Friday, February 15, 2013

Dress of the Week: Striped Taffeta Day Dress

Oh, how I long for something bold and whimsical to wear during the day! Fortunately, this striped taffeta day dress is perfect for it.  

Day dress, 1820. Source: The Kyoto Costume Institute

Date: 1820
Country: Unknown
Medium: Silk taffeta
The early 19th century was a blur of white muslin imitating Ancient Greek statues and the classical silhouette, but by 1812 color and trimming were coming back in vogue. Gothic, Tudor and Elizabethan elements were making their mark on day and evening fashions. The waists were still high, but the skirts were getting wider and decorations on the hem and bodice were abundant.        

With this lovely brown and blue striped silk taffeta gown the Gothic influences can be seen in puffy sleeves and the cording and puff decorations on the bodice as well as the flounces along the hem of the skirt. Despite its very bold choice of colors (blue and brown stripes) and silk taffeta fabric, it is not an evening gown. It is a day dress, which means that it was an appropriate outfit for informal occasions before dinnertime. It could be worn around the house or while visiting close friends and neighbours. 

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