How to Dress for Travel in 1852



This is a pleasant season for traveling, after the equinoctial storms have passed by.  Appropriate dresses are very desirable. None is more so than the foulard dress of a dark color, with branches of foliage and large bouquets of flowers. The same may be said of valenicia and poplin de laine, either with Albanese stripes on a plain ground, or a large plaid pattern.

A traveling dress...  

should be made like a morning gown, but not exactly; for strings are put in underneath, both before and behind, for the purpose of drawing it, so as to form a pretty plaited body when they are pulled tight. Over the gathers either a ribbon or a band with a buckle must be added. The body may be either low or high, with a small collar having two rows of cambric plaited very fine, or with a jaconet collar having open plaits, or again with s Charles V. collar, made of frieze well starched and lustred. The under sleeves should be always in harmony with the collar.

The bonnet... 

is made half of straw, half of taffeta. The brim is straw veined with black or mixed with aloes, and the crown has a soft top of ruffled taffeta, with a bow of ribbon. On this capote, it is indispensable to put a Cambrai lace veil, that lace being at once substantial, light, and rich in pattern. 

As to the feet they are provided with boots of bronze leather, and having low heels and button- holes in vandykes. 

The gloves are Swedish leather, dark color, as for instance Russia leather, iron-gray, maroon, or olive. 

The traveling corset, called the nonchalante, is an article every way worthy of the name. From its extreme elasticity and clever combination it yields to every motion of the body, and supports it without the least compression or inconvenience. This corset is therefore extremely agreeable for travels. 

As a general rule, round waists are daily gaining ground; but you must not confound round waists with short waists; for the former, the dress-maker ought, on the contrary, to endeavor to make the sides as long as possible, and merely suppress the point in front. 

Vests are still worn, but only to accompany linen and lace waistcoats. The under-sleeves are always wide and floating; the wrists are ornamented with ribbon bracelets matching the colors of the dress. 

Boots and shoes are both in very good wear. The shoe is more suitable for the carriage than for walking.  Boots of bronze leather, and of a soft light color, are much sought after by the more elegant ladies. These boots have low heels, and are fastened with enamel buttons of the same color as the material of the boots.   

From: "Harper's New Monthly Magazine", October 1852.