In case you missed out on our exhibit at Dalnavert during Doors open here’s a sneak peek of our display! There are still a couple of our garments hiding around in the house though so you might want to go check it out! Make it a scavenger hunt!
1880s: Ladies Fashion
The silhouette of the skirt changed as the bustle reappeared at the beginning of the 1880s. The fullness of the skirts moved to the back and up towards the waist. A new arrangement of folds, pleats and drapes came into fashion. Skirts were frequently trimmed with frills, pleating, ruffles and other interesting design features.
By the end of the decade, a narrow skirt was popular, which had the excess fabric wrapped in the back at the thighs, making it difficult to walk.
The basque (long and jacket-like) and cuirass (form-fitting, long-waisted and boned) bodices that appeared in the 1870s continued to be worn into the 1880s. Corsets were still worn at this time, a necessity to achieve that perfect hourglass waist.
Sleeves were tight fitting and often three quarter length, ending partway down the forearm. After 1887, the sleeve head began to puff out, but it did not achieve the large leg o’ mutton style until 1895.
1880s: Men’s and Children’s Fashion
Well-dressed gentlemen in this decade wore suits with lounge coats or the longer, but also fashionable, frock coats. In the winter an overcoat reached almost to the ankle. Trousers tended to be made up in basic dark colours. For gentlemen in this era, clothing was generally made-to-measure. Top hats and derby hats were the favoured headwear, and ties and suspenders were common accessories.
Whether boy or girl, all babies and small children were dressed in the same style of clothing – long white dresses, usually made up with cutwork and/or lace. More mobile toddlers wore ankle/mid-calf length dresses that allowed more movement and freedom.
Boy’s dresses often included pleating or buttons down the front, and could be styled like sailors and soldiers outfits. About age 6 boys were breeched, dressed in short pants; pants lengthened as the boy aged and eventually he was permitted to wear long trousers.
Girls were dressed similarly to their grown counterparts. Older girls wore bustles and a tamer version of a corset.