Archive for short hair

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, Great Hair, Silk Dresses, watches, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman, 1860s

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s

Woman, 1860s, Backmark

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s, Backmark

Backmark: “S. Piper, 864 Elm St., Manchester, N.H.”

Date: Original image c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Manchester, N.H.

Note: The style of dress in this photo predates the invention of the Cabinet Card, so I believe that this is a reprint of an older photograph.

Dress: This woman wears a one-piece dress, attached skirt and bodice, of silk.  The fabric appears to be solid-coloured.  Her bodice is darted fitted, opens up center front with concealed hooks and eyes, and decorated with a row of ornamental buttons

Her sleeves, while not completely out of style in the late 1850s and early 1860s, were certainly unusual for the time.  They are probably made in two parts- the top section sewn onto a tight lower section.  I am not aware of a specific name for this cut of sleeve, either period or modern.  Gigot or leg’o’mutton always seemed to me to most accurately describe the one-piece sleeves that are puffed at the top and narrow at the cuff (after all, a leg of lamb is in one piece!).  At first glance this woman’s sleeve resembles the gigot, but I think the shape is different enough that it deserves another name.

Her full skirt is worn over a wide hoop or cage crinoline.  The skirt is knife-pleated into the waist, with the pleats facing towards center front.  Her skirt is trimmed in several horizontal bands.  I can’t tell exactly what the trimming is, but a good possibility is that it is rows of self-fabric ruched up the center to from two puffs, and outlined top and bottom with velvet ribbon.

She wears a watch fob suspended from her belt- the watch is tucked into a small, vertical watch-pocket.  The majority of watch-pockets that I have seen on original garments are horizontal and on the left side of the dress (PL), but vertical pockets do show up occasionally.

Her dress is finished with narrow, flat white collar, pinned at the throat with a brooch.

Hair:  Instead of trying to tame naturally curly hair into the smooth hairstyles popular during the mid-victorian period, many curly-headed women preferred to wear them in controlled ringlets.  We would call them “banana curls.”  This woman conforms to the style of the period by center-parting her hair, oiling it, and setting it into uniform ringlets.

Advertisements

CDV: Close Curls

Posted in 1860s, CDV with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Close Curls, c. 1863-67

Close Curls, c. 1863-67

J.J. Boyton  Clinton, Mass.

J.J. Boyton Clinton, Mass.

This woman’s clothing appears uninteresting at first glance, but a closer inspection will reveal some unusual details of mid-1860s fashion.

She wears a one-piece dress composed of a bodice and attached skirt. The fabric is probably wool. Her bodice is dart-fitted, with a row of functional buttonholes closing center front. There are eight visible buttons, in a contrast color to the fabric. She has a short standing detachable white collar, and wears a light-colored neck-bow. The strap is just barely visible around her neck. She wears a dark belt, approximately 1.25″, with no visible buckle.

Her sleeves are pleated into a decorative seam down the top. The seam may be covered with braid or some other trim, the photograph is unclear.

Her cuffs are noteworthy: They are slightly conical and pointed on the top edge, with two decorative buttons. The question is over the material- are these black leather? Spectacularly shiny satin? Cuffs like these show up occasionally in photographs, often enough and randomly enough that they could not have been simply a localized fad. I have never come across anything like them in museum collections. Does anyone have any information?

Her skirt is also noteworthy. The wide box pleats at center front and side seam(s) are typical of the mid ’60s, but note the three smaller pleats radiating out from each. The hem of her skirt appears to be box-pleated with the same fabric as the rest of the dress. I wonder how those pleats are attached? It appears that the flounce is sewn right-sides-together, but this construction is not typical for the time period. A pleat topstitched on with a short header is more common. If you have seen an original like this, please comment below.

Finally, her hair, which I consider also noteworthy. It is center-parted, combed smooth for about two inches, and then erupts into a dense but controlled mass of curls on either side of her head. I cannot tell whether her hair is cut short, which was faddish in the late 1860s and early 1870s, or if the sides were let to curl naturally and then combed into a low back bun.