Fashion Notes, 1861


The following hints accounts of current and coming fads have been taken from The Englishwomen's Domestic Magazine, May 1861. Copied and graciously donated by Alaina.

Last month we spoke of the light-coloured cloth CLOAKS, trimmed with silk of various shades, which is sometimes stitched on with white and sometimes with black silk. These cloaks are made in various shapes, such as the paletot, burnous, coat, and long jacket, not quite tightly fitting at the waist. They are suitable for morning wear and for traveling, as, being of a light colour, they do not show the dust. The double cape, as its name implies, consists of two pelerines, one larger than the other, and trimmed with rows of ribbon put on quite straight, or with crossway pieces of black silk stitched on with white silk.

All the spring MANTLES made by our first London houses are beautifully finished this season, owing to the general use of the sewing-machine, this useful article producing such regular and perfect work when managed by skillful hands. A very large grey cloak we noticed was trimmed with a broad pleating of coloured ribbon, and had a sort of berthe, trimmed with two rows of the same ribbon, put on plain, and edged with a crossway piece of coloured silk and buttons to match. For more dressy wear, we recommend a black silk coat or jacket, not fitting tightly to the figure, but only shaped sufficiently to show where the waist goes. These garments are sometimes made with 'revers', or lapels, which should be embroidered or trimmed to correspond with the trimming of the sleeves. 'La Polonaise', which is half tight and half loose, is made with large pleats behind, and a lace or silk pelerine, trimmed with lace. large black silk mantles are still very fashionable in Paris, of which here are two charming patterns. The first was trimmed with a broad pleating of silk all round the bottom and up the front. Large bouquets of violets were placed at equal distances in this pleating, which had a very elegant and novel effect. The other mantle was made with a guipure berthe, trimmed with a narrow row of jet; the arm-holes were finished off with a broad lace, and the lace at the bottom with a long tassel onamented with jet. A large mantle, which has had a great success, was trimmed with a full ruche all round the shoulders, from which the pleats appeared to fall, and it was finished off behind with a large bow. Another very elaborate mantle was trimmed all round the bottom and up the front with black guipure insertion laid over white silk of the same width. The top of the garment consisted of rows of insertion crossed in the form of a small pointed shawl; this guipure insertion also being lined with white silk. A broad row of lace was placed round the insertion at the bottom, and the mantle was profusely dotted with black silk rosettes.

For in-door wear, ZOUAVE JACKETS still continue fashionable, and are made in every variety of shape and style.  Every dressmaker who executes them endeavours to introduce some novelty of cut or trimming, to make a little change and alteration in this favorite garment.  One we saw was made with two side-pieces behind, and fitted admirably to the back, with a narrow collar, and straight lappels in front.  The sleeves were plain, with pointed cuffs fastened down by buttons.  Under the Zouave jackets all kinds of chemisettes are worn, some in muslin, others in coloured foulards, and, again, others in white cachemire, embroidered in pink, red, or blue.  For this season of the year a Zouave jacket made of white pique is very suitable; it should be braided in black, and the skirt of pique to correspond should be braided in the same manner.  A pleated muslin chemisette, or a pique waistcoat of the same material as the dress, may be worn with this.

We will give two or three SLEEVES suitable for ordinary dresses:- 1. A bishop sleeve, with a narrow wristband. 2. A bishop sleeve, the fullness gathered in to a band the length of the arm, this band being shown on the upper part of the sleeve, and also finished off by a narrow wristband. 3. A sleeve perfectly tight to the elbow, and finished off at the top with two puffings and a trimming to correspond with that on the dress. A grey mohair is very pretty made with two fluted flounces at the bottom of the skirt, headed by a band of lilac or mauve ribbon. The body should be plain and buttoned with lilac silk buttons, and all round it a narrow row of pleated ribbon of the same colour. For morning or breakfast dresses there is nothing so pretty as a white pique or marcella, made with a small loose jacket, and trimmed with a coloured washing material of some bright colour. For those who wear print dresses, a full body and bishop sleeve is the best and neatest mode of making them; and the sleeve may or may not be made with two puffs at the top, whichever is most liked. As these dresses are continually being washed, they cannot be too simply made; and tight sleeves and plain tight bodices seldom fit nicely after they have been through the laundress's hands. Muslin dresses also look better made with full bodices than anything else, but of these we hope to speak more next month, as the weather will not yet permit of such light materials being worn.

Little COIFFURES of ruched black lace, mixed with poppies, roses, and cornflowers, are still worn, with a black velvet bow and long ends behind.

CORONETS in black or coloured velvet continue in vogue, and are still fashionable, with a mixture of gold, although this will soon be too general to be considered very recherché.

STRAW HATS, which in large towns are only worn by children, or very young girls, will be universally worn in the country, and at the seaside.  A straw hat, as worn by the Empress in one of her portraits, has a broad, turned-down brim, is trimmed with a large bouquet of field flowers, and a black velvet bow, the ends of which fall on the shoulders.  The Tudor, or hat with broad, turned-up brim, will be worn of a rather more elongated shape than it was last summer:  it is made in every variety of straw, grey, brown, black, and white.

As all skirts are made so full and long, CRINOLINE is more necessary than ever, to give the dresses a proper appearance. The favourite crinolines appear to be made of very narrow steels fastened together by small metal claws; the pieces of stay-binding on which the steels are supported being passed through these pieces of metal, so securing them in their proper place. These skirts are very string and durable. Those with wider steels, run in open net, are very comfortable, but do not keep their shape so long as the crinolines just mentioned.

SHAWLS are now the favourite out-door garment, made of cachemire, or fine French merino, and are trimmed with lace, or are handsomely embroidered.  The upper point is sometimes trimmed with insertion only, and the lower one with a deep row of lace.  Three bands of silk, cut on the crossway of the stuff and neatly stitched on, form, with the row of lace, a very pretty trimming to these elegant articles of costume.  Those made of cachemire will be replaced in the warmer weather by grenadine, also trimmed or embroidered in the same manner.

KID GLOVES, with double buttons, are considered better than those with single ones, for summer wear, as they protect the wrist from getting sunburnt. Light and delicate colours should always be worn with a very *recherche* toilet.

To those of you who require MOURNING TOILETS, perhaps the following suggestions may be useful: - a black crinoline bonnet, trimmed inside and out with branches of black lilac; with this bonnet, a black barege or grenadine dress, with very tiny flounces, and a shawl of the same material, would be very suitable. For slighter mourning, a black silk dress with five narrow flounces at the bottom, edged with lilac silk; a black silk mantle, trimmed with lace, and a pelerine; and a white tulle, or crepe bonnet, bound with black velvet, trimmed outside with a black and white rosette, or a bunch of black and white feathers, and inside with a bandeau of violets.

A very pretty ball dress may be made of blue silk and blue crepe. It should be trimmed at the bottom of the skirt with two rows of white lace, about six inches deep, and headed by pinked crepe ruche. Six long tabs, trimmed with ruches and rounded at the bottom, should be placed at regular distancs round the skirt, commencing from the waist, and reaching to the top of the lace flounces. The body should be made of silk, with points behind and before, with a blue crepe berthe mixed tastefully with white tulle, and finished off at the top with a piece of lace and insertion, having a narrow blue velvet ribbon run through it.

A visiting dress, of drab or grey silk, is very pretty made with three narrow pinked flounces at the bottom, each flounce edged with a row of blue pinked silk just peeping below the grey. A broad band of blue silk is put on close to the top flounce. The sleeves should be trimmed in the same manner, and the body made plain, buttoned to the throat with blue buttons. For a dinner dress, the low body should be corded with blue, with a puffed tulle berthe lined with blue silk, and trimmed with blue ruches. The short sleeves should be composed of one puffing of grey and one of blue silk, with a narrow white blonde between each, and at the top a large puffing of white tulle. For visiting, a white tulle bonnet, trimmed with velvet and blue flowers, should accompany this dress; and for evening wear, a wreath of white chrysthaneums, or a blue velvet coronet with pearl stars, and a pearl comb.

At a fashionable dressmaker's, we noticed last week a bride's dress, made of very rich white silk. The skirt was trimmed at the bottom with four puffings of tarlatan, and over these a white lace flounce; another deeper flounce, which formed a tunic, reached as far as this narrower flounce, with puffings of tarlatan underneath. These puffings give the lace a soft and elegant appearance, much more than when it is laid plainly on the silk. The body was quite plain, and buttoned to the throat, with puffed sleeves and rows of lace over each puffing. For an elegant ball dress, the white flounces might be replaced by black ones, and the low body trimmed with puffings of tarlatan and narrow black lace. The tucker should be made of Valenciennes lace and insertion, with a very tiny black velvet ribbon run in it, and the tunic looped up with flowers to correspond with those worn in the hair.

A toilet, very much admired in the Bois de Boulogne the other day, consisted of a grey silk dress, spotted with jet beads to the height of about twelve inches, and at regular distances large medallions left, showing in each medallion the brocaded flowers of the dress. A shawl made of the same materials of the dress, and trimmed in the same manner with jet beads and medallions, completed this elegant toilet, which would also be suitable for slight mourning.




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