Fashion History | 1860s: FULL DRESS
“The standard style for full dress is black dress-coat with full collar rolling low, white vest, or of the material of the coat, and black doeskin pantaloons. The English fashion of blue coat and white vest, with lavender pantaloons and gloves, has been seen at some fashionable entertainments, and will be more generally adopted during the winter by young gentlemen."
“The fashionable walking suit is a short double-breasted frock coat made of diagonally ribbed coating or of plain dark cloth. Vest of the same material, with broad collar rolled to suit the shape of the coat. Gray or drab pantaloons with diagonal stripes, or of a solid color with a side stripe of darker shade. Pantaloons still fit closely, but are cut wider at the ankle, giving the necessary spring over the boot. Suits of black cloth made in this manner are chosen for visiting."
“The fall over-coat is a loose sack of light drab or tan-colored cloth, with wide dark facing of silk on the roll in front. A closely-fitting surtout, made moderately long, will be worn as winter fashion. It is of Elysian beaver, a thick warm cloth with rough surface, but as soft as flannel. Brown, dark claret, and blue are the colors."
“The fashionable silk hat has a medium crown slightly bell-shaped, with a two-inch brim curved at the sides. Cashmere under the brim. Glossy silk beavers are selected for full dress. Pocket Hats, of soft pliable felt, have a jaunty appearance, and are convenient for traveling and the theatre. They are also made of ribbed silk, and of light Scotch cloths, to match the suit with which they are worn."
SHOES AND BOOTS
“Buttoned and laced shoes are more fashionable than boots for street wear. The shoe is in the full English shape, with stout soles and low broad heels. For evening, gaiters will be worn made of light calf-skin cut all in one piece, with elastic sides. The tongue-boot of fine calf-skin, with light soles and morocco legs, is considered full dress, though boots are objectionable with the present scant trousers."
“Golden brown and maroon are the fashionable colors for gloves. Doeskin gloves are preferred to kid for street wear. They are more durable, and cost only a trifle more. The serviceable black kinds are faced inside with white, to prevent the wrist from being stained. Glove powder, or Hygienique, used to facilitate putting on a new glove, is said to soften and bleach the hands."
“Negligee handkerchiefs, just imported, have hems only half an inch wide, striped with hairlines of cerise, blue, or purple. Others have solid colored hems, either tan or maroon. Sheer linen, with wide hem and monogram, is selected for more dressy occasions."
“Billiard and smoking jackets are short sacks of gray cloth, lined with purple, crimson, or green flannel, trimmed with soutache the color of the lining. Smoking caps to match are cut in very narrow gores, braided with gilt. A long tassel droops from the center.
Serviceable dressing gowns are made of dark gray woolen serge, wadded and lined with delaine. Outside facings of green silk stitched in small diamonds with gold-colored silk. A silk cord and tassels at the waist. Soft cashmere, and Empress cloth in cashmere patterns, are made into handsome robes, and faced with satin."
“Scarf rings of Neapolitan coral are shown to represent a tiny serpent with flexible joints winding around a white scarf. Others are of filigree silver with Etruscan carving, with sleeve-buttons, studs, and the fashionable locket-all en suite. A half dozen small buttons of pink coral for a vest are sold for $45. Sleeve-buttons to match are $15. Other sets for vest and cuffs are of the dark blue lapis lazuli, or of carved yellow ivory, the Brazilian beetles, and grinning death's heads of French enamel; but good taste dictates the more quiet styles, such as the smallest sized studs of Etruscan gold, or small jewels with very little gold visible in the setting.
Watch-chains are short, with an extra attachment for the universally worn locket. A fancy sporting chain is formed of golden bits and buckles, with a pendent whip, stirrup, and horse-shoe. The price is $100 in gold. buttons representing a jockey-cap and whip and bridle are sold with the chain."
Fashion History | 1860s:
FASHIONS IN CARDS
“Visiting cards for the coming season are of unglazed card board, large and almost square. Tinted cards, especially buff, are fashionable. The lettering is in old English text, or in script. The expense of fifty cards is $3.50. One corner of the card is turned down to denote the object of the visit. In different cities a different signification is attached to these broken cards. We give the custom of New York society. On the left hand upper corner the word Visite is engraved on the reverse side. This corner is turned downed, displaying the word on the front of the card to signify that an ordinary call is made. On the right hand corner is Felicitation, to be used when making a visit of congratulation on some happy event, such as a marriage, or the birth of a child. On the left lower side is Conge, or Good-by. The remaining corner is marked Condolence."