Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clara's 1877 Walking Dress

Just in time for Christmas is a fancy dress for all the shopping Clara will be doing. Clara's dress for this week is an 1877 "walking dress." The dress got its name from the intended purpose: the dress was meant to be worn while walking around outdoors. Whether the activity was shopping, strolling, or just visiting... anytime a wealthy lady was going to be seen outdoors in public during the day, she would wear a walking dress. Worn to impress others, walking dresses were generally more elaborate ensembles than a regular day dress. The outfit would typically include a hat, boots, gloves, purse, coat, scarf, or any conceivable accessory, all carefully matching and coordinated.

Clara’s walking dress is very typical of the 1870s, with heavy drapery decorations. Clara’s dress for today has a pleated underskirt with an overskirt drawn up with a wide ribbon on the side seams to form drapes. A ruffled yoke dresses up the high-collared bodice.

For footwear, Clara has the ever-popular tall boots. In the 1870s, the style was to have square toes, so Clara's boots have square toes... she has to be completely fashionable!

To finish off the outfit, Clara has a straw hat with ribbons on the crown and roses for trim. As a final touch, a long, drapy scarf finished off the hat.

Popular colors for the 1870s were bright jewel tones, with yellow, red, and purple prominently seen. Of course, many other bright, clear colors were worn. The original dress was ivory silk with rose pink ruffles, ribbons, and trim. The hat was a golden straw hat with ivory ribbons and scarf, and rose pink flowers. The shoes had a light tan upper with black bottoms.

To print Clara's outfit, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 40 (780k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will continue to be available on this blog as long as I 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 (745k)

No comments:

Post a Comment