Google Search

Philadelphia Fashion Advice from 1873--I Am So Over Hoops!

Fashion Department


    There is a growing dissatisfaction with heavy, profusely trimmed skirts, and a resumption of hoops to support them, at least till the present stock of dresses shall be done with. The flouncing of skirts to the waist ought to be confined, as it used to be, to airy ball-dresses; a hundred yards of trimming can be put upon a tarlatan dress without oppressing the wearer, but when substantial winter materials are puffed and pleated the consequences are tragic. 2556 front view capewThe same reasons that led to the adoption of hoops in the first place urge a return to to them now--the ease of walking unencumbered with clinging drapery, and the freedom to wear light and slightly trimmed skirts without being conspicuous.
Before the invention of hoops, flounced petticoats of hair-cloth were the latest idea, and they, too, are now resumed, to a limited extent, necessarily. They would be the very best kind of skirts if it were not for two objections, their cost and their weight. Light as the material is, when it comes to be puffed and flounced, it is too much. The lightest and most slightly made hoops are the most comfortable wear, except for evening dress, when the trained crinoline is indispensable. 

     Another nuisance likely to be done away with is the demi-train for the street. Short walking skirts are among the latest Parisian importations. We have looked at handsome dresses trailing in the mud of a January thaw, (Philadelphia mud is something remarkable,) dragging their slow length of uncleanness into the crowded street car, and wondered how often the wearer would be content to carrry home with her and into her house all that defilement.2556 back view capew A few such experiments probably suffice. When dresses are made slightly trained for house or carriage wear, they are carefully taken up with loops and buttons so as to escape the ground, before walking out. For comfortable home wear the wrapper patterns which we illustrate, made up in becoming material, will be found a useful style. 

      With the mild days of March, considerations of spring suits are in order. The misses' polonaise with a cape, 2556, looks just the thing: and, for a little girl, the basque waist, 2552. The ladies' high-necked corset cover, 2568, looks as if it would also be a good pattern for a plain dress waist. 

     Black toilets are still very much worn. They look distinguished, and refined, and are almost invariably becoming. Dark blue cloth suits, water-proof or ladies' cloth, are also much worn, and have a tasteful look. Plaids, as a general thing, are handed over to children, and plain, one-colored stuffs preferred. Leather belts with filagree buckles are fashionable. 



      Evening dresses of gauzy material are adorned with long sprays of flowers, sometimes morning glory vines with blue and pink blossoms. 2552 front and back vieww

     The hair is drawn up on top of the head, and a bow of ribbon placed there is a favorite arrangement. Those to whom it is becoming wear little curls about the forehead. Plaited hair for school girls continues the usual fashion, with the novelty of braiding half way down, tying with a gay ribbon, and leaving the ends to flow loose. The velvet bands about the head that were in favor long ago, are revived. The velvet is about an inch wide, and is tied behind, with long ends left hanging. The graceful scarf veil is the latest style. A long, straight piece of net is edged with Spanish lace; it covers the face plainly, and is tied behind. 

     The few flowers one sees upon this winter's bonnets are mostly roses, so beautifully imitated, one is tempted to draw closer to inhale their fragrance. Large flowers, such as the daphne, azalea, camellia and nenuphar, or water-lily, are also beautifully imitated from nature, and put on singly with a profusion of lovely foliage and very small buds. 2588 front and backw

     They appear, however, rather upon headdresses this winter that upon hats for bonnets. For the latter, feathers are the more general style of trimming. 

     The great furore is for the long, natural, undyed ostrich feather, always the most expensive, because it must be of good quality and all in one piece, while the dyed plume can be made up of any odd bits. Natural--that means always undyed--wings and aigrettes from costly foreign birds are all the rage. 

     As to evening and ball coiffure, the very last style is the small cluster of flowers, or one single flower, if large, to wear with the much-raised edifice of fashionable hair-dressing; but all ladies have not yet relinquished the graceful curl and torsade plalying over neck and shoulder, and for those trailing sprays of foliage and blossoms are still prepared. A style mele', which is also much in favor, consists of one flower or cluster to wear on the upper part of the coiffure, with a long spray to mix in the curls at the back. 

     For daytime nothing can be better or neater than turned-up braid and tresses, but for ball coiffures there is a charm in light flowing locks; indeed, with a decolletee' dress, some portion of the hair should always be left to droop over the neck. 

     For evening dress, the most fashionable style is that of the trained tunic; for the ball dress proper, however, that which is meant to dance with, young ladies  wear the flounced tulle or muslin skirt, of moderate length, with the Princess dress, looped up behind, and low bodies trimmed en draperie with folds of tulle and blond. A tunic of some light transparent fabric may be worn over a demi-trained skirt of taffetas or gros-grains. 


*This was taken from Lady's Friend: Monthly Magazine of Literature And Fashion. Edited by Mrs. Henry Peterson. March 1873. Deacon and Peterson 319 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. 

* Please credit Passed Time ( for any use. Recognition is invaluable, thank you. 


Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.

People in this conversation

Museum says missing Nazi submarine mystery solved

A Danish war museum says it found German U-boat U-3523 embedded on the sea floor, quashing years of speculation.



The Face of a Monster: America's Frankenstein

The Paperback of the The Face of a Monster: America's Frankenstein by Patricia Earnest Suter at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $25 or more!

USS Indianapolis wreckage found 72 years later - CNN Video

The remains of the USS Indianapolis, which delivered parts of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and was later sunk by a Japanese submarine, have been found.


Gaming etc.


Top 5 Mistakes Made by Game Company Executives


Modern Tabletop Arcades


Ahead of Their Time: Discontinued Game Consoles


Andrew Kamal is an app developer, programmer, and inventor who loves writing about historical technology and old games. He can be found in his free time hugging pugs and debating people about which pizza topics are better.












Siberia: Medieval Mummies From Mystery Arctic Civilization Discovered in Zelenyy Yar Necropolis

Two medieval mummies from a mystery Arctic civilization have been discovered at the edge of Siberia. The remains of an adult and baby were found in the Zelenyy Yar necropolis, an archaeological complex first discovered in 1997, and were covered in copper-with the adult having been plated from head to


Search This Site

Civil War Coloring Pages

Civil War Coloring Pages


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Library Company of Philadelphia

3d3f021a fd46 408d bfb6 eae0726eb7b8

A New Looking-Glass for the 1764 Pamphlet War




BibleRescue - Reuniting famly bibles with family

The family bible is a family's connection to the past and future. It connects an entire family across generations to their history, to their faith and provides an understanding of who their ancestors were. Family bibles often contain locks of hair, photographs, newspaper articles in addition to names, dates of birth, death and marriages.




be2acded e529 4958 b99a 550d69cebf62

ec91d0e7 13a7 4862 a980 bb23936626f6

25rd Annual Art & Leisure Auction

Features “Flashback Friday” Theme


Fastnacht Day: February 28 at

York County History Center

Fastnacht Day will be celebrated at the York County History Center’s Historical Society Museum on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. – noon. The Friends of the History Center will serve fastnachts, coffee, tea and hot chocolate at the Museum, located at 250 E. Market Street, York.

This free event is held each year as the Friends’ “thank you” to the community for their support throughout the year. Fastnacht Day originated with Pennsylvania Germans on Shrove Tuesday, when all fat had to be removed from the home before Lent.

The Friends hold fundraising events all year to benefit the programs and exhibits of the History Center.


York County History Center Closed January 26-27, 2017



universal York banner

Universal York Blog

Did colonial courthouse windows end up in the Dover area?

Jonathan Mifflin turns down York County post

York, Pa., really is the center of the universe, especially when you consider its place in historical events. Local historian June Lloyd looks at how things have converged on our hometown, past and present.





Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Pearl Harbor and the Erosion of Citizenship

1f349cd8 b394 4e98 b1cb 3c22f7b3570e





Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society | Preserving the culture of Mennonite-related faith communities in Lancaster County

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society has added a new field trip to the 2016 schedule of events. Get a new view of historic sights in Lancaster and Lebanon with the upcoming field trip, "The Trail of Greenywalt's Boys."


Special Offer

VALUE PACK – Books For Genealogists


Letterpress Printing Game

Windsor Historical Society

Windsor Historical Society - The museum, library, and historic houses explore 370 years of history in Connecticut's oldest English town


Latest Blogs


American Antiquarian Society

About AAS The American Antiquarian Society is a national research library of American history and culture through 1876.more



Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs


African American History Month programs among 18 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware during February 2018


Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor eight free programs during January 2018


Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor 21 special programs during the 2017 winter-holiday season


“Doctor Who and William Penn” to be presented at Dover, Del.’s Old State House on Aug. 19, 2017


Newsletter of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs July 28, 2017 * Volume 10, Issue 7


Newsletter of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs June 29, 2017 * Volume 10, Issue 6



Online survey seeks public input regarding the preservation of historic places in Delaware


Newsletter of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs June 1, 2017 * Volume 10, Issue 5


Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” in Lewes, Del. on May 27 and 28, 2017

Andrew British Sailor WWI


Newsletter of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs March 27, 2017 * Volume 10, Issue 3


Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor 14 free programs during March 2017


New exhibit now open at Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum


“Listen Up! African-American History” program Rescheduled


Newsletter of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Jan. 31, 2017 * Volume 10, Issue 1


  African American History Month programs among 17 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware during February 2017











Virginia Tech was not the worst school massacre in U.S. history. This was.

That spring morning in 1927 could not have been more beautiful, one of the students would later recall. The Bath Consolidated School just outside East Lansing, Mich., was holding final exams, but before the morning bell rang on May 18, 1927, children ran and played outside. Peals of laughter could be heard.


WWII veteran's remains return home after missing 74 years

ATLANTA (AP) - More than 70 years ago, a U.S. Army plane dubbed "Hot as Hell" was headed for India on a supply mission. It never arrived, and no one went looking for the doomed aircraft or the eight men on board because military officials had no way of pinpointing where it went down.

Sword belonging to commander of black Civil War unit found

BOSTON (AP) - The sword that belonged to the commanding officer of the first all-black regiment raised in the North during the U.S. Civil War has been recovered after being lost to history for more than 150 years. The British-made sword carried into battle by Col.


'America's Frankenstein': Book to examine Philly's 'first mass murderer'

An upcoming book seeks to find the links between the fable of Frankenstein and a brutal Philadelphia mass murder that occurred nearly 50 years after the release of the famous novel. In "The Face of a Monster: America's Frankenstein," Delaware author Patricia Earnest Suter revisits the gruesome killings of eight people at the hands of Anton Probst in 1866.

Jaw-dropping discovery: Soldier's diary retells WWI horrors

Norman Gray, a fresh-faced 19-year-old was shipped off to France in 1914 to fight in World War I. Now his diary resurfaced, documenting the horrors of war.



Maria Tesch, 1850-1936 * - Kulturarv Östergötland

Östgötsk kulturhistoria. Uppgifter om arkiv, bibliotek, museer, hembygdsföreningar m.m.