Trending- Outerwear for December 1890

In today’s post, we turn to outerwear, specifically jackets trending for December 1890. According to the December 1890 issue of Demorest’s Family Magazine, jackets:

Decidedly the most popular outdoor garment this season is the jacket, which is worn by ladies of all ages, whether of petite or portly figure. All styles agree in having the fitted back, differing only in the use or omission of plaits or lap at the side-form and back seams, and the majority have tight-fitting fronts, either single or double-breasted, the loose fronted “Reefer,” and the open, rolling fronts displaying a vest, being the exceptions.

Here’s some examples of styles pictured in Demorest’s:

One of the more interesting and eminently practical is the “Reefer” Jacket:


Here’s another view of the jacket style as part of a complete outfit from the December issue of Peterson’s Magazine:

Finally, just to round things off here are some pictures of extant originals:

Jacket, c. 1891; Auction in AntiqueDress.com

Skirt Suit Jacket, c. 1895; Victoria & Albert Museum (T.173&A-1969)

Afternoon Jacket, Emile Pingat, c. 1885 – 1890; Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009.300.76)

Jackets were an integral part of any wardrobe of the period, ranging from the purely functional to the extremely fashionable, and there’s a wide range of possibilities for those recreating historical fashions.

Under Construction At The Atelier…

There’s always something new in progress here at the atelier and today is no exception. With the Fall, the focus is on more winter-oriented garments to include mantles and visites and here’s just one example of a visite under construction. It’s got a tapestry-like exterior and a lining of a moire. Stay tuned for more!

The front. I have pinned the lining to one lapel to give an idea how it will look when complete..

A close-up of the front.

And a rear view…

Recent Developments In Mantle Design

Finding optimal mantle designs requires the right combination of fit and style, something that’s not always easy to achieve. Below is a prototype of a mantle based on a pattern that was drafted from an original 1880s mantle. The original mantle was fairly small so we scaled it up for a size 44 bust, a process complicated by the fact that the sleeves are actually set into the side/front and side/read seams rather than simply attaching to the armscye like a conventional sleeve.

 

The back is fairly roomy and can accommodate smaller bustles.

The under sleeves form “wings” that extend from the side seams.

The lining- the sleeves are lines separately before installation into the outside fashion fabric shell. The remainder of the lining is formed into a shell that’s like the outer shell only it has no sleeves.

To give structure and shape to the lapels, there’s an underlayer of Hymo canvas interfacing and the roll lines are reinforced with twill tape. Here’s the original toille:

The front is fairly roomy, allowing enough room to create lapels. If lapels are not desired, the front can be trimmed back. Also, a wide variety of collar styles can also be added- it’s all a matter of personal preference.

The sleeve caps have some ease.

The winged sleeves. We’ll be posting some more pictures of the sleeve details in future posts.

In Development- Mantles!

The weather is cooling off and that means mantles, vistes, and dolmans! Here’s one mantle style that’s currently in development. This particular style features large wing sleeves and is styled to amply cover any dress. Stay tuned for more!

The front will feature wide lapels.

The sleeves are actually attached as part of the side seams and when the arms are outstretched, they actually create wings.

From Maison Worth- Licensed Patterns

One fascinating aspect about Charles Worth was that although he positioned himself as an exclusive couturier, he also licensed printed paper patterns of some of his designs. Worth himself didn’t publicize this to any great extent and you have look hard for the evidence but it’s true. One example of this is this Redingote style was offered for sale for as a printed pattern in the 1882 edition of The Ladies Treasury:

And here’s the accompanying commentary:

Redingcotes are most popular in Paris. M. Worth makes them for summer dresses instead of polonaises. They are made in grenadines, over contrasting colours, for evening dresses. A mauve grenadine, on which are moons of black satin, two inches in diameter is made plain, over a lining of maize yellow satin. The grenadine is turned off in the front, to the sides, and is outlined in jet embroidery, black. A full frill of thread lace goes round the neck, and continues down the centre of the bodice. The petticoat of black satin has a pleated flounce of satin, and a front breadth of yellow satin, which is nearly hidden in jet embroidery, and bows of moire ribbons.

This style is M. Worth’s protest against the bunched-up paniers at the back, which it is said he detests.

Worth’s licensing of patterns is an interesting aspect of his business and is an area that’s not well documented. Of course, it would be interesting to locate the actual pattern but so far, our efforts to do so haven’t been successful. What’s also interesting is that even though Maison Worth was doing very well financially, it’s interesting that he would even bother with such pattern licensing- the revenue from pattern licensing could not have been much when compared to sales of his haute couture. Unfortunately, details about business side of Maison Worth are thin and we may never know the precise answer but it’s interesting to speculate on. As we find out more, we’ll be posting it here. Enjoy!