Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Civil War Era Fashion Chit Chat - March 1863 Peterson's Magazine
Civil War Era Fashion Chit Chat - March 1863 Peterson's Magazine General Remarks The March winds are so bleak that there has but little that is new appeared as yet. Dresses are now made much flatter and narrower on the hips, and are rarely trimmed, except round the bottom of the skirt; and long sleeves grow narrower daily. For the promenade, skirts of dresses, when of rich materials, are generally without trimming, or with as little as possible. Bodies are made high, with the waist slightly pointed, sometimes with two short points; small pointed capes of velvet are being introduced, as are also berthes set on the same as on a low body. Some dresses are made with Postillion jackets, which quite plain. Sleeves are mostly made shaped at the elbow, whether wide and open, or of a closer form. The low bodies are now cut extremely low on the shoulder, but not so much so either at the front or back. The lace tucker should correspond with the lace with which the dress is trimmed, and should be tied in front as well as at the back with black or colored narrow ribon velvet. Some dress-makers tie the tucker on the shoulders as well, but this is not necessary for its well-fitting. Low bodices as well as high ones are made extremely short at the waist; the short sleeves are flatter and far less puffed out than they were last winter - sometimes they are even made quite flat, and are simply trimmed. There is a very pretty style of Under-Sleeve, which is both new and comfortable. It consists of a very deep tight cuff, reaching half-way up the arm, and fastened on the upper part of the arm by six or seven tiny gilt buttons. These cuffs are sometimes embroidered round in a color, and are attached to an ordinary full sleeve, of course shorter than usual, in consequence of the depth of the cuff. Muslin Cravats are, to a great extent, tking the place of collars for in-door wear; some being knotted, and others tied in large bows. Tey are made in lace, or embroidered muslin edged with lace; and, arranged in the latter mode, are called in Paris the :Cravate Avocat." These little cravats are in great vogue for out-door toilets, when they were worn with the open mantles with revers. Charming little novelties in the way of silk cravats for ladies are daily appearing. Some of the cravats are perfectly sright, stitched at each edge with white; others are shaped at the ends, and ornamented with an embroidery of silk or beads; and many of them are further enriched with a tiny blonde or narrow lace. Head-Dreses differ widely from the heavy wreaths lately worn. A puff of white tulle, a bunch of moss-roses, a branch of foliage, with the hair curled or creped between, arranged to suit the style of face, is now the most fashionable style. Birds'-nests, humming-birds, butterflies, and dragon flies are all called into requisition to form this irregular, fanciful head-gear. Shoes for evening wear are now made of satin or silk of the exact color and shade of the dress, have high heels, and are ornamented in front with black lace rosettes. Fans of carved ivory without any gilding, with black or white lace lined with silk or satin the exact shade of the dress, are now considered in better taste than any other style of fan. Striped Petticoats are the most fashionable ones in Paris; black and white, red and white, or violet and black, with the stripes running downward instead of across, and with a narrow band of self-colored cloth or silk, stitched in white silk in an arabesque or classical design just above the hem. This is worn over a cage, which has a starched white flounce round the bottom of it. These cages are more patronized by the Parisians than any other kind of crinoline or steel petticoat. Colored stockings now invariably accompany the colored petticoat; they should correspond with it exactly both in color and style. Violet is a favorite color both for petticoats and stockings, especially since it can be now manufactured fast, and warranted "to stand any amount of washing."