Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Clara's 1885 Formal Dress

Clara is dressed in a formal dress for a dance or evening party. With lace and ribbons and ruffles, the dress is quite typical of fashion designs from this era. In the 1880s, bustles returned to popularity, but this time with a narrower silhouette. Clothing became heavier and more ornamented than it had been in the previous decade. Pleats were extremely popular, and Clara's dress has its share of them.

Clara's dress is representative of these overly decorated dresses of this decade. Velvet, brocade, and other heavy fabrics were popular, although Clara's dress is made of silk and lace.

The slippers are also made of a lightweight silk with ruffles to match the dress. They are finished off with buckles, and would have been very fragile, and thus only worn for special occasions.

Clara's hat completes the outfit, with plenty of silk bows to match the dress and shoes. The hat brims of the 1880s were narrower than previous years, but this particular hat has a tall brim reminiscent of a top hat. I think it is a rather silly hat, but this style was relatively popular 125 years ago.

The original dress was an ivory silk. The shoes were ivory leather with silk bows. The original color of the hat is unknown.

Be creative with your coloring. I simply provided the original colors as a reference. You may also be interested to know that jewel tones were very popular in the 1880s. Some pastels were worn, but bright colors were more stylish:

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 18 (903k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will be available on this blog as long as I continue to post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (718k)

If you like my paper dolls enough to want to share with others, please email or post a link to my blog rather than sending or posting a copy of the paper dolls. Refer your friends so they can enjoy the free, printable paper dolls on my blog. Please do not post my artwork on your own sites, modify any of the files, or distribute them to others.

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