would just hold their arms ; 
And did not have as many yards 
As acres in their farms." 

HE leg-of-mutton sleeves, which in 1835 had 
indeed reached extravagant proportions, de- 
clined in favour for the gowns of little girls 
towards the end of that year. In 1836 
sleeves were made less full and gathered 
into three puffs from shoulder to wrist, or 
the fullness was laid in flat plaits at the top 
of the arm, hung loose about the elbow and 
was finished with a cuff at the wrist. A little 
later straight, close-fitting sleeves trimmed 
with frills and puffings were popular. In 1840 sleeves to the 
elbow were introduced. This fashion still retains its popularity 
and is very appropriate as well as becoming. In the forties 
sleeves for little girls were often made to reach a little below 
the elbow, showing undersleeves of white muslin. A small 
plaited frill of the muslin was worn at the throat. For girls of 
fifteen pelerines were in vogue. They were fastened at the waist, 
both front and back, and trimmed with frills of lace or muslin. 
In the fifties big sleeves with muslin undersleeves were worn 
by girls from twelve years up. 

After the decline of the leg-of-mutton sleeves and trousers, 

311 




312 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

boys wore tight sleeves, but the pantaloons, as we notice in 
many of the portraits between 1835 and 1850, were usually 
loose at the ankle. The following extract is from an American 
book, late in the forties : 

" Small jacket, open and rounded in front, of dark velvet, 
cloth, or cashmere, with buttons of the same. Small square 
linen collar turned over, a ribbon necktie. Loose trousers of 
blue and white striped linen. Cap of dark cloth." 

From 1835 to 1850 we notice in the fashion plates as well as 
in portraits that most of the skirts were trimmed with flounces, 
and until 1846 the pantalets covered the tops of the shoes, but 
at the end of the forties pantalets were worn shorter and gradu- 
ally disappeared. In fact in the fifties they were visible only 
on very small children and under very short skirts. Plaids 
and graduated stripes were very fashionable for both boys and 
girls throughout that decade. 

Before 1835 the hair was usually worn parted in the middle 
by girls of all ages. Curls were fashionable and by the help of 
curling tongs were easily acquired by every one. Maggie 
Tulliver's short mop of hair was a special vexation, we know, to 
her mother, who always felt a pang of envy at the sight of 
Lucy's neatly arranged curls. But for a time between 1835 and 
1870 a very popular fashion was to plait the hair in two long 
braids, like the two eldest Kenwigs who, as we recall, " had 
flaxen hair tied with blue ribbons in luxuriant pigtails down 
their backs." Some time in the forties it became fashionable to 
comb the hair back from the forehead without a part, and 
springs of steel covered with ribbon or velvet were introduced to 
keep it in place. Back-combs were another novelty introduced 
for the same purpose. Older girls arranged the back hair in a 
net of silk or chenille, as in Figure 205, or fastened the " pig- 
tails " in a coil at the back, as in Figure 201. 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 313 

Boys wore the hair parted very much to one side at that 
time, and it was not cropped close to the head as is the fashion 
of to-day. About 1860 the fashion of parting the hair directly 
in the middle was introduced and followed for some years by 
big boys as well as men, although this change was considered 
effeminate at first, and consequently disliked by little boys am- 
bitious for promotion to long pantaloons. 

Bonnets and hats were equally fashionable for girls from 
1835 to 1860. Illustrations of the prevailing styles of both are 
given in Figures 181, 184, 187, and 190. In Miss Whitney's 
" Stories of New England " a great deal is said about the clothes 
of girls from 1840 to 1850. We learn that when Augusta Hare, 
who was almost grown up, appeared to the unsophisticated eyes 
of Anstiss Dolbeare in mourning for her father, wearing " a 
black merino shawl and long veil that made her face so sweet 
and fair, these garments were to my childish fancy the very 
poetry of bereavement, there seemed a grandeur and solemn 
distinction in having lost a friend. My openworked straw bon- 
net with blue gauze ribbons seemed so tawdry, so little girlish." 

The adventures of this straw bonnet were very interesting. 
Anstiss, having seen some scarfs of silk with fringed ends, which 
Augusta Hare had brought, longed to have one too, but knew 
that " Aunt Ildy " would never listen to such an extravagancet 

The next morning, however, Anstiss saw the pretty face of 
Miss Augusta smiling at her from the doorway. She was 
dressed on this occasion " in a clear black muslin with the tiniest 
dash of white, and a knot of black ribbon in her hair. In her 
hand, streaming down in brilliant contrast over her dress, was 
a rich broad bonnet scarf of blue with fringed ends." In a short 
time the despised bonnet was completely transformed and not 
until this change was accomplished did Anstiss realize how dif- 
ficult it would be to gain her aunt's approval. Hastily the bon- 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMKRH'A 



net was put away on a shelf in the closet and when finally the 
aunt discovered the change, the little girl was sent to bed under 
most aggravating circumstances and the old trimming replaced 
by the angry fingers of Aunt Ildy, whose displeasure was visibly 
expressed in the hopelessly flattened bows of the old gauze trim- 
ming. And yet the fashion which was new in 1840 was by no 
means elaborate. A scarf " was passed up from under the chin 
across the bonnet in the depression between the brim and crown 
and tied at one side with a careless knot, long ends fluttering 
down upon the shoulder." According to the simple habits of 
New England village life, a Dunstable straw was worn by girls 
until Thanksgiving and then replaced by a bonnet of beaver. 

Sunbonnets of calico, stiffened with many rows of cording, 
were much worn in summer time by little country girls. In 
winter quilted hoods, like the sketch in Figure 132, were sub- 
stituted. A specimen of a pink sunbonnet of the above descrip- 
tion worn by a little girl in Pennsylvania is shown in Figure 
132. 

A little girl of twelve " was allowed one clean print gown 
and two aprons each week, a change and one for best, and if she 
spilled or tore she went to bed." Calicoes that were well cov- 
ered and would wash, silk that would wear and turn, and above 
all, things that were " in the house " and could be made over 
were usually allotted to little girls. They were undeniably cal- 
culated to discourage vanity. 

Infant caps were small and close-fitting and were trimmed 
with ruchings of lace and ribbon from 1835 to 1870. A picture 
of one trimmed in this way is given in Figure 160. A narrow 
satin ribbon with a loop edge was used for this purpose up to 
1870. 

The following description of a costume for a little girl four 
or five years old is quoted from the " Lady's Book " for 1849 : 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 315 

" Dress of shaded silk (grey and rose-colour). The skirt 
very full and edged at the bottom by a broad hem, headed by a 
row of gimp in tints corresponding with the shades of the silk. 
The corsage is half high, square in front, and plaited in broad 
folds, which are confined by a band at the top and at the waist. 
Short sleeves edged by two bias folds of silk headed by gimp. 
Under the corsage is worn a spencer chemisette of jaconet mus- 
lin drawn on the neck in fullness, and set on a band at the 
throat. The chemisette has long sleeves, slightly full, and 
drawn on wrist bands. Loose trousers of cambric muslin, edged 
at the bottom by a bordering of needlework. The hair divided 
on the forehead and combed straight to the back of the neck, 
where it hangs down in long plaits. Boots of black glazed 
leather, with grey cashmere tops." 

For an older girl an English magazine gives the following 
for the same year : 

" Coarse straw bonnet lined and trimmed with blue silk. 
White openworked muslin waist, and a skirt of some light and 
delicate material. It may either be a glace silk, as in the plate, 
or lawn, French cambric, etc. Pantalettes quite plain and fin- 
ished by a narrow frill." 5 

In the hoop-skirt days (1855-1865) little girls of seven years 
and over wore those weird inventions too, but the decline of the 
pantalets was heralded at the same time. White lingerie 

to 5 / 

blouses were worn very much by young girls and Zouave jack- 
ets worn with skirts to match or of a contrasting colour were in 
vogue from 1860. (See Figure 205.) Garibaldi blouses were 
the next novelty and they won universal favour. Suits consist- 
ing of a grey skirt, trimmed with a broad band of plain colour 
above the hem, and a Garibaldi blouse, of the same colour as 
the trimming, were " quite the rage " during the struggle for 
independence in Italy. Solferino and Magenta were the fa- 



1850-1860 
FIGURE 253. 1857 Straw hat with drooping brim and streamers of ribbon. 

From a plate. 
FIGURE 254. 1856 Bonnet of pale blue uncut velvet and white blond 

lace. Miss Dutihl's collection in Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 255. 1855 Dress of silk with alternate stripes of brown and white 

plaid and coloured flowers. The basque and bell sleeves are trimmed 

with fringe and gimp heading of pink and brown. The picture is taken 

from a dress worn in Philadelphia. Head showing a braided coronet of 

hair. From a contemporary portrait. 
FIGURE 256. 1859 Bonnet of black velvet and corded silk. Has had a 

bunch of currants and a red feather around on the side. Miss Dutihl's 

collection. 
FIGURE 257. 1850-60 Black velvet wrist-band with mosaic clasp. 






HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 319 

vourite shades of red, named of course for the famous battles. 
Boys wore these blouses too, with long pantaloons. Later a 
fancy for plaid materials prevailed over the plain colours. (See 
Figures 183, 189 and 201.) 

It was the fashion in 1840 and after, to make dresses for girls 
with low or half-low bodices, to be worn over guimpes of white 
muslin (Figure 201). The skirts were made very full and were 
often lined with crinoline or worn over petticoats of crinoline like 
their mothers'. Instead of a bodice an arrangement of bretelles 
was often worn by little girls, as in the initial at the head of this 
chapter. Shoes made of morocco or leather, with cloth tops, 
called gaiter boots or gaiters, were much worn from 1835 to 
1870 (Figures 181, 183, 184, 186 and 189). Sashes of ribbon 
tied at the back with long ends reaching to the end of the skirt 
were in general vogue. 

In the sixties velvet ribbon and braid were the favourite 
trimmings and were used in a great variety of designs. 

Bonnets at last went out of fashion in 1860 and even big 
girls began to wear hats instead. All the shapes worn by grown 
people were adopted for children at this time. The mushroom, 
the turban, and the pork-pie were worn very generally by girls 
of from ten to eighteen. For little girls under ten hats with 
low crowns and wide flapping brims were fashionable. They 
were popularly called " flats," and when simply trimmed with a 
wreath of small flowers or a band and ends of ribbon were ex- 
ceedingly pretty a,nd becoming. 

The little girl of Austin Dobson's verses, " Little Blue-Rib- 
bons," probably wore a hat of this shape : 

" < Little Blue-Ribbons.' We call her that 

From the ribbons she wears in her favourite hat ; 
For may not a person be only five 
And yet have the neatest of taste alive ? 



320 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

As a matter of fact, this oiie has views 
Of the strictest sort as to frocks and shoes ; 
And we never object to a sash or bow, 
When 'Little Blue-Ribbons ' prefers it so." 



For dressy occasions in the fifties suits of black velvet or 
velveteen were worn by little boys under ten and made often 
with full short trousers to the knee. Queen Victoria adopted 
the Highland suit of Scotch tartan for the English Princes on a 
visit to Balmoral in 1854, and the Highland dress, especially the 
kilts, soon became popular for boys from five to ten all the 
world over (Figure 162). 

"THE COMING MAN 
" A pair of very chubby legs 
Encased iu scarlet hose : 
A pair of little stubby boots 
With rather doubtful toes ; 
A little kilt, a little coat 
Cut as a mother cau, 
Aud lo ! before us strides in state 
The Future's coming man." 

Another fashion which at once became popular, and which 
probably had a similar origin, was the sailor costume, which was 
worn by boys from about seven to fourteen (Figure 161). Larger 
boys, of fifteen and upward, at this period wore long pantaloons 
like their fathers, with round short jackets to match, as in Figure 
206. In England the high hat was still the regulation head-gear 
for little boys and for young men in the winter, but soft felt and 
straw hats of the sailor type will be seen in most of the con- 
temporary illustrations. 

Although dolls of the nineteenth century were not used as 
fashion models, they were always dressed according to the pre- 
vailing styles, and the few of them that have outlived their 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 321 

generation record the fashions of their time. For instance, the 
doll in Figure 211 is dressed in the Bloomer costume, which 
was introduced in 1851. Although it is happily quite out of 
fashion, this costume has become historic. In Figure 209, a 
photograph of an interesting doll of the forties with her front 
hair in (painted) braids in the fashion adopted by Queen 
Victoria is given. Her wedding gown is of white satin trimmed 
with silver and her veil and wreath of white flowers are worn in 
the height of the fashion of 1840, the year of the Queen's mar- 
riage. This doll also possesses a stylish bonnet of white tulle 
and white flowers. Another doll of about 1850 is shown in 
Figure 210, wearing the fashionable pantalets and an apron 
with bretelles, which were thought almost indispensable for 
little girls at that time. The two last mentioned are wooden 
dolls " with necks so white, and cheeks so red." They have 
probably outlived more than one waxen rival like the wooden 
doll of Jane Taylor's verses. 

''THE WOODEN DOLL AND THE WAX DOLL 
" There were two friends, a charming little pair 
Brunette the brown, and Blanchidine the fair : 
This child to love Brunette did still incline, 
And much Brunette loved sweet Blauchidine. 
Brunette in dress was neat yet wond'rous plain, 
But Blauchidiue of finery was vain. 

" Now Blauchidiue a new acquaintance made, 
A little miss, most splendidly arrayed : 
Feathers and laces most beauteous to behold, 
And India frock, with spots of shining gold. 
Said Blanchidine, a miss so richly dressed, 
Most sure by all deserves to be caressed ; 
To play with me if she will condescend, 
Henceforward she shall be my only friend. 
For this new miss, so dressed and BO adorned, 
Her poor Brunette was slighted, left, and scorned. 



322 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



" Of Blauchidiue's vast stock of pretty toys, 
A woodeu Doll her every thought employs ; 
Ite neck so white, so smooth, its cheeks so red, 
She'd kiss, she'd hug, she'd take it to her bed. 

" Mother now brought her home a Doll of wax, 
Its hair in ringlets white and soft as flax ; 
Its eyes could open, and its eyes could shut, 
And ou it with much taste its clothes were put, 
My dear wax doll, sweet Blanchidine would cry : 
Her doll of wood was thrown neglected by. 

" One summer's day, 'twas in the month of June, 
The sun blazed out in all the heat of noon, 
My waxen doll, she cried, my dear, my charm, 
You feel quite cold, but you shall soon be warm. 
She placed it in the sun misfortune dire ! 
The wax ran down as if before the fire ! 
Each beauteous feature quickly disappeared, 
And melting left a blank all soiled and smeared. 

" She stared, she screamed with horror and dismay, 
You odious fright, she then was heard to say ; 
For you my silly heart I have estranged, 
Prom my sweet wooden Doll, that never changed. 
Just so may change my new acquaintance fine, 
For whom I left Brunette, that friend of mine. 
No more by outside show will I be lured, 
Of such capricious whims I think I'm cured : 
To plain old friends my heart shall still be true, 
Nor change for every face because 'tis new. 
Her slighted wooden doll resumed its charms, 
And wronged Brunette she clasped within her arms." 



QUAKER COSTUME 

and 

Dress of the Shakers 
1800-1870 



"THE FRIEND 

" In patriarchal plainness, lo ! around 
The festive board, a friendly tribe convene ; 
Chaste, simple, neat, and modest in attire, 
And chastely simple in their manners too ; 
To them her gay varieties in vain 
Fashion displays, inconstant as the moon. 
Them to allure, in vain does chymic art 
For human vestments multiply its dyes. 
One mode of dress contents them, and but few 
The colours of their choice the gaudy shunned 
E'en by the gentle sisterhood. In youth, 
The rose's vivid hue their cheeks alone 
Wear, dimpling ; shaded by a bonnet plain, 
White as the cygnet's bosom ; jetty black 
As raven's wing : or if a tint it bear, 
'Tis what the harmless dove herself assumes. 
The hardier sex, an uuloop'd hat, broad brimm'd, 
Shelters from summer's heat and winter's cold ; 
That from its station high ne'er deigns to stoop, 
Obsequious not to custom nor to king ; 
Yet, though precise, and primitive in speech, 
Eestrain they not the smile, the seemly jest, 
Nor e'en the cordial laugh, that cynics grave 
Falsely assert 'bespeaks a vacant mind.' 
Serenely gay, with generous ale they fill 
The temp'rate cup : no want of new-coined toast 
To give it zest ; ' Good fellowship and peace ' 
Their sentiment, their object, and their theme." 

From " The Evening Fireside." 



Quaker Costume 

1800-1870 

" While Quaker folks were Quakers still some fifty years ago, 
When coats were drab and gowns were plain and speech was 

staid and slow 
Before Dame Fashion dared suggest a single friz or curl." 

N the first years of the new century a very 
distinct costume was worn by the Quakers. 
Not only were all colours but grey and 
brown and white eschewed by strict mem- 
bers of the sect, but black was considered 
worldly. Everything they wore was of the 
best quality, most durably made and most 
neatly adjusted. Beaver hats with brims 
especially broad were worn by Quaker men 
for the greater part of the century. In the 
words of an English essayist : " A Quaker's hat is a more for- 
midable thing than a Grandee's," and " Broad Brim " is one of 
the most familiar soubriquets by which members of the Society 
of Friends are known. 

Short clothes were worn by more than usually conservative 
Quaker gentlemen throughout the thirties. A picture of 
Gabriel Middleton, said to have been the last man in Philadel- 
phia to wear knee-breeches, is given in Figure 351. It is 
copied from a daguerreotype taken in 1840, and shows the dress 

fashionable in the beginning of the century, and " the hat 

327 




1838-1866 
FIGURE 258. 1852 Outdoor costume ; dress of cashmere, cloak of soft 

English cloth. Prom a contemporary portrait. 
FIGURE 259. 1840 Typical Quaker dress of 1840 and after, with slight 

variations in the fullness of skirt and sleeves. This costume was worn 

in Pennsylvania in 1840. 
FIGURE 260. 1866 Fashionable indoor gown of black taffeta trimmed 

with velvet ribbon. From a photograph. 
FIGURE 261. 1850 Gown opening over a chemisette of shirred muslin and 

insertion, with undersleeves to mutch. From a portrait of the day. 
FIGURE 262. 1865 Old lady in Quaker dress. The shawl is of a soft 

woven fabric called Chenille. The bonnet is a grey silk shirred over 

small reeds. From a photograph. 
FIGURE 263. 1838 Widow's mourning; bombazine dress with trimming 

of crepe. Collar and cap trimmed with goffered frills. From a portrait 

of Queeu Adelaide. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 331 

which had not yet lost all its original beaver," but was still 
adhered to by the Friends. The coat is cut high, but is made 
without a collar and the plain buttoned waistcoat is also high 
and collarless. In the initial to this chapter the picture of a 
Quaker gentleman of Philadelphia is given, taken from a 
pencil sketch made by Dr. Valentine in 1838. 

The subject of Quaker costume has been so ably covered by 
Mrs. Gummere* that it is not necessary to attempt a description 
in these pages. Only one to the persuasion born could master 
the subtle differences in the garb of the two factions, the 
Orthodox and Hicksite Friends. To the worldly eye the most 
obvious distinction seems to be that the Orthodox Quakers wear 
unorthodox garments, while the followers of Hicks dress in 
ordinary apparel. The division of the sect took place in 1827. 
The Orthodox members were at one time so strict in matters of 
dress that even buttons were forbidden as unnecessary orna- 
ments. It has been narrated that on one occasion a Friend was 
publicly rebuked at a Meeting in Philadelphia for a breach of 
this regulation, whereupon the spirit moved Nicholas Wain, a 
famous preacher of his day, to remark that " if religion con- 
sisted of a button, he did not care a button for religion." 

The Friends of the first quarter of the nineteenth century 
were conservative in customs as well as in costumes. In the 
diary of William Howitt we read of the observance of mourn- 
ing in England in the year 1820 : 

" A day I have not forgotten was when I was sent on Peter 
to the Friends' families for some miles round, to invite them to 
the burial of my paternal grandmother. This was called 
' Biddin' to the berrin'.' At all the country funerals then 
people got their black crape hatband and pair of black gloves, 
but the Friends not wearing mourning, we gave a pair of drab 

* The Quaker, a Study in Costume. 



332 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

gloves. At the funeral the guests were treated to wine and 
cake made for the purpose, called ' berrin' cake,' and when the 
funeral left the house each person received the customary 
gloves and a square piece of ' berrin' cake ' wrapped in white 
paper and sealed." 

The following extract from a letter of Mary Howitt describes 
the wedding costume of that most gentle poetess : 

"On the 16th of Fourth month, 1821, we were married, I 
wearing my first silk gown, a very pretty dove-colour, with 
bonnet of the same material, and a soft white silk shawl. 
Shawls were greatly in vogue, especially amongst Friends, and 
my attire was thought very appropriate and becoming. For a 
wedding-tour my husband took me to every spot of beauty or 
old tradition in his native country, romantic, picturesque 
Derbyshire." 

A very interesting portrait miniature of Miss Woolstoti, a 
Hicksite Friend, is given in Figure 70 ; the hair is arranged in 
curls and held in place by combs at the side, and a very high 
comb of the prevailing fashion of 1824 is worn at the back. 
The very sheer lawn collar is of an unusual design, and the low 
cut dress is of black which was considered worldly by Ortho- 
dox Friends. Another costume of interest is shown in Figure 
259. The short waist and the scanty skirt, as well as the little 
cap with the bridle of ruffled lawn under the chin, will be 
noticed in portraits of the twenties, although this costume was 
worn by a Quaker in Pennsylvania until 1840. 

The bonnets worn by Quaker ladies were decidedly distinct- 
ive. Pictures of them will be seen in Figures 293 and 286. 
Figure 286 shows the bonnet worn with the costume in Figure 
289, which is also of brown satin. 

An ingenious device to protect bonnets from the rain was 
used by the Friends. It consisted of a carefully fitted cover 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 333 

which could be folded into a small parcel and carried in the 
reticule until needed. In Figure 291 a picture of one of these 
rain covers is given, drawn from the original in Memorial 
Hall, Philadelphia. The shape suggests that it was in use dur- 
ing the forties. 

The slight changes in Quaker fashion are exemplified in the 
interesting costume in Figure 289, which resembles with absolute 
fidelity the dress of Elizabeth Fry in the portrait by Rich- 
mond painted in 1824, although it was worn by Mrs. Johnson 
of Philadelphia about 1860. 

DRESS OF THE SHAKERS 

Although the belief and rites of the sect called " Shakers " 
are very different from the tenets and practice of the Quakers, 
there is a similarity in dress which it seems appropriate to de- 
scribe at this point in our history. The most flourishing settle- 
ment of their community is at New Lebanon, New York. 

As this sect is gradually dying out and their ways and cere- 
monials will before many years have become obsolete, we will 
give the following account of a visitor to this Shaker village in 
1829, describing the costume which still remains unchanged. 

" The Elders wear long plain coats and wide brimmed hats, 
but the Sunday costume of the ordinary man consists of panta- 
loons of blue linen with a fine white stripe in it, vest of a much 
deeper blue linsey-woolsey, stout calfskin shoes and grey stock- 
ings. Their shirts are made of cotton, the collars fastened with 
three buttons and turned over. The women wear, on Sunday, 
some a pure white dress, and others a white dress with a deli- 
cate blue stripe in it. Over their necks and bosoms were pure 
white kerchiefs, and over the left arm of each was carried a 
large white pocket handkerchief. Their heads were covered 



334 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

with lawn caps, the form of all, for both old and young, being 
alike. They project so as to fully conceal the cheeks in profile. 
Their shoes, sharp-toed and high-heeled, according to the fashion 
of the day when the Society was formed [1747], were made of 
prunella of a brilliant ultramarine blue. And there were chil- 
dren too, with cheerful faces peering out from their broad hats 
and deep bonnets, for they were all dressed like old men and 
women. I marvelled at the sight of children in that isolated 
world of bachelors and maidens, forgetting that it was a 
refuge for orphans who are unsheltered in the stormy world 
without." 

Perhaps a brief account of Shaker worship by an eye-wit- 
ness may be of interest to our readers in connection with their 
severe costumes. 

" As I entered the room, the Shakers were arranging them- 
selves on both sides of it ; the women on the right and the men 
on the left. Some of the men had taken off their coats, and 
placed them aside. They formed themselves into figures, 
leaving an open space in the centre which I afterwards found 
was for any one who chose to address the society. They stood 
in this position for some time, without a word being spoken by 
any one ; and their countenances wore a serenity and fixedness 
very unusual among any denomination or class of people. The 
hands of all were pressed together ; and the women had hand- 
kerchiefs hanging vertically from their arms, clean from the 
drawer, and half unfolded. They stood thus nearly ten min- 
utes, with their eyes bent upon the floor, and you might have 
heard a pin drop, so very still was every one in the building. 
They forcibly reminded me of the sleeping scene in the En- 
chanted Castle, if I may not be thought making an ir- 
reverent comparison. Presently, a man who seemed the chief 
among them, broke the silence, by suddenly commencing a 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 335 

tune upon a base key, and ascending suddenly to a sharp one. 
His next hand neighbour joined and the next, and the next, each 
a little behind the other ; and then by degrees the females, till 
every voice in the room swelled the fitful chorus ; yet they 
seemed as incapable of motion as statues ; except their hands, 
which were gently lifted to keep time to their voices and of 
which you would know nothing unless your eyes were turned 
to them. This tune continued about ten minutes ; after which 
followed a breathing time of several more, during which a 
death-like silence again prevailed. The man whom I took to 
be the chief among them, then came forward into the space I 
have mentioned, and addressed the society, calling the members 
of it brothers and sisters. His voice was so low that I could 
only catch a few words ; enough, however, to assure me that 
his speech was directed alone to the Society, and was not in- 
tended for others. The burthen of his remarks was, as well as 
I could hear, the importance of the Gospel to mankind, and the 
inducements they had to exertion, under the Christian revela- 
tion. Then followed another tune, in which all joined with the 
same devotion as before, after which another member came 
forward and spoke substantially to the same effect as the former 
speaker. He was listened to with attention, and though his 
language was very simple and often unhappy, yet his words 
were uttered with that kind of solemnity that never fails to 
carry conviction to the mind. He had no sooner withdrawn to 
his place, than another hymn followed ; which to my ear 
seemed of a piece with the preceding ones. It was loud, faint, 
quiet and slow by turns, and the change was very sudden, from 
one pitch to another. As soon as it was concluded they all 
bowed and separated in such disorder that I thought the 
exercises over. Not a man went near a woman, though they 
all seemed separating in confusion and wild disorder. The}' 



1850-1856 
FIGURE 264. 1850 Black velvet mantilla trimmed with Maltese lace, worn 

in Philadelphia. Head from a portrait. 
FIGUBE 265. 1850 Gentleman in walking dress. From a portrait of that 

date. Brown cloth coat and pantaloons of brown and white plaid. 
FIGURE 266. 1853 A white muslin gown embroidered in colours, worn 

in Philadelphia. Head from a contemporary portrait. 
FIGUEE 267. 1855 Gentleman in morning dress ; black coat, buff nankin 

pantaloons and white waistcoat. From a contemporary print. - 
FIGURE 268. 1855 A gown of brown silk with chine" stripes, made with a 

basque trimmed with fringe to match. Worn in Philadelphia. Bonnet 

from a plate of that date. Head from a contemporary portrait. 
FIGURE 269. 1856 Blue poplin gown trimmed with black velvet ribbon. 

Bead bag of crochet work. Worn in Philadelphia. Bonnet and head 

from a Daguerreotype. 
FIGURE 270. 1855 A suit of black broadcloth, waistcoat fastened with 

oblong mosaic buttons. Worn in Philadelphia. Head from a con- 
temporary portrait. 
FIGURE 271 . 1856 A peignoir of old-rose cashmere with Persian trimming ; 

worn in Philadelphia. Head from a contemporary portrait. 





ISSS -268 



r 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 339 

came together by degrees and soon arranged themselves into 
two solid squares, the women composing one and the men the 
other. This was done by way of preparing for what they call 
the labour-dance ; of which I will endeavour to give some idea. 
" After arranging themselves into two squares, with their 
faces towards the singers, who, about ten in number, male and 
female, stood in on.e row at the farther part of the building, 
they commenced a slow dance, keeping time with the singers 
not with their voices, but their hands, and feet. They danced 
two steps forward, then turned suddenly, as before ; danced two 
steps forward again, and so on, till they reached the point from 
which they started. This they repeated, until the tune ended, 
which was very long. As soon as it ended, they all bounded 
and had a short breathing spell, standing in the same spot and 
attitude they happened to be in when the dance ended ; but 
yet, though one would have supposed them nearly exhausted 
when they stopped, judging alone from their loud breathing, 
the chief speaker called upon them to labour on. ' Let us 
on, brothers and sisters,' said he, throwing his hands forward, 
suiting the action to the word, ' let us on, and take the kingdom 
of heaven by violence ! ' They rested about three minutes 
after which they commenced the dance again, though with a 
more lively step, quicker gesticulation, and a brisker voice than 
before. After this, they scattered in confusion, but came to- 
gether again in the form of a circle, preparing for what they 
call the labouring march ; they marched round the room in a 
circle, the singers being in the centre, pouring forth a high and 
low keyed hymn, to which the rest kept time, as they went 
round, with a quick rise and fall of their hands. When this 
was over, and after a sufficient pause, they began a quicker 
march, which they went through after the same fashion as the 
last. After about five minutes of deep silence, one of the 



340 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

society arose, came forward into the space between the males 
and females, and addressed those whom curiosity had brought 
there to witness their mode of worship. He spoke with fervour 
and animation, and expatiated, with a fluency that would have 
shamed many public speakers, upon the happiness attending 
their mode of life and worship. They then all arose, and 
joined in a hymn much the same as the one which commenced 
their exercises. The words of the hymn or psalm accompany- 
ing the slow labouring march were these, as well as I could 
catch them, now and then : 



" So let us live in this world below, 
Serving our God where'er we go, 
That when we quit this frame of clay, 
We may rise to glory's eternal day." 



We believe that the Shakers have never had an established 
community in England, although Mr. Meredith's weird poem, 
" Jump to Glory Jane," is very suggestive of the vigorous mode 
of worship we have described above. 



" A Revelation came on Jane, 
The widow of a labouring swain : 
And first her body trembled sharp, 
Then all the woman was a harp 
With winds along the strings ; she heard 
Though there was neither tone nor word. 

" For past our hearing was the air, 
Beyond our speaking what it bare, 
And she within herself had sight 
Of heaven at work to cleanse outright, 
To make of her a mansion fit 
For angel hosts inside to sit. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 341 

" They entered, and forthwith entranced 
Her body braced, her members danced ; 
Surprisingly the woman leapt ; 
And countenance composed she kept ; 
As gossip neighbours in the lane 
Declared, who saw and pitied Jane. 

" These kuew she had been reading books, 

The which was witnessed by her looks 

Of late : she had a mania 

For mad folk in America, 

And said for sure they led the way, 

But meat and beer were meant to stay. 
****** 
" It was a scene when man and maid, 

Abandoning all other trade, 

And careless of the call to meals, 

Went jumping at the woman's heels. 

By dozens they were counted soon, 

Without a sound to tell their tune." 



MEN'S APPAREL 



1800-1870 



May he who writes a skillful tailor seem, 
And like a well made coat his present theme ; 
Tho' close, yet easy, decent but not dull, 
Short but not scanty, without buckram full." 

SAMUEL FOOTE. 



Men's Apparel 

1800-1810 

" Be not the first by whom the new is tried 
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside." 

POPE. 

CCORDING to Mr. Ashton, in his " Dawn of 

the Nineteenth Century," " there is little to 
chronicle concerning the dress of the men 
as the radical changes during the last ten 
years of the eighteenth century maintained 
popularity for the first years of the nine- 
teenth." The changes from season to 
season were trivial, it is true, from 1800 to 
1810. A modification of the Jean Debry 
coat, popular in Paris after the Revolution 
and of which a copy of Gilray's caricature is given by Ashton, 
was worn in England and America, the shoulders much padded 
to give breadth and the coat buttoned at the waist to make the 
wearer look slender, and cut short enough to show the waist- 
coat which was usually of a contrasting colour. Sometimes 
two waistcoats were worn, an undervest of a bright colour show- 
ing above and below a drab or brown outer garment. Hessian 
boots were worn with this style of costume (Figure 345) and a 
high hat which in the early years of the century was usually 
very large. (See Figure 361.) Collars were worn extravagantly 

high, and slippers, according to Mr. Ashton, were preferred by 

347 




1820-1863 
FIGURE 272. 1825 Bonnet of white silk gauze, with crown pattern of white 

carnations and stripes of yellow straw. Trimmed with white gauze 

ribbon with pale yellow and green figures. Wetherill collection, 

Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 273. 1825-30 Leghorn hat trimmed with white ribbon. Piece of 

the brim cut away at the back and drawn up to the crown with a large 

bow. Strings and rosette over right ear. Wetherill collection, Memorial 

Hall. 
FIGURE 274. 1829 Hat of sage green and salmon piuk taffeta bound and 

corded with pink satin ribbon. Wetherill collection, Memorial Hall. 
FIGURE 275. 1820 Bonnet of Tuscan straw trimmed with white ribbon. 

Wetherill collection, Memorial Hall. 
FIGURE 276. 1830 Bonnet of white taffeta trimmed with white ribbon 

with fringed ends. Wetherill collection, Memorial Hall. 
FIGURE 277. 1835 Bonnet of chip, brim faced with pale pink silk and 

trimmed with pink ribbon and white lace. Spray of small white 

flowers on top. From a plate. 
FIGURE 278. 1833 Bonnet of white point d'esprit over white silk. Eibbon 

with satin spots and loop edge. Stiff crown; brim made over slender 

wire frame and lined with white sarsenet. Miss Dutihl's collection, 

Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 279. 1838 Bonnet of fancy straw trimmed with blue ribbon. 

From a plate. 
FIGURE 280. 1840 Quilted silk hood. Wetherill collection, Memorial 

Hall. 
FIGURE 281. 1839 Leghorn bonnet trimmed with plaid ribbon. Wetherill 

collection, Memorial Hall. 
FIGURE 282. 1860 Bonnet of light velvet with white roses and green velvet 

leaves ; frills of blond lace inside the face ; two sets of strings white 

ribbon and green velvet. Miss Dutihl' s collection, Memorial Hall, 

Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 283. 1863 Bonnet of brown horsehair braid ; black velvet ribbon, 

white tulle and red poppies inside the brim. Miss Dutihl's collection, 

Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 



I 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 351 

many to boots. Gay gallants still sported short trousers or 
" shorts," as they were familiarly called, and white waistcoats 
displaying ruffled shirts and high white stocks. Pantaloons, 
however, were a new fashion from Paris in 1800, and were 
chronicled in contemporary English verse : 

" The French we conquered once 
Now give us laws for pantaloons." 

Trousers were not worn with evening dress, however, in the first 
quarter of the century. 

The " Port Folio " for 1801 tells us of the fashions in the 
United States : 

" All our young men of fashion wear frocks of dark blue, 
dark green, or dark brown cloth, with convex metal buttons, 
round hats with broad brims, short breeches and white stock- 
ings, or pantaloons with Hessian boots." 

The frock coat of this period is illustrated in Figure 57 
which is copied from a portrait by Sully painted in 1807. It 
was fashionable from 1800 to 1810, as well as the hat and short 
breeches for dress occasions which are shown in the same 
figure. The " Port Folio " is also the authority for the follow- 
ing items of fashion in this country : 

" Mixed grey, bottle-green, Vandyke brown, and Spanish blue 
are the prevailing colours for morning coats, which are made in 
every respect the same as the dress coats, except that they have 
gilt basket buttons, sleeves with slits and three buttons, and 
pockets in the plaits of the skirts. Waistcoats are made of 
striped marseilles, and light-coloured double-milled cassimerc 
pantaloons are worn with half-boots, or nankeen trousers and 
gaiters. We must not omit noticing in this place an ingenious 
article just invented, called Key's travelling waistcoat, which 



352 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

by folding answers the purpose of two waistcoats. It may 
be made either single or double-breasted, and of any 
material." 

President Jefferson began his administration with an effort 
to set aside conventionality in dress and shocked the Federalist 
party by a certainly ill-timed exhibition of his democratic ideas. 
We are told by an eye-witness of his first inauguration, March, 
1801, that " he made no preparation for the ceremony as far as 
his appearance was concerned. His indifference was ostenta- 
tious and evidently intended to cause comment. He wore a 
blue coat, a thick drab-coloured waistcoat with a red under- 
waistcoat lapped over it, green velveteen breeches with pearl 
buttons, yarn stockings, and slippers." Another contemporary 
says Jefferson's democratic simplicity was affected. " It was part 
of his political policy to dress badly, although he did not adopt 
it until he was elected President. While Minister to France he 
lived in great elegance, not only expending his entire salary, 
but drawing on his private income to maintain an appearance 
befitting his position. While a member of Congress and Secre- 
tary of State in Philadelphia, he occupied a beautiful place near 
Gray's Ferry outside the city. He was passionately fond of good 
horses and owned five beautifully matched bays, four to draw 
the carriage designed by himself, and one for his man, Burwell, 
who always rode behind. Two servants rode on horseback 
each guiding a pair, for he never trusted a driver with the lines." 
Many anecdotes are told of Mr. Jefferson's unceremonious treat- 
ment of the ambassadors from foreign countries during his 
eight years as President of the United States, but there has been 
much controversy published on the subject and it is difficult to 
get at the exact truth. The well-known portrait of Mr. Jeffer- 
son reproduced in Figure 296 is certainly not lacking in dignity 
nor propriety of dress. 



HISTOKIC DRESS IN AMERICA 353 

In an American periodical of 1802 appeared the following 
paragraph under the heading " Parisian Fashions " : 

" The young men still wear their coats very short, ex- 
cessively degagt, and with the lapels buttoned. . . . Each 
lapel has now seven buttons instead of six. The three cocked 
hat is strictly and exclusively for full dress. The cockade is 
subject to almost daily changes in the combination of the three 
colours. The cravat is no longer so large. A great many wear 
frills. They wear at the knee-bands very small plain gold 
buckles, round or square, with rounded corners ; and in their 
shoes silver buckles of the same shape " (Figure 52). 

The " Port Folio " printed this ridiculous satire in 1802 : 

" RECIPE TO MAKE A MODERN BEAU 

" Take anything . . . put it into a pair of pantaloons, 
put a binding on the top of the pantaloons (called a vest) and 
attach to the bosom of the shirt an oval glass case with a wig 
on it, pare away the skirts of its coat to the width of a hat- 
band. If the subject is doomed to pass its time in the house, it 
will require a heavy pair of round toed jack boots, with a tassel 
before and behind. Lift up by the cape of the coat, pull its 
hair over its face, lay a hat on its forehead, and spectacles on 
its nose. 

" N. B. Its hands must, on no occasion, be suffered to 
escape from the pantaloon pockets, nor the spectacles from 
its nose." 

It will be noticed that the fashionable high collars are often 
spoken of as capes in the printed descriptions of this period. 

In another paper we find under " Fashions for Sep- 
tember " (1802) : 

" The following is now all the rage with the fashionables in 
London : 



354 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

"Blue coat made very scant, with pockets in the skirts; blue 
velvet cape, high up in the neck ; pantaloons of mix'd broad- 
cloth made very loose, with pockets. Suwarrow boots (all the 
vogue) and black hat with a narrow brim ! " 

Of this new fashion in boots, which were made without 
uuy apparent seam, we read " the artist who has discovered the 
mode of kneading the leather so as to make solid boots, 
without any apparent seam, uses for the purpose a glossy gum, 
which prevents stains." 

Hats were extravagantly large in 1802, and the shafts of 
" Mr. Oldschool's " ridicule are aimed at them in the following 
paragraph : 

"Our High-street loungers sport a hat of an enormous cir- 
cumference. A small beau is so overshadowed by one of 
Tiffin's best, that his dimensions to any thick sight are invisible." 

The fashionable coat is the next target for his wit : 

" I believe it is remarked in ' A Merry Connoisseur ' that the 
winter fashions of London reach this country in sufficient season 
to be in full bloom at midsummer. Our coats, on this side of 
the Atlantic, are copied from the London model generally after 
the original has become quite faded at home. If an early au- 
tumnal scheme of dress can be of any use now, let the beau of 
Philadelphia copy the following, taking especial care, however, 
to avoid the old hat. Gentlemen's coats are very short and loose, 
the collars are merely turned over ; round, concave middle-sized 
buttons of yellow metal are put on the facings at each side." 

A curious anecdote concerning silk stockings, which were 
still worn with knee-breeches in Washington, in 1802, is told 
by Rev. Manasseh Cutler : 

" On Thursday evening about ten, Mr. Dayton, going to bed, 
pulled off a pair of silk stockings, laid his stockings on his slip- 
pers at the bedside ; he perceived some sparks as he pulled them 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 355 

off. In the morning both stockings were burnt to a cinder, 
threads appearing to lie in their position in a coil ; slippers 
burnt to a crisp ; carpet burnt through and floor to a coal, so as 
to cause the resin to run. Many gentlemen noted the sparking 
of their silk stockings as they went to bed. I wore silk stock- 
ings that day, but did not notice sparks." 

In 1803 coats were made somewhat broader in the waist, and 
cut lower in the neck, and the collars were less high. Knee- 
breeches were still in favour and boots with high tops. High 
shirt collars were worn with stocks, and beaver hats with roll- 
ing brims. Mr. Ashton mentions an advertisement of a London 
firm in 1803, which offered " to make a gentleman's old hat as 
good as it was when new ; gentlemen who prefer silk hats may 
have them silked and made water-proof." Late in 1803 long 
coats not cutaway came into fashion, also pantaloons reaching 
to the ankle, and in 1804 coats were worn much longer in the 
waist and slightly cutaway. Ruffled shirt fronts were fashion- 
able and low cut waistcoats. High close-fitting boots were worn 
over long pantaloons (Figure 360). Hats changed a little in 
1804, the brims drooped back and front and were rolled slightly 
at the sides (Figure 347). It became the fashion in this year 
to carry very short canes and a satirical couplet in the " Port 
Folio " for December, 1804. proves that the new fashion was in 
vogue in America also. 

"SHORT CANES 

"Two bucks, having lost their bamboos iu a fray, 
Side by side swagger' d into a toy-shop one day, 
Bach, by a new purchase his loss to repair 
But, lo ! when for payment our heroes prepare, 
All the cash in their pockets, together combiu'd, 
For the purchase of one scarce sufficient they find. 
In common they buy it ; and, nice to a hair, 
lu two they divide it, and each takes his share. 



1800-1860 

FIGURE 284. 1835-60 Quaker hat of black silk beaver. Memorial Hall, 
Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 285. 1857 Shaker girl in costume. From a print. 

FIGURE 286. 1860 A Quaker bonnet of brown satin, showing a ruffled cap 
of sheer lawn underneath. 

FIGURE 287. 1830 Grey beaver hat with a broad briui, worn by a Quaker 
gentleman in Philadelphia. 

FIGURE 288. 1800 Pencil sketch of Mary Howitt as a child in Quaker 
costume. 

FIGURE 289. 1860 Quaker dress of brown satin with white kerchief 
crossed in front and fastened under the belt. White silk shawl and cap 
of sheer lawn. Typical costume of a Quaker lady for many years. 
This dress was worn in Philadelphia in 1860. 

FIGURE 290. 1857 Costume of a young Shaker. From an old print. 

FIGURE 291. 1840 Silk rain-cover for a bonnet. Wetherill collection. 

FIGURE 292. 1857 Outdoor dress of a Shaker girl. From an old print. 

FIGURE 293. 1830 Quaker bonnet of white silk. Memorial Hall, Phila- 
delphia. 



C WTRour 

' 




\ 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 359 

Our beaux economic, improving the bint, 
The length of their canes have determined to stint : 
And when they would buy, a whole company splice 
Their pence and their farthings, to make up the price, 
Hence, view the smart beau, and you soon ascertain 
The depth of his purse, by the length of his cane." 



Coats in 1805 were long and not cutaway, with tails full in 
the back. Waistcoats were cut high and single-breasted, and 
the long close-fitting trousers were shaped over the instep like 
gaiters and fastened under the boot with a strap. Long gaiters 
were also in fashion reaching as high as the knee. The newest 
hats wer^ very big, having wide brims and high crowns. Top- 
coats with three capes were very generally worn. 

Many varieties of dress must have been observed in Wash- 
ington in the first decade of the nineteenth century, when the 
foreign legations displayed so many rich colours and such a 
wealth of embroidery. A contemporary makes the following 
mention of a foreign minister at the President's levee in 1805 : 

" We went at twelve. The French Minister, General Tau- 
reau, had been in, and was returning. We met him at the door, 
covered with lace almost from head to foot, and very much 
powdered. Walked with his hat off, though it was rather 
misty ; his Secretary, one Aide, and one other with him. When 
we went in the number was small, but soon increased, until the 
Levee room, which is large, was nearly full. A large number 
of ladies, Heads of Departments, Foreign Ministers and Consuls 
and the greater part of both Houses of Congress. The British 
Minister was in a plain dress, but superb carriage." 

But even a civilian's dress could be made gay with one of 
the fanciful waistcoats in vogue. At the Historical Society in 
Philadelphia is preserved a quilted vest of bright gold-coloured 
satin which was once worn by Mr. George Logan of Stenton, 



360 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

a Quaker gentleman of some renown. It is wadded slightly 
and lined with heavy linen probably with a view to warmth, 
but the edge of the brilliant satin evidently showed above an 
outer waistcoat of a sombre tint. Waistcoats were apparently 
the most important article of masculine costume at that time, 
and it is amusing to read that the great English statesman, Fox, 
and Lord Carlisle " made a journey from Paris to Lyons for the 
sole purpose of procuring something new in waistcoats, and 
talked of nothing else by the way." 

In 1806 we read of fashionable full dress coats cutaway and 
made with small rolling collars and revers, the tails reaching 
to the knee. With these coats very short waistcoats were worn, 
and knee-breeches fastened with small buttons on the outside of 
the leg, black pumps and stockings of white silk, ruffled shirts 
and fine cambric stocks. A cocked hat or a chapeau bras com- 
pleted this full dress costume, which is illustrated in Figure 57. 
The chapeau bras, which is mentioned in many descriptions of 
court dress, is shown in Figure 340 from a print of 1807. 

A walking suit of that time consisted usually of a blue coat 
with black buttons, buff breeches buttoned a little below the 
knee, over which boots with turned-down tops of buff kid were 
worn. High stock of white linen and high hat of beaver as 
shown in Figure 361. 

From " Follies and Fashions of our Grandfathers " we tran- 
scribe the following : 

" GEXERAL OBSERVATIONS ON GENTLEMEN'S DRESS FOR 1807 
" The general mourning ordered on account of the death of 
the venerable Duke of Brunswick has prevented much altera- 
tion in gentlemen's dress ; evening parties in the fashionable 
world have been a mere assemblage of sables ; and as many 
gentlemen's wardrobes furnished them with what was deemed 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 361 

sufficient for the purpose, the inventors of fashion found them- 
selves completely cramped and disappointed in the great field 
of taste." * 

The short period of court mourning over, a great variety of 
costumes were announced as follows : 

" Morning coats of dark brown mixtures, or dark green mix- 
tures, made either according to the same style as the evening 
coats, or single breasted and rather short, are still fashionable. 
These we observe to have generally a moderate-sized metal 
plated button ; and though collars of the same cloth are much 
used, a black velvet collar is considered as carrying a greater 
degree of style. For morning wear : Drab-coloured cloth coat, 
single-breasted, with pantaloons to match, which for the sake 
of avoiding the weight or incumbrance of boots, are made with 
buttoned gaiters attached ; with the addition of a striped waist- 
coat. This costume has undoubtedly a very genteel appear- 
ance." 

" A single-breasted coat of a dark green or green " mixture 
with a collar of the same cloth, and plated buttons ; light 
coloured striped waistcoat made single-breasted, and light drab- 
coloured or leather breeches, with brown top boots " is a cos- 
tume suggested for riding or walking." 

We read now for the first time of the " parsley mixture, 
which is beginning to usurp popular preference ; coats of this 
colour are worn single-breasted with collars of the same cloth, 
and almost universally plated buttons; they are shorter than 
the evening coats, made without pocket flaps, and rendered as 
light as possible." Quilted waistcoats are also mentioned 
" printed in stripes, single-breasted and without binding." 
" Light coloured kerseymere pantaloons or breeches and 
gaiters," and " white or nankin trousers with or without 

* Follies and Fashions of Our Grandfathers, by Andrew W. Tuer. 



362 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

gaiters " are fashionable details announced for 1807, but worn 
for several years afterwards. 

" We have noticed many gentlemen in plain buff kersey- 
mere waistcoats of a very pale colour, which certainly have 
a neat appearance ; others of a sort of pearl colour, and also 
some of scarlet kerseymere, which after being rejected for 
several years seem to be again coming into notice ; but as they 
do not correspond with the coats usually worn, nor afford a 
pleasant contrast, they are not likely to become by any means 
general ; indeed, blue or dark brown or corbeau colour coats 
are the only ones that can well be worn with a scarlet waist- 
coat. Brown top boots seem to be more worn than they have 
been for some time past, and with kerseymere breeches, in 
preference to leather. We have also observed that many gentle- 
men in their morning walks have attempted to introduce a 
sort of shooting dress, a short coat of any light colour, and with 
drab colour cloth or kerseymere gaiters to come up to the 
knees ; but, however well such a dress may suit a watering 
place or a walk over the grounds of an estate, we do not think 
it adapted to the promenade of Bond Street. There is also a 
new article in the waistcoat fashion, which is a sort of silky 
shag well adapted to the season ; and has a good appearance 
in riding dress, but we think does not seem perfectly in char- 
acter, unless accompanied with brown top boots and a riding 
whip." 

For September, 1807, we read : " Morning coats of various 
mixtures are worn ; the parsley mixture is decidedly the most 
fashionable, and that made single-breasted, with a collar of the 
same cloth, large size plated buttons, and without pocket flaps. 
Striped marseilles waistcoats single-breasted, or plain buff 
kerseymere waistcoats, of a pale colour, single-breasted, but 
not bound. Drab colour kerseymere pantaloons with Hessian 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 363 

boots, or India nankin trousers and gaiters. Dark olive cloth 
mixtures with covered buttons vie with dark forest green in 
favour, but blue cloth with gilt buttons is likely to retain 
popularity. White marseilles waistcoats, single-breasted, and 
light drab cloth or nankin breeches are still considered the 
most genteel." 

Mixed cloths apparently gained in favour, for another 
morning dress for gentlemen of this material is given : " A 
coat, single-breasted, cut off in the front, and made of pepper 
and salt mixture, with covered or plated buttons, and collar of 
the same cloth ; the skirt rather shorter than the dress coats, 
and the pockets in the plaits behind. Waistcoats of printed 
marseilles made single-breasted are most popular and are made 
without any binding. Light drab kerseymere pantaloons are 
still worn ; as also drab kerseymere breeches with gilt buttons 
and brown top boots. Nankin pantaloons and trousers are be- 
coming very prevalent as well as nankin gaiters." 

In November of the same year, we are told : " Morning coats 
are still popular of greenish-olive or mixtures, and are worn 
both double-breasted and single ; they are seen with plain plated 
buttons and collars of the same cloth, and made without pocket 
flaps, the pocket being put in the plaits behind. Striped toilinet 
waistcoats of clear distinct stripes, bound with silk binding. 
Drab kerseymere breeches to come down over the knee with 
gilt buttons, and brown top boots, or pantaloons of the same 
colour and Hussar boots. The great coats are generally made 
of olive browns, single-breasted, with collars of the same cloth, 
and covered buttons ; the skirts lined with silk of the same 
colour. Many gentlemen who wish to appear in the height of 
the fashion have the front lined with silk, and if the weather 
permits the coat to be worn open, this has certainly a very 
dashing appearance." 



1800-1860 
PIGUEE 294. 1800 Natural hair and high stock. Portrait of Charles 

Carroll, by St. Meinin. 
FIGURE 295. 1800 Powdered hair and queue. Portrait of Mr. Brumaud, 

by St. Meiniu. 
FIGURE 296. 1801 Natural hair and ruffled shirt. Portrait of Thomas 

Jefferson. 
FIGURE 297. 1802 Powdered hair aud queue. Portrait of Dr. Eush, by 

St. Memin. 
FIGURE 298. 1802 Powdered hair aud queue. Portrait of DuBarry, by 

St. Meinin. 
FIGURE 299. 1804 Natural hair and side whiskers. Portrait of Nathaniel 

Williams, by St. Meinin. 
FIGURE 300. 1809 Natural hair and clerical stock. Portrait of Eev. Dr. 

Simons, by St. Memin. 

FIGURE 301. 1809 Hair in queue. Portrait of James Madison. 
FIGURE 302. 1821 Natural hair parted iu the middle. Portrait of James 

Monroe. 

FIGURE 303. 1845 White hair and judge's robe. Portrait of Judge Story. 
FIGURE 304. 1840 Black stock and standing collar. Portrait of Franklin 

Pierce. 
FIGURE 305. 1860 Low white stock and high collar. Portrait of James 

Buchauaii. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 367 

The colours and combinations for evening dress for gentle- 
men in 1807 long remained in fashion, as will be seen from the 
illustrations given for the first half of the century. 

" Dark blues with flat gilt buttons, with collars of the same, 
or of black velvet, according to the fancy of the wearer. The 
buttons on green coats are guided by fancy. White waistcoats 
are universal. Breeches are generally of nankin, or light drabs 
and pearl-coloured kerseymeres." 

There were many changes in cut and design from time to 
time. An evening suit is described in 1809 consisting of a 
" double breasted dark blue coat with large yellow double gilt 
buttons ; white marseilles waistcoat ; light brown kerseymere 
breeches, with strings to the knees; white silk stockings; shoes 
with buckles," and at that date we learn "the collar though made 
to rise well up in the neck, is, however, not so extremely high as 
it was formerly. It is now made to admit of a small portion of 
the neck cloth being seen above it ; it then descends gradually 
on the sides of the neck, so as to fall open and rather low in 
front; the waistcoats are worn both double and single-breasted 
with collars of moderate heights, and as they are buttoned only 
half way up, and only two or three of the lower buttons of the 
coat fastened, they show the drapery of the shirt to much ad- 
vantage. The breeches come tolerably high up on the hip, and 
end two or three inches below the bend of the knee, where they 
sit perfectly close. We notice that waistcoats and small clothes 
of kerseymere are much more fashionable than silk, which has 
been gradually declining in favour for many years, and satin 
which was considered essential to complete the dress of a gentle- 
man, a few years back, has gone out utterly ; a pair of satin 
breeches would attract the observation of every beholder almost 
as much as a maroon coloured coat." 

The following paragraph appeared in a fashion book of 1808: 



368 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

" Evening dress is invariably black. The coats have con- 
stantly collars of the same cloth, and covered buttons : black 
kerseymere waistcoat and breeches are considered genteel : black 
silk stockings are necessary in dress parties." Research con- 
vinces us, however, that if black was ever recognized as the 
fashionable colour for evening costume at that period, it had 
but a brief popularity, light trousers and blue coats gaining 
ascendency again in the course of the same year. 

James Madison succeeded President Jefferson in 1809. He 
was not only an intimate friend of his predecessor, but to some 
extent his disciple, and represented the Whigs in opposition to 
the Federalists. It was said that the barbers were all adherents 
of the latter party because the leaders of the Federalists wore 
long queues and powder and thus gave them constant employ- 
ment, whereas the Whigs wore short hair or small queues tied 
carelessly with a ribbon (Figure 301). The following an- 
ecdote is told by Mrs. Wilder Goodwin in her " Life of Doll}' 
Madison " : 

" On the nomination of Madison, a barber burst out : ' The 
country is doomed ; what Presidents we might have, sir ! Just 
look at Dagget of Connecticut, or Stockton of New Jersey 1 what 
queues they have got, sir ! as big as your fist and powdered 
every day, sir, like the real gentlemen they are. Such men, sir, 
would confer dignity upon the chief magistracy ; but this little 
Jim Madison, with a queue no bigger than a pipe-stem ! Sir, 
it is enough to make a man forswear his country.' ' 

Judging from the numerous portraits painted in 1809, we 
doubt if the barbers had a good business outlook in any country, 
for fashion then decreed short hair and no powder, and al- 
though a few elderly beaux appear to have worn both until 
1810, they illustrated the exception rather than the rule. An- 
other contemporary relates that President Madison " never al- 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 369 

tered his style of dress. He always wore a plain black cloth 
coat and knee-breeches with buckles, the hair powdered and 
worn in a queue behind ; the daily task of dressing it devolved 
upon his wife who did not think his body servant capable of 
doing it justice." * 

This practice probably gave fresh displeasure to the barbers, 
but it is not a little surprising to read of the use of powder, 
which actually went out of fashion in 1794, and according to 
several authorities was regarded almost as a badge of the 
Federalists in 1809. The following account of Madison's 
appearance at his first inauguration is from a contemporary 
pen : 

" Arrived at the Capitol, Madison descended from his car- 
riage and entered the Hall of Representatives, where, until the 
inauguration of Monroe, the newly elected President took the 
oath of office. Madison was attended by the Attorney-General 
and other Cabinet officers. One who saw him describes him as 
looking unusually well, the excitement of the occasion lending 
colour to his pale studious face, and dignity to his small slender 
figure. He was dressed in a suit of clothes wholly of American 
manufacture, made of the wool from merino sheep bred and 
reared in this country. His coat was from the manufactory of 
Colonel Humphreys, and his waistcoat and small clothes from 
that of Chancellor Livingston, both being gifts offered in token 
of respect by those gentlemen. At twelve o'clock, with marked 
dignity and composure of manner, he took the oath of office, 
administered by Chief-Justice Marshall and, amid deafening 
cheers, as President of the United States began his inaugural 
address." f 

No history of dress in the nineteenth century would be com- 
plete without mention of the celebrated " Beau Brummell." 

* Mrs. Beaton's Letters. t First Forty Years of Washington Society. 



370 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

"In Bruminell's day of buckle shoes, 

Starch cravats and roll collars, 
They'd fight and war and bet and lose, 
Like gentlemen and scholars." * 

His figure, which he always dressed so carefully, is described by 
Captain Jesse as unusually well proportioned. " Brummell," he 
says, " was about the height of the Apollo," a rather startling 
comparison, for it is as difficult to think of one in connection 
with clothes as of the other without them, "and the just pro- 
portions of his form were remarkable; his hand was particularly 
well shaped. His face was rather long and his complexion fair ; 
his whiskers inclined to sandy and hair light brown. His 
features were neither plain nor handsome, but his head was well 
shaped, the forehead being unusually high." 

According to another authority, the early part of his career 
was signalized by the famous pair of gloves to insure the per- 
fection of which two glovers were employed, " one charged with 
the working of the thumbs and the other the fingers and the 
rest of the hands, and three coiffeurs were engaged to dress his 
hair, one for the temples, one for the front, and the third for his 
occiput. His boots were tires auvin de champagne, and his ties 
designed by a portrait painter of note." 

" But niy beautiful taste (as indeed you will guess) 
Is manifest most in my toilet and dress. 
My neck-cloth, of course, forms my principal care, 
For by that we criterious of elegance swear, 
And costs me each morning some hours of flurry, 
To make it appear to be tied in a hurry ; 
My top-boots those unerring marks of a blade 
"With champagne are polished, and peach marmalade. 
And a violet coat, closely copied from Byng ; 
And a cluster of seals and a large diamond ring ; 
And trosicmcs of buckskin, bewitchingly lai'ge, 
Give the finishing strokes to the parfait ouvrage." f 

* London Lyrics. t Pursuit of Fashion. 



HISTOKIC DEESS IN AMERICA 371 

Bruuimell is accredited with the revival of taste in dress 
among gentlemen which had been conspicuously lacking at the 
end of the eighteenth century. His first innovation was in the 
arrangement of neck-cloths. " His collars were always fixed to 
his shirt and so large that before being folded down they com- 
pletely hid his face and head ; the neck-cloth was almost a foot 
in height ; the collar was fastened down to its proper size and 
Brummell, standing before the glass, by the gradual declen- 
sion of his lower jaw creased the cravat to reasonable dimen- 
sions." 

"All is unprofitable, flat, 
And stale, without a smart Cravat 
Musliued enough to hold its starch 
That last keystone of Fashion's arch ! " 

In his dress he was distinguished for great neatness and per- 
fection of fit, but never for singularity or striking combinations. 

For morning wear he appeared in Hessians and pantaloons, 
or top-boots and buckskins, with a blue coat and a light or buff 
coloured waistcoat, so that his ordinary costume was similar to 
that of any other gentleman in Europe or America ; but, we are 
told by contemporary authority, it fitted " to admiration the 
best figure in England." His favourite evening dress was a 
blue coat and white waistcoat; black pantaloons, which fastened 
tight to the ankle ; striped silk stockings and an opera hat. 
" He was always carefully dressed, but never the slave of 
fashion." We need not follow the checkered fortunes of this, 
for many years, cynosure of style, to their pathetic ending at 
Caen in 1840. The biographer already quoted says, " Brummell 
and Bonaparte, who had hitherto divided the attention of the 
world, fell together." A portrait of Beau Brummell (about 1804) 
is given in Figure 360. 



1828-1850 

FIGURE 306. 1828 Walking costume. From a plate. 
FIGURE 307. 1830 Walking costume. From a plate. 
FIGURE 308. 1837 Walking costume, showing Aspic cloak. From a 

plate. 

FIGXTRE 309. 1839 Two walking costumes. From a plate. 
FIGURE 310. 1840-50 Three costumes of this period. From a plate. 
FIGURE 311. 1845-50 Three costumes of this period. From a plate. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 375 

In the early part of the nineteenth century, Doctors of Med- 
icine were distinguished by long black coats and gold-headed 
canes. Edmund Yates makes the following statement on this 
subject in his " Reminiscences " : " There are Brightonians yet 
alive who talk to me of my uncle, Dr. Yates, remembering him 
with his white hair, snowy shirt frill, Hessian boots, or black 
gaiters, long black coat and gold-headed cane ; a man of im- 
portance in the town, physician to the Sussex County Hospital, 
etc., etc." * Mr. Ashton declares also that during the Regency 
(1810-1819) " Doctors still clung to their wigs." 

Shirts trimmed down the front with ruffles of the finest 
linen cambric, finished with minute rolled hems, were worn by 
young and old. The following epigram was printed about 1808, 
in " La Belle Assemblee " : 

"SHIRTS AND SHIFTS 

"Old Musty had married a modish young flirt, 
"Who, calling one holiday morn for her shirt, 
' Why, how now,' quoth Musty, ' what say you,' quoth he, 
' What, do you wear a shirt, Moll?' ' Be sure, Sir,' quoth she, 
'All women wear shirts' 'Nay,' quoth he, 'then I trow 
What has long been a riddle is plain enough now ; 
For when women wear shirts, it can lack no great gifts 
To discern why their husbands are put to their shifts.' " 

Marvels of needlework and feminine patience were the shirts 
of the first half of the nineteenth century, all made by hand, of 
course, and with innumerable three-cornered gussets put in to 
strengthen the seams, and with ruffles of finest linen cambric. 
Let us hope they were appreciated by the lords of creation who 
wore them. In the letters of Miss Southgate, the writer speaks 
of completing a dozen shirts for her father in 1812. A picture 
of a shirt of 1812 and one of 1830 are given in Figures 337 and 

* Reminiscences of Fifty Years. 



376 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

363. Happily this painful episode in the history of dress is 
cast into oblivion by the universal use of the sewing-machine, 
but the pathetic verses in the " Song of the Shirt " were founded 
on the true story of many an overworked sempstress in the first 
half of the nineteenth century : 



" Oh, men with sisters dear! 

Oh, men with mothers and wives, 
It is not linen you're wearing out 
But human creatures' lives ! " * 



The following amusing advertisements appeared in " La 
Belle Assemblee " for 1809 : 

" Patent Travelling Hair Caps. Perfectly unique. This 
very useful Invention is entirely new, and particularly well 
adapted for Officers in the Army and Navy, and Travellers in 
general, who are obliged to wear either a Welsh Wig or Night- 
cap, which, from their unhandsome or awkward appearance, 
persons are under the necessity of throwing off when alighting 
from the carriage, etc. 

" The traveller's hair cap, now recommended to the attention 
of the Public, possesses every comfort of the former, with the 
appearance of a curled head of hair, and, from its peculiar elas- 
ticity, sits perfectly close to the head without any sort of springs 
whatever, and cannot be put out of order. The Hair Caps are 
equally convenient for the Ladies. The}' may be had of the 
Inventors, Robinson and Holmes, No. 1, Essex-street, Strand, 
Peruke-Makers to their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales, 
Duke of Clarence, and to the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. 
Price one Guinea each. Considerable allowance made to Re- 
tailers. Sailors and Travellers by Sea, will find incredible ad- 

* Hood's Song of the Shirt. First published in Punch, 1843. 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 377 

vantage from the use of the Hair Caps ; and Judges and Gentle- 
men of the Bar. 

" Head-dresses, by the King's Royal Letters Patent, lately 
granted for a recent discovery in the art of making Head-dresses, 
etc., similar to nature, being so ingeniously wrought as to 
imitate the skin of the head and the hair as if implanted 
therein. 

" Sold only by Vickery, No. 6, Tavistock-street, Co vent 
Garden." 




Men's Apparel 

1810-1830 

" And he the hero of the night \vas there, 
In breeches of light drab, and coat of blue." 

N the second and third decades of the nine- 
teenth century, we notice that " coats of 
blue " were still the favoured fashion for 
both full dress and street costume. In 1810 
the tails of coats were rather shorter than 
in the preceding year, and " did not come 
lower than within four inches of the knee," 
according to an acknowledged authority 
on the subject, " The Repository of Arts." 
Coats were made, we gather from the same source, with long 
lappels ending on a line with the hip buttons. The waists were 
longer too, and the collars, which were cut very high, were 
slightly padded to make them fit smoothly and were set back 
about two inches from the neck. Buttons of gilt or silver were 
worn on both dress and morning coats. Sleeves were made 
very long. The full dress coat had round cuffs without buttons, 
and pockets with flaps on the hips. In morning coats the 
sleeves were slit at the wrist and finished with three large 
buttons. 

Breeches of light drab, made tight-fitting at the hips, and 
rather long, were in general favour. Pantaloons were made of 
a material called "double milled-stocking," something like the 
stockinette of to-day ; and a striped kerseymere, adopted by the 

Prince of Wales, whose taste in matters of masculine attire was 

378 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 379 

rivalled only by Beau Brummell, became very fashionable 
in 1810. 

Waistcoats were gay at this time. They were made single- 
breasted and with short regimental skirts, the collar fitting under 
the coat collar. The favourite material was striped marseilles 
of various colours. 

Green was a popular colour, especially for top-coats which 
were made double-breasted and trimmed with covered buttons. 
The tails were wonderfully full and had pockets in the plaits at 
the back. The shape of the coat shown in Figure 55 was 
fashionable for many years. 

In 1811, hats with low crowns and curved brims were in- 
troduced, but not to the exclusion of high hats, which have 
been unaccountably popular ever since the end of the seven- 
teenth century. Walking coats were not cut away, but buttoned 
up the front. Light pantaloons reaching to the ankle were a 
characteristic fashion of that year, and black shoes were uni- 
versally worn. 

The next year, 1812, is noticeable for a change in the shape 
of the high hats. Brims were made very narrow and drooped 
very much both back and front, while the crowns were narrow 
at the top like the sugar-loaf crowns worn in 1850. (See 
Figure 347.) There was a change in the waistcoats too. They 
were cut high and close up to the chin, allowing only a small 
bow-necktie to show. Coats were again short-waisted and cut 
away, showing the waistcoats. Long pantaloons of cloth were 
worn with high boots (Figure 95). Pictures of this date show 
long, close-fitting pantaloons finished with a row of small but- 
tons above the ankle. An illustration is given in Figure 363 
of a pair made of buff-coloured duck which were worn in Boston 
about 1812. 

Though, as we know now, pantaloons had come to stay, 



1860-1870 

FIGURE 312. 1860 Lady in white worked muslin dress over a fashionable 
hoop-skirt. The dress is made with seven graduated flounces and full 
bell sleeves. From a plate. Head from a contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 313. 1862 Walking costume of this date. A black velvet pelisse 
over black silk gown. Black bonnet faced with pink. Muff of chin- 
chilla. From a contemporary photograph. 

FIGURE 314. 1864 Gentleman in frock coat suit. From a portrait of this 
date. 

FIGURE 315. 1868 Young lady in a dress of blue Chamb6ry gauze. Head 
from a contemporary portrait. 

FIGURE 316. 1870 Street dress of dull green silk. Mantilla trimmed 
with black lace. Small bonnet trimmed with roses. From a plate of 
this date. 

FIGURE 317. 1869 Ball dress of white Chambe>y gauze trimmed with white 
satin folds and blond lace. Worn in this year. Head from a con- 
temporary print. 

FIGURE 318. 1870 Gentleman in walking suit of dark blue coat, drab 
pantaloons, white waistcoat, and grey beaver hat. From a photograph 
of this date. 



HISTORIC DKESS IN AMERICA 383 

much hostility was at first shown towards them. Taken from 
the military dress introduced into the army by the Duke of 
Wellington during the Peninsular war, and at first known as 
" Wellington trousers," they came into more or less general use 
at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the clergy 
and the fashionable world combined to oppose the innovation. 
An original trust deed, executed in 1820, of a Non-conformist 
chapel contains a clause providing that " under no circumstances 
shall a preacher be allowed to occupy the pulpit who wears 
long trousers " ; * and we are also informed that Almack's would 
not admit any one so attired. The universities were equally 
firm in their opposition, and in 1812 the authorities of Trinity 
and St. John's Colleges, Cambridge, decreed that students ap- 
pearing in hall or chapel in pantaloons or long trousers should 
be considered absent, f 

Whiskers came into vogue in 1800 and were extremely fash- 
ionable in 1812. They are commemorated in the following 
verses published in a magazine of that year : 

" "With whiskers thick upon my face, 

I went my fair to see ; 
She told me she could never love 
A bear-faced chap like me. 

" I shaved them clean and called again, 

And thought my troubles o'er ; 
She laughed outright and said I was 
More bare- faced than before." 

A fashion plate of 1814 shows a close-fitting top-coat of 
green cloth with cuffs and collar of fur. The back seams of 
the coat are trimmed with a flat black braid, the tails plaited 

* Early Hostility to Trousers, by William Andrews. 
t Cooper's Annals of Cambridge. 



384 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

full and the sleeves long and tight-fitting. With this coat was 
worn a small chimney-pot hat with drooping brim. 

The new king, Louis XVIII, sent M. de Neuville to repre- 
sent France in the United States and, in the letters of Mrs. 
Samuel Harrison Smith which have already furnished us 
with many valuable facts in the History of Dress of her time, 
we find a description of the costumes of the French delegation. 

" M. de Neuville and suite were at Mrs. Monroe's Drawing- 
room in the most splendid costumes, not their court dress how- 
ever. Blue coats covered with gold embroidery. The collar 
and back literally covered with wreaths of fleurs-de-lys. With 
white underclothes and huge chapeaux with feathers. The 
Minister's feather was white, the Secretaries' black and their 
dress, tho' in the same style, was not so superb as his." 

At the same time Mrs. Seaton wrote the following account 
of the gorgeous equipage and liveries of the French Minister on 
the occasion of a reception at the President's house : 

" After partaking of some ice-creams and a glass of Madeira, 
shaking hands with the President and tendering our good 
wishes, we were preparing to leave the rooms, when our at- 
tention was attracted through the window towards what we 
conceived to be a rolling ball of burnished gold, carried with 
swiftness through the air by two gilt wings. Our anxiety in- 
creased the nearer it approached, until it actually stopped 
before the door ; and from it alighted, weighted with gold 
lace, the French Minister and suite. We now also perceived 
that what we had supposed to be wings, were nothing more 
than gorgeous footmen with chapeaux bras, gilt braided skirts 
and splendid swords. Nothing ever was witnessed in Wash- 
ington so brilliant and dazzling, a meridian sun blazing full 
on this carriage filled with diamonds and glittering orders, 
and gilt to the edge of the wheels, you may well imagine 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 385 

how the natives stared and rubbed their eyes to be convinced 
'twas no fairy dream." 

President Monroe endeavoured to restore some of the stately 
formalities which had distinguished official life in the capital 
during the administrations of Washington and Adams. When 
he sent Mr. Pinckney as Minister to France, the diplomatic 
dress of our legations at all the foreign courts was very rich 
and dignified. A portrait of Richard Rush of Philadelphia, 
who was Minister at the Court of St. James from 1817 to 1825, 
in the possession of his granddaughter, shows a blue coat 
richly embroidered with gold. It was lined with white silk 
and worn with white waistcoat, ruffled shirt, knee-breeches 
and white silk stockings. A dress sword and chapeau bras com- 
pleted this costume. 

The formal tea-drinkings, solemn weekly dinners at the 
White House, and the " infrequent receptions " of Mrs. Monroe 
were relieved by numerous card parties and conversation par- 
ties. These, we learn, were " very elegant " at the British Min- 
ister's, and " very gay " at the French Embassy. M. de Neu- 
ville it seems " used to puzzle and astound the plain-living 
Yankees by serving dishes of turkeys without bones and pud- 
dings in the form of fowls, fresh cod dressed as salad, celery like 
oysters ; further he scandalized some and demoralized others by 
having dancing parties on Saturday evenings, which the New 
England ladies had been educated to consider as holy time." 

During the last years of the Regency a marvellous variety of 
cravats were introduced. 

" A book on the intricate subject of cravats was published at 
London in 1818 entitled ' Neckclothitania, or Titania : being an 
Essay on Starchers, By One of the Cloth.' The fashionable 
varieties of neck-wear at that time appear to have been the Na- 
poleon, American, Mail-Coach, Osbaldestan and Irish ties ; and 



386 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

another called the Mathematical tie from its triangular form is 
described as being only one degree less severe than the Oriental 
tie, which was so high that the wearer could not see where he 
was going and so stiff that he could not turn his head." 

One article of men's attire which has the distinction of an 
illustrious name and was very popular both in England and 
America from 1815 to 1850 was the Wellington boot. It was 
perhaps the most fashionable foot-wear for gentlemen in the 
first half of the nineteenth century and was popularly supposed 
to have been designed by the Duke of Wellington, for whom it 
was undoubtedly named. These boots were made of calfskin 
and fitted close to the leg as far as the knee and were worn 
under long trousers fastened with a strap beneath the sole of the 
boot. (See Figure 343.) 

Mr. Richard Rush of Philadelphia was still Minister at the 
Court of Great Britain at the time of the accession of George IV. 
In his Memoirs (1817-1825) he describes the gorgeous celebra- 
tion of the coronation on July 19, 1820. Speaking of the 
diplomatic corps on that occasion he observes that the box pre- 
pared for the Foreign Ambassadors and Ministers was at the 
south end of the building (Westminster Abbey) opposite the 
space fitted up for the Royal Family. It was near the throne, 
affording a good view of the imposing ceremony. The gorgeous 
costumes worn by the participants in the drama were after- 
wards reproduced in colour by order of his Majesty and pub- 
lished in a portfolio volume by Sir George Nayler. These cos- 
tumes must have been very handsome and very hot for a July 
day. The mantles were of velvet lined and trimmed with fur, 
and the hats were heavy with groups of ostrich plumes. 

In the Memoirs of Lester Wallack, the renowned actor, we 
find the later history of these same costumes. He says : 

" George IV was a most theatrical man in all he did, and 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 387 



when his coronation took place he dressed all his courtiers and 
everybody about him in peculiarly dramatic costumes. Dresses 
of Queen Elizabeth's time. It was all slashed trunks and side 
cloaks, etc. Of course the dukes, earls and barons were particu- 
larly disgusted at the way they had to exhibit themselves and 
as soon as the coronation ceremonies were over these things were 
thrown aside and sold, and Elliston bought an enormous num- 
ber of them. He was then the lessee of the Surrey Theatre 
where he got up a great pageant and presented the Coronation 
of George IV." 

In the spring of 1820 the Honourable Stratford Canning 
came to the United States as Minister from Great Britain. In 
his Memoirs there is an interesting description of the onerous 
preparations the post entailed. It was considered essential to 
bring furniture, servants, and all the household equipment he 
required from England, and it took three days to get his effects 
on board the ship. He brought over eleven servants, including 
a French cook. A cabriolet too was brought, but we hear noth- 
ing of horses and infer that America was thought capable of 
supplying suitable steeds for his distinguished use. As he was 
one of the greatest men England has ever sent to this country, 
he deserved to be made comfortable, even if his remarks on the 
manners and customs of the people he met were not always 
flattering. 

He came in a friendly spirit ; to use his own words : " The 
duty imposed upon me by the authorities in Downing Street was 
principally to keep the peace between Mother and Daughter. 
It was not easy to keep the peace when the daughter was as 
vain and sensitive as new fledged independence could make 
her." Landing at Baltimore, he says : " Fair accommodations 
awaited me at the Inn, and such native luxuries as soft crabs 
and cakes made of Indian corn opened a new field to the curious 



388 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 

appetite." Of Washington, which he reached the following 
day, he seems to have received a rather dismal impression. " I 
know not what appearance the grand seat of government with 
its Capitol and the celebrated White House present at this 
period, but when I first saw it forty-eight years ago the Penn- 
sylvania Avenue, extending from one to the other, or nearly so, 
was the only thing approaching our notion of a street and that 
for the most part rather prospectively than in actual existence. 
A low flat space of considerable extent formed the site of the 
embryo metropolis of the Union." 

On the subject of dress he remarks : " Breeches and silk 
stockings are not infrequently worn of an evening, but these 
innovations are perhaps confined to the regions of Washington. 
Even here the true republican virtues have found refuge. At 
the Foreign Office, trousers, worsted stockings and gaiters for 
winter. In summer a white roundabout, i. e., cotton jacket, 
sans neck-cloth, sans stockings and sometimes sans waistcoat. 
The Speaker of the House in the United States sits in his chair 
of office wigless and ungowned. I observed several of the 
members of Congress quite as well dressed as Martin Pitt. The 
Quakers struck me as being particularly attentive to their per- 
sons, their chins close shaved and their hats of the best 
beaver. Monday, March 9th, when all attended the President's 
Inauguration in lace coats and silk stockings, was a most 
wretched day, but as Talleyrand said, ' Nothing is settled in 
America, not even the climate.' I might be tempted to de- 
scribe the costume which I assumed since the summer set in, 
not omitting my white cotton jacket, my umbrella and brimmed 
hat of Leghorn." 

This is Mr. Canning's picture ; now let us look on that of 
Mrs. Seaton from whose entertaining letters we quote as fol- 
lows : 



HISTOKIC DRESS IN AMERICA 389 

" The city is unusually gay, and crowded with agreeable 
and distinguished visitors. Mr. Canning's initiatory ball 
seemed to rouse the emulation of his neighbours, and we have 
had a succession of fetes. The British Minister's route was 
unique. The English are half a century before us in style. 
Handsome pictures, books, and all sorts of elegant litter dis- 
tinguish his rooms, the mansion being decorated with peculiar 
taste and propriety. Mr. Canning is himself a most unpre- 
tending man in appearance and manners ; modesty appears to 
be his peculiar characteristic, which for a foreign minister is no 
negative praise. The birthnight * ball was brilliant. The con- 
trast between the plain attire of President Monroe and Mr. 
Adams and the splendid uniforms of the diplomatic corps, was 
very striking, the gold, silver and jewels donned by the for- 
eigners in compliment to the anniversary festival of our patriot 
and hero certainly adding splendour to the scene. The capti- 
vating D'Aprament made his debut in brilliant crimson indis- 
pensables laced with gold, an embroidered coat, stars and 
orders, golden scabbard and golden spurs. Poor girls! Per- 
fectly irresistible in person, he besieged their hearts and not 
content with his triumphs there, his sword entangled their 
gowns, his spurs demolished their flounces, in the most attract- 
ive manner possible ; altogether he was proclaimed invincibly 
charming. M. de Neuville has adopted a new course since his 
return. Formerly, his secretaries were remarkably small and 
insignificant in appearance, but he now appears to have 
selected his legation by their inches. The most cultivated 
Frenchman whom I have ever met is in M. de Neuville's 
family, the Chevalier du Menu. He has resided ten years in 
America, and is a poet, orator, and scientific man, though still 
young." 

* Washington's birthday. 



1830-1840 

FIGURE 319. Evening dress. Portrait of Disraeli, by Maclise. 
FIGURE 320. Street dress. Portrait of Leigh Hunt, by Maclise. 
FIGURE 321. Street dress. Portrait of Count d'Orsay, by Maclise. 
FIGURE 322. Dressing gown. Portrait of Count d'Orsay, by Maclise. 
FIGURE 323. Travelling cloak. Portrait of William Bowls, by Maclise. 
FIGURE 324. Street dress. Portrait of Lord Lyndhurst, by Maclise. 
FIGURE 325. Travelling shawl. Portrait of James Hogg, by Maclise. 






HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 393 



In 1820 we notice dark pantaloons were very fashionable, 
and gaiters, cutaway coats, high stocks and ruffled shirts. 
There was a slight change in the high hats. They were wider 
at the top and narrower at the crown, as in Figure 101. Long 
cloaks were popular. They had a military air and were 
picturesque when lined with red and ornamented with frogs. 
Watches were worn with fobs and seals throughout the twenties 
as will be seen in the portraits of that time. According to the 
following foolish verses published in " La Belle Assemblee " for 
December, 1820, pantaloons were worn loose-fitting and shoes 
with high heels were fashionable : 

"MODERN MALE FASHIONS 

" Crops, like hedge-hogs, small white hands, 

Whiskers, like Jew Moses ; 
Collars padded, stiff cravats, 
And cheeks as red as roses. 

" Faces painted deepest brown, 

Waistcoats striped and gaudy ; 
Sleeves, thrice doubled, thick with down, 
And stays to brace the body. 

" Short great coats that reach the knees, 

Boots like French postillion ; 
Meant the lifty race to please, 
But laughed at by the million. 

" High-heeled shoes, with silken strings, 

Pantaloons loose fitting ; 
Fingers deck'd with golden rings, 
And small-clothes made of knitting. 

" Bludgeons, like a pilgrim's staff, 

Or canes, as slight as osiers ; 

Doubled hose, to shew the calf, 

Aud swell the bill of hosiers. 



394 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 

" Such is giddy Fashion's son, 

Such a modern lover ; 
Oh ! would their reign had ne'er begun, 
And may it soon be over ! " 

" Small clothes made of knitting " evidently referred to stock- 
inette. 

The inauguration of President Monroe in 1821 (his second 
term) offers a striking contrast to the coronation of the English 
King in the previous year. We quote the following description 
from a letter of Judge Story to his wife in Boston : 

" It was, according to arrangement, to be performed in the 
chamber of the House of Representatives. This is a splendid 
and most magnificent hall in the shape of a horseshoe, having 
a colonnade of marble pillars round the whole circular sweep 
which ascend to and support the lofty dome. The galleries for 
spectators were about midway the pillars and the seats gradually 
rise as they recede. The hall was thronged with ladies and 
gentlemen of the neighbouring cities to witness the ceremon} 7 . 
About 12 o'clock the President came into the hall dressed in a 
plain suit of black broadcloth with a single-breasted coat and 
waistcoat with flaps, in the old fashion. He also wore small 
clothes with silk stockings, and shoes with gold buckles in 
them. He placed himself in a chair usually occupied by the 
Clerk of the House of Representatives, facing the whole audi- 
ence. On his right was the President of the Senate, on his 
left the Speaker of the House. The Secretaries of all the de- 
partments sat in a row on the right, and on the left all the 
foreign Ministers and their suites dressed out in all their most 
splendid court dresses and arranged according to their rank. 
Immediately in front of the President at a small distance were 
placed seven chairs for the Judges who, upon notice of the 
arrival of the President, went into the hall in their judicial 



HISTORIC DKESS IN AMERICA 395 

robes attended by the Marshal. The Chief-Justice was im- 
mediately requested to take the chair on the left of the Presi- 
dent, who soon afterwards rose, and the Chief-Justice admin- 
istered the oath of office. The President then delivered his 
inaugural speech, the Justices, the foreign Ministers, the Presi- 
dent of the Senate and the Speaker of the House remaining 
standing. Altogether the scene was truly striking and grand. 
There was a simple dignity which excited very pleasing sensa- 
tions. The fine collection of beautiful and interesting women 
dressed with great elegance, and the presence of so many men 
of talents, character and public services, civil and military. I 
do not know that I was ever more impressed by a public 
spectacle." 

John Marshall was Chief-Justice of the United States on the 
occasion described above. A portrait of him in his official robes 
is given in Figure 354, and one of Judge Story in his robes in 
Figure 303, as specimens of typical legal dress in America. 
Some idea of the splendour of the costumes worn by the foreign 
embassies on the same occasion may be gleaned from the de- 
scriptions given in pages 384 and 388. The embroidered fleurs- 
de-lys, etc., must have stood out in strong relief against the black 
robes of the judges and the black clothes of the chief actors in 
the scene. 

In 1825 the court dress of ambassadors is described in a 
fashion book as a cutaway coat trimmed with gold lace over a 
white waistcoat and knee-breeches and white stockings. Ruf- 
fled shirt and high white stock. A dress sword, white gloves 
and chapeau bras similar to the costume worn by Mr. Rush at 
the Court of St. James. (See Figure 141.) 

Long overcoats with full tails and a deep cape, and finished 
with a broad collar either of the same cloth or of black velvet, 
were worn from 1825 to 1830. An illustration of one of these 



396 HISTOEIC DUESS IN AMERICA 

coats is shown in Figure 143 and another in Figure 364, taken 
from a plate of 1829. The pantaloons reaching to the ankle, but 
strapped under the stocking, are also shown in the latter pic- 
ture. They were in the extreme of fashion in 1829. Specimens 
of the high stocks which were worn at this time are given in 
Figures 326 and 329. The " stock sentimentale " truly merits 
its name, and the " stock 1'Orientale " evidently derived its des- 
ignation from the crescent shaped tie beneath the chin. 




Men's Apparel 

1830-1850 

'According to the fashion and the time." 

HE period of the thirties was distinguished 
for a rather effeminate and extremely un- 
picturesque style of costume for men. 
Coats were made to fit tight, the shoulders 
were padded and they were drawn in at 
the waist line without a wrinkle. The 
sleeves were very tight and put in at the 
armhole without any fullness whatever. 
In fact, the coats of this period which have 
been lent for our illustrations were all so 
small in the armhole and tight in the sleeves that a full-grown 
man could not possibly put them on, and in every instance we 
have had to make use of young boys for models. 

" My love is all that is polite, 

He looks so pale and thin ; 
He wears his boots so very tight, 
And pulls so closely in. 

" Oh ! what a deal in hats and gloves, 

In vests arid coats he spends ; 
I call the heart that truly loves, 
The tailor's best of friends." 

The trousers also were quite tight and produced a slim, gen- 
teel effect which seems to have been the beau ideal of mascu- 
line perfection at that date. 

The hair was worn in loose waved locks over the forehead, 
and side whiskers were affected by most young gallants of the 

time (Figures 148 and 307). 

397 



398 HISTOEIC DEESS IX AMERICA 

We note the description of a suit for summer wear of a dark 
slate-coloured cloth, made with a collar of black velvet in an 
American magazine of fashion for 1830, and also the statement 
that the backs of coats are cut wide across the shoulders and 
narrow at the waist, the " hip-buttons " being placed about 
three inches apart. This would naturally contribute to the 
slender-waisted effect mentioned above. The " latest " in waist- 
coats, according to the same authority, was white marseilles 
with large black spots, bound with black galloon and made with 
a deep rolling collar. The newest trousers were of moleskin, 
buttoned up the front with a fly, made rather full about the 
hips, tight from knee to ankle, and cut out on the instep to fit 
the boot. 

The high stocks, which were still universally worn, are illus- 
trated in Figures 330, 367, and 368, Figure 330 being copied 
from a wedding stock worn in Philadelphia by Dr. William 
Hunt in 1834. A specimen of the high shirt collars worn in 
the thirties is given in Figure 327. 

A fashion plate for 1833* shows the extreme of the lady-like 
dressing of gentlemen at that time. A tight-fitting overcoat 
tapering at the waist with a broad rolling collar opening wide 
to show the waistcoat and shirt bosom, a voluminous skirt 
reaching to the instep. A chimney-pot hat with scarcely any 
brim. With this peculiar costume, chin whiskers were worn and 
the general effect is very foolish (Figures 307 and 309). 

" They've made him a dandy ; 

A thing, you know, whisker' d, great-coated, and lac'd ; 
Like an hour-glass, exceedingly small in the waist : 
Quite a new sort of creature unknown yet to scholars, 
"With Leads so immovably stuck in shirt collars, 
That seats like our music-stools soon must be found them, 
To twirl when the creatures wish to look round them." f 

* In the valuable collection of the Salmagundi Club, New York, 
t Fudge Family in Paris, Thomas Moore. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 399 

Palm leaf hats were introduced about 1826 and became so 
popular in the protracted heat of an American summer that 
they are often mentioned as typical articles of costume (Fig- 
ure 371). The following description is taken from " The New 
England Magazine " of 1831 : 

" Palm Leaf Hats are manufactured to a surprising extent in 
New England, but principally in Massachusetts. The manufac- 
turing of them commenced in 1826, in consequence of the en- 
couragement afforded by the duty laid on imported Leghorn, 
straw and grass hats. It is believed that in this year alone up- 
wards of two millions of hats will be made, the average value of 
which is about three dollars a dozen, amounting to a half mil- 
lion of dollars. In Worcester County it is supposed half the 
quantity above stated will be made. The leaf is imported from 
the island of Cuba ; last year six hundred tons, worth fifty thou- 
sand dollars, was received. The hats are all made at the dwell- 
ings of the inhabitants, by girls from fourteen years old and 
upwards, are then sold to the country merchants, who collect 
them together and send them to Boston, New York and other 
markets. They are made of every quality, varying from 
25 cents to $2 each, and suited to the man of fashion or the 
labourer." 

The high hats of 1830 were still of beaver, but not al- 
ways of black. Grey and white beavers were equally fash- 
ionable from 1830 to 1835 ; the popular shape of that 
time is illustrated in Figures 148, 307 and 309. Grey hats 
were worn in the daytime, and black beaver hats in the even- 
ing. 

In 1830 we read of a new surtout called a Casauba, made with 
a rouleau of cloth instead of a collar. Dressing gowns of printed 
cachemire were fashionable too at that time, and a peculiar gar- 
ment called a redingote vest made of merino reaching almost to 



1807-1870 

FIGURE 326. 1829 Stock P Oriental. From a print. 
FIGURE 327. 1830 Shirt collar, 1830 and after. From a print. 
FIGURE 328. 1840 Stock of black satin of this date. 
FIGURE 329. 1829 Stock seutimeutale. From a print. 
FIGURE 330. 1834 White satin stock worn at this time. (Back and front 

views.) 

FIGURE 331. 1813 Breadmau. 
FIGURE 332. 1813 Dustinau. 
FIGURE 333. 1813 Sailor. 

FIGURE 334. 1800-70 English workman in smock. 
FIGURE 335. 1837 White satin waistcoat. 
FIGURE 336. 1838 Old coat of white linen. 

FIGURE 337. 1830 White linen shirt worn in Philadelphia at this date. 
FIGURE 338. 1825 Militia coat of red cloth faced with brown velvet. 
FIGURE 339. 1825 Military coat of dark blue cloth faced with scarlet. 
FIGURE 340. 1807 Chapean bras. From a print. 
FIGURE 341. 1850 White beaver hat. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 342. 1815-50 Dress boots. 
FIGURE 343. 1815-50 Wellington boots. 
FIGURE 344. 1800-50 Blucher boots. 
FIGURE 345. 1800-40 Hessian boots. 
FIGURE 346. 1800-50 Top boots. 
FIGURE 347. 1809 Hat with rolling brim. 

FIGURE 348. 1850 A black silk high hat. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. 
FIGURE 349. 1865 Picture of a round hat worn by an old man in this 



year. From a contemporary print. 







i\ t<~- 
i ' - . , / 




3*9 "" 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 403 

the knees and fastened with buttons of jet or of white metal, for 
morning wear. 

The following remarks on the various expressions of which 
a coat is capable were found in an old magazine of the thirties : 

" Old coats are the indices by which a man's peculiar turn 
of mind may be pointed out. So tenaciously do I hold this 
opinion, that, in passing down a crowded thoroughfare, the 
Strand, for instance, I would wager odds that, in seven out of 
ten cases, I would tell you a stranger's character and calling by 
the mere cut of his every-day coat. Who can mistake the staid, 
formal gravity of the orthodox divine, in the corresponding 

weight, fullness and healthy condition of his familiar easy-na- 

* s* 

tured flaps? Who sees not the necessities, the habitual eccen- 

> ^ 

tricities of the poet, significantly developed in his haggard, 

*""^ ^~* tl 

shapeless old apologies for skirts, original in their genius Vis 
' Christabel,' uncouth in their build as the New Palace at Pim- 

^ ?~ MJ 

lico? Who can misapprehend the motions of the spirit, as it 
slyly flutters beneath the Quaker's drab? Thus, too, the sable 
hue of the lawyer's working coat corresponds with the colour of 

>-< rt ca 

his conscience : while his thrift, dandyism and close attention 

p5 o 55 
to appearances, tell their own tale in the half-pay officer's smart, 

but somewhat faded exterior." 

"* 
The close relationship between the coat and the wearer has 

been touchingly expressed by an American poet as follows : 



"Old coat, for some three or four seasons 

We've been jolly comrades, but DOW 
We part, old companion, forever ; 

To fate and to fashion I bow. 
You'd look well enough at a dinner, 

I'd wear you with pride at a ball, 
But I'm dressing to-night for a wedding 

My own, and you'd not do at all. 



404 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

"There's a reprobate looseness about you 
Should I wear you to-night I believe 
As I cauie with uiy bride from the altar 
You'd laugh iu your wicked old sleeve. 



'Tis time to put on your successor, 
It's made iu a fashion that's new ; 

Old coat, I'm afraid it will never 
Sit as easily on ine as you." * 



An English traveller visiting Washington in 1832 was ap- 
parently much interested in the appearance and dress of a depu- 
tation of Indians which was quartered for a short time in the 
hotel where he was staying. Several of these, he remarks, 
" wore only a blanket fastened in front by a skewer, and their 
hair was adorned with feathers. There were two ladies and 
several children attached to the deputation, and I desired the 
waiter if possible to induce some of the latter to pay me a visit. 
One evening he brought in two, a boy and a girl. The girl's 
costume consisted of a sort of printed bed-gown without sleeves, 
fastened close up to the throat ; trousers, moccasins or leggins 
of deerskin, worn generally by the Indians, and the whole 
covered by a blanket, the drapery of which she really managed 
with a good deal of grace. In each ear she wore two large ear- 
rings. Fastened to the crown of her head was a piece of blue 
ribband, which hung down not unbecomingly on one side of 
the face. The boy was apparently younger by two or three 
years, and a fine manly little fellow. He also wore a blanket 
by way of Benjamin, but instead of a bed-gown rejoiced in a 
long coat, the tails of which reached almost to his heels, and 
which, being made for some one of form and dimensions very 

*G. A. Baker, Jr. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 405 

different, was not remarkable for felicity of adaptation. Neither 
could speak English, but the boy evidently was the leading per- 
son, the girl only following his example. Having a bottle of 
claret on the table, I filled each of them a glass, but the flavour 
did not seem to meet with their approbation. I then gave them 
cigars which they appeared to enjoy ; indeed I never saw any 
one blow a cloud with greater zest than the young lady. The 
failure of the claret then induced me to try the effect of stronger 
potations, and I brought a bottle of Eau de Cologne from my 
dressing table, the contents of which they finished without diffi- 
culty or apparent inconvenience from the strength of the spirit. 
They remained with me about half an hour, during the whole 
of which time they maintained the sober gravity of demeanour 
which the Indians consider to be inseparable from true dignity. 
Nothing seemed to excite surprise, and the only symptom of an- 
imation they displayed was on catching a view of their own 
countenances in a mirror, when they both laughed. At length 
the boy rose to take leave followed by the young lady, and 
shaking hands with me they strode out of the apartment with a 
sort of barbaric grace which well became these children of the 
wilderness. Before quitting the subject of the Indians whose 
wild appearance had excited in my imagination a thousand fan- 
tastic associations, I must mention one circumstance which I 
found sadly hostile to their poetical interest. One morning I 
observed my diplomatic friends lounging and walking about as 
usual in the gallery of the hotel, but alas, how miserably trans- 
mogrified ! Their ' Great Father,' the President, had, it ap- 
peared, preparatory to their departure, presented each person 
attached to. the Mission with a new coat, in shape something 
like that worn by a coachman, and of blue cloth turned up at 
the collar and cuffs with scarlet. The women wore cloaks of 
the same colours and materials and my two little friends, whose 



406 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



barbaric appearance had been delightful, now strutted about in 
their new finery with a grand air." 

From this strictly American costume let us turn to matters 
of dress in England, and read the graphic descriptions of the 
apparel worn by different types in the mother country from 
1836 to 1846, given by Edmund Yates in his " Recollections 
and Experiences." 

" Dandies wore high collared coats and roll collared waist- 
coats, short in the waist ; round their necks were high stiff 
stocks with ' an avalanche of satin ' falling over the chest, and 
ornamented with a large pin and a small pin connected with a 
thin chain, and high sharp-pointed, almost Gladstonian, shirt 
collars. No gentleman could wear anything in the daytime 
but Wellington boots (Figure 343), high up in the leg, over 
which the trousers fitted tightly, covering most of the foot, and 
secured underneath by a broad strap. The great coats of those 
days were no misnomers ; they Avere really enormous garments 
adorned with capes and deep pockets (Figure 364). They were 
Chesterfields, Petershams, Taglionis, Sylphides, and well I 
recollect some splendid driving-coats ornamented with enor- 
mous mother-of-pearl buttons as big as crown-pieces, with pic- 
tures on them of mail coaches going full speed, which were ex- 
hibited to admiring crowds in the tailor's windows in Regent 
Street. Afterwards came the neat paletot, the blanket-like 
poncho, the blue pilot, and the comfortable Inverness. Some 
old gentlemen wore cloaks, too, in my youth, and I have a dim 
recollection of one kind properly, I believe, called 'roquelaure' 
(Figure 323), but known to the London public as a' rockelow.' ' 
The latter garment was a survival of the eighteenth century, il- 
lustrations of which are given in the earlier volume of " His- 
toric Dress." 

The dress of the men of this time (1836-1846) can be studied 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMERICA 407 

in the illustrations in " Nicholas Nickleby " and other contem- 
porary publications. 

Mr. Yates gives an interesting glimpse of personages once 
familiar in the streets of London : " The dustman with his call 
' Dust O ! ' and his ever-ringing bell ; the buy-a-broom girl, 
with her Swiss garb and jodling voice; the thin Turk, turban- 
topped, and vending rhubarb from a tray suspended from his 
neck ; the Jew boys who hung about the coach-offices with their 
nets of lemons and oranges, and were closely elbowed by the 
peripatetic cutler, whose knives were always open and con- 
stantly being polished and sharpened on a tattered leather 
glove. Gone is the bag-bearing Jew with his never-ceasing cry 
of ' Old clo ! clo ! ' Gone are the Quakers, the men broad- 
brimmed, shovel-hatted, stiff-collared and gaitered ; the women 
generally pretty with hideous bonnets and pretty dove-coloured 
raiment. Well do I recollect the introduction, simultaneously 
I imagine, of the handsome cab, then called ' patent-safety,' 
and the four-wheeler. People nowadays will smile to hear that 
for years after their first introduction it was considered ' fast ' 
to ride in a handsome, and its use was tabooed to ladies. Clean- 
shaven faces were uncommon ; a pair of ' mutton chop ' whisk- 
ers was de rigeur ; but a ' pair of Moustachios,' as they were 
called, was never seen, save on a cavalry officer, a dancing 
master, or a ' snob,' and the cultivation of a beard was wholly 
confined to foreigners." 

The costume of the policeman, introduced by Sir Robert 
Peel in 1850, is described in the same volume as follows : 
" They wore swallow-tail blue coats with bright metal buttons, 
and in summer white duck trousers and white Berlin gloves. 
In lieu of helmet they had an ordinary chimney-pot hat, only 
of extra strength and stiffness and with a glazed oilskin top." 
Further details are not given by Mr. Yates, but we are left to 



403 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 

infer that in winter the English guardians of the peace wore 
blue cloth trousers, and in summer the same coat was worn 
with the duck trousers. We are left quite in the dark about 
the style of gloves they patronized in winter, but are told very 
decidedly that policemen were not allowed " to grow either 
moustache or beard." 

Another valuable item of English costume is given in the 
same book. " The general or country postman wore a scarlet 
swallow-tail coat ; the ' two penny ' or London district man a 
blue uniform ; a collection for the night mails was made at five 
p. M. by men who paraded the streets, each armed with a bell, 
which he rang lustily ; many of the despatches and letters from 
the head office to the various sub-offices were sent by horse-post, 
the letters being enclosed in leather valises which were strapped 
behind in post-bags." 

Speaking of the familiar characters in the streets of London 
about 1846, Mr. Yates says : " There in a hooded cabriolet, the 
fashionable vehicle for men-about-town, with an enormous 
champing horse and the trimmest of tiny grooms, ' tigers ' as 
they were called, half standing on the foot-board, half swinging 
in the air, clinging to the straps, would be Count d'Orsay, with 
clear-cut features and raven hair, the king of the dandies, the 
cynosure of all eyes, the greatest swell of the day. He was an 
admirable whip and always drove in faultless white kid gloves 
with his shirt wrist-bands turned back over his coat cuffs and 
his whole ' turn-out ' was perfection. By his side was occasion- 
ally seen Prince Louis Napoleon, an exile too, after his escape 
from Ham residing in lodgings in King Street." 

The white waistcoat affected by Count d'Orsay and other 
men of fashion soon became very popular. " Punch's " Muse 
immortalized them in the following parody on the " Roast Beef 
of Old England " : 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEKICA 409 

' ' Oh ! the vests of young Euglaud are perfectly white, 
And they're cut very neatly aud sit very tight, 
And they serve to distinguish our young Englishmen 
From the juvenile Manners and Couiugsby Ben ; 

Sing Oh ! the white vests of young England 

Aud Oh ! the youug English white vests. 

"Now the old English vest was some two yards about, 
For old England was rather inclined to be stout ; 
But the young English waist is extremely compress'd, 
By the very close fit of the young English vest. 
Sing Oh ! etc. 

" The young English white vest upon one little score, 
May perhaps be considered a bit of a bore, 
For it makes the resemblance exceedingly near 
Twixt the young English waiter and young English Peer. 
Sing Oh ! etc. 

"But what are the odds as concerning the vest, 
So long as felicity reigns in the breast ? 
And young England to wear what it pleases may claim 
Let us hope all the tailors are paid for the same. 
Sing Oh ! etc." 

Count d'Orsay, of whom Mr. Yates has given us such a 
vivid description, was an artist by profession, and is said to 
have painted the last portrait of the Duke of Wellington. He 
settled in England in 1821 and assisted the Countess of Bless- 
ington to establish a fashionable coterie in London in that year. 
Bernard Osborne describes him riding in Hyde Park : 

" Patting the crest of his well-managed steed, 
Proud of his action, D'Orsay vaunts the breed ; 
A coat of chocolate, a vest of snow, 
Well brushed his whiskers, as his boots below, 
A short-napped beaver, prodigal in brim, 
With trousers tighten'd to a well-turned limb." * 

A manual of etiquette published by him about that time con- 
tains the following precepts for the guidance of men of fashion : 

* The Chaunt of Achilles. 



1810-1869 

FIGURE 350. 1840 Plaid stock aud waistcoat. Portrait of Baron Stock- 
mar. 

FIGURE 351. 1840 Quaker gentleman. From a Daguerreotype. 

FIGURE 352. 1844 Hair parted in the middle; plaid waistcoat. Da- 
guerreotype of James Eussell Lowell. 

FIGURE 353. 1845 Clerical dress. Portrait of Eev. William Chalmers. 

FIGURE 354. 1821 Eobes of a chief justice of the U. S. Portrait of John 
Marshall. 

FIGURE 355. 1865 Clerical dress. Portrait of Eev. Henry J. Morton. 

FIGURE 356. 1869 Frock coat aud standing collar. 

FIGURE 357. 1810 Bishop's dress. 

FIGURE 358. 1855 Close-fitting coat. 



HISTOKIC DEESS IN AMERICA 413 

" It is bad taste to dress in the extreme of fashion and in 
general those only do so who have no other claim to distinction ; 
leave it in these times to shopmen and pickpockets. There are 
certain occasions, however, when you may dress as gayly as you 
please, observing the axiom of the ancient poet to be ' great on 
great occasions.' The great points are well made shoes, clean 
gloves, a white pocket handkerchief, and above all an easy and 
graceful deportment. Never affect the ruffianly style of dress 
unless as some excuse you hold a brilliant position in society. 
Always wear gloves in church or in a theatre. Avoid wearing 
jewelry unless it be in very good taste and then only at proper 
occasions. Never leave your hat in the hall when you pay a 
morning visit, it makes you look too much at home, take it with 
you into the room." Hints on the art of dancing, card playing 
and every form of social amusement are given in this little 
pamphlet which is now almost forgotten. A picture of the 
author will be seen in Figure 321, copied from Maclise's portrait 
gallery. 

On the subject of hats the following anecdote appeared in the 
columns of " Blackwood's Magazine " in 1841 : 

" There is a great deal in the build and wearing of hats, a 
great deal more than at first meets the eye. I know a man who 
in a particular hat looked so extraordinarily like a man of 
property that no tradesman on earth could refuse to give him 
credit. It was one of Andre's, and cost a guinea and a half in 
ready money, but the person in question was frightened at the 
enormous charge and afterwards purchased beavers in the city 
at the cost of seventeen-and-sixpence, and what was the con- 
sequence ? He fell off in public estimation, and very soon after 
he came out in his city hat it began to be whispered abroad 
that he was a ruined man." It is a good story although the 
moral is hardly commendable. 



Men's Apparel 




1850-1870 

" The coat is the expression of the man." 

T is all nonsense to undervalue dress ; I'm 
no more the same man in my dark green 
paletot, trimmed with astrakan, that I 
was a month ago in my fustian shooting- 
jacket, than a well plumed eagle is like a 
half moulted turkey. There is an inde- 
scribable connection between your coat 
and your character ; and few things so 
react on the morality of a man as the cut 
of his trousers," wrote James -Dodd, ac- 
cording to Lever, to his friend Robert Doolan during his travels 
abroad, which were published early in the fifties, a period char- 
acterized by rather gay attire in the masculine world. 

An American writer mentions that "jewels were conspicuous 
in men's dressing and gentlemen of fashion were rare who did 
not have varieties of sparkling studs and scarf pins to add to the 
brightness of their vari-coloured vests. The latter not infre- 
quently were of the richest satin and velvet, brocaded or em- 
broidered. They lent a desirable note of colour by means incon- 
spicuous to the swallow-tailed evening dress of that time, a note 
by the by which was supplemented by a tie of bright soft 
silk and of ample proportions. President Buchanan was re- 
markable for his undeviating choice of pure white cravats." 
But we are anticipating ; the administration of Buchanan began 
in 1857. 

414 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 415 

From the letters of our great historian, Prescott, written dur- 
ing his visit to England in 1850, we glean many interesting 
items of dress. Although a private citizen and not connected 
in any way with the Embassy, he was constrained to wear a reg- 
ulation costume at the Court of Queen Victoria, He describes 
his presentation in a letter to his wife : 

" I was at Lawrence's * at one, in my costume, a chapeau 
with gold lace, blue coat and white trousers, begilded with but- 
tons and metal (the coat buttons up single-breasted to the 
throat), a sword and patent leather boots. I was a figure in- 
deed, but I had enough to keep me in countenance." This 
costume is not unlike the suit of an attache of legation in 1840 
shown in Figure 369 which is taken from a coat worn by 
Robert H. Hale, Esq., of Philadelphia, when he accompanied 
the Minister of the United States to St. Petersburg. 

In another letter, to Mr. Ticknor, Mr. Prescott says : " Do 
you know I have become a courtier and affect the Royal Pres- 
ence? I wish you could see my gallant costume, gold laced 
coat, white inexpressibles, silk hose, gold buckled patent leather 
slippers." This letter is dated June 26th, and the knee- 
breeches were probably de rigeur for a ball. Later in the same 
season he writes to Mr. Ticknor of the degree bestowed on him 
at Oxford. 

" On Monday morning our party at the Bishop's went to 
Oxford where Lord Northampton and I were Doctorized in due 
form. We were both dressed in flaming red robes (it was the 
hottest day I have felt here) and then marched out in solemn 
procession with the Faculty, etc., in black and red gowns 
through the street, looking, that is, we, like the victims of an 
auto da ft; though I believe on second thoughts the San Benito 
was yellow." 

* Auios Lawrence, Minister from the United States to England. 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMERICA 



To Mrs. Prescott (August 24, 1850) he writes of his visit to 
Lord Carlisle at Naworth Castle. 

" This is a fine old place of the feudal tiroes indeed. In the 
afternoon we arrived and saw the banners of the Howards and 
Dacres flying from its battlements, telling us that its lord was 
there. He came out to greet us, dressed in his travelling garb, 
for he had just arrived, with his Scotch shawl twisted about 
him." 

A travelling shawl of this description is shown in Figure 
325. It was a favourite garment in the fifties, being worn in 
place of a top-coat. 

A few days later, while a guest of Lord Carlisle at Castle 
Naworth, Mr. Prescott described to Mrs. Prescott the visit of 
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert : 

" August 28th, Wednesday. The Queen, etc., arrived yes- 
terday in a pelting rain, with an escort of cavalry, a pretty sight 
to those under cover. Crowds of loyal subjects were in the park 
in front of the house to greet her. They must have come miles 
in the rain. She came into the hall in a plain travelling dress, 
bowing very gracefully to all there, and then to her apartments, 
which occupy the front of the building. At eight we went to 
dinner, all in full dress, but mourning for the Duke of Cam- 
bridge ; I, of course, for President Taylor ! All wore breeches 
or tight pantaloons. It was a brilliant show, I assure you, that 
immense table, with its fruits and flowers and lights glancing 
over beautiful plate in that superb gallery. I was as near the 
Queen as at our own family table. She has a good appetite, and 
laughs merrily. She has fine eyes and teeth, but is short. She 
was dressed in black silk and lace with the blue scarf of the 
Order of the Garter across her bosom. Her only ornaments 
were of jet. The Prince, who is certainly a handsome and very 
well made man, wore the Garter with its brilliant buckle round 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMEEICA 417 

his knee, a showy star on his breast, and the collar of a foreign 
order round his neck. Dinner went off very well, except that 
we had no music, a tribute to Louis Philippe at the Queen's re- 
quest." 

During the administration of President Pierce, William 
Marcy was Secretary of State, and unfortunately assumed charge 
of the department with the intention of enforcing his plain 
democratic ideas upon the representatives of our country at for- 
eign courts. Almost the first question he took up, we are told 
in Rhodes' " History of the United States," was that of diplo- 
matic costumes. From the time of our mission to Ghent until 
President Jackson's day, " the dress informally or officially 
recommended was a blue coat lined with white silk ; straight 
standing cape embroidered with gold, buttons plain or if they 
can be had with an eagle stamped upon them, cuffs embroidered 
in the manner of the cape, white cassimere breeches with gold 
knee buckles and white silk stockings and gold or gilt shoe 
buckles. A three-cornered chapeau bras, a black cockade to 
which an eagle had been attached. Sword, etc. On gala days 
the uniforms should be made more splendid with embroidery 
and hat decorated with a white ostrich feather." Under the 
strictly democratic administration of President Jackson some 
changes were suggested in the diplomatic dress in the line of 
cheapness and adaptability to the simplicity of our institutions. 
A black coat without a cape and a gold star affixed on each side 
of the collar, either black or white breeches, chapeau bras with 
cockade and sword were retained. 

Mrs. Clay, who was living in Washington at this time, says : 
" The consequences of Mr. Marcy's meddling were far-reaching. 
On June 1, 1853, he issued a circular recommending that our 
representatives abroad should, in order to show their devotion 
to republican institutions, appear whenever practicable in the 



418 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

simple dress of an American citizen. Our Minister at Berne 
found the Court of Switzerland quite willing to receive him in 
his citizen's dress. The Ministers at Turin and Brussels re- 
ported they would have no difficulty in carrying out the in- 
structions of the State Department. The representative at Ber- 
lin was at once informed that such action would be considered 
disrespectful. The King of Sweden insisted on court dress at 
social functions. Mr. August Belmont, at the Hague, received 
a cold permission from the king to dress as he pleased, and it is 
recorded (as matter for gratitude on the part of the American 
Minister) that after all, and notwithstanding, the queen actually 
danced with him in his citizen's dress, and the king conde- 
scended to shake him by the hand and to talk with him I Mr. 
Mason, at the French Court, could not face the music ! He con- 
sulted his wife, and together they agreed upon a compromise. 
He appeared in an embroidered coat, sword, and cocked hat, 
and had the misfortune to receive from Mr. Marcy a severe re- 
buke. Mr. Buchanan, at the Court of St. James, having no wife 
to consult, thought long and anxiously on the subject. The ques- 
tion was still unsettled at the opening of Parliament in Febru- 
ary, 1854. Our Minister did not attend he had ' nothing to 
wear,' whereupon 'there was quite a sensation in the House of 
Lords.' ' Indeed,' he wrote to Mr. Marcy, ' I have found diffi- 
culty in preventing this incident from becoming a subject of in- 
quiry and remark in the House of Commons. 1 Think of that 1 
At a time when England was on the eve of war with Russia, all 
the newspapers, court officials, House of Commons, exercised 
about the dress of the American Minister ! The London ' Times ' 
stated that on a diplomatic occasion ' the American Minister 
sate unpleasantly conscious of his singularity.' Poor Mr. 
Buchanan, sorely pressed, conceived the idea of costuming him- 
self like General Washington, and to that end examined Stuart's 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 419 

portrait. He may even have gone so far as to indulge in a pri- 
vate rehearsal, queue, powdered wig, and all ; but he seems to 
have perceived he would only make himself ridiculous ; so he 
took his life in his hands, and, brave gentleman as he was, ap- 
peared at the queen's levee in the dress of an American citizen ; 
and she, true lady as she was, settled the matter, for her court 
at least, by receiving him as she did all others. Mr. Buchanan 
wrote to his niece, Miss Harriet Lane, ' I wore a sword to gratify 
those who yielded so much, and to distinguish me from the up- 
per court servants.' Mr. Soule, at the Court of Madrid, adopted 
the costume of Benjamin Franklin at the Court of Louis XVI, 
sword, chapeau, black velvet, and much embroidery, looking 
' with his black eyes, black looks and pale complexion, less like 
the philosopher whose costume he imitated, than the master of 
Ravenswood.' There had been a lively discussion among the 
Austrian and Mexican Ministers and the Countess of Montijo, 
the mother of the Empress Eugenia and of the Duchess of Alba, 
whether or no he should be rejected ; but Mr. Soule did not 
know this. The queen received him, he wrote to Mr. Marcy, 
' with marked attention and courtesy.' " 

As we shall see later the reformed diplomatic costume was 
dropped when a new Secretary of State came into office, who 
wisely considered it a matter of courtesy, not of state. 

From " Things as They Are in America," an interesting book 
of travel in 1854, we quote the following description of a visit 
to Congress. 

' The House was full. Representatives from California and 
other distant states were already present the whole assemblage 
forming a body of well-dressed persons, such as you would see 
any day on ' 'Change.' There was little diversity of costume. 
A black dress coat, black satin waistcoat, and black stock, con- 
stitute the general attire ready for court, dinner, ball, public 



1801-1860 

FIGURE 359. 1801 Gentleman iii riding costume. From a print. 

FIGURE 360. 1804 Picture of Beau Brummell in his youth. From Jesse's 
Biography. 

FIGURE 361. 1806 Gentleman in fashionable morning suit. From a con- 
temporary print. 

FIGURE 362. 1810 An English clergyman of 1810 and after. From a 
contemporary print. 

FIGURE 363. 1812 Ruffled shirt and linen pantaloons buttoned up to the 
knee. 

FIGURE 364. 1829 Gentleman in great coat. From a print. 

FIGURE 365. 1830 A fashionable inoruing suit of 1830 and after. 

FIGURE 366. 1833 Hunting dress. From a print. 

FIGURE 367. 1830 White kerseymere waistcoat, plaited shirt, white stock 
and blue coat. From a plate. 

FIGURE 368. 1837 Waistcoat of cream coloured cashmere ; coat of dark 
blue cloth ; white cascade necktie. 

FIGURE 369. 1842 Gentleman in diplomatic dress. 

FIGURE 370. 1850-60 Gentleman in hunting costume. From a con- 
temporary print. 

FIGURE 371. 1850 A university student in 1850, showing panama hat. 
From a contemporary print. 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 423 



meeting, or anything. A few wore beards, bat clean shaving 
was the rule. Standing, sitting, lounging, talking, according to 
fancy, they spent the time till noon. The moment the hands of 
the clock point to twelve, said my friend, ' Business will com- 
mence.' A clerk, seated in advance, and a little below the va- 
cant chair of the Speaker, kept his eye fixed on a clock over the 
doorway, and accordingly rang the bell when the hour of noon 
was indicated." 

Cutaway coats were known by various names, such as swal- 
low-tail, claw-hammer, and steel-pen. Before 1860 they were 
worn in morning as well as evening dress, and always had large 
pockets in the tails. A story is told of a Pennsylvania architect 
who went to Philadelphia on business carrying in his tail 
pocket a packet of plans and specifications. He had occasion to 
cross the river in a ferry-boat from Camden, and on arriving at 
his destination put his hand in the place where his pocket 
should have been to take out the plans, but alas, papers, pocket 
and even the coat tail had been cut off by a venturesome thief 
in the crowd on the ferry landing. The first lesson in the art 
of pocket-picking, as taught by Fagan in " Oliver Twist," was to 
snatch the handkerchiefs and snuff-boxes from the tail pockets 
of unwary gentlemen in the street. It was even an easier ac- 
complishment than carrying off reticules from the ladies. 

White and cream-coloured waistcoats were very fashionable 
in the fifties. One of cream-coloured silk, wadded and lined 
with white and fastened with gilt buttons, worn in Philadelphia 
in 1857, is illustrated in Figure 335. 

It was in 1860 that the Prince of Wales, afterwards King 
Edward VII, visited the United States and was feted and en- 
tertained in all the large cities. At the ball given in his 
honour in New York an alarming accident happened : a part 
of the dancing floor gave way. No one was hurt, however, 



424 HISTOEIC DKESS IN AMEEICA 

and the progress of his Royal Highness through the country 
was enthusiastically hailed on every side, and the popular feel- 
ing of attachment to the mother country was strengthened 
thereby. 

"While the manners, while the arta, 
That mould a nation's soul, 
Still cling around our hearts, 
Between let ocean roll, 

Our joint communion breaking with the son, 
Yet still from either breach, 
The voice of blood shall reach, 
More audible than speech : 
'We are one.' " * 

The fashions of the sixties are familiar to every one through 
the medium of photography. The small cartes de visiles, as 
they were called, which were very popular in 1860 to 1870, show 
long black shiny broadcloth frock coats, rather loose pantaloons 
and careless neckties. The colours were universally sober. The 
hair was worn rather short than long and beards and whiskers 
and moustaches were all popular. In Washington of course, as 
in all the capitals of Europe, with military and naval uniforms 
and the costumes of the foreign diplomats, a variety and con- 
trast was noticeable. A diplomatic costume was considered 
necessary for the representatives of the United States govern- 
ment in 1861. 

In Carl Schurz's " Reminiscences " he narrates the embar- 
rassing position he was placed in at the Court of Spain, where 
he arrived without the diplomatic dress which he had ordered 
in Paris. By special concession of the Queen, he was permitted 
to present his credentials in ordinary evening dress, but 
was stopped at the foot of the staircase by two halberdiers in 
gorgeous mediaeval costume who were guarding the passage to 

* W. Allston. 



HISTOEIC DEESS IN AMEEICA 425 

the rooms of state. Evidently fearing the dignity of the Span- 
ish throne was at stake, they crossed their halberds and refused 
to let him pass. Finally a high official at the Court was ap- 
pealed to and through his intercession admission was gained to 
the Queen's presence. The delayed uniform consisted of " a 
richly embroidered dress-coat, with correspondingly ornamented 
trousers, a cocked hat and a dress sword." 

Ugly as men's clothes of this period were, a great deal of at- 
tention was bestowed on them everywhere. Poole, the cele- 
brated English tailor, is said to have been accidentally discovered 
by King Edward VII while he was Prince of Wales. One night 
when the French actor, Fechter, was playing " Robert Macaire" 
in a coat apparently of rents and patches, the Prince was look- 
ing on and we are told " his keen eye quickly noted that the 
garment was singularly well cut. After the play, the Prince 
sent for Fechter and asked him the name of his tailor, and 
the next day sent for Mr. Poole who from that hour was a 
made man." 

Looking backward at the pictures of the thirties and 
forties we must at least acknowledge that there was something 
wholesomely virile about these later day fashions for men. The 
small waists, the tight sleeves and close-h'tting pantaloons were 
effeminate in comparison. 

Like his predecessor, George IV, when Prince of Wales, 
King Edward was called the best dressed man in Europe, and 
although he is universally acknowledged to have been the 
greatest statesman of his day, he never lost his earlier prestige 
as the " glass of fashion and the mould of form " for men of 
English birth. We learn on the best authority that it was eti- 
quette in England for men of fashion to follow the Prince's 
lead in the matter of hats at race meetings and " until his 
Majesty one year appeared at Goodwood in a round hat, no one 



426 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



ever dreamed even in the hottest weather of attending these 
races save in a silk hat and a frock coat. But luckily for the 
world at large the Prince's popularity and good sense broke 
through old-world prejudices and now a hot summer afternoon 
sees Goodwood Park dotted with men in blue serge, white duck, 
and flannel suits, and the lightest and shadiest of straw hats." 

Suitable summer costumes have become a necessity in 
America, and are certainly much more becoming than the 
thick winter-like clothing of the sixties. 

In the first half of the nineteenth century stage traditions 
were strongly adhered to in costume. We have already men- 
tioned Mrs. Kemble's dress when she made her debut in 
" Juliet." In the Memoirs of Lester Wallack we find an 
amusing instance of the strong prejudice cherished by stage- 
managers at that date against what they termed innovations. 

" My father was cast for the part of Tressel in Gibber's ver- 
sion of ' Richard III.' Tressel is the youthful messenger who 
conveys to the King Henry VI the news of the murder of his 
son after the battle of Tewkesbury. My father, a young am- 
bitious actor, came on with the feather hanging from his cap all 
wet, his hair dishevelled, one boot torn nearly off, one spur 
broken, the other gone entirely, his gauntlet stained with blood 
and his sword snapped in twain, at which old Wewitzer, who 
was the manager and had been a manager before my father was 
born, was perfectly shocked. It was too late to do anything, 
but the next morning Wewitzer sent for him to come to his 
office and addressed him thus : ' Young man, how do you hope 
to get on in your profession by deliberately breaking all prec- 
edent? What will become of the profession if mere boys are 
allowed to take these liberties? Why, sir, you should have en- 
tered in a suit of decent black with silk stockings on and with 
a white handkerchief in your hand.' ' What, after defeat and 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 427 

flight in battle ? ' interrupted my father. ' That has nothing at 
all to do with it/ was the reply, ' the proprieties, Sir I the pro- 
prieties 1 ' Some of the papers spoke very highly of the innova- 
tion, and the audience was satisfied if the management was 
not." 

The hero of this anecdote, James Wallack, was a noted actor 
in London from 1804 to 1845, after which date he settled in 
New York and became known as the manager of Wallack's 
theatre from 1852 to 1864. 

The colour harmonies and stage pictures to which we are 
nowadays accustomed came in with the aesthetic movement in 
1860. The success of a modern play depends greatly upon the 
artistic taste of the stage-manager, who is chiefly responsible for 
the subtle effects of light and the combinations of colour which 
contribute largely to the pleasure of the audiences and render 
them less critical of the histrionic achievements of the actors. 
In the earlier days, however, very little mention is made in the 
press criticisms of the scenery or costumes, while every word 
and gesture of the actors is ardently described. 

" Brief as 'tis brilliant, the Actor's fame 

With the spectator's memory lives and dies ; 
Out of the witness of men's ears and eyes, 
The Actor is a name. 

" Yet some so much have stirred the common heart 
That, when they long have past from sight, we find 
Memories, which seem undying, left behind 
Of their so potent art. ' ' * 



CLERGYMEN'S DRESS 

Before 1830 a Clergyman of the English Church dressed 
usually in a suit of black broadcloth and wore a black or white 

* To the Memory of Charles Kemble, Puueh, 1854. 



428 HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 

stock according to his preference. His costume betokened the 
college graduate of genial disposition and liberal views. His 
profession did not forbid his mingling in the pleasures of the 
world when opportunity offered, but a simple domestic life in a 
rural parish, where but little thought was given to discussions 
of dogma, was generally his lot. In the pulpit he wore the 
black academic gown as his predecessors of the eighteenth cen- 
tury had done before him, and read the service in a white sur- 
plice, which is still customary. The black gown was worn in 
the pulpit in some remote parts of the country as late as 1870. 
A Clergyman of the English Church is illustrated in Figure 362, 
copied from a print of 1810, when knee-breeches were still worn. 
It will be noticed that the coat is made with comparatively 
short tails and is not cut away in front. 

The Ritualistic movement in the Church of England effected 
a revival of the vestments worn during the reign of Edward VI. 
The change, however, was not noticed in America before 1860. 
Until that date the black Geneva gown had been worn in the 
pulpit by Episcopalians, and the white surplice with a black 
stole and bands of sheerest lawn were considered indispensable 
adjuncts to clerical dress. The High Church party had been 
very much in the minority up to that date and the changes 
were very gradually introduced on this side of the ocean. 

Bishops wore then, as they do now, the white linen rochet 
resembling the surplice, but with less full sleeves, the black 
satin chimere or outer robe, with lawn sleeves, and black stole. 
There is a picture of the General Convention of 1859 assembled 
at Richmond, Virginia, which contains portraits of forty-one 
bishops of the Church in America. In this group Bishop Hop- 
kinson is a noticeable figure, on account of his independence of 
established custom. Instead of the usual Bishop's sleeves held 
in at the wrist by a black band of ribbon, he adopted the open 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



sleeves of a priest's surplice. He was also the only member of 
the Episcopal Bench who wore a moustache and a flowing 
beard, although many of his brother bishops wore side whiskers. 

Other Protestant denominations, Lutherans, Methodists and 
Presbyterians, all wore the black gown throughout the entire 
church service. 

It is not necessary to describe the vestments worn in the 
Roman Catholic Church, as they have never changed, and have 
often been depicted. 

In the street, clergymen of all ranks and denominations 
wore nothing more distinctive than an ordinary frock suit of 
black broadcloth and a white or black necktie. Trollope says 
of Mr. Harding, " He always wears a black frock coat, black 
knee-breeches and black gaiters, and somewhat scandalizes 
some of his more hyper-clerical brethren by a black neck-hand- 
kerchief;" and of that imposing dignitary, the Church Arch- 
deacon, Grantly, " Tis only when he has exchanged that ever- 
new shovel-hat for a tasselled nightcap and those shining black 
habiliments for his accustomed robe de nuit that Dr. Grantly 
talks and looks and thinks like an ordinary man. A dean or 
archbishop in the garb of his order is sure of our reverence ; and 
a well-got-up bishop fills our very souls with awe. But how 
can this feeling be perpetuated in the bosom of those who see 
the bishops without their aprons and the archdeacons even in a 
lower state of dishabille." 

Trollope's graphic pictures of English churchmen in the 
fifties are undoubtedly drawn from life, and numerous illustra- 
tions of the bishops' aprons, the shovel hats, the gaiters, and 
other articles of clerical attire of that period will be seen in the 
pages of "Punch." " The Warden," etc., was published in 1855, 
and we venture to say that clerical breeches and gaiters were 
quite unknown in the United States at that time. 



430 HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

Figure 355, the portrait of a distinguished clergyman of the 
Episcopal Church in America, the Rev. Henry Morton, of 
Philadelphia, gives the street garb worn by him in 1865. The 
surpliced choirs were introduced into America in the seventies. 
Before that time the church choirs were composed of four 
trained voices who sang in ordinary costume and usually behind 
a curtain. Illustrations of the different vestments worn not 
only by the clergymen of the Anglican Church, but also of the 
Roman Catholic Church, may be found in the " Encyclopedia of 
Religious Knowledge." * 



UNIFORMS 

The Military and Naval uniforms of our own country, from 
1800 to 1870, are fully illustrated and described in the govern- 
ment publication of 1889, which may be seen at any public 
library. For the uniforms of Great Britain the reader is re- 
ferred to "Her Majesty's Army,"f while Lepan's " Arm6e 
Francaise { is an excellent authority for the military costumes 
of France. The illustration of a coat worn in the time of Jack- 
son's famous rescue of New Orleans is given in Figure 339, and 
a coat which formed part of a militia uniform worn in the 
United States about 1825 is given in Figure 338. 

A unique and most interesting collection of plates showing 
the uniforms of all nations at different historic periods is in the 
possession of the Salmagundi Club in New York. It is prob- 
ably the most complete in this country. 

* By Abbott nnd Conant. 

t Her Majesty's Army by Walter Richards, London, 1870. 

t L' Arraee Francaise by Lepan, Paris, 1857. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 4-31 



SPORTING DRESS 

"Fox HUNTING IN ENGLAND 
" Pastime for princes ! prime sport of our nation ! 

Strength in their sinew and bloom on their cheek ; 
Health to the old, to the young recreation ; 
All for enjoyment the hunting field seek. 

" Eager and emulous only, not spiteful : 

Grudging no friend, though ourselves he may beat ; 
Just enough danger to make sport delightful ! 
Toil just sufficient to make slumber sweet." 

Figure 361 illustrates the riding-dress of a gentleman in 
1800-1810, with slight variations in the coat and the hat. It 
was probably in fashion for at least twenty-five years of the 
nineteenth century. 

The red hunting coats worn in the field by Englishmen 
throughout the nineteenth century were not noticeable in 
America, where gentlemen of leisure have ever been in the 
minority. 

" We are off once more ! for the summer's o'er, 

And gaily we take our stand 
By the covert-side, in our might and pride, 

A gallant and fearless band ! 
Again we hear our Huntsman's cheer, 

The thrilling Tally-ho ! 
And the blast of the horn, through the woodlands borne, 

As merrily onward we go ! 

Tally-ho ! 

As merrily onward we go ! " 

Although fox hunting has never been a national pastime in 
the United States, other species of sport have always been 
popular. The shooting of birds, especially of ducks, woodcocks, 



432 HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 

partridges and reed birds, is pursued with great zest and reg- 
ularity at certain seasons. In England we read of some changes 
in guns and in hunting costume about 1830. From a book on 
sport in the mother country, we quote the following : 

" Gradually welcome improvements were introduced in the 
muzzle-loading apparatus, as in shooting costume. For it was 
astonishing how the gentlemen of the ancient school had stuck 
to the most inconvenient and uncompromising of garments. 
We see the heroes of many episodes scrambling over the rocks 
and worming themselves along the beds of the hill streams in 
high chimney-pot hats and tight-clinging cutaways. Their 
sons, however, discarded blue evening swallow-tails with 
brilliant brass buttons, and crimson under-waistcoats, and be- 
took themselves to sensible shooting suits of loose-fitting tweeds 
and homespuns, and the clever mechanism soon came to the 
front, going forward hand in hand with the rational tailor." 

In Figure 366 a shooting dress of 1832 from an old print is 
given and another of 1860 is shown in Figure 376. 






GLOSSARY 



Glossary 



Agatha robe. A semi-classical dress 
(1800) usually of soft muslin fast- 
ened with clasps ou the shoulder, 
open at the left side over a full 
skirt, close-fitting short sleeves. 

Amaranthus colour. A soft pink- 
ish shade of purple, very fashion- 
able in 1802 and popular for many 
years. 

Angouleme hat. With a very nar- 
row brim and high fluted crown, 
named for the daughter of Marie 
Antoinette in 1815. (See Fig- 
ure 60.) 

Angouleme tippet. Made of satin 
trimmed with swausdowu ; "worn 
in 1815. 

Angouleme spencer. A new spen- 
cer in 1815. Illustrated in Fig- 
ure 60. 

Anne Boleyn mob. Name given to 
a fashionable dress cap in 1807. 

Arched collar. A high collar (1814) 
curved to fit the throat and fin- 
ished with a slightly flaring turn- 
over. 



Balmoral petticoat. (1860) A 
woolen underskirt, originally red 
with black stripes, worn under a 
long dress looped up for walking. 

Balmorals, or Balmoral boots. 
(1860) Shoes which lace up the 
front, worn by both men and 
women. First introduced for out- 
door wear by Queen Victoria at 
Balmoral, Scotland. Figure 166. 

Bands (clerical). An adjunct of 
clerical dress worn by Episco- 
palians and Presbyterians until 
1870. Made of sheer linen cam- 
bric, worn around the neck with 
flat ends hanging down in front. 
Figures 300 and 357. 

Beehive bonnet. (1806) A shape re- 
sembling a hive usually made of 
plaited straw simply trimmed 
with ribbon and tied under the 
chin. Figure 59. 

Bishop' s blue. A purplish shade of 
blue, new in 1809. 

Blouse. A loose-fitting bodice worn 
by women and children in 1820 
and after. 



Armenian toque. Small turban of Bluchers. (1814-1850) Popular 
tulle and satin trimmed with style of riding boot named for the 

feathers and spangled with silver, famous Prussian General who 

new in 1817. visited London in 1814. It was 

435 



436 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



heavier than the Wellington boot 
and better adapted for riding and 
rough weather. Figure 344. 

Bonaparte hat. Shaped like a hel- 
met and decorated with a wreath 
of laurel ; sometimes worn on one 
side. Fashionable from 1802 to 
1806. (See Figure 243.) 

Boot hooks. Used to pull on the 
long boots worn from 1800 to 1870. 

Bottle-green. A dark bluish green 
worn from 1800 to 1860. 

Bouillone Puffed ; 1800 and after. 

Brandenburgs. Ornamental fasten- 
ings made of crocheted silk ; 1812 
and after. 



Brandenburg fringe. Made of 
twisted sewing 
after. 



silk ; 1812 and 



Buckskin. Popular name for a 
riding gaiter made of tan-coloured 
leather ; 1800 and after. 

Burnous or Burnouse. A fashion- 
able cloak worn since 1850, first 
introduced in France in imitation 
of the Moorish mantles worn by 
the Arabs and usually made of an 
eastern fabric woven of silk and 
goat's hair. 

Bushel. (Used only in the United 
States) To mend or repair a 
tailor-made garment. 

Busheller or Busheler. A tailor's 
assistant whose business it is to 
repair garments. 

Cabriolet. A carriage with two 
wheels for one horse ; (ancestor 
of the cab) 1830 and after. 



Cabriolet bonnet. Large bonnet 
with flaring brim, named for the 
two- wheeled carriage introduced 
in 1830. Figures 123, 244 and 279. 

Caledonian cap. A small hat fitting 
close to the head, trimmed with 
a profusion of black feathers, 
worn iu 1817. 

Caledonian silk. A new material in 
1819. It was very strong aud 
usually of a white ground with a 
small chequer of colour. 

Capot. An evening hood made of a 
cardinal silk handkerchief, con- 
sidered very becoming ; 1816. 

Capote or Capotte (same as the Poke 
bonnet). A small bonnet with 
a projecting brim worn by women 
and children ; 1800 and after. 
Figure 11. 

Capuchin. A cape with hood, a 
survival of the seventeenth cen- 
tury ; much worn in 1807. 

Capucine colour. Dark orange or 
nasturtium colour, fashionable in 
1806 and after. 

Carmine. A bright shade of red 
popular in 1817. 

Carrick. A long loose cloak fashion- 
able in 1817 and after. 

Caroline spencer. Made of white 
kerseymere with a pelerine cape 
and trimmed with light blue sat in 
cut bias; 1818. 

Cassock. A long clerical coat, but- 
toned in front and reaching to the 
feet. 

Cazenou. A short sleeveless jacket ; 
1855. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



437 



Chapeau bras (for gentlemen). A 
crush hat of the nineteenth cen- 
tury ; quite large when opened 
but flat when closed. (See Figure 
340.) 

Chapeau bras (for ladies). A crush 
bonnet invented by Mrs. Bell, the 
foremost London dressmaker ; 
very convenient for concert or 
opera wear ; 1814. 

Circassian hat. Introduced in 1806 ; 
something like the Gipsy hat 
but with a fanciful crown. 

Circassian sleeve. A short sleeve 
looped up in front ; worn by chil- 
dren in 1807. 

Clarence. A closed four-wheeled 
carriage with curved glass front, 
and seats for four people inside ; 
1811. 

Clarence blue. A new shade in 1811, 
similar to the Cambridge blue. 

Coal-scuttle bonnet. Popular name 
for the large flaring bonnet, some- 
times called Cabriolet, worn in 
1830 and after. Figure 272. 

Coatee. A short coat or spencer 
worn in 1802. 

Coburg bonnet. Bonnet with a soft 
crown tied under the chin ; 1816. 

Coburg cap. Named in honour of 
the Duke of Saxe- Coburg in 1816. 
Made with a high crown of silver 
tissue ; fashionable for the opera. 

Coburg walking dress. Named in 
honour of the Princess Charlotte. 

Coiffure a 1' indisposition. Dressy 
cap made of lace and muslin ; 
worn in 1812 and after. (See 
Figure 235.) 



Conversation bonnet. Made of 
chip, with flaring brim ; usually 
lined with soft silk to match the 
ribbon trimming which was passed 
around the crown and tied in a 
bow on top ; fashionable in 1807. 
Figure 23. 

Coquillicot feathers. A stiff little 
bunch of cock's feathers, fashion- 
able in 1802 and after. Figure 1 0. 

Cornette or French cap. Fashion- 
able in 1816 ; like the French 
bonnet in shape, completely cov- 
ering the hair and ears ; usually 
made of net or lace. It was tied 
under the chin with a small bow 
of ribbon to match the trimming 
on the top of the high crown. 
Figure 245. 

Cornette a la Diane. A small bon- 
net with crescent-shaped front ; 
1815. 

Corset-frock. Froclj with a bodice 
shaped like a short corset with 
three gores on each side of the 
bosom and laced up the back 
with a white silk cord, short 
sleeves and short skirt. 

Cossack hat. Hat with a helmet- 
shaped crown, front turned back 
and edged with pearls; small 
feathers at one side ; 1812. 

Cottage cloak. Cloak with a bood 
or cape and tied under the chin ; 
a popular garment throughout 
the nineteenth century. 

Curled silk. A new material iu 1814 
used for bonnets. 

Curls a la Greque. "Waving locks 
close to the face ; 1802 and after. 
Figures 9 and 31. 



43S 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 



Dandyess or Dandizette. Popular 
names for the female daiidy iii 
the time of the Regency. 

Demi-turban. Soft scarf of muslin 
or gauze worn around the head 
and tied in a bow at the right 
side ; 1800-1812. (See Figures 17 
and 33.) 

Devonshire brown. A rich reddish 
brown like the soil in Devon- 
shire ; introduced in 1813. 

Dinner cap. Made of white satin 
and lace ; popular in 1812. Fig- 
ure 236. 

Douillette a. la Russienne. Cloak 
with a warm lining, usually 
wadded. Fashionable in 1802 
and after. 

Dutch bonnet. A straw bonnet 
turned up front aud back. Fash- 
ionable in 1802. (See Figure 31.) 

Eau de Veau. A cosmetic used in 
1808. 

Egyptian amulet. A favourite or- 
nament in 1807. 

En beret. An arrangement of the 
hair with a cap ; 1840 and after. 

En coulisse. An arrangement of 
puffs ; 1840 aud after. 

En manche Made with cuffs ; 1840 
and after. 

En ravanche. Au arrangement of 
flowers and ribbon worn over the 
left eye. 

En tablier. In apron effect ; 1840 
and after. 

En tout cas. A small umbrella 
used for both sun and rain ; 1860 
and after. 



Esprits. Stiff little plumes worn in 
hats ; 1802 and after. Figure 30. 

Eton jacket. The short coat worn 
by the boys at Eton ; fashionable 
for women in 1862 aud after. 

Fatima robe. Short overgowu ; 
sleeves to the elbow ; slashed up 
the front and caught together at 
intervals with buttons ; worn 
over a muslin gown ; fashionable 
in 1800. 

Florence satin. A thin soft variety 
of satin much used in 1802 and 
after. 

Flushing hat Something like a 
Gipsy hat in shape, but with a 
double or under crown supplying 
the place of a cap ; 1809. 

Forester's or American green. A 
bright green popular in 1817. 

French bonnet. Described in the 
books of 1811 as made of India 
muslin with a cone-shaped crown 
and a deep frill of Mechlin lace 
around the face and lined with 
sea-green sarsnet ; a large lace 
bow on top. Figure 76. 

French hat. Another name for the 
cornet bonnet fashionable in 
1815 ; crown very high and small 
flaring brim, often trimmed with 
a group of ostrich plumes. 

French net. A new material for 
evening frocks in 1807, similar to 
Brussels net. 

Fugitive coat. A sort of pelisse 
opening down the front intro- 
duced in 1807, a survival of the 
flying Josie of the preceding cen- 
tury. (See Figure 13.) 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 



439 



Garibaldi blouse. Loose bodices 
named in 1859 for the Italian 
hero. Figure 165. 

Georgian cloth. A light weight 
broadcloth fashionable in 1806 
and after. 

Gipsy cloak. A plain circular wrap, 
finished with a hood of the ma- 
terial. 

Gipsy hat. A plain hat of straw or 
chip tied carelessly under the 
chin with a ribbon ; fashionable 
from 1800 to 1820. Figure 8. 

Gossamer feathers. Downy feath- 
ers found under the wiugs of the 
goose. 

Gossamer satin. A thin soft- 
finished satin similar to the 
Liberty satin of to-day ; used for 
evening gowns iu 1813 and after. 

Graham turban. A bonnet of plaid 
silk with a plume of black 
feathers ; introduced in 1811. 

Grecian robe. A pseudo-classic 
garment fashionable for evening 
dress ; 1800-1805. 

Grecian sandal. A novelty in foot- 
wear in 1812 ; for evening and 
street attire. (See Figure 50. ) 

Grecian scarf. A graceful adjunct 
of the toilet illustrated iu Figures 
48 and 50. 

Half boot. A low shoe for women 
similar to our Oxford tie ; worn 
in 1812 and after. Figure 48. 

Half handkerchief. A kerchief 
worn a la Marie Stuart with a 
point iu front ; made of net em- 
broidered in gold or silver ; very 
fashionable iu 1807. 



Hair a la Recamier. Drawn back 
from the left eyebrow ; 1802. 

Hair a la Romaine. Arranged in 
coils or braids crossing the head 
like a coronet. 

Head a la Titus. Name given to 
the short hair fashionable from 
1800 to 1806. 

Hessian. A soft leather boot worn 
outside the trousers and curved 
under the knee ; usually finished 
with a tassel at the top ; 1800- 
1850. feee Figure 345.) 

Hibernian vest. A short jacket or 

spencer of velvet trimmed with 

fur ; 1807. 
High-low. Popular name for a shoe 

reaching to the ankle ; 1810 and 

after. 

Hungarian vest. A sort of jacket 
made with a high collar ami long 
sleeves, a scarf hanging from the 
left shoulder and crossing in the 
back was caught into a belt ; 
1807. 

Hungarian wrap. A fashionable 
loose cloak in 1809, usually made 
of velvet and lined throughout 
with a corresponding shade of 
silk ; it was wrapped in folds 
about the figure. 

Huntley bonnet. A cap of black 
velvet with silk plumes worn in 
1813. (See Figure 49.) 

Huntley scarf. Scarf of Scotch 
tartan either in silk or wool, the 
ends fastened on the left shoulder. 
(See Figure 49.) 

Hyde Park bonnet. Made of white 
satin and trimmed with four white 



440 



HISTORIC DEESS IN AMERICA 



ostrich plumes. Very fashionable 
in 1812. Figure 237. 

Italian slipper. A flat slipper with- 
out a heel and cut low ; worn in 
1812. 

Ivanhoe cap. A cap named in 
honour of Scott's novel which 
was published in 1820. 

Jaconet or Jaconette. A thin variety 
of cambric used for dresses, neck- 
handkerchiefs, etc., originally 
made in India ; fashionable in 
1800 and after. 

Jockey bonnet. A bonnet with full 
crown and visor turned back from 
the face ; 1806 and after. 

Jockey hat. Several varieties of hat 
are known by this name. In 
1806 the fashionable jockey hat 
was turned up in front to show a 
contrasting colour and trimmed 
with fur. In 1820 and after a 
jockey hat had a peak or visor 
in front and was trimmed with a 
tassel or small ostrich feather ; 
while in the sixties the jockey 
hat, celebrated in a popular song 
and very fashionable in America, 
had a small curved brim and 
round crown and was adorned 
with a rooster's feather. Figure 
169. 

Jonquille. A fashionable shade of 
yellow ; 1811 and after. 

Kilt or Kilted skirt. A short skirt 
laid in deep plaits ; .a fashion 
adopted from the Highland cos- 
tume which became very popular 
for little boys in 1870. Figure 
162. 



Knickerbockers. Loose knee- 
breeches worn by boys and sports- 
men in 1860 and after. Figure 
370. 

Kutusoff hat. Named in 1813 for 
the Russian General who com- 
manded the Allies against Napo- 
leon. Made of cloth and turned 
up in front with a little corner to 
the right side ; tied under the 
chin and finished with a feather ; 
a full puffing of lace under the 
brim. Figure 81. 

Kutusoff mantle. Made of cloth to 
match the hat, with a high puck- 
ered collar and a long lappel fall- 
ing over the left shoulder ; fast- 
ened at the throat with a brooch. 
Figure 81. 

Lavinia hat. A variety of the 
Gipsy shape, fashionable in 1807. 
(See Figure 13.) 

Levantine. A A r ery soft velvet with 
a satin finish used in 1820 and 
after. 

Limerick gloves. Gloves made of 
rough kid ; 1807 and after. 

Magenta. A purplish shade of red 
named for the battle of Magenta in 
1859. 

Mameluke. An eastern wrap fash- 
ionable in 1806, hanging from the 
shoulder in full folds down the 
back. 

Mameluke robe. A full loose gown 
hanging from the shoulders with 
a train ; 1806 and after. 

Mancheron. A cap-like trimming 
at the top of sleeves, often slashed ; 
1810 and after. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



441 



Manilla brown. A soft light shade, 
new in 1811 ; name derived from 
Manilla hemp. 

Marabout feathers. Soft and downy 
feathers found under the wings 
and tail of the marabout stork ; 
much used for trimming in 1800 
and after. 

Marie-Louise blue. A new shade of 
bright light blue named for the 
Empress ; still fashionable. 

Marie Stuart bonnet. Large in the 
brim, depressed in front over the 
brow, and fliiring at the sides. 
For dress occasions it was made 
of white satin trimmed with lace 
and coloured ribbons. Figure 32. 

Metallic gauze. A new material in 
1820. Gauze with a peculiar lustre 
and made in all colours to re- 
semble precious gems ; emerald, 
topaz, amethyst, etc. 

Minerva bonnet Shaped like a 
helmet with a long ostrich feather 
across the front ; fashionable in 
1812. 

Moorish boot. Shoe of coloured kid 
laced in front ; 1807. 

Mosaic gauze. A new variety of 
gauze popular in 1820. 

Nakara colour. Pearl colour, fash- 
ionable in 1812 and after. 

Neapolitan head-dress. Worn for 
full dress in 1817, made of striped 
gauze and trimmed with silver. 

Nicholas blue. A new shade in 
1817. 

Oatlands hat. Named in honour of 
the place where the Princess 
Charlotte passed her honeymoon 
in 1816. 



Oldenburgh bonnet. Named for the 
Duchess of Oldeuburgh, who vis- 
ited England in 1814. (See Figure 
43.) 

Over-alls. Water - proof leggins 
worn in 1800 and after. 

Pagoda or Chinese. A parasol 
fashionable in 1818. 

Palatine. A wrap of black satin 
made with a hood, and lined with 
coloured silk. 

Paletot. A semi-loose overcoat fash- 
ionable in the second half of the 
nineteenth century. 

Pamela bonnet or hat. Made of 
straw, trimmed with a simple 
baud of ribbon and tied under the 
chin. (See Figure 50.) 

Panach6e. Variegated. 
Panache. A bunch of feathers. 

Paysanne bonnet. -Another name 
for the cottage bonnet worn in 
1800 and after. 



Pea-green. Very 
1809 and after. 



fashionable in 



Pea jacket. A short heavy coat 
originally made of pilot cloth and 
worn by seamen, but copied in 
finer cloth for small boys ; 1850 
and after. 

Pekin satin. A heavy satin with a 
stripe of the same colour ; 1802 
and after. 

Pelisse or Pelice. A long coat-like 
garment usually made to fit the 
figure ; in general use with slight 
variations from 1800 to 1870. 

Pensee or Pansy colour. A delicate 
shade of purple new in 1841. 



442 



HISTOEIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



Percale. A soft closely-woven cam- 
bric first mentioned in 1812 and 
still in use. 

Persian cap. A fashionable riding 
hat in 1811. 

Persian scarf. A Cashmere or silk 
scarf with a Persian border, a 
fashionable accessory in 1812. 

Pilgrim's hat. Of Carmelite brown 
with an ornament in front in the 
form of a cockle shell ; 1811. 

Pistache or Pistachio colour. A 
soft light .shade of green very 
fashionable in 1819. 

Platoff costume. Named in 1813 
for the daughter of Count Platoff 
who is said to have offered his 
daughter's haud to any soldier 
who would bring him Napoleon's 
head. 

Plume velvet. Velvet with a nar- 
row stripe of satin of the same 
colour; 1820. 

Poke bonnet. Popular name for the 
capote or close-fitting bonnet 
which projected or poked over 
the face. Worn in the early part 
of the nineteenth century. Fig- 
ures 11 aud 288. 

Poland mantle. New in 1806 ; made 
generally of light silk and fast- 
ened with an antique clasp or 
brooch on the right shoulder. 

Pomona green. A new shade in 
1812 similar to apple green. 

Pomposa. A high-cut slipper laced 
up the front, worn by children in 
1807 and after. 

Poussiere de Paris. A shade of 
light brown known by this name 



in 1819. It was probably like the 
Bismarck brown of the present 
day. 

Princess Augusta poke. Usu- 
ally of white satin with a 
feather to match, falling to the 
left side ; tied under the right 
cheek with a large bow of soft 
ribbon ; 1813. 

Princess of Wales bonnet. Made 
with a rouud crown and turned up 
at one side of the front. Named 
for Princess Caroline in 1812. 

Provincial bonnet. Made of fine 
straw, fitting closely to the head 
and flat on top ; trimmed simply 
with ribbon arranged in a llat bow 
on top ; 1808. 

Redingote. An outer garment or 
coat fashionable in 1848. 

Regency ball- dress. A plain round 
frock trimmed with a bias fold of 
satin up each side of the front 
edged with fringe ; an epaulet 
sleeve edged with fringe and fast- 
ened in front of the arm with 
small satin buttons ; new in 1813. 

Regency cap. Made of white satin 
trimmed with a rouleau of satin 
and a bunch of ostrich feathers ; 
new in 1813. (See Figure 45.) 

Regency hat. Crown made to fit 
the head and gradually widened 
to the top ; trimmed with cord 
and tassel and a feather ; new 
in 1813. (See Figure 44.) 

Regency mantle. Made of cloth, 
usually black ; about a yard and 
a half in length, with a small 
cape and high collar finished with 
silk tassels ; a wide baud of silk 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



443 



cut bias edged with cord trimmed 
the garment round the bottom 
and up the fronts. New in 1813. 

Regency wrapper. New in 1813. 
Made with a train aud long 
sleeves ; was laced up the front 
with a silk cord, trimmed with a 
flat baud of velvet or sealskin, 
and finished at the throat with a 
collar cut in points. 

Ridicule. Popular name for the 
reticule in general use from 1800 
to 1850. 

Robe a la Joconde. A long gown 
opening over a short petticoat, 
fastened on the left shoulder with 
a full blown rose ; 1817. 

Roman sandal. -Fashionable foot- 
wear in 1817 and after. 

Rutland poke. A small bonnet of 
wadded satin edged with swans- 
down and tied under the chin 
with a soft ribbon ; au ostrich 
feather was used as trimmiug 
placed very much to one side ; 
1813. 

Saccharine alum. A popular cos- 
metic in 1808. 

Sardinian mantle. A scarf made of 
thin stuff such as net, muslin, or 
spotted leuo. The ends were 
usually caught into a full knot or 
rosette and hung down to the 
knee in front ; worn in 1808. 

Scoop bonnet. Popular name for 
the long narrow bonnet worn in 
1840. Figures 125, 131. 

Sempstress bonnet. Made of fine 
muslin, the crown drawn iu with 
two rows of ribbon and fastened 
under the chin ; 1812 aud after. 



Sleeve a la Minerva. A full short 

sleeve caught up in front with a 

jeweled clasp. 
Snap. A fastening with a snap 

clasp used on pelisses and dresses 

in 1810 and after. 

Solferino. A shade of red named 
for the battle of Solferino in 1859. 

Spa bonnet. Made of a curi- 
ously wrought fancy straw some- 
times of two colours, worn with- 
out any other trimming ; 1819. 

Spanish blue. A favourite shade of 
dark blue for gentlemen's morn- 
ing coats iu 1809. 

Spanish cloak. Short and full 
mantle, one end of which was 
usually thrown over the shoulder. 

Spanish coat. Fashionable in 1814 ; 
pelisse with standing collar and 
epaulettes on the shoulders. 

Spanish fly. A rich shade of dark 
green new in 1809. 

Spanish hat. A felt hat with soft 
brim and trimmed with a droop- 
ing plume ; much worn from 1802 
to 1807. 

Spencer. A short jacket with or 
without tails ; 1800 and after. 
Figure 27. 

Surtout a la Sultane. An over- 
dress with a train worn over a 
white frock ; a new fashion in 
1802. 

Suarrow boots. Named for the 
Polish General ; went out of 
fashion in 1802. 

Swiss mountain hat Hat with a 
soft brim drooping over the face 
and trimmed with ostrich plumes ; 
1819. 



HISTORIC DRESS IN AMERICA 



Taglioni A short overcoat iutro- 
duced in the days of the cele- 
brated dancer's triumph ; 1830 
and after. 

Tippet. A flat collar with long ends 
haugiug down iu front. Made of 
silk, velvet and fur, very popu- 
lar in the first half of the nine- 
teenth century. 

Top boots. Commonly called 
"Tops" ; fashionable for hunt- 
ing. They were carefully fitted 
to the foot and leg and were 
finished below the knee with buff 
or white leather tops, whence 
their name. They came into 
vogue at the time of the Regency 
and were worn until the end of 
the nineteenth century. (See 
Figures 346, 359 and 361.) 

Torsade. A twisted fringe trim- 
ming used in 1840. 

Trafalgar dress. Evening gown of 
white satin trimmed with silver, 
named for the battle of Trafalgar 
in 1806. 

Treble or Triple ruff. Made of 
three very full rows of pointed 
lace or of sheer muslin edged 
with lace, and fastened at the 
back of the neck ; worn in 1813 
and after. 

Turbans. Were the most popular 
head-dresses for women during 
the first half of the nineteenth 
century. Many illustrations are 
given of the different varieties 
throughout this book. 

Turkish turban. A turban made of 
folds of silk and gauze ; iu vogue 
in 1808. 



Vevai cap. A close-fittiug cap of 
black velvet ornamented with a 
heron's plume ; 1820. 

Wallachian cap. A round cap 
usually made of dark sable and 
worn with a tippet to match ; 
1812. 

Washing leather gloves. Fashion- 
able iu 1817 and after. 

Wellington boots. Named for the 
great General and worn 'in 1815 
and many years after. Figure 
343. 

Wheel trimming. Made in 1824 of 
soft puffings of silk formed into 
wheel-like circles, each overlap- 
ping the other. 

Willow green. Delicate shade of 
green, fashionable in 1811 and 
after. 

Wraprascal. Popular name for a 
loose overcoat used in the first 
half of the nineteenth century. 

Wurtemburg frock. A frock or 
dress of 1813, fastened in front 
under the trimming, which formed 
a little jacket effect ; very long 
sleeves of lace. 

Yeoman's hat. Felt hat made with 
triangular points. 

York tan gloves. Made of rough 
undressed kid without any partic- 
ular fit ; 1807 and after. 

Zebra feathers. Striped in two dif- 
ferent colours, fashionable in 
1816. 

Zephyr cloak. Long over garment 
of lace or net falling in long 
points to the feet and tied in at 
the waist by a sash of ribbon. 



INDEX 



Index 



ACKERMAN'S "Repository," 24 
Acrostic hats, 134 
Acrostic jewelry, 133, 134 
Algerian burnous, 254 
Ambassadors, Court dress of, 395 
American manufacture, clothes of, worn 

by President Madison, 369 
Anagram jewelry, 133, 134 
Angoulgme hat, 117 
Angoulerne spencer, 117 
Appliqu6 lace, 215 
Aprons, 33, 65, 67, 161, 197, 305 
Archer dress, 42 
Artificial flowers, 36, 37, 44, 62, 66, 81, 

141, 142, 143, 144, 155, 164, 187, 

204 
Austen, Jane, dress worn in her day 

described in letters of, 107, 112 



BACK-COMBS, 312 

Balmoral boots, 282 

Bancroft, Mrs. George, her descriptions 

of dress in England, 234, 235, 236 
Basques, 245 
Bead chains, 234 
Beards, 424 
Bell sleeves, 224 
Belts, 157, 196, 226 
Berthas, 217, 232, 236 
Bingham, Miss, dress worn by her at 

the Queen's Drawing-room (1802), 

44 

Bird of Paradise plumes, 91, 93 
Bishop's dress, 428, 429 
Bishop sleeves, 77 
Black evening dress for men, 368 
Black lace gloves, 225 
Black moir6, 232 
Blond gauze, 184 
Blond lace, 212 

Bloomer costume, 246, 247, 321 
Blouses, 165, 319 
Bodices, Corsages, Waists, 27, 51, 64, 

6 5. 83, 85, 95, 96, in, 187, 201, 



205, 223, 226, 231, 233, 235, 237, 

?45. 3'9 
Boigne, Comtesse de, Court dress and 

other fashions described by, 123, 124 
Bombazine, 75, 85 
Bonaparte, ball dress of Madame Jerome, 

57 ; wedding dress, 37 
Bonapartian hat, 42, 95 
Bonnets, 34, 35, 36, 44, 53, 62, 67, 74, 

75, 84, 94, 135, 142, 143, 145, 146, 

I 53> 1 S5> I 5 6 > I 57> l6z , l6 5. 173. 
174, 176, 177, 183, 191, 192, 193, 

197, 2OI, 2O2, 203, 204, 2O6, 213, 
214, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 

2 3'> 2 3 2 . 2 3 6 . 2 37> *4i. 2 7 6 . 2 77. 
285, 300, 301, 309, 313, 314, 315, 

33 2 . 334 

Bonnets (children's), 313, 314, 315 
Boots, Shoes, 56, 62, 67, 74, 75, 76, 91, 
92, 101, 106, 126, 156, 162, 164, 
228, 282, 295, 315, 319, 333, 334, 

335. 3 6 > 3 62 . 37. 394 
Bourbon dress, no 
Bourbon hat, no 
Bracelets, 45, 222 
Brandenburghs, 94, 203 
Breeches, Trousers, Pantaloons, 361, 

3 6 3. 3 6 7, 3 6 8, 378 

Bretelles, 232, 319 

Brinton, Miss Mary, dresses worn by in 
Philadelphia, 176 

Broad brims, 327 

Brownlow, Lady, fashions in Paris 
(1802), described in the "Reminis- 
cences " of, 37 

Brummell, Beau, 369, 370, 371 

Brussels lace, 94, 95, 214, 235 

Buckles, 136, 182, 226, 367, 369, 394, 

415 
Buckskins, 371 

Bustles, 285 



CABRIOLET bonnets, 176 
Cachemire shawls, n6, 193 



447 



418 



INDEX 



Cafe au la it (a new colour), 156 

Caledonian caps, 123 

Cameo brooches, 234 

Canegous, 215 

Canes, 355 

Canning, Hon. Stratford, impressions of 

dress in America, 142, 388 
Capes, 201, 232, 234, 241 
Capotes, 35, 224 
Caps, 36, 41, 42, 43, 44, 73, 84, 86, 

141, 151, 153, 155, 163, 164, 222, 

223, 225, 227, 231, 232, 235, 241, 

334 

Caps (boys'), 305, 310, 312 
Caps (children's), 299, 314 
Carmelite mantle, 74 
Caroline, Princess, bonnet, 105 
Caroline turban, 133 
Carricks, 122 
Cartes de visiles, 424 
Casagne, 234 
Casauba, 399 

Cashmere shawls, 116, 193 
Cavalier's hat, 95 

Ceres, a la (style of hair-dressing), 185 
Chambery gauze, 157 
Chameleon silks, 231, 237 
Chantilly lace, 262 
Chapeau bras (ladies'), 113 
Chapeau bras (men's), 360, 385, 395, 

415 

Chemisettes, 67, 231, 232, 233, 234, 246 
Chemisettes (children's), 315 
Chew, Miss, dresses worn in 1823 by, 

174 

Chignon, 274 

Classic dress, 25 

Clerical dress, 428, 429 

Cloaks, 34, 62, 300, 301, 393 

Clotilda cap, 164 

Coat, varied expressions of a, 403 

Coats, 331, 347, 351, 353, 354, 355, 
359. 3 6 . 3 6l > 3 62 , 3 6 3. 3 6 9. 37 1 . 
375. 378, 379. 385. 393. 394. 395. 
396, 415, 419, 424 

Coburg walking-dress, 122 

Cocked hats, 353, 360 

Coiffure (hair dressing), 35, 47, 55, 81, 
91, 144, 147, 151, 152, 153, 155, 161, 
183, 184, 185, 187, 192, 195, 196, 
205, 216, 217, 223, 225, 227, 233, 
235, 236, 242, 254, 274, 276, 285, 



Coin du feu, 234 

Collars, 182, 183, 231, 232, 233, 235, 

332 

Collars (men's), 347, 354, 367, 371 
Combs, 91, 222 
Comet hat, 95 
Congress, dress of members of in 1854, 

419. 423 

Congress gaiters, 282 
"Constellation," costumes worn at a 

dinner on board the, 102 
Coquette, La (cap), 222 
Coral ornaments, 222 
Cord and tassels, 222 
Cornelia wrap, 234 
Cornelian ornaments, 97 
Cornettes, 121 
Coronet braids, 217 
Corsages, Bodices, Waists, 27, 51, 64, 

65, 83, 85, 95, 96, in, 186, 187, 201, 

205, 223, 226, 231, 233, 235, 237, 

245. 3 T 9 

Corsets, Stays, 27, 112, 123, 191 
Cosmetics, 82, 83 
Cossack hat, 105 
Cossack mantle, 86 
Costume a 1'antique, 25 
Costumes worn by Jane Austen, 107, 

112. 

Cottage bonnet, 84 

Court dress in England, 124, 125, 131, 

132, 236 

Court hoops, 124, 131, 132 
Court mourning, 236 
Cravats, Neckties, 370, 371, 379, 385, 

386, 396, 414, 424 
Crinoline, 215, 216. 319 
Croquet costume, 282 
Curl on the forehead, girl with a, 275 
Curls, 35, 55, 91, 133, 187, 312 
Cutaway coats, 423 



DAGUERREOTYPES, 217 

Danish robes, 86 

Debry, Jean, coat, 347 

Delaine, 232 

Derby (Mrs.), dress worn by her at the 

Queen's Drawing-room (1802), 44 
Devonshire mob, 95 
Diplomatic dress, American, 417, 418, 

419, 424 
Diplomatic dress, foreign, 384, 389 



INDEX 



449 



Doctors of Medicine, dress of, 375 

Dolls, 320, 321 

Double skirts, 242, 243 

Drawn work, 73 

Dress improvers, 285 

Dress of American ladies at the Queen's 

Drawing-room (1802), 44 
Dress worn at the ball given for La 

Fayette in Baltimore, 172 
Dressing gowns, 399 
Dunstable straw, 277 



EAR-RINGS, 73, 81, 86, 91, 96, 97 

Eau de veau (cosmetic), 83 

Egyptian sand (colour), 145 

Empire dress, 55 

Empress peplin, 275 

En barbe style of hair-dressing, 184, 185 

En chine, 253 

En coulisses, 223 

English curls, 223 

English Point lace, 94 

En redingote, 222, 225 

En tout cas, 276 

Epaulets, 104, 185 

Etruscan pattern (trimming), 66 

Eugenie, Empress, coiffure adopted by, 

251 ; famous dressing-room of, 281 ; 

inaugurates the reign of the hoop-skirt, 

251; riding habit of, 276; wedding 

dress of, 247 



FALSE curls, 133 

Fans, 154, 164, 165, 185, 255 

Fashion magazines, 23 

Feathers, 33, 35, 36, 104, 153, 183, 214, 

222, 235, 277 
Feather trimming, 156 
Fichus, 155, 156 
Figured satin, 141 
Fitzherbert, Mrs., arbiter of fashion in 

England, 94 
Flats, 319 
Flounces, 143, 146, 147, 161, 162, 163, 

174, 184, 186, 231, 243, 257 
Flushing hat, 84 
Fluted trimming, 154 
Follet, Le (Fashion Magazine), 224 
Foreign Diplomatic Corps, dress of in 

Washington, 384, 389 
Foreign names, 86 



Foulard silks, 276 

French aprons, 65 

French coat, 74 

French lawn, 77 

French Legation, costumes of, 384 

Fringe, 136, 147, 186 

Frock coats, 351, 424 

Full dress patent head-dresses, 47 

Full skirts, 223 

Fur . 53' 54. 66, 164, 183, 203, 221, 

224, 246 
Fur boas, 183 
Fur trimmed shoes, 164 



GAITERS, 162, 319 

Gaiters (men's), 359, 361, 362, 375, 

393. 429 

Garibaldi blouse, 283 

George IV, costumes worn at the coro- 
nation of, 387 

Gillray, " Progress of the Toilet " by, 27 

Gilt buttons, 363, 367, 423 

Gipsy cloak, 62 

Gipsy hat, 62, 65 

Girdles, 237 

Gloves, 67, 73, 74, 86, 91, 92, 95, 96, 
97, 101, 106, 127, 144, 152, 162, 172, 
185, 204, 205, 225, 255, 289 

Gloves (men's), 370, 395 

Godey's "Lady's Book," 204 

Gold embroidery, 384 

Gold lace, 384 

Gores, 57 

Gossamer satin, 76 

Great Coats, Top Coats, Overcoats, 359, 
363, 368, 383, 395, 399 

Grecian bands, 35 

Grecian knot, 196 

Grecian sandals, 84 

Grecian waists, 95 

Greque, a la, hair dressed, 185 

Guimpes, 53, 319 

Guipure lace, 241 



HAIR caps, 376 

Hair-dresser's announcement, 46 
Hair-dressing (coiffure), 35, 47, 55, 81, 
91, 144, 151, 152, 153, 155, 161, 183, 
184, 185, 187, 192, 195, 196, 205, 
216, 217, 223, 225, 227, 233, 235, 
236, 242, 254, 274, 276, 285, 332 



4.H ' 



INDEX 



Hair dye, 47 

Hair dyeing, 183 

Half- boots, 164 

Half handkerchiefs, 45 

Half-shoes, 62 

Half-turbans, 73 

Handkerchiefs used as purses, 155 

Hats, 35, 36, 37, 41, 42, 44, 62, 63, 

84, 87, 94, 95, 104, 105, 134, 136, 173, 

176, 183, 187, 195, 196, 204, 205, 

241, 254, 277, 285 
Hats (children's), 299, 300, 313, 320 
Hats (men's), 327, 333, 353, 354, 355, 

359. 3 6 . 37 1 . 39S> 399. 4 1 ?. 4*6, 

429. 43 1 
Hayes, Miss Sarah, wedding outfit of, 

210, 211 
Head-dresses, 35, 46, 47, 73, 163, 164, 

215, 227 

Head-dresses in hair, 46 
Henri IV plume, 221 
Hessian boots, 347, 371, 375 
High combs, 195, 332 
High hats, 320 
Highland suits, 320 
Honey-comb trimming, 82 
Honiton lace, 214 
Hoop-skirts, 142, 251, 252, 253, 263, 

264, 265, 266, 267, 271, 272 
Hoop-skirts, anecdotes of, 252, 266, 267, 

271, 272 
Howe, Julia Ward, descriptions of dress 

in England from her "Reminiscences," 

217 

Huile antiques, 37 
Hungarian wrap, 84 
Hunting dress, 431 
Hussar boots, 363 
Hussar caps, 86 



IMPERIAL hair restorer, advertisement of, 

184 

India cotton underwear, 81 
Indian costumes (1832), 404 
Indian feathers, demi-tiara of, 86 
Indispensables, 45 
Infant's dresses, 300 
Invisible dresses, 77 
Ivanhoe caps, 141 



JACKETS (boys') 320 



Jackson calico, 175 

Janizary jackets, 86 

Jean Debry coat, 347 

Jefferson, President, costume worn by 

him at his inauguration (1801), 352 
Jet trimmings, 277 
Jewelry (women's), 42, 45, 56, 86, 91, 

124, 125, 133, 151, 152, 161, 162, 

175, 185, 222, 235, 252, 254, 274 
Jewelry (men's), 414 
Jockey, 147 

Jockey caps, 193, 310, 312 
Josephine ma-.tle, 234 
Josephine, Km press, extravagance in 

dress of, 54; slippers of, 55 



KASAVECK, 234 
Kemble slippers, 94 
Ken wig braids, 312 
Kerchiefs, 53, 333 
Key's travelling waistcoats, 351 
Kilts, 320 

Knee-breeches, Short Clothes, Small 
Clothes, 327, 351, 354, 355, 360, 369, 

3 8 5- 395 

Kutusoff hat, 106 
Kutusoff mantle, 106 



LACE, 54, 165, 166, 214, 215, 225, 227, 

256, 262 
Lace gloves, 225 

Lace made in Massachusetts, 165, 166 
La Fayette badge, 171, 172 
La Fayette, dress worn at the ball given 

for him in Baltimore, 171, 172 
Lamb, Lady Caroline, in a riding habit, 

101 

Lamb's wool underwear, 77 
Lappets, 151, 213 
Lavinia hat, 71, 91 
Lawyer's gowns, 395 
Leghorn hats, 143, 145, 162, 173 
Leg-of-mutton sleeves, 173, 192, 309, 311 
Leg-of-mutton trousers, 309 
Levantine, 141 
Lingerie blouses, 315 
Locket watches, 42 



MADISON'S, MRS., costumes described, 
93; I02 



INDEX 



451 



Madison's, President, customary dress, 
368 

Madonna curls, 187 

Magenta colour, 283 

Maid's costume in the early part of the 
i 9th century, 28 

Maid's costume 1850-70, 284 

Mancheron, 147 

Mantillas, 135, 237, 262 

Mantles, 41, 43, 85, 144, 203, 234 

Marabout feathers, 145, 222 

Marguerite pink, 155 

Marshall, John, official robes as Chief- 
Justice, 395 

Martineau, Harriet, costume worn by her 
during her visit in Washington, 176 

Mathematical tie, 386 

Matted silk trimmings, 154, 158 

Mechlin lace, 94, 95, 152, 227 

Medvvay lace, 165, 166 

Merry, Mrs., striking costume of in 
1804, 56 

Metallic gauze, 147 

Mils, 224, 299 

Mob caps, 66, 121 

Morgan, Lady, description of her cabrio- 
let and bonnet named after it, 177 

Mouchoirs aux betes, 147 

Mourning, 75, 76, 126, 224, 242, 261, 

33 1 

Mourning worn by children, 309 
Mousquetaire gloves, 96, 289 
Muffs, 53, 224 
Mushroom hat, 277 



NACE, Miss AMANDA, dress worn by 
her at the ball given for La Fayette in 
Baltimore, 172 

Narrow skirts, 26 

" National Intelligencer," letters of Mrs. 
Seaton on Society in Washington 
quoted from, 101 

Natural flowers, 196 

Necklaces, 81, 185, 204 

Neckties, Cravats, 370, 371, 379, 385, 
386, 396, 414, 424 

Nets, 276 

Neville, Lady Dorothy, hoop-skirt anec- 
dote quoted from her " Reminis- 
cences," 252 

Night gowns, 55 

Nile green, 155 



1 forton, Hon. Mrs., dress of described by 
Julia Ward Howe, 221 



OLDENBURG bonnet, 1 1 2 

Oldenburg dinner dress, 113, 114 

Olives, 203 

Oriental ties, 386, 396 

Orsay, D' Count, costumes of, 408, 409 ; 

"Manual of Etiquette," 413 
Overcoats, Great Coats, Top Coats, 359, 

363, 368, 395, 399 
Overdresses, 285 



PALATINE (cloak), 216 

Palm leaf hats, 399 

Palm leaf pattern, 194 

Pamona hat, 97 

Pantalets, 303, 312, 315 

Pantaloons (boys'), 310, 312, 320 

Pantaloons (men's) 351, 362, 371, 378, 

379. 393. 415 

Parasols, 82, 92, 147, 151, 152 
Pardessus, 234 
Parisian tea parties, 154 
Parti-coloured feathers, 165 
Passementerie, 221, 224, 232 
Patent leather boots, 415 
Patent leather slippers, 415 
Patent travelling hair caps, 376 
Pear's soap, first advertisement of in 

"La Belle Assemblee," 1808, 83 
Peck, Madame, fashionable milliner, 

Philadelphia, 1800, 31 
Peignoir, 262 
Pekin stripes, 225, 227 
Pelerines, 85, 116, 134, 135, 182, 224 
Pelerines (children's), 311 
Pelisses, 144, 155, 186, 201, 254 
Pelisses (children's), 299, 301 
Pensee or Pansy (colour), 222 
Persian border, 264 
Persian taffeta, 203 
Pigtails, 312 
Pilgrim hats, 95 
Pin tucks, 53 
Plaid ribbon, 145, 147 
Plaids, 319 
Plume velvet, 141 
Point d'esprit, 201 
Pointed bodices, 232 
Pointed toes, 96 



452 



INDEX 



Poke (bonnet), 1 1 7 

Polish braid, 217 

Polish cap, 67 

Polish coat, 74 

Polish riding dress, 74 

Pompadour sleeves, 221 

Poole, the English tailor, 425 

Portrait painters of the ipth century, 26 

"Port Folio," 24 

Postillion backs, 255 

Powdered hair, 368, 369 

Prescott, William H., dress worn at 

Court by, 415 ; red gown worn at 

Oxford, 416 

Princess Augusta poke, 117 
Princess Caroline bonnet, 105 
Princess dress, 92 
Printed satin, 205 
Prismatic coloured silk, 187 
" Progress of the toilet," by Gillray, 27 
Provincial bonnet, 82 
Pseudo-classic mania in dress, 24 
Pumps, 360 



QUAKER bonnets, 332 

Quaker children, dress of, 301, 302 

Quaker dress, 332 

Quaker mourning, 331 

Queues, 368, 369 

Quilted parasols, 82 

Quilted vests, 359 

Quilted waistcoats, 361 



RAINBOW gauze, 145 

Rain cover for bonnets, 332 

Ravenel, Mrs., description of dress in 

Charleston, 1800-1825, 34 
Redingotes, 215 
Redingote vest, 399, 400 
Reed, Miss, the original girl with a curl 

on her forehead, 275 
Regard ring, 133 
Regency ball dress, 104 
Regency cap, 104 
Regency hat, 104 
Regency jacket, 104 
Regency mantle, 104 
Regency wrapper, 103 
Religieuse, La (cap), 222 
Reticules or Ridicules, 45, 82, 147, 152, 

162 



Revers, 223 

Ridicules See Reticules 

Riding dress (men's), 362, 431 

Riding habits, 33, 61, 62, 74, 101, 121, 
I? 2 , 193. 2 76, 283 

Riding hats, 62 

Ringlets, 55, 75, 225 

Rocket, 428 

Roman sandals, 94 

Roman scarf, 223 

Romantic nicknames, 51 

Rouge, 72, 115 

Rouleaux (trimming), 156 

Round dresses, 53, 67, 74, 76 

Round toes, 242 

Ruffs, 63, 67, 74, 97 

Ruffled shirts, 351, 355, 375, 385, 393 

Rush, Hon. Richard, his description of 
Court dresses in London, 127 

Rush, Hon. Richard, diplomatic cos- 
tume worn by, 385 

Russian cloaks, 86 

Russian wrapper, 97 

Rustic mantle, 74 

Rutland poke, 107 



SACCHARINE alum, 82 

Sailor costume, 320 

St. Memin's portraits, 58 

Salmagundi Club in New York, 431 

Sandals, 84, 94, 144 

Sardinian mantle, 82 

Sashes, 85, 135, 155, 319 

Scalloped lace, 74 

Scanty draperies, 37, 51, 53, 57 

Scarf pins, 414 

Scarfs, 164, 214 

Scotch caps, 146 

Scotch plaids, 135, 144, 320 

Seaton, Mrs., extract from letters of, 

103. US 

Seed pearls, 73, 161 
Shaker dress, 333 
Shaker worship, 334 
Shaw, Mrs. Robert, inventions of, 77, 81 
Shawls, 61, 193, 194, 214, 236, 237, 

253. 254, 332 

Shell combs, 242 

Shell trimmings, 82, 142, 206 

Shepherdess hat, 74 

Shirts, 310, 375, 393, 395 

Shoes, Boots, 56, 62, 67, 74, 75, 76, 91, 



INDEX 



453 



92, 101, 106, 126, 156, 162, 164, 228, 

282' 

Shoes, Boots (children's), 295, 315, 319 
Shoes, Boots (men's), 333, 334, 335, 

360, 362, 370, 394 
Shooting dress, 432 
Shopping in Washington in 1850-60, 

256 

Short canes, 355 

Short clothes See Knee-breeches. 
Short gloves, 96 
Short skirts, 67 

Short trousers Sfe Knee-breeches. 
Short waists, 26 
Shorts See Short Clothes 
Silk net gloves, 205 
Silk stockings worn by men, 354, 367, 

37 1 . 3 8 5 394 
Silver filagree jewelry, 82 
Sleeve cushions, 182 
Sleeve extenders, 182 
Sleeves, 43, 44, 53, 67, 72, 74, 134, 

144, 165, 182, 186, 187, 191, 192, 

201, 203, 205, 211, 215, 222, 223, 
224, 226, 231, 232, 234, 235, 237, 
243, 262, 311 

Slender waists, 216 

Slippers (women's), 34, 46, 54, 81, 94, 
96, 97, 144, 183, 211, 225, 242, 295, 
300 

Slippers (men's), 347 

Sloping shoulders, 232 

Small clothes See Short Clothes 

Smith, Mrs. Samuel Harrison, descrip- 
tions of dress in America quoted from 
her book, 56 

Smyrna work, 73 

Snaps (fastenings), 91 

Solferino (colour), 283 

Southgate, Elizabeth, descriptions of 
dress in 1800, 27, 31, 32, 33, 45 

Soutache braid, 224 

Spangled velvet, 67 

Spanish habit, 74 

Spanish hat, 95 

Spencers, 43, 44, 144, 215 

Spotted muslin, 31, 32, 45 

Spying glass, 162 

Square toes, 211 

Stage traditions in costume, 426 

Starched underskirts, 231 

Stays or Corsets, 27, 112, 123 

Steel ornaments, 151 



Steel pen coats, 423 

Stock sentimentale, 396 

Stocks, Neck-cloths, 360, 393, 395, 396, 

419 

Stockinette or Stocking, 378 
Suede gloves, 289 
Sunbonnets, 314 
Surtouts, 399 
Suvvarrow boots, 354 
Swallow tail coats, 423 
Swords (dress), 395 



TAGLIONI, A LA (trimming), 185 

Tartans, 141, 142 

Tippets, 85, 164 

Tissue, 54 

Top Coats, Great Coats, Overcoats, 355, 

3S9 3 6z . 3 6 3> 3 68 ' 37 1 . 3 8 3' 395. 

399 

Toques, 221 
Trains, 53, 76, 85 
Tricosian fluid, 51 
Trollope, Mrs., extract from her book, 

"Domestic Manners of the Amer- 
icans," 196 
Trousers, Pantaloons, Breeches, 310, 

312, 320, 351, 362, 371, 378, 379, 

383, 393, 396 

Tuckers, 144, 157, 161, 182, 186 
Tunics, 305, 309 
Turbans, 35, 44, 73, 77, 133, 143. 1 S I > 

152, 162, 163, 204, 220, 223 



UNCUT feathers, 145 
Uncut velvet, 237 
Underclothes, 77, 81 
Underdress, 225, 231 
Undersleeves, 224, 246, 262 
Union suits, 77 



VALENCIENNES lace, 94, 204, 227 

Vandyke frills, 151 

Veils, 54, 63, 67, 73, 151, 203, 204, 

213 

Velvet ribbon, 237 
Vests See Waistcoats 
Vevai cap, 143 

Victoria, Queen, wedding dress of, 214 
Village bonnet, 74 
Violets, 121 



454 



INDEX 



Virgin's tears, 77 
Voilettes, 213, 214 



WADDED capes, 216 

Wadded rouleaux, 156 

Wadded shawls, 216 

Wadded waistcoats, 423 

Wadded walking dresses, 216 

Waistcoats, Vests, 310, 331, 333, 351, 

352. 355- 359. 3 6 . 3 6l > 362, 363, 

367, 368, 369, 371, 379, 385, 395, 

408, 409, 414, 419, 423 
Waists, Bodices, Corsages, 27, 64, 65, 

8 3. 8 5> 95. 9 6 i IXI > l8 7> 201, 205, 

223, 231, 233 
AValtz, the, 137 
Waterfall, 274 
Wellington boots, 383 
Wellington hood, 107 
Wellington mantle, 107 
Wellington trousers, 383 



White mourning, 236 

Whiskers, 369, 383, 424 

Wide skirts, 191 

Wigs, 27, 31, 32, 34, 35, 55, 56, 375 

Wigs, worn by Doctors of Medicine, 375 

Willow feathers, 222 

Winged ruffs, 67 

Witzchoura, 123 

Wrappers, 55 

Wrapping cloaks, 26, 299 

Wristlets, 196 



YATES, EDMUND, dress of a Doctor of 
Medicine described by, 375 ; differ- 
ent types of dress worn in England in 
1836-1846, 406, 407, 408 

York morning dress, 97 



ZOUAVE jacket, 284, 315 
Zouave trousers, 284 









AUTHORITIES CONSULTED 



Authorities Consulted 



Tlie Port Folio, Oliver Oldschool, Philadelphia, 1801-5. 

La Belle AssembUe, 1806-24, London. 

Letters of Eliza Southgate Bowne / or, A Girl's Life Eighty Tears Ago, New 

York, 1887. 

Our Grandmothers 1 Gowns, Mrs. Alfred Hunt, London, 1895. 
The Daion of the Nineteenth Century in England, John Ashtou, London, 1886. 
Follies and Fashions of our Grandfathers, A. W. Tuer, London, 1887. 
Forgotten Children's Books, A. W. Tuer, London, 1898. 
Old-Fashioned Children's Books, A. W. Tuer, London, 1899. 
Diary of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, New York, 1886. 
La Vie Parisienne, 1800-1870, Paris. 
Letters of William Winston Seaton, Boston, 1871. 
Jane Austen and her Friends, G. E. Mitton, London, 1906. 
Jane Austen's Letters, edited by Lord Brabourne, London, 1884. 
Travels in the United States, 1849-50, Lady Emeline Stuart Wortley. 
Court Magazine, 1830-47, London. 

American Ladies' Magazine, edited by Mrs. Hale, Boston, 1831. 
Evening Fireside, Philadelphia, 1805-6. 

Eugenie, Empress of the French, Clara M. Tschudi, New York, 1899. 
Private Life of Edward VII (Prince of Wales 1841-1901), by a Member of 

the Eoyal Household. 
Memoranda of a Residence at the Court of London, 1819-1825, Eichard Bush, 

Philadelphia, 1848. 

In Peace and War, Mrs. Pryor, New York, 1904. 
Dixie after the War, Mrs. Avery, New York, 1906. 
Punch, 1840-1870, London. 
Lady's Monthly Museum, 1799-1824, London. 

Beau Brummell and his Times, Eoger Boutet de Monvel, London, 1908. 
Life of Beau Brummell, Captain William Jesse, London, 1886. 
Recits d'une Tante, Memoires de la Comtessede Boigne, Paris, 1907. 
Leaves from the Note- Book of Lady Dorothy Neville, London, 1907. 
Extracts from the Journal and Correspondence of Miss Berry, London, 1865. 
Social Life in the Early Republic, Anne H. Wharton, Philadelphia, 1902. 

457 



458 AUTHOEITIES CONSULTED 



1 



Fifty Years of London Life, Edmuud Yatcs, New York, 1885. 
Things as They Are in America. Wm. Chambers, Philadelphia, 1854. 
History of the United States, James F. Khodes, New York, 1904-6. 
Memoirs and Private Correspondence of the Bight Hon. Stratford Canning, 

London, 1888. 

Portraits of the Sixties, Justin McCarthy, New York, 1903. 
A Belle of the Fifties, Mrs. Clay, New York, 1904. 
A Southern Girl in '61, D. G. Wright, New York, 1905. 
Latrobe's Journal, New York, 1905. 
First Forty Tears in Washington Society, Mrs. S. Harrison Smith, New 

York, 1906. 

Slight Reminiscences of a Septuagenarian, Countess Browulow, London, 1867. 
Memoirs of Lady Dorothy Neville, London, 1908. 
Ladies' Magazine, Boston, 1829-1834. 
Harper's Magazine (Vol. 15), New York, 1867. 
Sartain's Magazine, Boston, 1849. 
Moniteur des Dames el des Demoiselles, Paris, 1855. 
Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century, London, 1902. 
Letters from England, Mrs. Bancroft, New York, 1904. 
Diary of a Lady in Waiting, Lady Charlotte Bury, London, 1908. 
Mrs. Fitzherbert and George IV, W. H. Wilkins, New York, 1905. 
Memoirs of Fifty Tears, Lester Wallack, New York, 1889. 
Memories of Seventy Tears, edited by Mrs. Herbert Martin, London, 1883. 
Reminiscences, 1819-1899, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, New York, 1899. 
Two Centuries of Costume, Alice Morse Earle, New York, 1903. 
Directoire, Consulat et Empire, Paul Lacroix, Paris, 1884. 
Dix-neuvieme Siecle en France, J. Grand-Carteret, Paris, 1893. 
Le Costume Historique, A. Racinet, Paris, 1888. 
The Quaker, a Study in Costume, Mrs. Francis B. Gummere, Philadelphia, 

1902. 

The History of Fashion, G. A. Challamel, London, 1882. 
Modes and Manners of the Nineteenth Century, from the German of Max von 

Boehm, 3 Vols., London, 1910. 

Chats on Costume, G. Woolliscroft Ehead, New York, 1906. 
Collection of Fashion Plates, 7 Vols., 1810-1890. 
Godey's Lady's Book, 1880-1870, Philadelphia.