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Illustrations of Ladies' Evening Dress for the 1860's

Godey's Lady's Book, February 1860

Description of steel fashion-plate for February, 1860 (Godey's Lady's Book).

Fig. 1. -Evening-dress of white silk, with two skirts; the lower one has a flounce of lace, headed by a puffing of silk, caught at intervals with sprays of crimson salvia; the upper skirt is in longitudinal puffs, finished in the same manner; puffed and pointed corsage trimmed with salvia; round wreath of the same for the hair.

Fig. 2 -Evening-dress of sore-colored silk; the lower skirt trimmed with four straight flounces, or single folds of the silk, edged by a shell rouche of the same; the upper skirt has corresponding volantes arranged as a tunic to the right; low pointed corsage, with Grecian flods, trimmed by a flounce and heading of lace, the fall is crossed at the bouquet de corsage, and is continued in graceful lapels. Round wreath of blush roses without foliage, as in bouquet de corsage.

Fig. 3 -Dress for the opera. Material, gray moire, with ribbons of deep bright crimson sewn on flat. Opera cloak of white cashmere, trimmed by several rows of swan's-down; Olga sleeve, and graceful hood with tassel.

Fig. 4 -Evening-dress of white silk, with triple flounces, very deep; under each flounce of white appears an alternating flounce of blue; the drapery of the corsage and the sleeves has the same feature. Wreath of blue convulvulous, with foliage and tendrils.


Peterson's Magazine, July 1861

Fashions for July 1861, (Peterson's Magazine).

Fig. 1 - Evening Dress of light Blue silk. - The skirt is made quite plain, and the body low with short sleeves. A cape of figure lace and short puffed sleeves to correspond, complete this charming costume. The head-dress is composed of a wreath of blue, and blue velvet and silver cord.

Fig. 2 - Evening Dress of white muslin. - The skirt has one deep flounce, with a narrow ruffle as a heading. The body and sleeves are composed of fine tucks or plaits, and are finished with a narrow Valenciennes edging. The braces, sash, and pointed belt are of black velvet, trimmed with a gold braid. head-dress of black lace and flowers completes the costume.


Peterson's Magazine, January 1860

Fashions for January 1860, (Peterson's Magazine).

Fig. I. -Evening-dress of White Tulle, trimmed with eleven narrow tulle flounces, edged with blonde and narrow currant-colored velvet. A tunic of spotted tulle is trimmed with a broader velvet, a long wreath of velvet flowers, and a large bow of velvet ribbon. The sleeves and the berthe, which is of a heart shape, are trimmed to correspond with the skirt. Wreath of green leaves and velvet flowers.

Fig. II. -Evening-dress of White Crape. -The edge of the lower skirt is ornamented with a blue ribbon quilling. The upper skirt is festooned on one side with a large blue rosette. Blue satin opera cloak, trimmed with heavy cords and tassels, and bands of swan's-down. Cleopatra wreath.


Godey's, May 1860

The Juliet (Godey's Lady's Book, May 1860)

Five flounced robe, also suitable for the street and evening-dress. This robe is from the establishment of Messers. T. W. Evans Co., 818 and 820 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.


Godey's, October 1859

Evening Dress (Godey's Lady's Book, October 1859)

In selecting one of the newest and prettiest dresses of the season for illustration, we have been influenced by its simplicity of style and taste. To be appreciated, it must be seen in contrast with those which are loaded with ornament. This dress is made in pink tarleton. It has a double skirt; the upper one is looped up with large bows of black velvet ribbon. The body is made round at the bottom, and finished with a draping of folds at the top. The sleeve is peculiar; it consists of a broad fold of the tarleton, plaited into the armhole, surmounted by an epaulette in black velvet, not compressed down to the arm, but adapting itself to the spread of the folds of the tarleton. Under all is a short, full sleeve, of slear, white tarleton, which produces the best effect by the relief which it affords. The same dress is also made in white tarleton, having rows of white satin ribbon and white satin epaulette. This very pretty fabric has a peculiar advantage for evening wear, as it lights up remarkably well.


Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, February 1862

Description of the colored plate, (Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, February 1862)

BALL DRESS. - The wreath is composed of geraniums, is made full and high in the front, and open behind, terminating on each side with a spray of flowers. The hair is plated behind, and dressed in loops. The dress is exceedingly elegant when made up, and may be composed of tarletane, crêpe, or silk, or a mixture of crêpe and silk. As the latter is by far the prettiest mode of making this dress, we will give the description of it in those materials. The underskirt is composed of white glacé silk, ornamented at the bottom with four puffings of cerise or pink silk, each puffing being edged with narrow black blonde. The upper skirt, which is of white crêpe, is as long as the silk skirt, and is looped up on each side, just above the top puffing, with large bunches of geraniums and wreaths of the same flowers, which are carried to the point of the body. The body is made of plain white silk, and the berthé of white crêpe, cut pointed, and ornamented with two rows of quilled silk ribbon, edged with black blonde. The sleeve consists of one large puff of white crêpe, finished off with a small bunch of beraniums, whilst a bouquet of the same flowers ornaments the dress on front. The dress would look very pretty made entirely of crêpe, with pink crêpe puffings, or it might be composed of tarlatane, the latter material being the most inexpensive to use for a ball dress. Blue trimmings might be used with good effect for a blonde complextion.

EVENING DRESS. - The wreath is composed of graduated roses, finished off behind with two hanging sprays. The dress is of green tarlatane, figured with black leaves, and trimmed with black velvet. It is made with three skirts, trimmed with plain sarsnet ribbon, edged with broad and narrow black velvet, there being four rows on each skirt. The body has a round waist, is quite plain, with simple puffed sleeves, and a green silk band. The braces, which cross behind and before, are of green ribbon, trimmed with black velvet, the braces being shaped to a point at the waist.


Godey's, December 1859

Description of steel fashion plate for December, (Godey's Lady's Book, October 1859)

The commencement of the season for evening gatherings naturally directs us to the dress suited for them.

In Fig. 1. we have one of those characteristic tunic dresses, introduced of late, and notable for their novelty at least. Underskirt or petticoat of white silk, covered by innumerable small flounces. Tunic and corsage of blue satin; sleeves of white silk, with a ruche of blue; berthé trimmed with point lace.

Fig. 2. Robe with double skirt, a broché pattern of purple Prussian flowers and leaves on a white ground. The upper skirt has, besides the pattern, a puff of the same, caught on each side by a narrow velvet ribbon, and edged with blonde. The berthé quite new or in style, and the sleeves are composed of blonde and purple velvet ribbon. Boquet of passion flowers.

Fig. 3. Tunic dress; petticoat of white satin drawn into diamond-shaped puffs by crossings of currant-colored taffeta, with a fall of blonde, blonde sleeves and berthé. Wreath of currant and green leaves.

Fig. 4. Tarleton dress for a young lady, the whole formed of puffs; corsage cut square; coral ornaments. Strands of coral in the hair.

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