1860-1861 Dress

I found this dress while browsing the Costume Institute Collection Database at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. It’s beautiful!

It’s actually one of my favorite 1860s dresses from museum collections. Why? Well, the color is particularly striking (it looks like it is constructed of peach/champagne shot silk) and the fullness of skirt makes my heart sing (it’s actually even bigger than the hoops under it, which is why it falls in pleats all the way to the hem).

I also really love the trim! The scale of it is perfect for the 1860s, when trimmings occupied a large portion of the expansive skirts. The bertha and sleeves gracefully complement style of the dress, completing the look. The scalloped arrangement of trim on the skirt and the use of pleating to create the trim all add to my high opinion of this dress. Box pleating of this type was frequently used to adorn and trim garments in the 19th century, but this dress uses this trimming style to better effect than some. (There are close up pictures of the trim below.)

Bertha Trimming

Skirt Trimming

I plan on keeping this dress in mind for future 1860s reproduction dress ideas. I think it would be a fun and fabulous dress to wear to a ball!


About TheQuintessentialClothesPen

The Quintessential Clothes Pen creates historical clothing and accessories as well as modern garments.
This entry was posted in 1860s, 19th Century, Hoops and Bustles, Inspirational Clothing, Museum Clothing Pieces, Trimmings, Victorian Clothing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 1860-1861 Dress

  1. It always amazes me how much pink there was around 1860. Such a playful, fashionable, feminine era. And the more of it in a single dress, the better!

    Sarah Elizabeth Gallery Antiques

  2. Pink is certainly a beautiful, adaptable color. I’m glad you also enjoy this gown!

  3. Armida says:

    I am reading some historical novels and, you’re right, I can see a duchess walk into the ballroom wearing this gown. It brings the 1860’s into our reality and gives me a better understanding of that era.

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