Monday, June 25, 2012

Civil War Era Fashion Chit Chat - February 1862 Peterson's Magazine

Civil War Era Fashion Chit Chat - February 1862 Peterson's Magazine General Remarks There is still no change in the make of dresses. The corsages of those destined for out-door costume are high, and may be either pointed or straight at the waist; this depending on the taste of the wearer. In sleeves the variety of form is very great. Some are slit up the whole length of the arm, and edged with plaitings or bands, or with any trimming corresponding with that on the rest of the dress. In others the slit extends only a few inches in length, and the sleeves are rounded at the ends; the same trimming which passes round the edge is placed over the seam. Sleeves full at the arm-hole, close at the wrist, and with cuffs, retain their wonted favor; and we may enumerate the following as among the most popular forms: 1st. Sleeves demi-wide and with revers, but without fullness at the arm-hole. 2nd. Wide flowing sleeves, not very long, set in with large plaits fixed by bows of ribbon or lace. 3rd. Sleeves of narrow width, shaped to the elbow, and with revers. 4th. Lastly may be mentioned sleeves demi-wide, without revers, and finished at the ends with a plisse, or any trimming in harmony with that employed for the skirt of the dress. Among many very pretty out-door costumes worn during the present season, is one consisting of brown poplin, trimmed round the lower part of the skirt with a band of black velvet; up the front is a row of black velvet buttons and bands of black velvet. With this dress is worn a shawl of black embroidered cashmere, trimmed with a deep fall of lace headed by a ruche of black silk. The bonnet, composed of black velvet and black spotted tulle, was trimmed with red flowers, and the strings were of black velvet. An elegant out-door dress consists of blue silk, having the edge of the skirt trimmed with a plaiting about six or seven inches broad; the corsage high and trimmed with plaitings, and the sleeves shaped to the elbow and with revers. A pardessus of black silk, wadded, and having a pelerine of black guipure, has been worn with the dress just mentioned. The bonnet is formed of a combination of blue silk and velvet, and trimmed with blue bells in velvet. A good many dresses have capes or pelerines. In one of plain green silk, the collar, rounded and bordered with a green frill, is continued in a graceful lapel, cut at the edge and bordered with the same small frill and a row of Valenciennes. Zouave Jackets in all their varieties continue to be worn. Some are very richly ornamented with colored braid, and of these we noticed a very original one with bright red braid, jet beads, and a fringe of jet and red tassels. With these are worn those chemisettes of embroidered cashmere, which divided favor with muslin ones during the past summer, and will altogether replace them now. Under-Sleeves of worked muslin, with collars to match, are prettily trimmed with bows of blue ribbon and black velvet. One of the new Zouave chemisettes, or vests, consisting of nansouk, is ornamented with narrow tucks and a small plaited frill edged with Valenciennes. The sleeves are wide enough at the ends to allow the hand to pass through, and are finished by a turned-up frill. Balmoral Petticoats are universally worn, particularly in wet or muddy weather when it is necessary to loop up the dress. They are made of a variety of materials: some of the prettiest consisting of gray flannel, braided with red or black braid, or having a band of black velvet around the bottom. A very beautiful one has a rich pattern in gold braid on a black silk or alpaca. Shawls made of cloth, embroidered and wadded, are very much worn. Some have a rich fall of lace at the edge. Cloaks - As trimmings for dresses and cloaks a great many crochet ornaments mixed with velvet are now made. The "Louise" pardessus, composed of black velvet, has a pelerine of guipure lace. The front, from top to bottom, is ornamented with rich embroidery; and the sleeves, which are shaped to the elbow, have embroidered revers. A cloak, named the "Henrietta," in fancy cloth, is made with three plaits at the back, each fixed by a large button. The sleeves are very long, slashed, and flowing, and have three plaits at the shoulder fixed by buttons. Fur is a favorite trimming for mantles, and is much used for Zouave jackets. We have seen some of gray cloth, with a border of Chinchilla; one of maroon, bordered with black seal-skin; and black, edged with gray. Bonnets - Many of the most fashionable bonnets have the fronts less pointed than those which have lately been worn. They are now rather straight above the forehead, and wide at the ears. The combination of black and white for bonnets has lost none of its wonted favor. Bonnets of velvet are trimmed with lace and blonde, feathers or flowers. Under the brim, full trimmings are preferred. Head-Dresses - A stylish and elegant head-dress is formed of a diadem of black velvet, worked with stars in steel and jet. At the right side a small black feather and a bunch of roses, and a long white feather reaching round the other part of the head-dress. A most stylish head-dress is formed of Vesuve chrysanthemums, with clusters of black fruit. It is slightly raised in front, and terminated in a point at the back. Dress Caps are composed of white and black lace, mixed with ribbons and flowers; and most young married ladies wear a white coiffure, however beautiful and luxuriant their hair. It is quite the fashion in full dress. Steel and Jet are much employed in ornamenting coiffures.

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