Victorian Fashion Illustration: Gilded Age Promenade Costume (Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine, January 1875)


A black and white fashion engraving from the January 1875 edition of Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine. The following is a description from the publication:

Nos. 1 and 2 gives a front and back view of a promenade costume. The skirt is of black gros-grain silk, and is trimmed with a deep box-plaited flounce, each plait ornamented with a band of ribbon velvet. The overskirt is of gray cashmere, very long at the back, and undraped and arranged in a triple box-plait, which is sewed into the waistband, and the plaits laid evenly the full length of the skirt, and tacked in several places on the side, to keep them in position. The front is pointed, and is closed by buttons and buttonholes after being trimmed with a band of velvet, the trimming extending around the lower edges, and also up the centre of the back-breadths. Close-fitting basque-corsage, also of cashmere, belted at the waist, and trimmed with velvet to correspond with the overskirt, both the front and back of the corsage having a band of velvet laid evenly with those on the skirt, and ornamented with buttons. A sleeveless close-fitting jacket is added, made of black velvet, closed at the neck only, immediately under the standing collar. The amount of material required is twelve yards of black gros-grain silk, six yards of double-fold cashmere, and three yards of velvet. Black velvet hat, decorated with feathers and gros-grain ribbons, intermixed with velvet.

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Vintage Advertising: How to Get Supper Quickly Without Changing Your Gown!


Some compelling marketing from a vintage ad by Marion Gas Company in 1910:

It's easy if you own a Regal gas stove. You can't appreciate the saving in time, temper and money effected by a Regal gas stove until you have used one. It is as great an improvement on a coal stove as the latter is on the old-fashioned fireplace. The Regal is the secret of happy housekeeping. At the touch of a match, it gives an intense heat just where you want it -- instantly controllable. No smoke, no smell, no coal to bring up, no ashes to carry out. No fallen cakes, burnt bread, nor delayed meals. Quick, reliable, and economical. All the Regals have large baking ovens with the heat scientifically distributed. They make baking and roasting a real pleasure. Every Regal is guaranteed for three years. Set up in your kitchen, attached, and ready for use, without extra charge. Prices, $7.50 to $35.

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From my personal collection. All digitized works by VictorianTrends.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite Victorian Trends as your source when sharing or publishing.

Victorian Fashion Illustration: Dresses of Silk (Peterson's Magazine, December 1857)


A fashion illustration in full colour from my collection of Peterson's Magazine, December 1857 issue. The magazine describes the dresses as:

On the left, a dress of black silk, trimmed with nine rows of black velvet, graduated in width, and edged with black lace. The body is made with a basque and berthe, and trimmed to correspond with the skirt. The sleeves are of the pagoda shape, open on the inside of the arm.

On the right is a dress of chestnut-colored heavy silk. The skirt is very full, and trimmed on each side with two rows of velvet of a darker shade of brown than the silk. A row of velvet buttons is placed down the side of each band of velvet. The body is made without a basque, but with lappets in front, edged with a brown silk fringe. There is also a berthe formed of velvet and fringe. The sleeves are very wide, made with a cap or jockey, and trimmed to correspond with the body.

To download a free, high-res 6" x 9" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark, please click here.

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From my personal collection. All digitized works by VictorianTrends.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite Victorian Trends as your source when sharing or publishing.

Vintage Real Photo Postcards (RPPCs): Grete with Daisies in her Hair

These are original, first-generation digital scans of vintage real photo postcards (RPPCs) from my personal collection. The first two photos show a pretty young Edwardian girl with daisy hair ornaments posing first with her right profile presented and then with her left profile presented. A big thank you to James W. who pointed me to her possible real identity, a German actress named Grete Reinwald (1902 - 1983). You can read more of her story here.



After reading her biography and seeing all the pictures of her (some look so drastically different that it is hard to believe that they are of the same person), I began to wonder if I might have other photos of her in my collection. I managed to find one of a young girl all wrapped in gauzy chiffon who looked like she had the same upturned nose and tight-lipped smile - can this be a young Grete as well?


Next, I came across this photo of an older girl - she looks to be in her late teens but there is something of her nose and the ever so slightly puckered mouth that made me think that she might be a more grown-up Grete. What do you think?


I have no idea if all these long-ago photographs are of the indomitable Grete who graced so many postcards but it is a lot of fun to imagine who these young ladies might have been and how they would have lived their lives.

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From my personal collection. All digitized works by VictorianTrends.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite Victorian Trends as your source when sharing or publishing.

Vintage Advertising: Built to Bake and Asbestos-Lined Throughout!


A vintage ad from 1901:

Built to Bake Excel Steel Range - Made of cold rolled heavy steel, asbestos-lined throughout. Economizes fuel. Nickel trimmed. Large porcelaind reservoir. Heavy cast-iron linings. Greatest bargain ever offered. Shipped direct from factory. Sold by the Modern Stove Manufacturing Co. from Chicago, Illinois. You can download the free high-res 4" x 9" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

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From my personal collection. All digitized works by VictorianTrends.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite Victorian Trends as your source when sharing or publishing.

Victorian Fashion Illustration: New Style of Hair Dressing for February 1879



A set of illustrations from February 1879 showing the four stage of a pretty hairdressing style for February 1879 with hair set in many loops. If you are feeling adventurous, below are the instructions for trying out the style as written by Mrs. Jane Weaver:


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From my personal collection. All digitized works by VictorianTrends.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite Victorian Trends as your source when sharing or publishing.

Victorian Fashion: How Do I Look? (Godey's, February 1860)


Original, first-generation digital scan of an engraved fashion plate from the February 1860 issue of Godey's Lady's Book in my personal collection. The description for the costumes (from left to right):

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 rose-colored silk; the lower skirt trimmed with four straight flounces, or single folds of the silk, edged by a shell ruche of the same; the upper skirt has corresponding volantes arranged as a tunic to the right; low, pointed corsage, with Grecian folds, 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 convolvulus, with foliage and tendrils.

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From my personal collection. All digitized works by VictorianTrends.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite Victorian Trends as your source when sharing or publishing.