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1880s clothing

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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

1880s clothing

Postby Divia » Tue August 10th, 2010, 10:34 pm

I am in need of some good reference that explains 1880s clothing. Does anyone have some? Or do you know of any good titles?

Ive been searching online and havent come up with anything. Maybe I'm not using the right words. I thought I would try a Godey's book from 1882, cuse I know they have 1860 ones but I've had no luck.
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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Wed August 11th, 2010, 12:53 am

I think this topic was touched on in another thread, and I recall Celia Hayes recommending some good costume reference books for this period.....

Edited: just found it. The thread is under this section, and it is called "Victorian Clothing." The last post is by Celia Hayes, and she mentions a couple of books. I am familiar with What People Wore -- my mom used to have that one -- and it is a good reference.
Last edited by Michy on Wed August 11th, 2010, 12:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Wed August 11th, 2010, 1:14 am

Its too broad and covers too much history for what I'm looking for. Even if I could find something that narrows down to the bustle times I might be OK.

Thanks anyway. :)
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Margaret
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Postby Margaret » Wed August 11th, 2010, 1:51 am

There's a pretty good article on 1880s fashions at Wikipedia. It includes some period artwork, as well as links and reference books.
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annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed August 11th, 2010, 8:29 am

There are a few photos here put together by someone who has made up some dresses from the late Victorian period, so you can see what they really look like. An interesting point is that dresses were in fact often two separate pieces, a bodice and a skirt, and they could be interchangeable. This gave people several options without having to spend a lot of money.

http://www.koshka-the-cat.com/bustle_era.html

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Wed August 11th, 2010, 10:43 am

thanks for the links.

That one girl who makes her clothes is very good.
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Miss Moppet
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Location: North London
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Postby Miss Moppet » Wed August 11th, 2010, 10:11 pm

"Divia" wrote:Its too broad and covers too much history for what I'm looking for. Even if I could find something that narrows down to the bustle times I might be OK.

Thanks anyway. :)


From my experience researching costume for museum exhibitions, it's extremely rare to find a book on a period of just ten or twenty years. The scope is always wider and you have to sift through to find what you want.

Some of my bibles of costume research:

Janet Arnold, Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their Construction c.1860-1940. Really gives you an idea of how clothes were put together, even if you can't sew, which I can't.
Lucy Johnston, Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail, from the V&A Fashion in Detail series which is amazing - close up photos and literally, details you won't find elsewhere
Norah Waugh, Corsets and Crinolines (great on construction and materials, also quotes primary sources)
Valerie Steele, The Corset: A Cultural History (good on attitudes towards corsetry and why the fashionable silhouette changed)
Norah Waugh, The Cut of Men's Clothes, 1600-1900
Norah Waugh, The Cut of Women's Clothes, 1600-1930
Jane Ashelford, The Art of Dress: Clothes through History 1500-1914 (uses the National Trust's costume and textile collection, so exclusively English)

The Arnold and Waugh books in particular are classics - they may seem too general to be of use but they are very detailed, using primary sources and line drawings of surviving clothes to explain construction.

These books tend to be expensive so it's probably best to try to get them through a library, but they are worth buying one by one if you are likely to write about the 19th century again and want to start building up a 19th century costume library. Also, information from earlier periods will apply to the 1880s - for example, the invention of aniline dyes earlier in the century greatly widened the range of colours which could be worn.

The bustle has a very interesting history - invented for the Empress Eugenie by the couturier Frederick Worth. Worth deliberately revived the bustles worn by ladies in the last years of Louis XIV's reign. I think it would be worth checking out two books by Diana de Marly:

The History of Haute Couture 1850-1950
Worth: The Father of Haute Couture

One other point: although fashions in the late 19th century were set by Paris, I remember reading in one of Edith Wharton's books that high society New York women set their Paris creations aside for at least a year before wearing them - because it was not done to be seen in the very latest fashions and would have been considered vulgar. I don't know how far down the scale this might apply.

If you can't find out a detail you really need to know despite lots of research, look on a costume museum's website for the name/email of their curator of textiles and/or costume and contact them with your query. Curators are there to answer questions from the public and although they sometimes get swamped with other work and don't have time, it's always worth a try.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Wed August 11th, 2010, 10:38 pm

Another idea that might be a good resource would be to visit a Civil War re-enactment, if they have any in your area. They had one here for many years in October. I only went once (re-enactments are not my cup of tea ;) ) but just as in Renaissance re-enactments, the women dress very accurately to the period, would probably be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions, and they probably even have a vendor or two displaying articles of clothing that you could scrutinize.

I realize the Civil War era is about 20 years earlier than you're asking for, but you could probably still pick up some really helpful information.

P.S. I found these two books on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Godeys-Full-Color-Fashion-Plates-1838-1880/dp/0486402223/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

http://www.amazon.com/Victorian-Edwardian-Fashions-Mode-Illustree/dp/048629711X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c
Last edited by Michy on Wed August 11th, 2010, 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu August 12th, 2010, 2:45 pm



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