Coat/Jacket Semi-fitted, thigh-length, single or duble-breasted, high fastenings, narrow lapels, sleaves cuff or cuff less, flap and welt pockets, breast pocket, wool cloth.
Waistcoat Fitted, single-breasted, collarless, high fastening, welt pockets, silk or velvet, matching jacket.
Trousers Narrow, wool cloths.
Shirt High stiff collar and cuffs, wing collars, plain fronts, linen and fine cotton.
Colour Dark and subdued,  blue,  grey, brown, green,  black popular;  trousers jackets, and waistcoats often matching.
Accessories Top hats, bowlers, homburgs, cravats, bow ties, and neck ties, gloves, short boots, lace up  shoes, some spats, walking canes.




1876:  Formal attire. Gray double breasted coat, buttoned high to reveal the waistcoat. completing the ensemble are darker grey trousers, a black silk top hat ,white gloves, spats, and a walking cane.    *











9.   A woman dressed in a day gown from about 1877. The line of the gown is becoming more vertical and the bustle has begun to collapse, the fullness has now slipped down the skirt. It is cut in the princess style with no waist seams. In this photo the transition to the long slender line of 1879-80 is incomplete, the skirt still requires some form of tournure to support the back fullness.


1869 - 1889: Draped Skirts and Bustles

Skirts: very often in two layers: underskirt often trimmed at hem, overskirt is shorter and draped. Overskirt can be like an apron or divided like 18thC panniers.

1869 - 1874: simple knee length apron shaped draped overskirt. Occasional divided overskirts. Bustle silhouette is round ‘69-’72 and angular ‘73-’74.

1875 - 1876: silhouette narrows from hips down. Skirts usually one layer, trimmed to imitate two layers. Asymmetric drapery and trains common. Bustle slipping down.

1877 - 1879: slim silhouette. May be made in one piece to emphasise slim line. Drapery limited to back and at thigh level. Trains common and almost no bustle.

1880 - 1882: slim, two piece dresses with no train. Symmetrical drapery and pannier effect. No bustle. Fancy puffs and shirring common decorations.

1883 - 1886: bustle returns and grows larger. Asymmetric apron draping for overskirts.

1887 - 1889: large, horizontal bustle, reduces in 1889. Simple vertical effects, created of panels of contrast fabric or trim.

Skirts are fully lined throughout, occasional princess styles only lined to knee level.

Bayaleuse (dust ruffle) underneath hem, especially on trained skirts. Gored panels at front can be straight or gored at back depending on style.

Bodices: in 1869 they are short waisted but get longer through the 1870s, to where they extend over the hips (cuirasse bodice). From 1877 to 1882, bodices are long enough to form a tunic overskirt. Some are princess cut in the late 1870s. Bodices are close fitting and the front darts are far apart. A CB seam is introduced in the mid ‘70s to help create the close fitting shape. The curved back seams are less curved. From 1877 to 1882, the curved back seams butt the shoulder seam. Only armholes and edges are piped, piping as a rule ending around 1880. After 1882, 2 back seams curve into the armhole. Front fastening with large domed buttons in the early to mid ‘70s, then crochet covered or flat buttons late ‘70s. Small buttons in the 1880s. Boning on CF, front darts, side seams in the 70s, extending to the back seams in the 1880s. Petersham band attached to CB seam and fastening in front to help the fit. All bodices are interlined, with some princess dresses only lined to the hip.

Sleeves: coat style throughout period, having 2 seams. Moderately loose in the early 1870s with wrist trim. Large ruffles out of fashion by 1875. Get tighter through the late ‘70s into the ‘80s with small trim at the wrist. In the 1880s, "long" sleeves are actually 3/4 length, ending a couple of inches above the wrist. By 1889, the sleeve head starts to rise. Evening sleeves can be quite small to non-existant.

Deborah V. McKeown 1997



Where marked (JP) the Drawings and text by John Peacock from his book Men's Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook, 1996 Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. Reproduced by kind permission of Thames & Hudson Ltd, London.

Where marked * Picture and notes are based on notes from Dover Publications.