More Late 1880s Walking Suit & Dress Style

As the 1880s progressed, we see the walking dress/suit style developing into a distinct  daywear style. This the figure on the left in this illustration from the November 12, 1887 issue of Harper’s Bazar captures this nicely (although the riding habit on the right is a bit in the same vein but a bit more severe):

And just to show that this was not just developed by Parisian couturiers, here’s some more styles from the November 1888 issue of The Delineator, which was essentially a pattern catalog for the Butterick’s:


And just home in on individual jacket-bodices, or jacket-basques as The Delineator terms it, from the same issue:

As can be seen, the tops and bottoms where sold as individual patterns and were to a degree interchangeable, depending on customer preference. Of course, one could argue that the walking skirt style doesn’t look that different from other day dress styles and they’d be right. A lot of this comes down to fabric and trim choices- one could get as fancy or plain as one’s desire and wallet would allow. But, in the end, the overall style emphasized a clean silhouette with a minimum of extra trim- after all, this was meant for “walking” which really means being out in public which necessitated something a practical design and especially one without a train. We hope that the illustrations shown above will prove to be source of inspiration to everyone- it has for us. 🙂


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