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Collection: Godey's Lady's Book
Publication: Godey's Lady's Book
Date: July, 1872
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



IN mourning goods there are no new goods to record, but those goods most worn are made better; there is more flexibility in their texture, and they are made lighter, which makes them much pleasanter for summer wear. Bombazine, Henrietta cloth, and tamise are the goods chosen for deepest mourning, with English crape or folds of the same for trimming. These goods are mostly used for street wear all summer, a polonaise of these goods being quite as cool as a grenadine one made over silk. Among the thin goods not worn for the deepest mourning the striped grenadines worn by ladies in colors are used to give variety to mourning costumes. The inch-wide stripe is the most popular, and are alternately thick and thin, as if made of satin and grenadine. The entire costume may be striped, but the present fancy is to have the skirt of the plain goods, with striped ruffles and polonaise. A novelty for fancy mourning is a grenadine with damask figures. This is meant for polonaise only, and they are also worn by ladies in colors as well as mourning. Plain grenadine is worn for deep mourning; they are trimmed with folds of crape, or they as well as thicker goods are entirely covered with crape, giving the suit or dress the appearance of being made entirely of crape, it being sewed into the seams with the dress material.
For morning dresses even stripes of black and white percale, lawn, or cambric are chosen. They are made of box-plaited blouse, overskirt, and skirt of walking length. Polka dotted cambrics are made into Dolly Varden polonaises, and trimmed with bands of solid black percale, and worn over a black underskirt.
Morning wrappers are in the flowing Watteau style, made of white Victoria lawn, and worn with jet jewelry. Suits of white Victoria lawn, trimmed with side plaitings, are also worn in the house by ladies in the deepest mourning.
The mourning stores no longer offer gray and purple goods for second mourning. Instead of these, either black and white stripes are used, or else plain black goods trimmed with the new jet trimmings, and white laces are worn with them. This style of dress is so similar to the style of dressing most generally adopted that it needs no special description.
Crape collars are but little worn. White tarlatane ruches or frills, box-plaited and standing around the neck, are being worn, even by widows. The same frills are worn around the sleeves. Plain linen cambric collars, hemmed, are used for general wear.
Scarcely any jewelry is worn in deep mourning— simply a brooch of massive jet to fasten the collar, and a watch-chain of small jet beads is passed around the neck. For lighter mourning jet, onyx set in gold, and tortoise-shell are worn.
Bonnets for first mourning are of English crape, laid plainly on the frame. These are worn both summer and winter. The widow's veil is two yards long, with a hem three-eighths of a yard deep; this is tied on the bonnet. The ruche or cap is of white tarlatane, the strings of crape, except for old ladies, who still wear the bow of tarlatane. For lighter mourning fancy tulle, net, or silk bonnets are worn, with a little jet ornament if desired. With such bonnets the veil is of net.
Grenadine, with large checks or squares, are a novelty of the season, but we cannot say that we admire them; these large checks never, in our eyes, make becoming or satisfactory dresses. We think the stripes prettier, and they, as we before stated, are equally fashionable. The texture of some of these silk grenadines is exceedingly coarse— more like canvas than a dress material; but they have the advantage of draping exceedingly well— that is, of falling into graceful folds. In black, with small bouquets of tiny pink, blue, and cerise flowers, in shades we see on old porcelain; they make up into exquisite toilets.
Another very popular material is Indian crêpe — a sort of China crêpe , but more brilliant, thicker, and less costly. It is used for overskirts and polonaises of silk dresses. One lately seen, of white, is trimmed with fringe and bows of black velvet. This is to be worn with lavender, blue, or light green silk underskirt.
The newest summer silks and thin dress goods are made with four deep flounces reaching to the belt in the back, while the front has a long, narrow apron. This is seen on some of the handsomest French dresses, and entirely dispenses with an overskirt, except the apron front.
The pretty fichus in Marie Antoinette style continue as popular. They are made of folds of China crêpe of pale tints, edged with white lace, and worn with black silk or grenadine dresses. Swiss muslin, white and black tulle, and the same material as the dress are also used for them.
Sleeveless basques of white muslin, with an overskirt to match, are worn for afternoon dresses at watering-places, over silks of solid colors. Swiss muslin polonaises are also worn, with or without sleeves. Those of Parisian make are fashioned of stripes an inch wide, alternately of insertion and muslin, and the garment is edged with lace. A Swiss muslin dress for a watering-place is worthy of description. The skirt has a twelve-inch flounce, richly needle-worked, headed by two puffs, each five inches wide. These puffs are separated by Swiss insertion, laid over blue ribbon. The front of the polonaise is formed entirely of strips of insertion and muslin; the back forms a large pouf below the belt; a sash of wide faille is folded as a belt, passed under the pouf and droops on the left side. Fringed bows of ribbon fasten the front. The neck is heart-shaped, with standing frill of lace. A folded ribbon passes around the neck and forms a Watteau bow behind. Antique sleeves, with embroidered ruffles, and bow at the elbow.
The handsomest piqué suits seen this season consist of a polonaise and skirt, trimmed with insertions and ruffles of open work English embroidery. One is of repped piqué , trimmed with three scantily gathered flounces of white cambric, embroidered in open compass pattern, headed by an insertion band of the same design (inserted in the piqué ) and a narrow standing frill. The flounces, nearly a quarter of a yard wide, were placed quite apart from each other. The tight-fitting polonaise falls widely open from the waist down, and the back forms two large puffs like the panniers of three years ago. An embroidered ruffle and inserted band surrounds the whole garment, passing up the front and forming a collar. Coat sleeves, with sabot frills.
Flax-gray and êcru batistes , trimmed with tamboured embroidery and guipure lace of the same shade, are very fashionable for these warm months. Soutache braiding in embroidery designs are also seen on these goods; they are worn over black, blue, green, or brown skirts. A polonaise or blouse waist, overskirt and cape generally comprises a set. Striped batiste in écru shades, with stripes like satin, of blue, brown, white, and the same color, are being made up in very pretty overdresses. A material for polonaises is like Russia bath towelling, with a lace-like border about a quarter of a yard deep, and edged with fringe. The plain and striped material also comes; these are trimmed with guipure lace of the same color. Black lace points of the three-cornered shape still remain unchanged, but are wrought in new designs.
Loose sacques are very popular, and are slightly longer than last year, and have wide open sleeves. They are principally made of llama lace, as they are more within the reach of all. Some of the designs are so handsome that the most fastidious ladies, who once scorned Ilama, wear them. A novelty is a cashmere colored border, wrought in llama sacque— a rich Oriental fashion, but not to our taste. Guipure sacques are especial objects of desire, and are very beautiful. The lower priced ones, costing $60, are made of guipure net, insertion, and lace, sewed together. The handsomest ones are hand-made (that is, wrought in shape) and cost $150. Black net, both plain and with a Spanish figure, is used for a variety of outer garments this summer, such as fichus , blouses, jackets, and polonaises. A novelty is a sacque of Valenciennes lace, very fine, and exquisite in design. This is lovely for evening or full dress wear, over a light silk. An effort is being made to revive the fashion of trimming black dresses with colors. One or two dresses have been imported, and by fall we think the fashion for house dresses will be generally adopted. A few grenadines have been trimmed with light-blue and pink silk for watering-places.
Instead of the regular neckties, we now have the cravat bow of Valenciennes or Swiss muslin, or else China crape in colors. These finish the standing frills of lace or muslin. Neckties of bias white twilled silk are, however, considered stylish; but are becoming only to very fresh complexions.
Sprays of flowers arranged in the form of a fan are very fashionable at the sides of evening dresses, and they are more particularly worn with black tulle, studded with gold stars. Spanish blondes and cambria laces, embroidered with gold thread, are used for trimming these starred tulles with good effect. They look better and more novel in black than white, and are particularly becoming to brunettes. Dresses for small evening parties are much trimmed with white and buff guipure lace, embroidered with colored silks.
A pretty model for a sortie de bal for this season is shaped like a sort of shawl scarf. It is made of blue crêpe de Chine , edged with a rich fringe, with a network heading. One corner is made up into a hood, the whole scarf being gracefully draped over the shoulders, and reaching down to the middle of skirt.
Curls are getting longer every day for evening toilets; they reach almost down to the waist. Some day, if fashion goes on at the same rate, some of our ladies will wear them as long as the Japanese court ladies, and sweep the floor with exuberant wigs. Let us hope they will not complete the imitation by shaving off their eyebrows and painting others half way up the forehead. The hair is also worn in twisted torsades, from beneath which curls escape and fall on the neck. Another mode consists of twists worn in place of the plaits. The frizzette, though still worn, is less marked, and decidedly smaller, and most ladies are more reticent on the subject of additional hair than they have been lately. A curled chignon which has a very natural appearance is arranged on a tortoise-shell comb with ornamental top. The front hair is worn high, in Russian bandeaux; but with the curled chignon it is also worn in curls low down on the forehead. These curls are divided from those at the back by a band of coral, pearl, gold, or jet, or a ribbon with a coquettish bow placed on one side. The very becoming Alsatian bow is much worn for demi-toilets. It is a black velvet butterfly bow, lined with a color which sets off the complexion and gives brilliancy to the eyes. There is no complexion but looks the fresher under it, and no eyes which do not sparkle brighter for it.
We see little if any difference in the shape of bonnets and hats; the two are so similar in shape that a pair of strings transform a round hat into a bonnet. An elastic band back of the chignon is necessary to bonnets with strings, to prevent them coming too far forward on the head. Much jet, in leaves, wings, and buckles, formed of small beads thickly set together, are worn by ladies of fashion. Thick veined geranium leaves and those of begonia are the most fashionable floral trimmings, although all kinds are worn. Turquoise silk, a soft repped silk, is very much used for trimming straw hats and bonnets. The Dolly Varden flat, with an ear cluster of rosebuds under the brim and another above the forehead is popular. To be well worn it must be placed quite back on the head, as bonnets now are, leaving most of the forehead visible.
Muslin capulets are worn this summer. They are square, trimmed round with deep lace, and are to veil wreaths of pink blossoms. The elderly are to have less virginal capulets; but still capulets they mean to have, of black lace over autumnal flowers and fruit garlands — clusters of grapes, cherries, and blackberries, and all that the hedge-row offers. Some ladies contend this new style will be warmer than bonnets, and suggest this as an excuse for adopting it. If care is not taken, this sudden desire to have a warm head in summer will produce brain fever. Garden hats are made of muslin for both ladies and children.
There is a novelty in fans; they show the word "Roma" when held up for the plain purpose of fanning; but by a clever turn of the hand the word suddenly turns into "Amor," which is "Roma" read backwards. Young ladies turn the orthodox side to papa when he happens to look their way, and the other side speaks volumes in a totally opposite direction. Of the nature of the language and the direction to which it is directed we leave our readers to guess.
Before closing we must not neglect speaking of the floral jewelry, manufactured by Rogers & Fox, 39 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Md. This jewelry is especially adapted to the summer season, and is made in many different varieties, and of all kinds of flowers, each prettier than the other, and making the task of selection a very difficult one. These sets form a charming ornament for the gayeties of the watering places and summer resorts, as well as for more quiet home wear. We advise our readers to purchase this great addition to a summer toilet and decide for themselves on the beauty of the styles, which we do not feel we can do justice to in a short notice.