Woman’s Style Guide

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Woman’s Fashion

 1840 – 1847
Bodice Long and tight with fan-shaped gathering; pointed in the front; back fastening.
Neckline Wide, shallow, horizontal neckline gradually gets narrower.
Sleeves Long, tight to arm, with tight oversleeve on upper arms.
Accessories Fingerless gloves; gold watches on a long chain; caps, bonnets; ribbon bracelets.
Hair Large combs; centre part; close to head; long ringlets.

 

 

 

 

 1848 – 1852
Bodice Long and tight with fan-shaped; pointed in the front; could be padded; back fastening.
Neckline High stand collar.
Sleeves Three-quarter or long flaring out towards bottom in bell shape worn over white undersleeve.
Accessories Fingerless gloves; gold watches on a long chain; caps, bonnets; ribbon bracelets.
Hair Large combs; centre part; close to head; spreading over ears.

 

 

 

 

 1853 – 1860
Bodice Front fastening (near middle of decade); some buttons; some jacket-style, flare over skirt.
Neckline Broad collar; narrower collars at the end of period.
Sleeves Flowing wide at the wrists, worn over white undersleeve; some full sleeves gathered into wristband in less formal dresses.
Skirt Wider; fuller, gathered or pleated; some flounces; skirt worn over a hoop by end of the decade.
Accessories Decoration of dress, ornamental hair jewellery.
Hair Centre part; wide above the ears, then droops over ears.

 

 

 1860 – 1865
Bodice Front buttons; pointed or round waists; military trim
Neckline High, narrow, round collar, some V necks with lapels
Sleeves Armhole over shoulder, some gathered into the wrist; some wide bell; some coat sleeves wider at elbow; variety of styles.
Skirt Full, pleated, some looped up to expose underskirt; worn over hoop.
Accessories Shawls, hair nets, wide belts; elaborate earrings and brooches.
Hair Centre part; covers most of ear, plain or braid around; short ringlets.

 

 1866 – 1868
Bodice Front buttons; short waist; slightly raised waistline.
Neckline High with narrow round or pointed collar; lace or ribbon tie.
Sleeves Armhole over shoulder, narrow coat sleeve.
Skirt Broad A-line shape over hoop, few pleats in front.
Accessories Shawls.
Hair Centre part; pulled tightly back above the ears, piled high in back.

 

 

 1869 – 1874
Bodice Trim such as ruffles; prominent buttons large, not flat.
Neckline High with low stand collar or V neck with ruffles.
Sleeves Armhole over shoulder; wider coat sleeves with cuff effects; moderate bell with trim or ruffles.
Skirt Trimmed apron-like overskirt with bustle over trimmed underskirt; large bustle.
Accessories Black velvet neck ribbon with brooch or charm; large lockets and crosses; jet beads; earrings and necklace matched.
Hair Centre part; use of false hair; large hair combs; some hair curled at forehead; long hair streaming down back with hair braided at crown.

 

 

 1875 – 1877
Bodice Often ruffles around neckline and down front.
Neckline Front opening, low stand collar; or V neck with ruffles.
Sleeves Sleeves narrower, still cuff trim.
Skirt Long overskirt effects, bustle less large; trains common.
Accessories Large button earrings; large hair combs.
Hair Centre part; frizzed at forehead; braided high at back.

 

 

 

 1878 – 1882
Bodice Front buttons; flat, large round or oval buttons; bodice extends over hips.
Neckline High with low stand collar.
Sleeves Sleeves narrower.
Skirt Fell straight from hip to floor.
Accessories Fans, parasols.
Hair Centre part; frizzing, low at back.

 

 

 1883 – 1889
Bodice Fastening obscured; ends at or near natural waist.
Neckline High neck with moderate stand collar.
Sleeves Tight to arm in 1890 with kick-up at shoulder becoming fuller each year.
Skirt Drapery gradually smoothes out to stiff columnar shape.
Accessories Muffs, jewellery.
Hair Frizzed around forehead; bun in back

 

 

 1890 – 1892
Bodice Fastening obscured; ends at or near natural waist.
Neckline High neck with moderate stand collar.
Sleeves Tight to arm in 1890 with kick-up at shoulder becoming fuller each year.
Skirt Drapery gradually smoothes out to stiff columnar shape.
Accessories Round brooch, small earrings, watch pinned to bosom; large fans, large parasols
Hair Frizzed around face; bun on top of head

 

 

 1893 – 1896
Bodice Fastening obscured; ruffles over shoulders; gathers in bodice.
Neckline High collar to chin with bow at side back.
Sleeves Ruffles, large balloon “leg-o-mutton” shapes on upper arm; tight below.
Skirt Smooth at hip front/sides; gradual flare to stiff A-line effect; sometimes trim at the hem.
Accessories Feather boa, large fans, parasols.
Hair Frizzed, curled around face, bun in back.

 

 

 1897 – 1900
Bodice Asymmetrical, horizontal drapery, blouse-like fullness overhangs waist at centre front.
Neckline High collar to chin, bow at side back of neck.
Sleeves Decreasing, first small ball-shaped fullness at top, then tight, flaring over hand.
Skirt Smooth at hips, front/sides; broad A-line becomes slimmer, may flare out below knees.
Accessories Round brooch, small earrings, watch pinned to bosom; small decorative combs high on back of head visible from front.
Hair Soft but smoother around face, less frizzing; drawn into back bun.

 

 

 1901 – 1903
Bodice Pouched front pronounced.
Neckline High collar to chin.
Sleeves Fullness increasing year by year on lower arm of above cuff only.
Skirt Smooth at hip front/sides; flares from knee down.
Hair Soft but smoother around face, less frizzing; drawn into back bun.

 

 

 1904 – 1907
Bodice Pouched front continues over wider waistband.
Neckline High collar to chin; a few collarbone level in summer.
Sleeves 1904: fullness on upper and lower arms; 1905-07: fullness only on upper, sleeves appear to be made in upper and lower sections.
Skirt Smooth at hips or soft gathers or pleats; generally less slim.
Hair Gradually gaining width around the face; coiled in back.

 

 

 1908 – 1914
Bodice Vertical trim effects, small square or round dickey effects; waistline often slightly raised.
Neckline High collar to chine or round/square to collarbone.
Sleeves Increasingly tight and plain; some imitate tight lace undersleeves.
Skirt Increasing slim, straight no gathers, feet show.
Hair Some centre parts; puffed put wide at sides to support big hats.

 

 

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