What was the well-dressed young woman wearing in the second half of 1826?
For a sunny summer stroll she might wear this sunshine yellow Walking Dress (Ackermann’s Repository, July) with self-fabric appliques down the front of the skirt and a roulade hem. I find her hat interesting—the gray ribbon wrapping the brim makes it look like a birthday present—and her red bracelets and brooch—coral, perhaps?
Skirts are starting to take on a definite bell-shape as can be seen in this Evening Dress from July’s Ackermann's. The tab fringe around hem and neckline will be seen in other dresses this year; the ombre-dyed shawl is something we’ve seen already from earlier this year. And I love her ruffle-edged gloves!
This one’s my favorite from this half of 1826: an Evening Dress with beautifully detailed woven knotwork applique at the hem, an elegant, almost boat-neck neckline, and gauze oversleeves on top of wee puff sleeves. Her headdress is an elegant turban (or is it a Phrygian cap—perhaps a combination?) of pink and white to match her dress, and her gloves have a deep zig-zag hem. Shawl is another one of those ombre-dyed scarves. Very nice! (Ackermann's Repository, August):
Yellow does seem to be a popular color this year; here’s another Evening Dress in that color with gauze oversleeves and overskirt appliqued with ribbon and what looks like flowers and sheaves of grain—appropriate for a harvest-season dress. The grain image is repeated on the bodice. (Ackermann’s Repository, September):
Several costumes from this time are nearly precursors, at least to my eye, of clothes that will be seen in the 1890s. Here’s one of them, a Carriage Dress from September’s Lady’s Magazine: "A petticoat of apricot-colored gros de Naples, with two broad flounces, formed in small scalops, edged with narrow rouleaux. Muslin spencer trimmed at the wrists with Vandyck points of lace, and mancherons [trimming at the shoulder] formed of broad Vandyck lace. Blue sash and bracers, with a rosette in front. A broad colerette pelerine [a short sort of cape, usually just covering the shoulders] of Vandyck lace finishes the spencer at the throat. Leghorn hat, with an ornament en bateau at the crown, of the same material, trimmed with chequered riband, generally yellow and blue; the strings in a loop. Bracelets of gold next the hand. Myrtle-green parasol."
Millinery! It’s rather striking how many different forms hats took, from the leghorn bonnet at bottom trimmed with falling lace (such fun to flirt from behind!), a softer bonnet-shaped cap at right, the assertive tall-brimmed hat at top, and the curious sea-shell shaped cap at left. (October, Ackermann’s Repository):
Dainty is the word for this Evening Dress from November’s Ackermann's. A lace-trimmed and ribbon-festooned gauze overskirt covers a blue underskirt, trimmed at the top of the flounces with what looked like an applique of blue laurel leaves. The sleeves are in three parts—a gauze oversleeve covering a puffed short sleeve and long sleeve as well, and bodice trimmed with broad ribbon at waist and shoulders. Note here as well as in some of the earlier prints the growing complexity of hairstyles, with bands of fabric and ribbon often woven in to puffs of hair:
Here’s a curious Morning Dress that makes me think of Robin Hood: both the skirt and bodice are trimmed with arrowhead-shaped points of fabric and rouleaux at the top of each row of points. The construction of this dress is interesting: it’s made like a jumper, with a white muslin underdress showing at neckline and sleeves. The lace cap is curious as well, decorated with what looks like matching green fabric leaves (Ackermann’s, December):
And one final Evening Dress from December’s Ackermann’s (I seem to have a lot of them for this year) in striking red and white. The skirt is decorated with two rows of geometrically-patterned rouleax and the bodice has vertical detailing that looks almost Art Deco. Sapphire bracelets and necklace and what appears to be a yellow and blue plaid shawl finish the costume:
What do you think of 1826’s fashions?