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'Aft/ J' — 


Exhibition organized by Edward Maeder and coordinated by Dale Carolyn Gluckman 

Essay by Evelyn Ackerman 




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Los Angeles County 
Museum of Art 
Ahmanson Gallery, 
Fourth Level 
June 28-September 9, 1984 

Edited by Andrea P. A. Belloli 
Editorial Consultant: Claire Polakoff 
Designed by Deenie Yudell 
Production Assistant: Robin Weiss 
Head Photographer: 
Lawrence Reynolds 
Photographers: Peter Brenner, 
Jack Ross, and Jeff Conley 

Typeset in Cheltenham faces 
by Continental Typographies Inc, 
Chatsworth, California 

Printed in an edition of 2,500 
by Lithographix, Inc., 
Los Angeles, California 


She Goes into Colors from 

C. D. Gibson, 

A Widow and Her Friends 

(New York: R, H. Russell, 1901). 

Published by 

the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

5905 Wilshire Boulevard 

Los Angeles, California 90036 

Copyright ©1984 

Museum Associates 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

All rights reserved 
Printed in the U.S.A. 

This exhibition was made possible in part by a grant 
from Home Silk Shop, Inc. 

Publication of this catalogue was made possible in part 
by a grant from Home Silk Shop, Inc., and a grant from 
the Dover Foundation. 

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 
Main entry under title: 

Dressed for the country, 1860-1900. 

Exhibition, Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
June28-Sept. 9, 1984. 
Bibliography: p. 

1. Costume- United States -History- 
19th century- Exhibitions. 

2. Costume -Europe -History- 19th century- Exhibitions. 

3. Sport clothes- United States- History- 
19th century- Exhibitions. 

4. Sport clothes -Europe -History- 
19th century- Exhibitions. 

I. Maeder, Edward. 11. Ackerman, Evelyn. 
111. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 
GT610.D74 1984 391 84-9728 
ISBN 0-87587-121-6 


Edward Maeder 

10 • DRESSED FOR THE COUNTRY: 1860-1900 
Evelyn Ackerman 

11 -Men's Clothing: 1860-1900 

12 • Women's Clothing: 1840-1870 

14 • The Impact of the Sewing Machine 

14 • Fashion Publications, Department Stores, and Mail Order Catalogues 

17 • New Concepts in Health and Attire 

19 • "Hygienic" Clothing and Changing Attitudes in Health Reform 

21 • The Feminine Silhouette: 1880-1900 

22 • Stepping Out into the Country 







Figure 1 . 

Multicolored Printed Silk Girl's Dress; United States, c. 1860-65 (no. 26). 



A hundred years ago, enjoyment of the outdoors as a desirable 
leisure-time activity was a fairly new phenomenon. Both large 
and small urban centers in America and Europe had grown to a 
great extent as a result of increased industrialization. 
Overpopulation and a lack of proper sanitation had turned many cities 
into unpleasant and dangerous places. In possession of an increasing 
amount of spare time, partially as a result of the recent invention of 
numerous labor-saving devices, city dwellers began to seek more 
congenial environments to which they might escape on weekends and 
for vacations. These forays into the countryside for sports and leisure 
activities were facilitated by the newly developed railroads and the 
improvement of living standards for the middle classes. 

The creation of specific types of clothing for particular sports and 
outdoor activities did not occur until nearly the last decade of the nine- 
teenth century. People at their leisure in the country were not really 
dressed comfortably for relaxed pastimes but were dressed, as in the 
city, to present themselves in a manner that would be acceptable to 
their peers, for one did not go to the country alone. Virtually every out- 
door activity was a social one, with the possible exception of fishing. 
Social activities involved family, both immediate and extended, as well 
as neighbors and friends. A picnic, for example, was one of the few 
acceptable situations in which eligible young men could see and be 
seen by marriageable young ladies (pi. 1). Even children at play wore 
clothes just a little less elaborate than those they would have worn to 
church (pi. 2; figs. 1-2). Children were required to maintain a certain 
decorum and order, and much of their training took place on family 

Dressed for the Country: 1860-1900 was conceived during curatorial 
discussions of the museum's exhibition celebrating the 1984 Olympics, 
A Day in the Country: Impressionism and the French Landscape. It was 
felt that a visual presentation of period clothing from America and 
Europe, shown in the context of photographic blowups of contem- 

porary pen and ink drawings by the American artist Charles Dana Gib- 
son, would shed some light on the diverse reasons why people of the 
late nineteenth century spent more time outdoors. Fashion became vir- 
tually universal with the simultaneous publication of Harper's Bazar on 
both sides of the Atlantic after 1868. Thus it is possible to paint a gen- 
eralized, but accurate picture of the end of the century based on Ameri- 
can and European (particularly English) costumes in the museum's 
collection, which includes a broad range of Victorian dress for men, 
women, and children. Since transformations in men's dress were mini- 
mal during this era, the focus of the exhibition, and of Evelyn 
Ackerman's fine essay in this catalogue, is women's clothing, which 
went through the most extreme changes between 1860 and 1900. These 
changes are a barometer reflecting trends in society's attitude toward 
women, toward personal hygiene, and toward sports and leisure them- 
selves, the subjects of Dressed for the Country: 1860-1900. 

Figure 2. 
Burgundy, White, and Gray Silk Taffeta Girl's Dress; United States, c. 1877-80 (no. 34). 



AS in all ages, clothing in nine- 
teenth-century America and 
Europe was a means of express- 
ing the underlying values of soci- 
ety and its aesthetic priorities. During the 
Victorian period both men's and wom- 
en's dress reflected a recently industri- 
alized society's preoccupation with 
material things. Throughout the 1800s 
the dominant forms in feminine fashions 
reflected women's dependence and 
helplessness by rendering them unable 
to move with ease or do anything stren- 
uous. This was accomplished by means 
of tightly laced corsets, heavy undergar- 
ments, very small armholes, and other 
means of bodily confinement through 
dress. Ostentatious women's costume 
provided a way for the newly rich man to 
advertise his ability to care for his wife 
and daughters; their clothing was the 
most obvious means to let the world 
know how successful he was. 

Men were in charge of the Victorian 
business world. The expanding economy 
over which they presided in the 1860s 
was mirrored by the expanded and exag- 
gerated silhouette of women's clothing. 
In the 1870s and '80s, when wide skirts 
disappeared, they were replaced by nar- 
rower ones that had complicated, over- 
ornamented surfaces reflecting the 
conspicuous consumption characteristic 
of the period. Women's place throughout 
the century was in the home, as wife, 
childbearer, and mother. Even middle- 
class houses were usually large and 
filled with children. Not only did the well- 


to-do family man not want his wife to 
work, he wanted others to know that she 
did not have to leave the home. Servants 
were abundantly available from a large 
labor pool of the less fortunate. 

As a result of the Industrial Revolution 
large segments of the rural population in 
both Europe and America began moving 
to the urban centers where factories were 
located. In these new settings men 
continued to play their traditional village 
games, while many city dwellers who vis- 
ited the country or traveled, often by 
railroad, had contact with sports like 
hunting and fishing for the first time. The 
seaside, inland lakes, and rivers were 
now readily accessible, and increasing 
numbers of people participated in swim- 
ming, sailing, and rowing. Such excur- 
sions placed an emphasis on physical 
activity, and fashion slowly responded to 
the demands of more vigorous 

The ideal of sportsmanship was first 
developed in the nineteenth century from 
team games played in the English public 
schools. These games spread to univer- 
sities and specialized clubs in England 
and America. Besides team games, other 
athletic pursuits began to be included in 
the sports curriculum of these institu- 
tions and organizations. The competitive 
nature of organized sports led to the 
need for universal rules. With their adop- 
tion, teams from widespread localities 
could play against one another. The need 
to distinguish between teams led to the 
development of special sports uniforms. 

MEN'S CLOTHING: 1860-1900 

As economic conditions and edu- 
cational opportunities improved 
in the second half of the nine- 
teenth century, and as leisure time 
increased, more and more men partici- 
pated in athletics of some kind. Thus the 
need arose for appropriate sports cloth- 
ing for men, who were unhampered by 

the same codes of modesty to which 
women were subjected. By the 1860s and 
70s a steady stream of new inventions, 
the introduction of new textiles, and the 
growth of the ready-made clothing indus- 
try (trends that, as we shall see, affected 
women's dress as well) made it possible 
to begin fulfilling this function. 

Reflecting the Victorian male's need 
for conformity and respectability, mas- 
culine fashions between 1860 and 1900 
showed much less variety and flamboy- 
ance than did feminine fashions of the 
same period. Throughout the nineteenth 
century a man's dress generally con- 
sisted of three basic elements: coat, 
waistcoat, and trousers. Within these 
confines more changes appeared in 
detailing than in cut and style. 

Fitted, knee-length breeches, the fa- 
vored form of pants for men during the 
eighteenth century, survived into the 
1800s for horseback riding, especially 
when hunting. Long trousers were the 
mode for every day, though their cut var- 
ied somewhat during the Victorian era. 
Knickerbockers, a loose kind of 
breeches, made their appearance in the 
1860s, being used for country and sports 
wear. Their popularity continued well 
into the twentieth century. 

During the 1800s the two main types of 
daytime coat worn by men were the frock 
coat and morning coat. The former 
evolved from a military coat worn during 
the last years of the eighteenth century. In 
either a single- or double-breasted form 
it had a long waist, which was seamed, 
and a short, full skirt. The frock coat was 
the favored style until the 1850s, when 
the morning coat, which had evolved 
from a curved, cutaway coat worn for 
horseback riding earlier in the century, 
became dominant. Each coat incor- 
porated the de rigeur standards of perfect 
cut and fit set by Beau Brummell, the 
most influential arbiter of men's fashion 
during the early part of the century. 


Brummell insisted that the perfect male 
image be an uncluttered one that could 
only be achieved through a perfectly tai- 
lored coat. As symbols of Victorian re- 
spectability and products of the English 
tailor's art, both the frock and morning 
coats were staples of the masculine 
wardrobe from the middle to the end of 
the 1800s. 

Besides the morning coat and frock 
coat, by the 1860s a shorter jacket, the 
lounge jacket, had become a popular 
form of apparel for informal country and 
seaside wear. It had a looser cut for 
greater comfort, resulting in part from 
the elimination of the waist seam. One of 
its distinctive features was its visible 
pockets. Its form survived basically un- 
changed from 1870 until the end of the 
century and formed the basis for the 
man's jacket we know today. At the end of 
the 1860s an important variation of this 
style, known as the Norfolk jacket, devel- 
oped. It was cut full, belted, and pleated 
front and back. Unlike the lounge jacket, 
however, it was only worn in the country. 
Another variation of the short jacket, one 
with patch pockets, which had been 
worn somewhat earlier for cricket and 
tennis, became the forerunner of the 
popular blazer of the 1880s and '90s, 
when it was used only for sports wear. 

WOMEN'S CLOTHING: 1840-1870 

Throughout the Victorian age the 
focal point of the fashionable 
woman's silhouette was a slender 
waist. By its exaggerated small- 
ness, such a waist emphasized the phys- 
ical and symbolic sites of her woman- 
hood, her larger breasts and hips, thus 
imparting the information that her role 
centered on childbearing in what was 
basically a family-oriented society. 

The garment that permitted a woman 
to achieve the illusion of an extremely 
slender waist was the corset. Even young 
girls wore them, compressing their 

waists to unnaturally narrow dimen- 
sions. Corsets were often directly respon- 
sible for women's fainting spells and 
sometimes caused permanent damage 
to their health. As early as 1829, a Scot- 
tish doctor and health reformer, Andrew 
Combe, had written an article about the 
ill effects on a woman's physical well- 
being that might result from a lifelong 
use of tightly laced corsets.' By mid-cen- 
tury he had been joined by others as vo- 
cal as himself, such as the American 
Amelia Bloomer, after whom bloomers 
were named.- Although separated by an 
ocean. Combe and Bloomer shared the 
belief that women's dress could be 
healthy, beautiful, utilitarian, and sen- 
sual. Their ideas, however, were ac- 
cepted only by a very few.^ 

Although the most direct method of 
securing the desired effect of a dimin- 
ished waist was through the use of a 
tightly laced corset, other design 
elements were employed at various times 
to emphasize and enhance this part of 
the female anatomy. In the 1840s the 
popular bell-shaped skirt carried the 
observer's eye upward in a gentle, but 
continuous movement from ground to 
waist. Yet its necessary foundation of 
numerous layers of petticoats added an 
even greater restriction to the already 
tight lacing at the waist. This exaggerated 
confinement of a woman's body was car- 
ried yet further by the encasement of her 
arms in sleeves with armholes posi- 
tioned two or more inches below the 
tops of her shoulders. This allowed only 
very limited movement. 

The basic symmetry created by the 
bell-shaped skirt of the 1840s did not 
change in the '50s, although, like the Vic- 
torian economy, the skirt's silhouette 
continued to expand. Replacing the lay- 
ers of petticoats, which could no longer 
support the wider skirts, the crinoline 
became popular. Developed from a 
horsehair petticoat during the late 1830s, 


'Has it occurred to you that there is 
one article of woman's dress so 
constructed that, when clasped 
around the waist, it applies this 
pressure-not to the extent of in- 
stant death indeed, but yet to such 
an extent that those who wear it 
live at a dying rate? The corset is 
the name of this instrument of 
human torture." 

Caroline E. Hastings, M. D. (quoted in Woolson, ed., 1974, p. 54). 

and with insertions of steel, whalebone, 
or cane in its base, the crinoline per- 
formed its function as an undergarment 
that supported the skirt with great effi- 
ciency. Its use continued into the 1860s, 
although the symmetry of the bell-shaped 
skirt was modified: its front was flattened 
and its back was slightly extended (pi. 3). 
The crinoline was synonymous with 
the fashion of the 1850s and '60s. An 
engaging weapon of flirtation, it caused 
the skirt it supported to sway in sensuous 
movements. It also may be said to have 
been an appropriate symbol of the Vic- 
torian bourgeois world, as the bold 
expansiveness of the skirt over the crino- 
line proclaimed the ostentation of the 
woman who wore it and the economic 
security of the world she inhabited. 


The sewing machine, although in- 
vented in the 1840s and improved 
throughout the following decade, 
was not mass produced — and 
was therefore not available to most mid- 
dle-class consumers — until the 1860s. 
When it became affordable it revolution- 
ized the field of fashion for the house- 
wife, as it already had begun to transform 
the commercial, ready-made clothing in- 
dustry.'' It also inspired the creation of 
new businesses, among which were fam- 
ily sewing machine and pattern-making 
companies.'' The need to create strong, 
durable threads compatible with sewing 
machine use also spawned a new indus- 
try. In fact the sewing machine had a 
significant effect on every aspect of 
clothing production. 

Although early sewing machines were 
expensive, their cost could be justified 
because of what they could do and the 
time they could save by comparison with 
handwork. Sewing machines were one of 
the first widely advertised consumer 
products. Perhaps the one maker most 
instrumental in reaching the retail con- 

sumer was the Singer Sewing Machine 
Company. Its owner, Isaac Singer, 
applied his enormous energies to an 
aggressive selling campaign directed 
toward the housewife. He glamorized 
selling, acquired patents to improve his 
machines' functions, and eventually 
brought their price down, making the 
home sewing machine a practical and 
affordable consumer appliance. 

The invention of the sewing machine 
and the thousands of patents that made it 
practical contributed to the rapid growth 
of the mass-produced clothing industry 
in the nineteenth century, especially in 
America.*^ New machines for cutting and 
pressing clothes made their manufacture 
faster and cheaper. In order to keep this 
burgeoning industry functioning and 
growing, it was necessary to have a large 
labor force, which, in the United States, 
took the form of immigrants, both skilled 
and unskilled. Improvements in distribu- 
tion, retailing, advertising, and sales- 
manship influenced the spread and ac- 
ceptance of ready-made clothing. Its 
mass production was an important 
aspect of the breakdown of class distinc- 
tions in America during the late nine- 
teenth century, for the sameness of the 
clothing produced by these means 
tended to blur whatever visible social dif- 
ferences remained. By the end of the 
century it was not always possible to tell 
city dwellers from country folk or rich 
men from poor ones. 




Fashion magazines and news- 
papers, which had gained a re- 
spectable group of readers since 
the eighteenth century, underwent 
significant changes during the 1860s. 
Prior to that time most fashion publica- 
tions were small in size and illustrated 
with charming, but expensive hand-col- 


The Singer Manufacturing Co. 

Sewing Machine Makers for the World. 


Singer Sewing Machine 




Light-Running, Noiseless and Durable. 

Every Conceivable Labor-Saving Device 


Sold Direct to the Consumer. 


COTTi x>a'^P-y Offices iix E-cr-ex'37- Cit^r 

T-r-i -t]=Le C±A7-±l±25eci "^;^7■o3?lc3-. 

ored engravings. Their largest audience 
was the upper middle class. By the 
1860s, however, the restructuring of for- 
mat to include an increased page size, 
cheaper papers, and less sophisticated 
illustrations reflected the "invasion of the 
fashionable world by people of the mid- 
dle class who depended less on birth 
and wealth than on ability...."'' The so- 
ciological signihcance of this further 
democratization of fashion was far- 
reaching and lasting. 

Slightly earlier a new pastime had 

been added to the daily life of even the 
most suppressed Victorian housewife: 
shopping in department stores. This 
allowed women the freedom to venture 
into a new sphere of activity, relieved 
them of the tedium of caring for home 
and family, and introduced an unprec- 
edented degree of choice into their lives. 
The establishment of these emporiums 
of mass merchandising began as early as 
1852 in the United States.*^ Their impor- 
tance and growth were a result of the 
variety of services they offered under one 


roof, available for the first time to all seg- 
ments of society. These included a one- 
price policy for everyone, ready-made 
clothing for the entire family, equal treat- 
ment regardless of wealth, and the avail- 
ability of a large range of choices. 

For those who lacked transportation 
from their homes to the department 
stores, newly formed mail order busi- 
nesses provided a viable solution. One of 
the first companies to begin selling by 
mail was Montgomery Ward. Only three 
years after it opened for business in 1872, 
its one-page catalogue had grown to sev- 
enty-two pages. This catalogue finally 
evolved into a fully illustrated offering of 
a diversified selection of goods from 
apparel to home furnishings. Rural resi- 
dents, who formed a large percentage of 
the American population during the 
nineteenth century, were quick to take 
advantage of the new way to purchase 
needed commodities. 

While clothing for all members of the 
family comprised one of the major cate- 
gories of merchandise available through 
mail order catalogues, a profitable ad- 
junct was the offering of patterns for the 
housewife to use when sewing her own 
garments. This not only permitted her to 
save money but also gave her the oppor- 
tunity to recreate the fashionable styles 
disseminated in fashion magazines such 
as Harper's Bazar Even the fashions of 
Charles Worth, ^ the premier designer of 
this period, were widely imitated. Novel 
mass-produced textiles of great richness 
and variety were available to help accom- 
plish this task. 


The radical changes in the clothing 
industry by 1868 were partially 
responsible for the discontinued 
use of the crinoline and similar 
supports. Many factors contributed to a 
change in the aesthetic of female beauty 
from idealized frailty to a more full-bod- 

ied, lush type of female. In women's 
clothing of this period emphasis was as- 
signed to the profile. From below the 
waist — still encased in tight laces to 
diminish its size — bunched, poufed, 
and embellished mounds of fabric 
extended at the back, supported by a 
bustle, thus pressing the wearer forward 
into a stance known as the "Grecian 

By the 1870s serious attention began 
to be given to the creation of women's 
clothing that combined considerations 
of health and exercise with those of 
contemporary ideals of beauty. A public 
outpouring of criticism against the evils 
of crowded cities, the destructiveness of 


commercial greed, and the disadvan- 
tages and excesses of ever-changing 
fashion that occurred around the same 
time was one of the precursors of a new 
concept of women and their role in soci- 
ety — indeed, a new concept of their very 
essence. Some "strong-minded" women 
who behaved and dressed daringly were 
slowly making their presence known 
both in the public arena and on the 
printed page. Nevertheless, in a society 
dominated by men, assailing the male 
fantasy of the gentle female whose tender 
ministrations could instantly overcome 
the daily irritations experienced by the 
family breadwinner was a monumental 

The struggle for women's rights en- 
gaged the attention of many reformers, 
both male and female, during the last 
forty years of the nineteenth century. 
There was much powerful opposition to 
the women's rights movement. In the 
press and elsewhere, women's rights ad- 
vocates were constantly accused of being 
unfeminine; in newspaper descriptions 
and cartoons the aspects of women re- 
formers' behavior and dress considered 
to be masculine were emphasized and 
distorted. These distortions totally 
disregarded the fact that elements of 
male attire occasionally were used in 
female fashions. Toward the end of the 
century neckties, boaters, long lapels, 
and "mannish" shirts had become a part 
of many feminine wardrobes, such as 
those depicted in the popular illustra- 
tions of Charles Dana Gibson's much- 
admired American beauties. 

The numerous historical revivals char- 
acteristic of the Victorian period were, in 
fact, also protests in favor of certain types 
of social reform. The Pre-Raphaelites, for 
example, retreated from the crassly com- 
mercial world in which they lived to the 
unreality of medievalism. Although they 
attempted to recreate the clothing of the 
Middle Ages and Renaissance, they were 

unsuccessful as fashion innovators. 
However, they did influence a change in 
contemporary notions of ideal feminine 
beauty to a type that echoed the appear- 
ance of women painted by the Italian Re- 
naissance artist Sandro Botticelli: long- 
limbed females with sinuously curving 
bodies. The dress style most suited to 
this type of figure was the "princess" 
gown, which first became popular in the 
mid-1870s. Cut in one piece with the 
bodice, it was designed to be close-fit- 
ting and to flow in a continuous line from 
shoulder to foot. A gentle curve was the 
result, but only when the wearer stood 
upright. One of the major drawbacks of 
the princess style was that it was uncom- 
fortable to wear, and it was soon 



In 1873 a noted lecturer and literary 
essayist, Abba Louisa Goold 
Woolson, arranged a series of lec- 
tures that she and four women physi- 
cians would give in Boston. These lec- 
tures, published at a later date, were ail 
on the subject of health reform in dress. 
Their principal concerns were the 
unhealthy, even crippling aspects of 
contemporary dress. Mrs. Woolson 
summed up her own position in a brief 
statement: "[Contemporary] dress vio- 
lates health in three important ways: first, 
by its compression of vital parts of the 
body; second, by its great weight; and, 
third, by the unequal temperature which 
it induces.""^ Although none of the lec- 
turers directly confronted the problem of 
dress as a symbolic affirmation of wom- 
en's subjugation, Mrs. Woolson — who 
could as well have been speaking in 
1984 — did assert: "With proper clothing 
and proper training, [girls] will be en- 
abled to grow up into strong-bodied, 
strong-limbed, clear-headed, warm- 
hearted, rosy, happy women, proud of 
their womanhood, surrounded by hus- 
band and children, if they prefer domes- 
tic life, but held in equal honor and es- 
teem, if, for any reasons which may seem 
to them good, they choose to devote 
themselves, with self-reliant energies, to 
other labors...."" 

The effect on fashion of people like 
Mrs. Woolson was minimal. The first se- 
rious attempt to reach large and diverse 
segments of the population in order to 
improve the hygienic aspects of dress 
occurred in 1884, the year of the Interna- 
tional Health Exhibition in London. As 
the most comprehensive exhibition on 
the subject to take place in the nine- 
teenth century, it included among the 
displays clothing specifically designed to 
be "sanitary." Nonetheless, the feminine 

fashions shown were meant to enhance 
the women wearing them. This exhibi- 
tion had an entire section devoted to 
dress for sport. One garment, the divided 
skirt, made its appearance for the first 
time in one of the displays, consistently 
arousing spectator curiosity and attract- 
ing large crowds. For the remainder of 
the decade, this bifurcated garment was 
the subject of impassioned controversy. 
It was only in the 1890s that it gained 
public acceptance. 

One influential person involved with 
the International Health Exhibition was 
the English architect E. W. Godwin. He 
agreed with many nineteenth-century 
physicians that for dress to be hygienic, it 
was necessary to wear wool next to the 
skin to purge the body of impurities 
through perspiration. Also active in the 
cause of hygienic clothing was a German 
physician. Dr. Gustav Jaeger, '^ who in- 
sisted that the wool must be knitted and 
that it should not be bleached or dyed. 
His views were already known in Eng- 
land, and a garment of the type he fa- 
vored was shown in the International 
Health Exhibition. 

Dr. Jaeger's knitted underwear was a 
boon for the active person, providing two 
important features: flexibility and 
warmth. His knitted garment provided 
the basis for many twentieth-century in- 
novations. Most clothing reformers in 
England in the 1890s, however, did not 
find the sanitary aspects of the garments 
advocated by Dr. Jaeger to be particularly 
suitable to their cause. Geared more to 
the principle of democracy than to hy- 
giene, they favored the wearing of Eng- 
lish tweeds, viewing them as appropriate 
dress because of the fabric's humble ori- 
gins. These endorsements for the use of 
tweeds eventually led to their status as 
high fashion for country wear. 

Dr. Jaeger's advice regarding the 
avoidance of dyes in textiles generally 
went unheeded by the public. Fashion ar- 


biters, however, possibly under the influ- 
ence of noted artist James McNeill Whis- 
tler and of William Morris and his Arts 
and Crafts associates, did begin to favor 
more subdued colors. The bright, heavy, 
or oppressive color schemes (both in 
fashion and home furnishings) which 
had dominated Victorian taste for so long 
were replaced after 1890 by less harsh 
color combinations and an avoidance of 
startling contrasts.'-^ 


In a seeming backlash against reform 
of any kind, by 1884 fashionable 
women had given up what was 
thought to be the "natural" appear- 
ance of the princess cut. It was replaced 
by a style that almost mimicked the one 
popular around 1870, whose profile pre- 
sented its best view. However, the stiff 
extension at the back just below the 
waist was now accompanied by a tight- 
fitting bodice and sleeves, dispensing 
with all frills, folds, and bows (pi. 4). By 
1890 the fullness still evident at the cen- 
ter back of the straight skirt was the last 
vestige of the bustle. What had started in 
the first year of the decade as a small 
puffed sleeve was expanded to enor- 
mous widths by 1895.'^ To balance the 
unusual width of this vast sleeve, the bot- 
toms of skirts were widened, while their 
tops lay smoothly over the hips. A series 
of cleverly cut gores was the basis of this 
type of skirt construction. 

After 1895, when sleeve widths began 
to decrease again, a more sinuous line 
appeared, one that was greatly influ- 
enced by the fluid curves of Art Nouveau. 
The cut of the underlying support — a 
newly designed corset, flat in front and 
extended in the back — forced the pos- 
ture into an undulating configuration. Its 
ingenious construction not only threw 
the prominent bust forward but also 
forced the hips backward; thus did 
women achieve the desired silhouette 

and remain in bondage to fashion's dic- 
tates. The 1890s valued the mature, statu- 
esque woman. Having the adolescent fig- 
ure of a young girl was a disadvantage, 
for clothing was designed to reinforce 
the well-rounded shape of a robust 
female. The Victorian ideal of the nurtur- 
ing, fecund woman continued unaltered, 
though possibly bruised. 

As early as 1888 the Rational Dress 
Society of England had advocated the 
replacement of the corset with a chemise 
of strong, supportive fabric to which a 
divided skirt could be buttoned instead 
of the usual petticoat. The reformers in 
this organization were opposed to "any 
fashion in dress that either deforms the 
figure, impedes the movement of the 
body, or in any way tends to injure 
health"; they advocated "health, comfort. 




All Sl\k->. 

Any ladv wlio will p;i\e a 
little study will discover that 
what slie has cninplaiucd of 
in all other i;annents lias been 
obviated by our new jiatent. 
We send our iiroducts to every 
State and 'J'erritory in the 
I'nion. They are 

Faultless in Fit, 
Satisfactory in Results. 

F.very garment is marker! in- 
side of sateen lininf; (look for 


I'lUy no others tnilil you see 
our iir-iv piiti-tits- ^\'hen ii(it 
foiuul with >onr best dealers, 
SKXn STAMP direct to us 
for catalogue and ]irice-list. 
and we will send rules 
selt-measurciuent and sam|iles 
of materials to any jiart of 
the country, and warrant sat- 


109 Kingston St., Boston, 3Iass. 


and beauty"^5 as the bases for adopting 
any style of clothing. As late as 1897 the 
women in this movement were still trying 
to convince the members of their sex to 
wear garments that allowed for greater 
comfort and less fatigue, particularly so 
that exercise in the open air could be 
truly beneficial, as well as more enjoy- 
able. Nevertheless, most women in the 
1890s were unwilling to implement the 
wisdom of this message. The important 
end-of-the-century innovation in wom- 
en's fashion, the practical three-piece 
suit with its plain skirt, tailored jacket, 
and loose blouse, could be adapted for 
dress or sports wear with great ease. 
However, it took two world events that 
occurred during the early years of the 
twentieth century — the death of Queen 
Victoria in 1901 and World War 1— to 
inspire truly radical changes in the way 
women perceived themselves and what 
they wore. 


In the second half of the nineteenth 
century walking was an accepted 
form of exercise for both men and 
women. It required neither special 
clothing nor any equipment and was a 
necessary adjunct to many social func- 
tions (pi. 5). Like walking, fishing did not 
necessarily require special clothes or 
great strength, and it also was consid- 
ered a suitable activity for women. Fish- 
ing offered a socially acceptable oppor- 
tunity for men and women to be together; 
in fact it was an advantage for a man to 
accompany a woman because he could 
navigate the boat, bait the hook, and 
remove the fish if her delicate sensibili- 
ties prevented her from doing so herself. 
If a woman did not wish to fish but did 
enjoy the pleasures of boating, rowing 
and canoeing were athletic activities in 
which she could participate without 
incurring the censure of society. For 
these forms of limited open-air exercise. 

women did not require special clothing, 
although a relaxation of some of the 
more restrictive aspects of fashion was 
seen, such as the shortening of skirts to 
barely touch the ground. 

Horseback riding provided abundant 
exercise and was used to imply elevated 
social status. It was an expensive sport, 
requiring special, costly clothing for both 
sexes, as well as the ability to maintain or 
rent horses. Members of the middle class 
who aspired to a higher social position 
were free to adopt the accoutrements of 
horseback riding as an affirmation of 
their enhanced place in society. Aside 
from the pleasures derived from the 
sport, horseback riding was an integral 
part of the activity of hunting. 

The wide skirt popular from the 1840s 
to the '60s did not interfere with an Eng- 
lishwoman's ability to horseback ride, 
since she did so on a sidesaddle. In fact 
fashion's concessions to the needs of the 
female rider were minimal and did not 
alter the basic feminine silhouette of the 
time. Although women wore breeches 
beneath their riding skirts, these were 
not revealed until the 1920s, when 


women, like men, began riding astride. 
The fine tailoring of English feminine rid- 
ing habits of the 1860s and 70s was the 
basis for the tailor-made wool dresses of 
later years. 

At about the same time that bustles 
found wide acceptance, the new sport of 
roller skating came into vogue. By the 
1870s it had become so popular that 
buildings with beautifully crafted wood 
floors were constructed specifically for 
roller skaters in many American cities. 
Women, with the drapes of their back- 
ward-thrust skirts and the curls of their 
backward-poufed hair flying in seeming 
abandonment as they mastered the in- 
tricacies of the sport, conquered it with 
aplomb, creating a picture of supreme 
confidence that was matched by the 
aggressive forward-backward push of 
their fashionable silhouettes. 

The winter counterpart of roller skat- 
ing was, of course, ice skating, a sport 
ideally suited to Victorian culture. 
Although requiring skill, it could be 
learned by men and women alike. It was 
an excellent excuse for courting couples 
with leisure time to be together in close 
physical proximity. In most other social 
situations, touching or holding hands 
was not permitted. Ice skating did not 
require special clothing, except for 
slightly shorter skirts for women (pis. 6- 
7). Moreover, the cost of a pair of ice 
skates was minimal, so that the sport 
was widely practiced by all classes. 

The explosion in reform activities dur- 
ing the Victorian era was paralleled by a 
similar one in sports activities. Ball 
games, which had been played mainly by 
children or country folk for most of the 
first half of the nineteenth century, had 
become socially acceptable and widely 
practiced by the 1860s. Two games that 
attracted popular attention on both sides 
of the Atlantic were lawn games: croquet 
and tennis. Croquet, the first to appear,'^ 
was enjoyed by both sexes during the 


1860s. It was an ideal sport for women of 
the time, as it required little strength and 
no special clothing. The wide crinolines 
worn during the '60s did not interfere 
with women's ability to participate in this 
game. Their skirts were altered only by 
the addition of a looping device with in- 
terior cords that permitted the skirt to be 
raised slightly. For formal games men, 
like women, wore fashionable attire: 
frock coats and top hats. For games 
where a casual appearance was accept- 
able, they wore lounge jackets, knicker- 
bockers, and hats. Croquet provided 
advantages beyond its obvious benefits 
as exercise. Since it could be played by 
both men and women, it possessed a 
desirable social attribute. 

It was not until the 1870s that tennis 
captured the interest of the English lei- 
sured classes. Its roots have been traced 
to a handball game played in ancient 
Greece, but its more modern form was 
introduced in England in 1873 by Major 
Walter C. Wingfield. By the following year 
it was being played in the United States. 
In 1877 tennis tournaments began their 
long history at Wimbledon. This was also 
the year during which a popular pastime 
for women was the embroidering of ten- 
nis aprons — practical clothing acces- 
sories with pockets in which to carry ten- 
nis balls — for their own use. 

At first the influence of tennis on fash- 
ion was slight. Some women dem- 
onstrated their need for practicality by 
wearing special shoes with India rubber 
soles. Also, jersey fabric for tennis 
dresses was introduced in 1879, 
although the dresses were made in the 
then-current mode. This fabric offered 
the advantage of ease of movement 
because of its elasticity. Not until the 
1880s was the fitted bodice, then the 
fashionable style, replaced by a belted 
jacket with somewhat larger armholes, 
thus permitting a bit more freedom for 
the female player. In fact this jacket 


became one of the forerunners of the 
1890s blouse, in turn a component of the 
three-piece suit for women. 

By the 1880s the lounge jacket and 
knickerbockers, commonly worn by men 
on casual occasions, were also used as 
clothing for tennis. Trousers were often 
worn instead of knickerbockers. The 
double-breasted "reefer," a short, boxy 
jacket, was popular for tennis until the 
1890s, when it was replaced by white or 
striped flannel blazers with patch pock- 
ets. Such blazers looked so smart with 
white flannel trousers that the ensemble 

made in their design and mechanical 
parts — wheels (now of the same size) 
with wire spokes, pneumatic tires, ball 
bearings, brakes, cushioned saddles, 
and accessible handlebars — which 
added to their comfort and safety. 

Because of the modest cost of cycling, 
its importance as transportation, and its 
felicitous effects as a form of exercise, 
women began cycling in earnest by the 
late 1880s (pi. 8). Although it gave them 
unprecedented mobility, the question of 
what was both proper and possible for 
women to wear when bicycling often 

became standard on the tennis court. For 
additional comfort men took to wearing 
rubber-soled, soft canvas shoes. 

The introduction of bicycles caused a 
great change in the urban scene. 
Although bicycles were already being 
produced commercially by 1870, their 
early forms, such as the "bone-shakers" 
in England, were not universally popular. 
Even the high-wheeler, introduced in 
1873, was impractical, as it was difficult 
to balance. Convenient, safe bicycles 
were developed only in the 1880s. During 
that entire decade improvements were 

arose, especially because of the number 
of accidents caused by their long skirts. 
By the 1890s feminine cycling dress had 
been adapted to the new sport. Divided 
skirts, even knickerbockers, were used. 
When jackets were worn, they frequently 
were beautifully tailored, creating attrac- 
tive ensembles. 

Golf was another sport that made use 
of the new styles so appropriate for bi- 
cycling. Long the national sport of Scot- 
land, it was not until the 1890s that it 
gained its first acceptance in America, 
becoming popular only in the twentieth 


century. Like riding, golf was a sport con- 
fined to the leisured upper classes. Usu- 
ally played at exclusive clubs, it became 
an affirmation of social status. 

Although golf appeared to involve a 
minimum of physical activity, it actually 
required physical coordination, skill, 
and stamina. While playing, men wore 
what by the 1890s had become well- 
established sports clothing: the Norfolk 
jacket with knickerbockers. To this they 
added one frivolous touch, patterned 
stockings, and one practical touch, a 
peaked cap made of tweed. Women's 
main concession to the needs of the 
sport was the hats they wore. Those bold 
enough to have begun playing the game 
in the 1880s might have worn a hat bor- 
rowed from male attire, the deer stalker, 
while in the '90s they would have worn a 
boater, also derived from a man's hat. 

Over a period of decades, changing 
social, economic, and artistic 
concepts influenced — even 
determined — transformations in 
Victorian dress. As in all ages fashion 
was a slowly evolving process, with past 
and future shapes visible in the clothing 
of any given moment. Transitions in style 
resulting from particular ways of propor- 
tioning and cutting garments bore a 
direct relationship to existing conditions 
and the spirit of the age. Nowhere, per- 
haps, was this more apparent than in the 
history of leisure and sports wear, whose 
origin was linked directly to profound 
changes in everyday life and which has 
become increasingly important in our 
own world. 




Dr. Combe also wrote a book, 
published in Edinburgh in 1834, 
with the ponderous title Princi- 
ples of Physiology applied to the 
preservation of Health and to 
the development of physical 
Education; see Newton, 1974, 
p. 20. 

Contrary to common belief, 
Amelia Bloomer did not invent 
bloomers, nor was she the first 
person to wear them or to sug- 
gest that others do so. Two 
American women, Mary Crayen 
and a Mrs. Noyes, were the first 
to appear in public (in 1848) 
wearing bifurcated garments. 
When Mrs. Bloomer saw them 
thus attired, she recognized the 
practical aspects of their unus- 
ual clothing and began wearing 
similar trousers herself. She also 
wrote about them, advocating 
their use in her journal, The Lily. 
It was not she, but the press, that 
first used the word "Bloomer- 
ism," and it was the public that 
erroneously attributed the inven- 
tion of bloomers to her. See 
Bradfield, 1972, p. 43. 

Charles Reade, a novelist who 
wrote in the 1850s, was — like 
Dr. Combe and Mrs. Bloomer — 
ahead of his time. He not only 
valued a woman for her wit and 
intelligence but also recognized 

the advantages of bloomers as a 
practical garment for women. In 
his short book The Course of 
True Love Never Did Run 
Smooth, the beautiful heroine of 
the second story in the series of 
three, "The Bloomer," is a 
woman embodying these quali- 
ties. Made timid by the realiza- 
tion that her endorsement of the 
bloomer's use could ostracize 
her from society, she was quickly 
won over to its cause when she 
comprehended the hypocrisy of 
its opponents: 

When the conversation began, 
Miss Courtenay looked down on 
the bare idea of the bloomer 

But its vituperators shook her 
opinion by a very simple pro- 
cess, — they gave their reasons. 

"It is awkward and absurd," said 
one, as by way of contrast, she 
glided majestically to the piano 
to sing. As she spoke her foot 
went through her dress, to the 
surprise of — nobody. 

See Reade, n.d., p. 108. 

From the germ of an idea that 
originated in Europe, many men 
contributed to what came to be a 
totally American invention, the 
sewing machine. Overly gen- 
erous historians have credited 
Elias Howe, Jr., with having been 
its sole inventor. Although his 

first American patent, issued on 
September 10, 1846, was for his 
second machine, his contribu- 
tion was but a small part of a 
complex process that led to the 
eventual success and func- 
tionalism of this versatile appli- 
ance. Howe's ownership of 
important patents, however, did 
provide him with the basis for a 
successful suit against the 
Singer Company. Unfortunately it 
was also the basis for a landslide 
of similar legal actions within 
the infant sewing machine in- 
dustry that almost crippled it 
early in the 1850s. Orlando B. 
Potter, the president of one of the 
important companies of that 
time, Grover and Baker, solved 
the problem by convincing the 
other leading manufacturers in 
the industry — Howe, Wheeler 
and Wilson, and Singer — to 
pool their patent rights and form 
a combine. They agreed to this 
strategy, and the name they se- 
lected was the "Sewing-Machine 
Trust and/or the Sewing- 
Machine Combination." See 
Cooper, 1968, p. 41. 

Whereas fine tailoring and haute 
couture, both nineteenth-century 
phenomena, traditionally have 
been identified with England 
and France, respectively, the 
great paper pattern industry was 
first founded in the United 
States. See Arnold, 1966, p.4. 


"From 1842 to 1895 the United 
States issued 7,339 patents on 
sewing machines and acces- 
sories" (Kidwell and Christman, 
1974, p. 75). 


Newton, 1974, p. 41. 

"Some firms were outgrowths of 
dry goods stores, and a few had 
started as specialty clothing 
houses. Marshall Field and Car- 
son Pirie Scott and Co. arrived 
on the Chicago scene in 1852 
and 1854 respectively" (Kidwell 
and Christman, 1974, p. 157). 


When the Englishman Charles 
Worth opened the first haute 
couture establishment in Paris in 
1858, he changed the taste and 
buying habits of fashion-con- 
scious women of the upper 
classes on both sides of the 


Like many other nineteenth-cen- 
tury physicians, these four doc- 
tors deplored the harmful effects 
of the encasing corsets all 
women had to wear in order to 
be fashionable. No one ex- 
pressed this more succinctly 
than Dr. Mary J. Safford-Blake 
when she stated, "The thumb- 
screws of the inquisition might 
have been more painful to bear, 
but they certainly produced less 
harm than do the unyielding 

steels of her corset " See 

Woolson, ed., 1974, pp. 23, 125. 


Ibid., p. 178. 


The famous London store that 

sells beautiful woolen clothing, 
Jaeger's, was established by Dr. 
Jaeger; see Newton, 1974, 
p. 103. 


Women who followed the dic- 
tates of the Aesthetic Movement 
(with which both Whistler and 
Morris, as well as E. W Godwin, 
were identified) preferred "dull 
greens, peacock blue and dull, 
rich reds, or mellow amber- 
yellows." See Aslin, 1969, p. 157. 
Gilbert and Sullivan, in their 
comic opera Patience, satirized 
the taste of the proponents of 
this movement, especially Oscar 
Wilde and Algernon Swinburne, 
models for the leading char- 
acters, Bunthorne and Gros- 
venor: ultra poetical 


out-of-the-way young man.' 

A pallid and thin young man, 

A haggard and lank young 


A greenery, yallery, Grosvenor 


Footin-the grave young man! 

See Taylor, ed., 1941, pp. 167- 


In the 1830s the expanded ver- 
sion of the puffed sleeve was 
called a gigot (from the French 
word for "leg of lamb"). In the 
1890s, when the puff once again 
widened, it was known as the 
"leg-of-mutton" sleeve. The 
shoulder seam of the gigot 
sleeve was below the natural 
shoulder, constricting arm 
movement, whereas the seam 
was moved into its natural posi- 
tion just above the edge of the 
shoulder for the leg-of-mutton, 
permitting arm movement. 


Newton, 1974, pp. 116-17. 


"True croquet was brought from 
Ireland to England in the 1850s 
and Lord Lonsdale, the sporting 
peer, was one of the first to lay 
out a court on the lawns of his 
home in the Lake District" 
(Cunnington and Mansfield, 
1969, p. 61). 



The line illustrations used throughout this catalogue are nineteenth-century illustra- 
tions reproduced from the following periodicals and books: 

pp. 2-3 A Little Incident, drawing by Charles Dana Gibson from 77?^ Gibson Book I, 
n.d., not paginated. 

p. 10 Worth Tailor Gown from Harper's Bazar 26 (1 July 1 893) : 525. 

p. 13 Corset illustrations from The Delineator 29 (April 1887): 8; rib cage illustra- 
tions and quotation from Woolson, ed., 1974, 47, 54. 

p. 15 Singer sewing-machine advertisement from The Delineator 4\ (May 1893): 4. 

p. 16 Koch and Company Department Store, New York City from The Delineator 43 
(April 1894): 436. 

p. 1 7 Misses ' Coat and Muff from The Delineator 3 1 (January 1 888) : 29. 

p. 18 Golf outfit, drawing by Charles Dana Gibson from The Gibson Book I, n.d., not 

p. 20 Illustration from Woolson, ed., 1974, 182. 

p. 21 Advertisement from Harper's Bazar 26 (23 September 1893): 787. 

pp. 22-23 Princesse Panier Polonaise and Walking Skirt from Harper's Bazar 1 2 
(16 August 1879): 517. 

p. 24 Riding Habit for a Lady from Godey 's Lady 's Book 1 07 (June 1 883-January 
1884): 124. 

p. 25 They Take a Morning Run, drawing by Charles Dana Gibson from A Widow 
and Her Friends by Gibson, 1901, not paginated. 

p. 26 The First Lesson from Godey 's Lady's Book 107 (June 1 883-January 1884): 



Plate 1 . 
Brown and Tan Silk Taffeta Dress; United States, c. 1868-72 (no. 2). 

Plate 2. 

Cerulean Blue Silk Faille Girl's Dress; United States, c. 1870-75 (no. 31). 


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Plate 3. 

Multicolored Silk Taffeta Dress; Red Wool Twill Girl's Dress; Forest Green Wool Twill Boy's Suit; United States 

1867-68; 1868-70; c. 1875 (nos. 1, 30, 32). 

Plate 4. 
Dull Gold Silk Taffeta Dress; United States, c. 1880 (no. 7). 

Plate 5. 

Dark Olive Green Silk Faille Dress; Natural Pongee Silk Boy's Dress; United States 
1886; c. 1885 (nos. 11,38). 

Plate 6. 
Dark Green Brocaded Wool Twill Dress; United States, c. 1896 (no. 15). 

Plate 7. 

Brown, Black, and White Wool Tweed Suit; United States, c. 1895 (no. 14). 

Plate 8. 

Blue-gray Wool and Natural Linen Bicycling Attire; United States, 1888 (no. 12). 




Dress (bodice, skirt, and belt witii baci< 


United States, 1867-68 

Multicolored small chine floral sprigs 
scattered on small black and cream 
windowpane-checked silk taffeta; 
banded trim of green silk taffeta edged 
with black and white silk fringe; green 
silk taffeta-covered buttons 

Gift of Dorothy Dixon 

Dress (bodice and asymmetrical skirt) 
United States, c. 1868-72 

Brown and tan silk taffeta; two-color self 
trim of alternating rows of bands and 
ruffles; exterior back pocket; two-color 
self piping and cream silk button decora- 
tion; brown silk needle-lace buttons on 
bodice front 

Gift of the Estate of Dorothy Gould 



Dress (bodice and trained skirt with 
symmetrical, attached back overskirt) 
United States, c. 1872 

Beige silk and cotton; rust silk box pleat 
and Van Dyke point trim; silk-covered 
sculpted buttons 

Costume Council Fund 


Dress (bodice and trained skirt with 

attached overskirt) 

England, c. 1875 

Pale green silk and wool; knife-pleated 
self trim; matching silk bows at elbows; 
self buttons 

Gift of May Routh 


Walking Dress (bodice and skirt with 

asymmetrical, attached, draped 


United States (?),c. 1878-80 

Dark green wool serge; machine-embroi- 
dered "paisley"-patterned wool trim; rust 
silk twill on bodice front and cuffs; self 
box pleating around hem of skirt 

Gift of Mrs. Frances Osthaus 

Dress (bodice and symmetrical, puffed- 
back skirt with train) 
United States, c. 1880 

Green-beige silk faille; self-piped 
crenelated trim on cuffs, neckline, false 
revers, and train; self box-pleated hem; 
carved mother-of-pearl buttons 

Gift of Mrs. Marie Lathrop Tuttle 



Dress (bodice and skirt) 

United States, c. 1880 

Label: WATKINS robes, ChesnutSt., 

Louisville, KY. 

Dull gold silk taffeta; cream cisele silk 
velvet on dull gold satin ground in skirt 
panels and bodice trim; knife pleats at 
hem; mother-of-pearl buttons v^ith 
marcasite centers 

Gift of Mrs. W. R. Kilgore 

Dress (bodice and skirt with attached 


United States, c. 1879-82 

Lavender-and-white-striped silk taffeta 
combined with olive-drab silk taffeta; 
knife-pleat and flat bow trim; mock polo- 
naise ("Dolly Varden"); lavender silk 
needle-lace and crochet-covered buttons 

Gift of Mrs. James Lockhead 
CR.346.65.1 a,b 

Dress (bodice and symmetrical, puffed- 
back skirt) 
United States (?),c. 1882 

Gray-green silk taffeta; darker green bias 
ruching, ruffles, and ribbon trim; dyed 
and carved mother-of-pearl buttons 

Mrs. Alice F. Schott Bequest 


Riding Habit (jacket and shaped skirt) 

Austria, c. 1885 

Label: Holznarth, We in, I. Kdrnthnerstr. 


Heavy black wool serge; braid trim; silk- 
covered buttons 

Gift of the Pasadena Art Museum 
63.26.8 a,b 


Dress (bodice and skirt) 

United States, 1886 

Dark olive green silk faille; blue, red, 
brown, and gold cisele velvet trim; asym- 
metrical, vertical knife pleats; hip and 
bustle drape; matching bonnet with olive 
green satin ribbon ties 

Gift of Mrs. Albert Weiland 
59.13.1 a,b/.2 


Bicycling Attire (fitted jacket and three- 
quarter-length bifurcated skirt) 
United States, IJ 

Jacket: blue-gray wool; white wool and 
metallic gold braid trim; gilt brass mili- 
tary-style buttons 

Skirt: natural linen; white cotton tape 
trim; bifurcation concealed by front 
panel; mother-of-pearl buttons 

Gift of Bullocks, 7th and Hill streets, 
Los Angeles 
M. 74.24.27 a,b 



United States, c. 1890- 


Unbleached heavy linen; composition 

Gift of Mrs. Louise D. Wilhelm 


Suit (double-breasted coat, bodice, and 


United States, c. 1895 

Brown, black, and white wool tweed; leg- 
of-mutton sleeves; dyed mother-of-pearl 

Gift of Mrs. Grace 0. Johnston Fisher 
A.2354-5 a,b 



Dress (bodice and skirt) 

United States, c. 1896 

Dark green wool twill with brocaded mo- 
tif of white, orange, and red interlocking 
circles; leg-of-mutton sleeves; false 

W. T. Wohlbruck Collection 
37.24.12 a,b 


Riding Habit Qacket, waistcoat, and skirt) 

France, c. 1900 

Jacket and skirt: black wool broadcloth 

Waistcoat: copper-colored pattern with 
rust, blue, green, and gold on charcoal- 
gray silk satin ground; carved mother-of- 
pearl buttons 

Wilma Leithead Wood Bequest 
58.34.10 a-c 


Suit (Norfolk-style jacket and skirt) 

United States, c. 1900-1905 

Tan cotton corduroy; composition 

Gift of Mrs. William James Kuehn et al. 
CR.283.64-2 a,b 




United States, c. 1870 

Dark brown, orange, and gray tattersall- 
checked cotton; button fall front 

Mrs. Alice F. Schott Bequest 


Coat (double-breasted) 

United States, c. 1880 

Gray-green wool twill; black silk satin 
twill lapel trim; black basket-weave silk 

W. T. Wohlbruck Collection 


Country Suit (coat, waistcoat, and 


United States, c. 1875-1900 

Butternut-colored heavy wool twill; 
leather buttons 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey J. 
Hamlin, Jr. 
CR.69.34 a-c 



United States, c. 1890 

Black heavy felted wool; sheared beaver 
collar and cuffs; silk braid trim; corded 
frog-and-toggle fasteners 

Promised Gift of Kent Elofson 


Suit (modified frock coat, waistcoat, and 


England, c. 1900 

Label: Sandon and Co. Savile Row, 


Heather-gray wool worsted; composition 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey J. 
Hamlin, Jr. 
CR.69.41 a-c 


Formal Day Suit (cutaway jacket, 
waistcoat, and trousers) 
United States, c. 1900 

Black wool jacket and waistcoat; gray- 
and-black-striped wool trousers 


Gift of Mrs. Brandner W. Lee, Jr. 
M. 66.61.3 a-c 


Morning Suit (cutaway coat and 


United States, c. 1900-10 

Black wool broadcloth; black silk braid 
trim; black silk buttons 

Gift of Mrs. Howard P. Devol 



Girl's Dress 

England, c. 1860 

Blue and gray cotton organdy printed in 
floral and plaid "ribbon" pattern; lace- 
trimmed, petal-shaped short sleeves 

Gift of Mrs. P. A. Appleyard 


Girl's Dress 

United States, c. 1860-65 

Multicolored printed silk in pink and 
white ombre "ribbon" and dot pattern 
(fabric c. 1828); pink silk braid trim; 
matching triangular fichu; floral- 
patterned glass buttons 

Del Valle Collection 
34.6.1 a,b 


Boy's Suit (jacket and pants) 

United States, c. 1862 

Oatmeal-colored wool tweed; rust silk 
braid trim; flat brass buttons 

Gift of Mrs. Rens R. Effinger 


Boy's Dress (dress and cape) 

United States, c. 1865 

Dress: light orange wool; silk soutache 
trim; scalloped sleeve edges bound with 
buttonhole-stitch embroidery; small, 
conical brass buttons 

Cape: matching fabric; small, turned- 
down collar; white china silk lining 

Gift of Lillian Charlotte Bridgeman 
A.4666.39-2 a,b 


Girl's Dress (dress and overskirt) 

United States, c. 1869 

Red-and-white-printed cotton calico; 
white cotton trim; ruffled overskirt (prob- 
ably added when dress was updated); 
mother-of-pearl buttons 

Gift of Mrs. Frances Presley 



Girl's Dress (dress, overskirt, and bolero) 

United States, c. 1868-70 

Red wool twill; black silk velvet ribbon 
trim; black wool braid edging; glazed 
cotton lining; faceted black glass buttons 

Mrs. Alice F. Schott Bequest 


Girl's Dress (jacket-bodice and puffed- 
back skirt) 
United States, c. 1870-75 

Cerulean blue silk faille; matching silk 
velvet trim; silk velvet buttons 

Mrs. Alice F. Schott Bequest 


Boy's Suit (jacket and kilt) 

United States, c. 1875 


Forest green wool twill; black glass 

Gift of Mrs. Raymond Hoover 
CR.293.64-1 a,b 


Boy's Suit (jacket, waistcoat, and 


United States, c. 1875 

Black silk velvet; black wool braid 
"Hussar" trim; wool-covered buttons 

Gift of Mrs. Janet Felix 
A.6196.52-1 a-c 


Girl's Dress 

United States, c. 1877-80 

Burgundy, white, and gray silk taffeta; 
smocked front; small back bustle; bur- 
gundy satin bows; mother-of-pearl 

Gift of Mrs. Thomas H. Crawford 


Boy's Dress 

Switzerland, c. 1880 

White figured cotton; elaborate machine- 
embroidered cotton eyelet trim 

Gift of Mrs. John Arnett 


Boy's Suit (shirt and detachable 


United States, c. 1880 

Cream wool twill; mock laced front; 
mother-of-pearl buttons 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Dixon 


Girl's Dress 

United States, c. 1880 

White cotton pique; white cotton 
machine-embroidered eyelet trim; 
appliqued white cotton braid in scrolling 
pattern; mother-of-pearl buttons 

Mrs. Alice F. Schott Bequest 


Boy's Dress (coat, pleated skirt, and 


United States, c. 1885 

Natural pongee silk; painted abalone- 
shell buttons 

Gift of Mr. N. A. Abell 
M.78.113.1 a-c 


Girl's Coat 

United States, c. 


Cream wool; white silk ribbon trim; goat- 
hair collar edging; carved mother-of- 
pearl buttons; matching bonnet 

Gift of Mr. Frank Betz 
CR.371.66.1 a,b 



Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fash- 
ion (1860-1940). London: 
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AsLiN, Elizabeth. The Aesthetic 
Movement. New York: Excali- 
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Bentley, Nicholas. The Victorian 
Scene: A Picture Book of the 
Period 1837-1901. London: 
The Hamlyn Publishing Group 
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Blum, Stella. Victorian Fashions 
and Costumes from Harper's 
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Kidwell, Claudia B., and Mar- 
garet C. Christman. Suiting 
Everyone: The Democratiza- 
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Washington, D.C.: The 
Smithsonian Institution Press, 

Newton, Stella Mary. Health, Art 
and Reason. London: John 
Murray, 1974. 

Payne, Blanche. History of Cos- 
tume. New York: Harper and 
Row, 1965. 

Rabun, Josette H., and Mary 
Frances Drake. "Warmth in 
Clothing: A Victorian Perspec- 
tive."Dress9 (1983): 24-31. 

Reade, Charles. The Course of 
True Love Never Did Run 
Smooth. Boston: The Fred- 
erick T Quincy Co., n.d. 

Rinhart, Floyd and Marion. Sum- 
mertime: Photographs of 
Americans at Play 1850-1900. 

New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 
Inc., 1978. 

Saunders, Ann, ed. La Belle 
Epoque. London: Costume 
Society, 1968. 

Taylor, Deems, ed. A Treasury of 
Gilbert and Sullivan. New 
York: Simon and Schuster, 

Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Men's 
Clothes 1600-1900. New York: 
Theatre Arts Books, 1964. 

. The Cut of Women's 

Clothes 1600-1930. New York: 
Theatre Arts Books, 1968. 

WooLSON, Abba Goold, ed. Dress- 
Reform. Boston: Roberts 
Brothers, 1874; New York: 
Arno Press, 1974. 



It is never possible to thank adequately the many individuals who give of their 
time and talent to an exhibition and catalogue of this kind. The invaluable contri- 
butions of the following must be acknowledged, however: Dale Gluckman, assis- 
tant curator, Department of Textiles and Costumes; Evelyn Ackerman; Claire 
Polakoff; Florence Karant and Nola Ewing, curatorial assistants, and Rae Avrutin, sec- 
retary. Department of Textiles and Costumes; Deborah Kraak, museum intern; Jennie 
Macofsky and Jane Feezel, graduate interns; Dallas Lovett, undergraduate intern; an 
army of volunteers including Sandy Rosenbaum, Lorraine Olson, Helen Caputo, Ger- 
trude Schwartz, Tzvia Sadja, and Vincent Risuelo; Pat Reeves, conservator, and Nancy 
Wyatt and Catherine McLean, assistant conservators. Conservation Center; Andrea P. 
A. Belloli; Deenie Yudell, head graphic designer, and her assistant Robin Weiss, Pub- 
lications and Graphic Design; Larry Reynolds, supervisor, and his assistants Peter 
Brenner, Jack Ross, Jeffrey Conley, and Lisa Kahn, Photographic Services; Terry 
Monteleone, assistant director. Grants and Corporate Giving, Office of Development 
and Membership; and Myrna Smoot, assistant director for Museum Programs. The 
exhibition was designed by Dino Di Gerlando of Double Iris Designs. The background 
illustrations were adapted by Elin Waite from drawings by Charles Dana Gibson, and 
airbrushed by Tim Kummerow of Air Designs. Mannequins were prepared with the 
able assistance of sculptor Kent Elofson, moldmaker Inez Owings, painter Lyndall 
Otto, wigmaker Vikki Wood, and hair stylist Melva Myers. International Silks and 
Woolens generously donated fabric for the banner; Carolyn De Mers and Ron Honore 
assisted with its painting. The exhibition has been made possible in part by a grant 
from Home Silk Shop, Inc., through the generosity of Murray Pepper, and funds from 
an anonymous patron of the arts. Finally, publication of this catalogue was made 
possible in part by a grant, through the good offices of Nikki Scheuer, from the Dover 

— E.M. 






Board of Supervisors, 1984 

Deane Dana 

Michael D. Antonovich 

Edmund D. Edelman 

Kenneth Hahn 

Peter F. Schabarum 

Harry L. Hufford 

Chief Administrative Officer 

and Director of Personnel 

Earl A. Powell iii 

Board of Trustees, 
Fiscal 1983-84 

Mrs. F. Daniel Frost 

Julian Ganz, Jr. 

Norman Barker, Jr. 

Eric Lidow 

Charles E. Ducommun 

Mrs. Harry Wetzel 

Donald Spuehler 

Honorary Life Trustees 
Mrs. Freeman Gates 
Mrs. Alice Heeramaneck 
Joseph B. Koepfli 
Mrs. Rudolph Liebig 
Mrs. Lucille Ellis Simon 
John Walker 
Mrs. Herman Weiner 

Mrs. Howard Ahmanson 
William H. Ahmanson 
Howard P. Allen 
Robert 0. Anderson 
Mrs. Anna Bing Arnold 
R. Stanton Avery 
Daniel N. Belin 
Mrs. Lionel Bell 
B. Gerald Cantor 
Edward W. Carter 
Hans Cohn 
Joseph P. Downer 
Richard J. Flamson iii 
Arthur Gilbert 
Stanley Grinstein 
Dr. Armand Hammer 
Felix Juda 

Mrs. Howard B. Keck 
Mrs. Dwight Kendall 
Harry Lenart 
Robert F. Macguire iii 
Mrs. David H. Murdock 
Dr. Franklin D. Murphy 
Mrs. Edwin W Pauley 
Sidney R. Petersen 
Henry C. Rogers 
Richard E. Sherwood 
Nathan Smooke 
Ray Stark 

Mrs. John Van de Kamp 
Hal B. Wallis 
Frederick R. Weisman 
Dr. Charles Z. Wilson, Jr. 
Robert Wilson