What was the well-dressed young woman wearing in the second half of 1828?
This Morning Dress from July’s Ackermann’s Repository features the lowered pointed waist that will be all the rage for the next few years, as well as gathered puffed sleeves and wide ribbon ornamentation around the hem. Her jewelry—necklace, earrings, and bracelets—might be coral, and her hair is dressed in puffs and loops around a matching headdress. A very handsome ensemble, I think:
The date on this Carriage Dress may be August 1828, but don’t the large hat and almost leg-o-mutton type sleeves make this look like something from the 1890s? Note the skirt decorated with multi-colored rosettes, the lacing detail on the lower sleeves, the ruffled collar, and of course, that very large (and nicely shady) straw hat, perfect for an afternoon drive (Ackermann’s Repository):
Here’s a charming Evening Dress, also from August’s Ackermann’s. The white gauze overskirt above a blue underskirt is decorated with blue ribbon and nosegays of roses, the pointed Gothic bodice features a lace-up detail, and the sleeves are gathered gauze over blue. Very charming, topped with a coiffure of ringlets with ostrich feathers and puffs of pink ribbon:
I have the original text for this Morning Dress: Jaconet muslin dress, made as high as the throat, where it is finished with a narrow band, confining the fullness of the body; a small circular cape, drawn with blue satin ribbon, and trimmed with work half a quarter deep, commences in front of the shoulder and extends across the back: the sleeves are à la Gabrielle, being full above the elbow, and below confined by three drawings to the shape of the arm. The skirt is set on with equal fullness all around, and has a flounce half a yard deep, headed by a trimming composed of a rouleau adorned with demi-whorls, made of book muslin, gathered very full, and edged with blue braiding; a second whorl trimming divides the flounce half way: blue satin cestus [a type of belt] pointed in front. Provincial French cap of tulle made of one piece, and drawn full round the head: it is greatly elevated, and falls back from the summit in two divisions like lappets, the ends trimmed with blond lace, and reaching as low as the shoulder: bows of blue satin ribbon are tastefully dispersed; and the border, being very full, forms a rosette in front, and bows of blue satin ribbon intermingle with the curls of hair around the face. Earrings and necklace of rock coral; broad Grecian scroll bracelets of gold. Rose-colour gloves; blue corded silk shoes. (Ackermann’s Repository, September):
This print may be from October, but these aren’t Halloween masks...they’re millinery! Big hats were definitely in fashion as we can see, from the pinked-edge ruffles on the upper left to the large loops of fabric and gauze on both hats on the right. And, of course, ostrich plumes! (Ackermann’s Repository):
Again, this Evening Dress reminds me of something from a much later decade with its puffed sleeves, button-front bodice, and full skirt. The gatherings on the ruffles of the skirt are fun and must have fluttered delightfully when the wearer walked. I also like the Chinese fan and the less silly hairstyle, with its coronet of braids woven with pearls and hanging curls at back (Ackermann’s Repository, October):
This quietly dramatic Dinner Dress quite caught my fancy: I like the very full but plain skirt (of course, no one would see it under a table during dinner, right?) and neckline decorated with simple tongues of fabric. The sleeves are small puffs of the same fabric, covered with very sheer gauze, and the headdress a handsome white and blue-striped turban decorate with ostrich plumes. This November Ackermann’s print gets my vote!
This is an interesting print not just because the Evening Dress it depicts is so striking—yellow figured satin with white piping on the bodice and red on the ruched ruffles on the skirt, as well as nosegays of red and white roses—but because from here (December) on until Ackermann’s ceases publication the following year, the fashion illustration style begins to change. You’ll still see some of the same meticulous artwork in next year’s prints, but also several done in a less detailed and realistic style.
What do you think of the second half of 1828’s fashions?