Now For Some 1890s Casual, Parisian Style…

When is comes to the term “casual,” it’s always a matter of degree when applied to the late Nineteenth Century and especially for the 1890s. Recently, we came across this interesting circa 1897 day dress made by a one P. Barroin of Paris:

P. Barroin, Day Dress, Paris, France, c. 1897; FIDM Museum (2010.1098.3A-C)

This dress is constructed from a printed cotton fabric featuring a red and white pattern with silk taffeta trim on the skirt bottom and bodice/sleeves. The style is classic 1890s although the sleeves are bit more restrained than the usual large gigot/leg-of-mutton sleeves commonly found in the 1895-1897 time frame. Also present is the wasp-waist, measuring 28 inches in diameter, which in turn helps create the characteristic “X” line silhouette. Finally, inset in the middle of the bodice of silk chiffon shirring which creates the effect of a waist being worn underneath although the bodice would have been one unit. Overall, this is a sporty day dress with a minimum of trim and embellishment and was definitely meant for day wear in public; the straw boater hat further reinforces this sporty effect. This dress is representative of the more casual daytime styles of day wear that were coming into vogue during the 1890s and as such acted as a counter some of the more extreme looks one can see with evening wear of the period. This is definitely a worthy candidate for reproduction.  🙂

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